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  • Cristina Merrill 4:00 pm on 2018/06/13 Permalink
    Tags: all we ever wanted, by invitation only, calypso, cottage by the sea, , , debbie macomber, , , , , , love and ruin, , , , rainy day friends, , , the cast, , the perfect couple   

    10 Beach Reads to Get You into That Summer State of Mind 

    Summer is nearly here! That means plenty of time for lounging about in the great outdoors. Here are 10 page-turning stories to enjoy as you soak up the sun. Some are light and breezy, and others are a bit darker—covering everything from murders to social media scandals. There are fresh starts and betrayals and secrets. They all have one thing in common, though: They’re each filled with beautiful, colorful characters who will make you want to keep turning the pages, even when the going gets rough. (Especially when the going gets rough, actually.)

    So put on your biggest shades, slather on the SPF-whatever-you-need, and enjoy! Just don’t forget to turn over once in a while.

    The Cast, by Danielle Steel
    Hoping to dip your toes into a glamorous, Hollywood-esque story? Seek no further! Steel’s yarn is about a woman, Kait Whittier, who has a respectable magazine writing career. After meeting Zack Winter, a television producer, Kait becomes inspired to write a TV series based on her grandmother’s life. She soon finds herself in the middle of a major production filled with all kinds of people. All is going quite well, until she is confronted with a major maternal-related issue. Will she be able to get through it? And will her new inner circle help her?

    The Perfect Couple, by Elin Hilderbrand
    Fans of The Castaways and A Summer Affair will have a chance to revisit some of their favorite characters in this novel! It’s wedding season on Nantucket, which doesn’t exactly thrill the locals. (So. Many. Tourists.) Then a bride-to-be is found dead just a few hours before the ceremony was supposed to begin, and many of those who were close to her are prime suspects. Chief of Police Ed Kapenash is on the case, and he soon realizes that no lovey-dovey couple—or family, for that matter—is perfect. He’s going to have to ask some difficult questions in order to solve this case and bring the bride’s loved ones closure.

    All We Ever Wanted, by Emily Giffin
    Giffin’s latest tale is about a major incident that goes viral on social media. Nina Browning is living the good life in Nashville. Her wealthy husband just sold his tech company for a major profit, and their son got accepted to Princeton. Living a very different life is Tom Volpe, a single dad working multiple jobs to raise his daughter, Lyla, while making sure she doesn’t screw things up at her new prep school. One night, at a wild party, a scandalous photo is taken that can shake up everything these two families have worked for. Can they manage to survive the scandal and pick up the pieces of their lives?

    Calypso, by David Sedaris
    Humor book alert! Funnyman David Sedaris’s latest book is about his purchase of a beach house. This may seem like The Dream for just about anyone, but, as Sedaris learns, it’s not all fun and games. He thought it would be a relaxing retreat, but he still can’t escape the facts of life, such as middle age and mortality. There are plenty of his patented and hilarious ruminations on both in this volume, so be prepared for lots of belly laughs in spite of yourself—and maybe some stares from the people sitting nearby.

    Shelter in Place, by Nora Roberts
    Roberts’ latest book deals with a mass shooting at a mall, and how it affects the lives of the survivors for years to come. One man decides to go into law enforcement, while one woman finds a much-needed outlet in her art. Years have passed since that horrible night, but the pain still lingers, and it may not even be over yet. Let’s just say that someone bad is waiting to cause more chaos. Fans know that Roberts (and her alter writing ego, J.D. Robb) consistently delivers thrillers filled with the most wonderful human characters.   

    The High Tide Club, by Mary Kay Andrews
    Attorney Brooke Trappnell has been summoned by 99-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick to the old lady’s beach home. Josephine wants to make things right with the descendants of her old girl gang. They called themselves The High Tide Club back in the day, and let’s just say they used to have oodles of fun together. (Case in point: They went skinny dipping. A lot.) Of course, many things have happened since those days. Oh, and Josephine also wants Brooke to help her protect her land from greedy hands. Brooke soon finds herself in the middle of decades-old drama as she reunites everyone at Josephine’s home.

    Love and Ruin, by Paula McLain
    McLain is at it again! After the success of The Paris Wife, a fictional account of Ernest Hemingway’s marriage to Hadley Richardson, his first of multiple marriages, this new tome delves into Hemingway’s marriage with journalist Martha Gellhorn. Martha travels to Madrid to report on the Spanish Civil War and ends up crossing paths with the soon-to-be-super-famous writer. Throughout their relationship, one of her main struggles is to make sure she remains her own person, which many a modern reader can appreciate. Hemingway scholars know how this particular love story ends, but it’s still fun to read about a romance between two interesting and intelligent people with lots of inner turmoil.

    By Invitation Only, by Dorothea Benton Frank
    A wedding is about to take place, and let’s just say the bride and groom come from very different backgrounds. Fred’s family are Southern peach farmers, while Shelby comes from a wealthy Chicago family. One side is very hardworking, while the other side—or certain folks on it—have a bit of a sense of entitlement. Everyone is feeling a little bit out of their element, especially the two mothers. Will Fred and Shelby’s relationship survive class differences? And will everyone be feeling the love when Fred and Shelby say “I do?” (That is, IF they do?)

    Cottage by the Sea, by Debbie Macomber
    Annie Marlow has been through some pretty painful experiences, so she decides to hightail it to the Pacific Northwest. There she meets a colorful cast of characters, including Keaton, who helps her fix up her seaside rental cottage. He’s a very nice, zen kind of guy, which Annie really needs right now. Life is going smoothly, and then Annie gets a major opportunity thrown her way. Add to that a landlady with some major emotional walls around her and a teenager who might be in desperate need of Annie’s help, and you’ve got a page turner you won’t be able to put down.

    Rainy Day Friends, by Jill Shalvis
    Lanie Jacobs’ husband recently passed away, and she’s still getting over her grief when she discovers that she wasn’t his only wife. She’s devastated, to say the least, and she decides to make a fresh start for herself by working at the Capriotti Winery. It’s a family-run venture, and Lanie gets plenty of distraction from the noisy Capriotti family. There’s also the matter of Mark Capriotti, an Air Force veteran who is now the deputy sheriff. He and Lanie soon realize that they really like each other. Then a 21-year-old newcomer with some dark secrets shows up, which just might ruin everything that Lanie has worked for.

    The post 10 Beach Reads to Get You into That Summer State of Mind appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 2:00 pm on 2018/06/12 Permalink
    Tags: cajun persuasion, dangerous, debbie macomber, , guarding his heart, , minerva spencer, navy families, , , sandpiper shore, , synithia williams, tempting the laird   

    Romance Roundup: Harem Escapees, Navy Romances, and Cajun Lovers 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a photographer who gets to photograph a super hot—and nude—basketball player, a woman who has just escaped a sultan’s harem, and a feisty, intelligent lady who meets the laird of her dreams.

    Guarding His Heart, by Synithia Williams
    Basketball star Kevin Koucky is about to retire from the game, but before he does that, he plans to give the world what it wants: He’s going to pose nude for a magazine. (Ladies, in case you didn’t know, this is kind of a real thing. The ESPN magazine produces “The Body Issue” every year. You’re welcome.) The photographer assigned to this very desirable assignment is none other than Jasmin Hook. She is a talented professional, but even she has trouble remembering to hold her camera properly when she sees what Kevin has to offer. (Jasmin, just pretend you’re holding—never mind!) As for Kevin, he’s definitely intrigued by this lovely lady, and decides to pursue her. Will he manage to prove that he’s a good guy and give her many reasons to put her camera—very carefully it was expensive—down? This is the third book in Williams’ Scoring for Love series. (Available in paperback on June 19.)

    Dangerous, by Minerva Spencer
    Lady Euphemia Marlington has just escaped a sultan’s harem after 17 years in captivity. Now she’s back home, but her father wants to marry off his now-32-year-old daughter ASAP. (Gee, she missed you, too, Dad!) Her only option at this point is Adam de Courtney. He’s known as the Murderous Marquess because his first two wives died under mysterious circumstances. (Dude, you better have some REALLY solid alibis!) Adam and Euphemia need each other quite badly, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that they’ve got some major chemistry going on. The thing is, neither one is entirely gung ho about sharing their deepest, darkest secrets. Will they find the strength to reveal all to each other, physically and emotionally? And can they manage to show each other a good time while they’re at it? This is the first book in Spencer’s Outcast series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 26.)

    Navy Families, by Debbie Macomber
    Two stories in one! In “Navy Baby,” a pregnant Hannah Raymond is reunited with the sexy sailor with whom she, ahem, had a very yummy time. (Don’t worry, Hannah. If we saw Riley Murdock in front of us we’d follow our most primal instincts, too!) Riley wants to marry Hannah and create a solid family life. Are these two near-strangers up for the challenge? In “Navy Husband,” Shana Berrie is going to take care of her Navy sister’s 9-year-old daughter for the next few months. (Major shoutout to those who care for military kids while their parents are deployed!) Jazmine is very curious to know why her Aunt Shana is single, and so is Jazmine’s godfather, Lieutenant Commander Adam Kennedy. (Adam, you can pilot our ships in any ocean!) He decides to check in on both ladies to make sure they’re okay, and Shana soon realizes that she’d love to see him alone and wearing nothing but his combination hat! (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 26.)

    Tempting the Laird, by Julia London
    Catriona Mackenzie is a very happily outspoken and UN-married woman, and those who disapprove of her can stick it for all she cares. She also runs a refuge for women. (Catriona, you are awesome.) Her women’s shelter, though, has become a target, and Catriona’s investigations put her in touch with Hamlin Graham, Duke of Montrose. (Oh, that we could all be in touch with Hamlin!) Hamlin has some major political goals, which are being thwarted due to the disappearance of his wife. People are convinced he’s a murderer, but no one knows the truth about him. He’s got to keep quiet, but then he meets Catriona and she brings out the sexy in him. Here’s hoping they learn to trust each other soon, and then proceed to make the world a better place—together! (Available in paperback on June 26.)

    Cajun Persuasion, by Sandra Hill
    Pilot Aaron LeDeux is on a trip to Louisiana with his brother so that they can both get in touch with their Cajun heritage. His travels put him in the path of Fleur Gaudet, a sort-of nun who cavorts with like-minded people to rescue sex-trafficked girls. (Yes, Fleur, you’re a hero to us all!) The thing is, she hasn’t had much real-world exposure, and Aaron becomes quite determined to show her what she’s been missing. (Excuse me, Aaron? We all never really had much fun during our college years/were kind of wallflowers/whatever excuse it’s going to take to get you all over us!) Aaron and Fleur end up going on a dangerous mission together, and they have plenty of opportunities to really get to know each other. Here’s hoping they find many reasons for Aaron to trade the freezing cold for the hotter Cajun atmosphere! This is the third book in Hill’s Cajun series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 26.)

    Sandpiper Shore, by Debbie Mason
    Jenna Bell loves being a wedding planner, but her latest assignment has her feeling jittery. She’s got to plan the wedding for Logan Gallagher, on whom she’s crushed since forever. Logan is now a secret service agent, and he’s only getting married because he needs to protect the woman he’s been assigned to. This means that our gal totally has a chance to snag him for herself. (Jenna, we’ll all thwart the bad guys while you make your moves. We’re truly feeling optimistic about this!) Can Logan complete his latest mission in a way that doesn’t get him tied down, figuratively speaking? (He wouldn’t mind being literally tied down by our gal.) And can Jenna be brave and show Logan just how much she loves him? This is the sixth book in Mason’s Harmony Harbor series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 26.)

    What romances are on your nightstand this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Harem Escapees, Navy Romances, and Cajun Lovers appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 1:00 pm on 2018/04/24 Permalink
    Tags: a san diego romance, a scandalous deal, debbie macomber, don't call me cupcake, , , , navy brides, , , , , tara sheets, the designs of lor randolph cavanaugh   

    Romance Roundup: Navy Love, Architects, and Cupcake Wars 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a lady trying to keep her family’s estate together, an architect who gets cozy with her new employer, and two competitive foodies who have the major hots for each other.

    The Designs of Lord Randolph Cavanaugh, by Stephanie Laurens
    Lord Randolph Cavanaugh doesn’t give a hoot of what society thinks. His biggest concerns are his business ventures and his family. (Randy, buddy, with high society being as snooty as it is, we can’t say we blame you!) He travels to Buckinghamshire to review an investment, which brings him face-to-face with Felicia Throgmorton. Her father died not too long ago, and she’s working really hard to keep her family’s estate together. (Randolph, you BETTER take her out for a fun night at the theatre!) They soon become crazy for each other, because Felicia is a smart and strong and awesome lady and Randolph is also smart and strong and awesome with a beautiful body to boot. This is the first book in Laurens’ new series, The Cavanaughs. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on April 24.)

    Map of the Heart, by Susan Wiggs
    History buffs will love Wiggs’ latest! Camille Palmer is finally settling back into a peaceful existence after the tragic death of her husband. She’s got a teenage daughter and a dad to look after, so she’s quite busy. (Camille, massages and champagne on all of us!) Then a mysterious package arrives, and the three of them go back to France, where Camille’s dad lived during World War II. Oh, and Camille meets a very handsome former naval officer during her travels. (Note to Camille: Find out ASAP if he kept his uniform!) A nice lady who gets another chance at love with a hunky man in the French countryside while surrounded by loved ones? Yes, we’ll all take that tale with a glass of wine and a chocolate croissant! (Available in paperback on April 24.)

    Navy Brides, by Debbie Macomber
    Two stories in one—and lots of sexy Navy men in sexy Navy uniforms! In “Navy Wife,” Lindy Kyle decides to start a new chapter in Seattle. (Some jerk broke her heart, so good for you, Lindy!) She ends up becoming roommates with Rush Callaghan, who is in between Navy gigs. Rush always thought the Navy would be his first love, but he soon realizes that Lindy is extremely awesome, too. Will their love survive when he gets called to duty again? In “Navy Blues,” a lady named Carol really, really, really wants her ex-husband, Lieutenant Commander Steve Kyle, to father a baby for her. (Navy life and the long absences it can entail took a toll on their marriage, but she knows he’d be the perfect co-parent.) Can they realize that they’ve always been perfect for each other and that they have GOT to reconcile for good? (Fingers crossed!) (Available in paperback and NOOK on April 24.)

    A Scandalous Deal, by Joanna Shupe
    Gilded Age romance alert! Lady Eva Hyde, unfortunately, has had three dead fiancés, so it doesn’t look like she’ll get married anytime soon. She decides to go to New York City to pursue her dream of being an architect. (Many thanks to you, Eva, and other women like you who helped pave the way!) During her boat journey she has a very, ahem, passionate encounter with a handsome man. When in New York, she realizes that said handsome man is none other than her new boss. Phillip Mansfield is willing to give Eva a chance on his new luxury hotel project, but he’s not prepared for the many, many feelings she stirs up in him. Here’s hoping that Eva manages to take the architecture world by storm—and that she and Phillip have many passionate nights in an edifice of her creation! (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on April 24.)

    Don’t Call Me Cupcake, by Tara Sheets
    Bakery owner Emma Holloway likes to infuse the cupcakes she makes with good wishes. (Oh, and these good wishes work in a magical way, so Emma, we’ll all take ten!) Life is good, and then she meets Hunter Kane. Now, normally meeting Hunter would be A Good Thing, because he’s a Handsome Guy with Biceps Molded From Happy Tears. But Hunter, it turns out, is opening his own restaurant and bakery in town, so now he’s competition. (Hot, muscular competition, but competition nonetheless.) They soon discover they’ll need to work together for the town’s summer festival. This is difficult for our gal Emma to bear, because business is business and she’d like to be the town’s ONLY business, thank you very much. Then they start to connect in a very deep way. Can they work together? And will Hunter serve Emma sweets in bed wearing nothing but an apron? (Sorry, an apron AND a smile?) This is the first book in Sheets’ Holloway Girls series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on April 24.)

    A San Diego Romance, by Kianna Alexander
    Christopher Marland is the president of the San Diego Millionaire Moguls, and he doesn’t really have time for any romance. (Oh, Christopher, just give us all a chance!) Then Eliza Ellicott comes back into his life, and seeing his first love again makes Christopher realize that yes, he is still capable of deep emotion and intense physical passion. (We all knew you had it in you, buddy!) As for Eliza, she’s willing to give Christopher a helping hand with his teenage daughter because she’s, like, a super duper nice person with a boutique to run. (Eliza, we will all be your most faithful patrons!) She’s not so sure about Christopher himself, though. Can Christopher prove to her that he’s a man worth keeping who can also show her a rowdy time in just about any place? This is the sixth book in the multi-authored Millionaire Moguls series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    What romance novels are you swooning over this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Navy Love, Architects, and Cupcake Wars appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 6:00 pm on 2018/01/23 Permalink
    Tags: , beyond danger, debbie macomber, getaway, , kat martin, looking for a hero, , , , , , ,   

    Romance Roundup: Artists, Sexy Detectives, and Caring Highlanders 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a guy who gets help investigating his father’s murder, a woman who gets a Highlander’s protection, and a nurse who gets a gig caring for a ridiculously sexy philanderer.

    Surrender to the Highlander, by Lynsay Sands
    Edith Drummond wakes up from a health problem to find several hunky Highlander guys taking care of her. (#lifegoals) The only one she’s drawn to, though, is Niels Buchanan. He becomes infatuated with her right away, and wants to protect her from the mysterious, hidden figure who keeps trying to poison her. Niels will need to deal with Edith’s family’s enemies if he’s going to keep her alive and embark on a beautiful, sexy life with her. Oh, and he also needs to do whatever he can to prevent her from going to a nunnery. (This is fair, as both he and Edith want to do very un-nun-like things together.) Will they manage to dodge the bad guys? And will Edith get to untie Niels’ kilt over and over and over and over (and over) again? This is the fifth book in Sands’ Scottish Highlanders series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on January 30.)

    Beautiful Tempest, by Johanna Lindsey
    The very gentle-bred Jacqueline Malory recently had some major adventures that involved a ship and a handsome pirate, and she’s about to have some more! Jacqueline and her older brother are taken as “guests” on the ship of a very mysterious man—and that ship is sailing away from England, which could either be really good or really bad. (Seems like any time with this mysterious man would be really good!) Our gal thinks he might be a pirate, but the truth is he might actually be a nobleman who is looking to get his honor back. That said, he’s quite intrigued by the tasty morsel that is Jacqueline and doing some not-so-honorable things with her. This is the latest book in Lindsey’s passionate Malory-Anderson series. (Available in paperback on January 30.)

    Beyond Danger, by Kat Martin
    Texas mogul Beau Reese has a lot to deal with right now, and it pretty much started when his father knocked up a teenage girl. (Yup, that’ll definitely put a damper on one’s day.) Then said father, a former senator, is found dead in his study. Detective Cassidy Jones is already in the picture by this point, as she was hired to find out who was stalking Beau’s dad. Now that he’s dead, Cassidy and Beau will need to work very closely together in order to figure out who dunnit. The good thing is that they don’t really suspect each other. Also, Beau has the kind of body no woman would mind working closely with. Here’s hoping they solve the mystery soon, and that things only go up from there! This is the second book in Martin’s super suspenseful Texas Trilogy series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on January 30.)

    Getaway, by Nora Roberts
    This reprint offers two stories in one! In “Partners,” Matthew Bates and Laurel Armand are professional enemies, which is too bad, because they both wouldn’t mind getting decidedly unprofessional with each other. Then they need to investigate a murder case together, which means they are forced to work in close proximity. (Laurel, you lucky, lucky gal!) Can they manage to solve the case, ideally with Matthew shirtless at least half the time? In “Art of Deception,” artist Adam Haines goes to Kirby Fairchild’s ancestral home. He needs a quiet place to paint. (Adam, you can use all of our places! We promise to be super quiet while we watch you paint naked. The pleasure is all ours!) Being close to him is really nice, but then he starts to act a bit strange. The attraction is still there, so phew, but Kirby is very curious to see what exactly he is up to. (Available in paperback on January 30.)

    Looking for a Hero, by Debbie Macomber
    This reprint also offers two stories in one! In “Marriage Wanted,” divorce attorney Nash Davenport plans to stay as far away from the altar as he possibly can. (Easy to do in his line of work.) Then he meets wedding planner Savannah Charles, who has absolutely nothing against the institution of marriage. (Nash, buddy, we promise you that Savannah is an awesome and realistic woman with healthy expectations.) Can Nash drop his snarky attitude? In “My Hero,” romance writer Bailey York finds some much-needed inspiration in Parker Davidson. He has everything a heroine would want in a hero—dreamy face, charming personality, a trim, fit waist that begs to be encircled by loving arms. Will she manage to realize that Parker is the one for her, and that he’s jonesing to prove he’s real-life husband material? (Bailey, far be it from US to say “Get your nose out of that romance novel,” but would you please open your peepers just a little bit wider?!) (Available in paperback on January 30.)

    Never Dare a Wicked Earl, by Renee Ann Miller
    London’s most notorious Lothario Hayden Milton, the Earl of Westfield, almost had his manly bits shot off by a displeased mistress. Fortunately, her aim was not true and she shot his thigh instead. (No offense, Hayden, but you probably deserved it.) He gets a third medical assistant in Sophia Camden. (The first two just couldn’t stand him anymore because he was being a giant pain.) Sophia, though, is determined to stick around and show a guy what she’s capable of, medically. She strikes a deal with Hayden—if she can’t hack her new gig for 10 days, she’ll give in to his seductive ways. (Oh, defeat never sounded so delicious!) Sophia will obviously prove herself, because she is awesome, but will Hayden realize that he’s found a woman more precious than diamonds? (Buddy, she wants to HEAL people, not shoot them. Just stating the obvious.) This is the first book in Miller’s new Infamous Lords series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on January 30.)

    What romance novels are steaming up your nightstand this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Artists, Sexy Detectives, and Caring Highlanders appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 5:00 pm on 2018/01/08 Permalink
    Tags: , , curmudgeons, debbie macomber, , , , , , , lovable grumps, , , ,   

    Our Favorite Sexy Curmudgeons: 8 Guys Whose Frowns We Want to Turn Upside Down 

    No one wants to be tied to a grump, but once in a while we come across that brooding kind of man we wouldn’t mind cheering up. You know the type. He doesn’t give the best first impression, but once you get to know him, it’s easy to look past his gruff exterior and appreciate the wonderful man within. (And you just know all of that seriousness and pent-up longing will release itself in some very pleasant ways!) Guys like these may not always make the best Plus Ones at dinner parties, but they’ll definitely make you remember dessert.

    Here are 8 of the sexiest curmudgeons in romance who can brood all they want!

    Hareton from Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
    No, we are NOT going in the Heathcliff direction! (True, he had it rough, but he was still awful.) Instead, let’s focus on Hareton. He wasn’t raised under the best of circumstances, to say the least, but throughout his harsh life he managed to show an innate sweetness. As he grew older he displayed a loyalty that would bode well for his upcoming marriage to young Catherine. A guy like that may not make the best impression on society, and he might curse in your presence upon your first meeting, but he’ll ultimately stay faithful to you and he’ll always be honest about his feelings.

    Sir William of Miraval in Candle in the Window, by Christina Dodd
    Sir William of Miraval is not the happiest of knights. He was blinded in battle, and his caretakers are growing frustrated with his awful attitude and poor hygiene. (Dude’s quite depressed, so he gets a pass at being curmudgeonly.) He meets his match when Lady Saura of Roget is summoned to help him get his act together. She’s blind, too, but this is a woman who know how to run a house and keep everyone in line. William soon falls in love with her, and he displays a fierce loyalty that would make any woman sigh. William, we knew that beneath that rugged, filthy, muscled exterior was a tender-hearted man yearning to break free!

    Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
    There are many mighty good reasons why Mr. Darcy ALWAYS comes up in romantic conversations. He didn’t always have the best manners, and he could hardly be called the life of the party, but when a guy is willing to help your crazy family by keeping your nutty sister on the straight and narrow, well, there’s a lot to be said for that. (Imagine a guy who stays with you even though your extended family posts weird things on social media on an hourly basis.) Mr. Darcy, you practically invented the smolder, so you can smolder all you want!

    Wulfgar from The Wolf and the Dove, by Kathleen Woodiwiss
    To be fair, this Medieval knight had an exceptionally harsh life. He was a bastard, which wasn’t easy in those days. (He and Jon Snow of Game of Thrones would probably have a great deal to talk about.) You’re also under a lot of pressure when William the Conqueror wants you to, well, help him conquer England. This attitude of his mostly changes, though, when his posse conquers Darkenwald, the home of the very proud and beautiful Aislinn. It takes a very long time until they actually get along, and boy it’s fun to read that roller coaster of a relationship. Carry on with your growling ways, Wulfgar, and flex your muscles while you’re at it!

    Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë
    Love him or hate him, Mr. Rochester was a curmudgeonly curmudgeon who needed some major intervention—and lots of time to soul-search—before he could find some inner peace and have his happy ending with Jane. True, he’d been through a lot in his life—bad marriage, saddled with a kid he wasn’t even sure was his, lost his eyesight, lost his hand, and more—but that doesn’t excuse some of the things he did. (Buddy, you might want to consider taking up poetry writing!) Still, he had some good qualities, and he ultimately changed for the better thanks to Jane. Mr. Rochester, brood as you please, and please make sure you show Jane your appreciation as often as humanely possible!

    Rocco from A Girl’s Guide to Moving On, by Debbie Macomber
    Poor Rocco’s a little bit in over his head. He’s the macho-est of macho men, and he has a teenage daughter with whom he doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye. Fortunately he meets Nichole, the modern-day equivalent of a gently-bred lady who recently ditched her cheating husband. Rocco may be more at home in a biker bar than, well, in many other places, but he’s solid, muscly proof that surprises can come in the most unexpected of packages. Rocco, bring on the cranky. We know that inside you’re really just a marshmallow with nothing but love for your woman!

    Rhys Winterborne in Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas
    Welshman Rhys Winterborne worked extremely hard to get to where he is. He owns a major department store, and even though he is supremely wealthy, his modest background means that society doesn’t have much room for him at their social gatherings. He’s determined to win over his lady love, and what’s more, he knows he’s not always the most pleasant man to be around. You can’t go wrong with a guy who admits his faults and is eager to prove his devotion. That said, he also shows an exceptionally sweet and caring side. Rhys, no one is fooled! Admit it. You’re a softie.

    Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades series, by E.L. James
    Christian makes all of the other guys on this list seem joyful by comparison. He spends a lot of time brooding over Anastasia and his dark past. (Christian, buddy, you should seriously consider volunteering at an animal shelter. Giving your time just might help!) And he certainly knows how to, ahem, release his frustrations. Whether his dark ways turn you on or off, no woman can deny that life with Christian would never be boring!

    Who are your favorite fictional curmudgeons?

    The post Our Favorite Sexy Curmudgeons: 8 Guys Whose Frowns We Want to Turn Upside Down appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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