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  • Cristina Merrill 3:00 pm on 2018/01/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , el james, , , , judgment road, , on-air passion, , , , ,   

    Romance Roundup: Bikers, Radio Hosts, and Wedding Dates 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a handsome radio host who is cynical about love, a tough biker guy who meets the love of his life, and two sisters with their own unique romantic situations—and a very overbearing mother.

    Fifty Shades Freed (Movie Tie-In), by E.L. James
    Recent college graduate Anastasia Steele and wealthy entrepreneur Christian Grey have finally tied the knot. (As in, they got married. They’ve tied other knots, of course, but now we’re talking about THE knot.) It seems as if everything is all set for the both of them to ride off into the sunset with their best, ahem, tools and techniques, but nothing is simple in the complicated world of Christian Grey. They’ve got to deal with Ana’s crazy boss, for one, Christian’s issues, which are many, and a multitude of other things until they can reach their happy ending. Whether you’re already a fan of the books or looking to dip your manicured toe in the Fifty Shades universe, we can all agree that anything featuring Jamie Dornan’s chiseled face will cause many a double take! This is the third book in James’ Fifty Shades trilogy. (Available in paperback on January 16.)

    Judgment Road, by Christine Feehan
    There’s a new outlaw motorcycle club in the town of Caspar, and the guys in it have the women all aflutter. Enter Reaper, a guy who makes even the most eloquent of women stammer. He meets Anya Rafferty, a bartender who is working very hard to build a beautiful life for herself. She refuses to be intimated by a hot, dangerous guy like Reaper. (You’ve got this, Anya!) Reaper, a biker and a trained assassin, doesn’t want to admit it, but Anya has managed to soften his hard heart and wrap it around her little finger, and it’s not just because she knows how to make his preferred beverages juuuuust right. (This will SO get him teased in the assassin locker room!) Can these two independent souls forge a new, peaceful life together? This is the first book in Feehan’s Torpedo Ink series, which is part of her Sea Haven universea universe that is populated by sexy people with otherworldly, magical abilities. (Available in paperback and NOOK on January 23.)

    Sisters Like Us, by Susan Mallery
    Sisters Harper Szymanski and Stacey Bloom are having a rough time lately. Harper is divorced and struggling to make ends meet and raise her teenage daughter. On the bright side, she’s attracted the notice of Lucas, the resident Hot Cop. (Frisk us, Lucas! Frisk us all!) Stacey, a married doctor, is pregnant and totally NOT feeling those motherly fuzzies. Harper and Stacey also have one major problem in common: their overbearing mother who will never, totally, 100 percent approve of anything they do. (Like, they could save a cute, drowning puppy and it wouldn’t suffice.) Hang in there, ladies! This difficult time will pass. And through all of the stress, don’t ever forget that you always have each other! This is the fourth book in Mallery’s Mischief Bay series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on January 23.)

    About that Kiss, by Jill Shalvis
    Kylie and Joe shared a kiss. A beautiful kiss. The kind of kiss that makes you rethink your life and grab your purse and run out of your office cubicle in pursuit of your real dream. The kind of kiss that you compare to all other kisses. A kiss thatsorry, could go on forever here. Ahem. Anyway, Joe never called Kylie again because he’s determined to live that bachelor life. Now Kylie needs his sleuthing skills to locate a very valuable missing item. As much as our gal would love to save face, she REALLY needs his help. (Don’t worry, Kylie. Just make sure you wear your cutest outfits during your mission! And lipstick. Always wear lipstick.) As they spend more and more time together, Kylie realizes that she still really likes Joe. As for Joe, he realizes that he would be a big dumdum to let her go. This is the fifth novel in Shalvis’ very charming Heartbreaker Bay series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, and NOOK on January 23.)

    On-Air Passion, by Lindsay Evans
    Former basketball player Ahmed Clark has found a new calling as a radio host, and his favorite thing to gripe about is romance. As in, he hates it and doesn’t believe in it and thinks lovey dovey people are fools. In his defense, he’s been stalked for many years by women who want all of his money. (And his body, surely, but yeah, mostly his money.) Then Elle Marshall is a guest on his show to promote her business. She creates the perfect date experience for couples. (Elle, what is your website’s URL again? Thanks!) Ahmed and Elle deliciously clash on the airhe’s stubborn and she’s a romanticand soon he can’t believe how much he is attracted to Elle. (Believe it, Ahmed. Elle is awesome!) Oh, and Ahmed’s listeners are also loving every delicious minute. A great woman AND high ratings? Ahmed, let go of your insecurities and realize that you have a woman worth keeping for life! This is the first book in Evans’ Clarks of Atlanta series. (Available in paperback on January 16.)

    The Wedding Date, by Jasmine Guillory
    Alexa Monroe has the elevator ride of her life when she gets stuck in one with the very hunky pediatric surgeon Drew Nichols. (Now THAT’S an argument against taking the stairs!) They soon agree that Alexa will be Drew’s Plus Oneand his pretend girlfriendat his ex-girlfriend’s wedding. (Drew, we’ll play whatever role you want us to play any day of the week!) After the wedding, they each need to go back to their respective jobshe’s a doctor and she’s the chief of staff for her city’s mayor. Can they balance their busy schedules with their burning desire for each other? Alexa and Drew, yes you can! (Seriously, there are apps for everything. They will help you both keep your relationship organized. But not too organized, wink wink!) (Available in paperback and NOOK on January 30.)

    What new romances are you curling up with this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Bikers, Radio Hosts, and Wedding Dates appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Tara Sonin 4:00 pm on 2017/11/16 Permalink
    Tags: a devil in scotland, a duke in shining armor, , , , beyond scandal and desire, blood fury: black dagger legacy, , , , el james, , , headmaster, , highland ever after, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , tempted, ,   

    Your Guide to Winter Romance: 16 Novels to Get You Through the Season 

    Even though the seasons change, there are always new romances to be read! Get your TBR ready for these winter reads to keep things steamy as snow starts to fall.

    Darker: Fifty Shades Darker, by EL James (11/28)
    The world of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele continues to grow and deepen with this new installment, Darker. Following the same storyline as the original second novel, there’s a special twist: the book is from Christian’s POV! He’s lost the love of his life, but this billionaire is not the kind of man who takes no for an answer.

    A Duke in Shining Armor, by Loretta Chase (11/28)
    Hugh is the seventh Duke of Ripley, and he’s totally a rake. But the one night he chooses to do the right thing and return his best friend’s bride to her wedding when she attempts to flee. They fall in love instead, and in this humorous and passionate novel a rake must romance a runaway bride.

    Past Perfect, by Danielle Steele (11/28)
    Danielle Steele returns with a sweeping romance that spans centuries. When Sybil and Blake Gregory move their family from the city that never sleeps to San Francisco, they find more than a fresh start. They find the ghosts of a family who lived there over one hundred years ago. How can two families—one living, one dead—share the same home?

    Enchantress of Numbers, by Jennifer Chiaverini (12/5)
    A woman’s love affair with numbers is told in stirring detail in this novel from a New York Times bestseller. Ada Lovelace was a nobleman’s daughter, but she far outshined his looming shadow thanks to her work in computer programming. Detailed and entrancing, this one is not to be missed.

    Year One, by Nora Roberts (12/5)
    Nora Roberts returns to the paranormal, exploring a dystopian, speculative future where a mysterious condition destroys all of humanity…except for those left behind, who now possess powers thanks to the blight. Called Uncannys, Max Fallon and Lana Bingham suddenly have more power than they ever have before, but can they protect their love while saving the world from the terrifying Doom?

    Any Dream Will Do, by Debbie Macomber (12/26)
    Shay Benson went to prison for a crime her brother committed, but now she’s determined to start over. A new town, a new job, and a new chance at love with a widowed pastor, Shay is feeling like her dreams have finally come true. That is, until her past sneaks up behind her and threatens to take it all away. Suspenseful yet hopeful, this is the perfect romance to give you some holiday cheer.

    Headmaster, by Tara Sue Me (1/16)
    A second chance at love and a BDSM romance all in one: Lennox owns the RACK Academy, where Dominants and submissives can practice their lifestyle in a safe environment…except for him. Lennox no longer participates in the lifestyle after the death of his submissive, Winnie. So he never intended on falling in love with her best friend…

    Blood Fury: Black Dagger Legacy, by JR Ward (1/9)
    The brothers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood are back, and sexier than ever. A fight is brewing against the dangerous society determined to wipe out their kind, but love has a way of distracting them from the danger around them. Except for Novo, who wants no part of love. Peyton was supposed to marry a female of his class and standing…but then the one he wanted fell for someone else. Together, they confront the demons of their pasts and present while their passion consumes them.

    Beyond Scandal and Desire, by Lorraine Heath (1/28)
    Mick was raised a commoner, but his dirty secret is that he’s a dirty bastard: born illegitmately to a Duke. He’s moved up in the world thanks to his own wit and grit, but his success has only emboldened his thirst for vengeance. On a quest to punish his father’s recognized son, he meets the lady Aslyn Hastings and finds himself equally possessed by her. The problem? She’s engaged to another.

    About that Kiss, by Jill Shalvis by (1/23)
    Kylie and Joe had one incredible kiss. And then he never called again! But when something valuable gets stolen, the only one she can turn to is the one guy who rebuffed her.

    Tempest, by Beverly Jenkins (1/30)
    Regan Carmichael is a free-spirited woman even in the Old West…and so she plans to marry a man she’s never met, so her freedom can’t be tamed by the lasso of love. Those plans change when she finds herself falling for her intended groom.

    A Devil in Scotland, by Suzanne Enoch (1/30)
    It’s the early 19th Century in Scotland, and Callum MacCraeath is perfectly fine being a bachelor. That is, until his older brother decides to marry a woman he wants for himself. This one is sure to be a deliciously steamy romance full of temptation and torment!

    Surrender to the Highlander, by Lynsay Sands (1/30)
    In this Highland romance, after being sent to a nunnery, Edith Drummond’s life changes drastically when she awakes after a mysterious illness to find herself surrounded by rugged, brutish Highlanders. Niels Buchanan saves her life by informing her that she isn’t ill; she’s been poisoned. While he helps her heal, Niels finds himself falling for the lovely lass, and is determined to rescue her from the nunnery by marrying her himself.

    Highland Ever After, by Maya Banks (February 2018)
    We’re so excited to return to Banks’ dangerously seductive Scottish world in the second installment of her Montgomerys and Armstrongs series. The King demands that Talisan McHugh marry a man to secure an alliance….which she reluctantly submits to, as she believes her physical disability would prevent a man from choosing to love her naturally. Until she meets Brodie Armstrong, who chooses to defy the king and save Talisan from a marriage without love and passion, and take her for himself.

    Hello Stranger, by Lisa Kleypas (2/27)
    Dr. Garrett Gibson is the only female doctor in all of England, and that’s not the only way she defies convention. Determined to pursue passion just as voraciously as any man would, she meets Ethan Ransom, a former detective turned rumored assassin…and she never shies away from a bit of danger.

    The Marquis and I, by Ella Quinn (2/27)
    When Charlotte Carpenter is kidnapped, she learns the reason why: her brother-in-law put a brothel out of business, and they intend to hold her until his pays. When Charlotte attempts an escape, she is rescued by one of the men who frequented the former establishment. Will Charlotte trust a known rake, or put her fate in the hands of men who want to see her family pay?

    The post Your Guide to Winter Romance: 16 Novels to Get You Through the Season appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jen Harper 3:00 pm on 2015/06/24 Permalink
    Tags: el james, , , , ,   

    Haven’t read Fifty Shades? 4 Reasons to Start with Grey 

    You don’t have to fake it with us: We know there are those of you out there who haven’t read the Fifty Shades trilogy yet. And with all the hype surrounding bestselling author EL James’s newest book, Grey, perhaps you’re thinking it’s too late for you to jump on the Fifty Shades of Grey bondage bandwagon. Never fear—there’s plenty of room in Christian Grey’s playroom for everyone (just don’t touch anything). We’ve got four good reasons you might want to read the dark and brooding Christian’s side of the story before getting Anastasia Steele’s perspective in the Fifty Shades trilogy.   

    You want the male perspective right up front.
    With a large female audience, many romance and erotica novels tend to stick with the woman’s point of view. But maybe you’re ready to mix it up and hear about sex, love, and flogging from the man’s perspective. And quite unlike the naive, virginal Anastasia Steele’s insights, Christian Grey’s brooding, domineering, S&M–loving mind is both dark and enlightening all at once, as you learn how tortured and insecure he really is.

    You’re more black and white—you don’t deal well with shades of gray.
    Christian is almost a total mystery in Fifty Shades of Grey. Why exactly is he so taken with this Anastasia girl? What does he even do to have made all this money? How did he know where Ana worked and when to find her there? And what’s with the no-touching-his-chest deal? Imagine all these questions and a million more, and you’re beginning to see what it’s like to 1) read Fifty Shades as told by Anastasia and 2) possibly be Anastasia herself. Seriously, how does she deal with all the not-knowing?

    You’re a bit of a contrarian.
    You like to eat your dessert first, drink coffee before bed, and wear your sunglasses at night. So why wouldn’t you start with the last-released book in a series? The good news about Grey is that you really don’t have to have read any of the Fifty Shades books to understand the story and its characters.

    You’re still mourning the loss of Midnight Sun, Stephanie Meyer’s never-completed version of Twilight from Edward Cullen’s point of view. It’s no secret the phenomenon that is Fifty Shades of Grey started out as Twilight fan fiction with Christian as a take on vampire Edward Cullen and Anastasia as a version of Bella Swan. And, as any good Twilight fan knows, Meyer had plans to release a Twilight companion novel—the first book in the series as told from Edward’s perspective. However, in 2008 a partial draft of the book, entitled Midnight Sun, was illegally leaked on the Internet. As a result, Meyer didn’t feel she could continue with the book, breaking Twi-hearts around the world. So while we may never get more insight into the mind of Edward, we can at least get to know his fanfic alter ego a bit better in Grey.

  • Jen Harper 4:00 pm on 2015/06/23 Permalink
    Tags: el james, , , , ,   

    4 Reasons You Can’t Miss Grey 

    It’s been days since EL James’s latest novel, Grey, hit shelves on June 18, and you haven’t devoured it yet??? Perhaps you just enjoy the anticipation of making yourself wait to read it, or maybe you need a little push in the right direction (with a flogger, perchance?).

    Fans have been begging James for this book—a retelling of Fifty Shades of Grey from Christian Grey’s point of view—ever since the release of the first volume in the bestselling Fifty Shades trilogy, which was told from Anastasia Steele’s perspective. And James has definitely delivered. Check out our list of reasons why you can’t miss Christian’s side of the story.

    It’s the ultimate summer indulgence.
    Summer is a time for relaxing in the sun, feeling the sand between your toes, watching blockbuster popcorn flicks at the theater, and reading crowd-pleasing books for pleasure. Books like James’ are called popular fiction for a reason, and she’s giving the people exactly what they want. Have you ever tried to read Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment while lounging next to a pool? It’s a stellar piece of literature, but difficult to absorb when the temps are up and the winter clothes are packed away. Now, throw Grey into your beach bag, and follow Christian into the Red Room of Pain. We promise it won’t hurt a bit.

    Everyone else is doing it.
    Yes, we know what your mother always said: “If everyone else was jumping off a bridge, would you?” No, Mom. And we don’t think reading Grey is gateway behavior to bridge jumping. But can millions of people be wrong? The first three books in the series—Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed—have sold 125 million copies, the movie adaptation made $94.4 million in its first weekend alone, and Grey has shot quickly to the top spot on Barnes & Noble’s bestsellers list. So whether you’re reading it because you think it’s fun, sexy, silly, intriguing, or outstanding, you’re in good company while quickly turning its pages.

    EL James wrote this book for you, the fans.
    Grey’s dedication page reads, “This book is dedicated to those readers who asked…and asked…and asked for this. Thank you for all you’ve done for me. You rock my world every day.” This book was a labor of love for the millions of readers who’ve become immersed in Christian and Anastasia’s world and wanted more. So graciously accept your gift and get to reading already.

    Finally, some answers about Christian.
    Dark, moody, alluring, domineering, intimidating—all of these words can be used to describe Christian, but above all else, he’s mysterious. What is he thinking when Miss Anastasia Steele stumbles into his office for the first time? What is it about her that draws him in? What makes him tick? How exactly has Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. made Christian a billionaire? How does he always know where to find Ana? What’s the deal with his dark past? Why is it that his interests are so singular? We can’t promise you’ll get all the dirt on Christian in Grey, but you will at least start to understand the inner workings of this complicated man, and what makes Anastasia so appealing to him.

    Have you read Grey yet?

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 6:08 pm on 2015/06/18 Permalink
    Tags: el james, , , , ,   

    EL James’s New Novel, Grey, Reveals the Truth About Christian 

    Although it was just a few weeks ago that EL James announced her newest novel, Grey, would hit stores on June 18, fans have been clamoring for this book—a retelling of the story from Christian’s point of view—ever since finishing the first volume of the bestselling Fifty Shades trilogy.

    A dark, brooding, and maddeningly complex Byronic hero, Christian Grey is the sort of character whose inner workings deserve a closer look. Today, readers get to see what’s been going on behind that controlled and somewhat menacing façade. We tore through Grey as soon as we got our hands on it this morning, and we’ve discovered some surprising twists—and the answer to a few burning questions. Here are five of the most fascinating things we learned about Christian, now that we’ve finally heard his side of the story.

    His life was empty when Ana stumbled into it.
    When we first meet Christian in Grey, he’s suffering from ennui. He fills his days with work, personal-training sessions, and golf (which, amusingly, he appears to loathe). He may be a billionaire, but his wealth and status aren’t making him happy. When Ana tumbles into his office with her dowdy clothes and reserved, skeptical attitude, she’s a breath of fresh air, a welcome reprieve from the bland business associates, gold-digging opportunists, and other sycophants Christian is surrounded by in his day-to-day life. Ana’s meek response to Christian’s intimidating presence initially arouses his interest, but it’s her quick wit and the spark of a challenge he sees in her eyes that really ignites his obsession with her.

    He’s actually pretty thoughtful.
    If you’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey, you know that soon after their first meeting, Christian rescues Ana from a Portland bar after she passes out drunk, and she awakens in his hotel room with a fresh change of clothes waiting for her. It’s fascinating to revisit this scene from Christian’s point of view, because you get a glimpse of the thought behind some of the more considerate gestures he makes toward her. Ana didn’t think much about how Christian managed to get the clothes to her. We now know that they showed up because Christian sent a polite late-night email to his faithful assistant, requesting that he pick up items like: “Blouse: Blue. Pretty. Size 4” and “Converse: Black Size 7.” We also see Christian leaving orange juice and Advil on the nightstand after realizing that Ana is going to wake up with a wicked hangover. A small gesture, but nonetheless a thoughtful one.

    He and Ana have more in common than you might think.
    As confident and self-possessed as Christian is in the arena of business (and also pleasure), beneath the surface, he doubts himself—particularly where his relationship with Ana is concerned. Early in the novel, when Christian shows up at the hardware store where Ana works, he is a mass of conflicting desires and insecurities. Fifty Shades of Grey fans will be amazed to learn that during that scene, while Christian is asking Ana to show him where the cable ties are, he’s thinking things like, “Is she laughing at me?” and “I could just ask her out for dinner. Like on a date? Would she accept?” After reading that scene from his point of view, you’ll see his character in a completely different light—and their romance will make even more sense to you. Christian and Ana get along so well because deep down, they aren’t all that different; they each yearn for love and acceptance on their own terms, and each one wants it desperately from the other.

    He’s not all business, but he is at least some business.
    One common refrain of Fifty Shades detractors was, “How is Christian such a successful businessman? We never actually see him doing any deals!” While we personally were not disappointed by the lack of (unsexy) business dealings in the original novels, since Fifty Shades of Grey is not a legal thriller, Grey does lay this criticism to rest by showing that Christian Grey is, in fact, quite focused on the day-to-day running of his enormous empire. Even while fanatically pursuing a relationship with Ana, he schedules a lot of meetings, takes a lot of calls, and constantly checks his work email. He also drinks some beer, watches some sports, and does some mountain-biking. It’s a little strange getting a closer look at the somewhat ordinary man behind the myth, but it’s a good strange.

    He is troubled by his past.
    No spoilers, but let’s just say that as much as he wants to pretend he’s left his traumatic early childhood behind, he hasn’t. Not by a long shot.

    There’s a lot more to Christian Grey than meets the eye, far beyond what we’ve divulged here. More than a simple retelling, this is a completely different story—one that just might make you fall in love with its protagonist.

    Pick up Grey at your local Barnes & Noble, or download it instantly on your NOOK or NOOK Reading App!

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