Romance Roundup: Scarred Cowboys, Wedding Dates, and Tempting Dukes 

This week’s Romance Roundup includes a woman who’s back home to take care of some family business, an actress who helps investigate her costar’s murder, and a mail-order bride who falls for her fiancé’s brother.

Texas Destiny, by Lorraine Heath
This reprint was just too hot to fade back into Romance Novel Memory Lane! Mail-order bride Amelia Carson has just arrived at Fort Worth, Texas, but the guy who picks her up is NOT her husband-to-be. Instead, his brother, Houston Leigh, has been assigned to pick up Amelia and bring her back to the ranch where she’s supposed to start her new chapter. Houston is tormented by his war past and has some very visible scars to prove that he’s been through, well, quite a lot. (You’re still sexy, Houston!) Houston and Amelia start their three-week journey back to the ranch, and let’s just say they get plenty of time to know each other and realize that A) Houston possesses a really nice body, B) Amelia is a brave and awesome woman and, C) Neither of them want their journey to end and both kind of want that older brother guy to find someone else. Gotta love it when two very sexy people have such a delicious conundrum to solve! (Available in paperback and NOOK on May 29.)

Fade to Black, by Heather Graham
Marnie Davante starred in a television series that ended up being more of a cult show than an Emmy winner. She is perfectly fine with this, because the fame—and the money—have helped her with her dream of starting a children’s theater. (Good for you, Marnie! We’ll help you sell tickets!) Then a costar is killed and the murderer is, like, NOWHERE to be seen. Private investigator Bryan McFadden is assigned to the case, and let’s just say no woman would ever need to use a magnifying glass to, ahem. Yeah. Anyway, he’s a little confused by his latest case, but he definitely likes Marnie and wants to keep her alive. Can Marnie and Bryan figure out who the bad guy is and manage to rip each other’s clothes off while they’re at it? And when it’s all over, can Marnie focus on her children’s theater dream? This is the latest book in Graham’s Krewe of Hunters series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on May 29.)

Tempting the Beauty Queen, by Carolyn Hector
Kenzie Swayne has a few weddings coming up—none of which are her own wedding—and she has GOT to find a date for them. (Totally feel you, Kenzie, especially if you’re trying to avoid any annoying questions from nosy friends and relatives!) Her acquaintance Ramon Torres agrees to be her wedding(s) date, but that’s mainly because he really wants to pick her brain and gain her expertise on a new business venture he’s considering. The thing is, this was what made him stand her up before—his larger-than-life ambition. (Buddy, nothing wrong with being ambitious, but did you HAVE to let it get the better of you?) Ramon soon realizes that he was a fool to let a woman like Kenzie slip through his fingers (his long, masculine fingers) and that he wants to make it up to her. (Good for you, Ramon! You’ve finally realized what a great woman Kenzie is. Now don’t screw it up!) This is the fifth book in Hector’s Once Upon a Tiara series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on May 22.)

Flamingo Diner, by Sherryl Woods
Emma Killian has come back home to Winter Cover, Florida, and back to the Flamingo Diner, her family’s longtime business. Her father recently died, and she finds herself knee-deep in family and business issues and debts. (Emma, book a spa day. Now.) The more she learns about the family business, the more she realizes that her father’s death may not have been an accident. She gets help from police chief Mike Atkins, who’s always had a corner of his heart dedicated to Emma. Now they’re both adults with adult desires and adult feelings, and Mike is especially determined to make Emma want to stick around. Here’s hoping they solve Emma’s family mysteries, and that they then get to settle down to truly enjoy each other and explore their new relationship. (Mike used to be a bad boy, and even though he’s a cop, we’re sure he has some bad boy qualities that will make our gal think twice about moving away again.) (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

A Devil of a Duke, by Madeline Hunter
Amanda Waverly has zero time to fool around with a man like Gabriel St. James, Duke of Langford. She was born into a crime-loving family, and she has worked exceptionally hard to distance herself from that life. (She has a job as a secretary to a high-society lady, so good for you, Amanda, and other ladies who paved the way for women in the workforce!) The thing is, Gabriel is ridiculously sexy and just looking at him makes Amanda want to loosen her garters. As for Gabriel, well, people are always tempted by what they can’t have, and Amanda’s wanting to keep her distance only motivates him even more. Gabriel, we’re all for Amanda having a good time, but if you don’t treat our gal right for the rest of her life we’re all coming after you—and NOT in a good way! This is the second book in Hunter’s Decadent Dukes Society series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

One Last Breath, by Lisa Jackson & Nancy Bush
Rory Abernathy was pumped to marry Liam Bastian, then it turned into an episode worse than the Red Wedding. A gunman opened fire on the entire wedding party, for one. Oh, and Rory miiiiight have also stabbed someone. (We’re sure it was for a good reason, Rory!) Understandably traumatized (heck, I’m traumatized), Rory ran away, determined to never see Liam again. Liam tracked her down, though, because True Love, and not only does he find his woman, but he also finds the daughter she ended up having. (Yes, Liam, this is a lot to take in, so sit down and we’ll make you a cup of tea spiked with the best whiskey we can find!) Rory and Liam have a lot of catching up to do, especially because Rory feels like someone might still be after her. Rory and Liam, when this is all over, we’ll babysit so that you can have a normal date night! (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK.)

What romance novels are you excited about this week?

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