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  • Cristina Merrill 5:00 pm on 2018/01/09 Permalink
    Tags: a wedding at two love lane, anna bennett, , blood fury, elizabeth's wolf, every dog has his day, heart of the wolf, j.r. ward, , kieran kramer, , , , terry spear, the rogue is back in town   

    Romance Roundup: Breeds, Brewery Owners, and Vampire Warriors 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a businesswoman who meets a baron in disguise, two vampire warriors who fall in love again during training, and a brewery owner who falls hard for a single mom during a snowstorm.

    Elizabeth’s Wolf, by Lora Leigh
    Special-Forces soldier Dash was at a mega-low point in his life and career. Then he got some fan mail from a kid, and that kept his spirits up. Then the kid stops writing, and Dash realizes that she and her mother are in trouble, so he goes in pursuit of them. (He has some animalistic abilities that help him in his quest.) He finds them, and falls mega-hard for the little girl’s very hot and very single mama. Said sexy mama, Elizabeth, doesn’t have time to dilly dally, what with the evil forces that are trying to track down her and her little girl. Then she meets Dash, and suddenly realizes that having such a man in her life could only be a great thing. As for Dash, his protective wolf instincts kick in, and he would love nothing more than to create a safe, proverbial den for his new family. This book, revised since it was first printed, is the third installment in Leigh’s Breeds series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    A Wedding at Two Love Lane, by Kieran Kramer
    Greer Jones is doing very well for herself in her job at Two Love Lane, a very prestigious matchmaking agency. (Greer, you’ll, ah, hook us all up for free, right?!) She has no interest in finding love for herself, though. That said, she decides to enter a cocktail-party contest to win a very beautiful wedding gown, and she finds a date for it. The very handsome and very British Ford Smith is trying to stay under the radar. (Hard to see how that is possible considering that accent and those cheekbones but okay, we’ll play along.) Greer thinks he’s a broke artist, but he is, in fact, the Eighth Baron of Wickshire. (Ford, you can Eighth Baron of Wickshire us any day of the week!) Ford is falling hard for Greer, but he’s also proceeding with caution due to a past filled with greedy women. Trust us, Ford. Greer is an awesome lady who has her own thing going on! This is the second book in Kramer’s Two Love Lane series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    Heart of the Wolf, by Terry Spear
    Bella is a female red werewolf who was adopted by grey wolves when she was still a puppy. Now she’s a woman fully grown, as they say, and the grey wolf alpha wants to mate with her. Bella’s like “Nope!” and decides to run away and do the lone wolf thing for a bit. She’s eventually followed and found by her childhood friend, Devlyn, and let’s just say he’s unlike any childhood friend anyone’s ever had. They start to make their way home, and encounter all kinds of creatures and humans who wouldn’t mind seeing them both dead. There’s also the matter of their growing attraction for each other. If they do come together, Devlyn will have to fight that pesky alpha male to the death for her. Fortunately, he realizes that some things are worth fighting for. (We have faith in you, Devlyn!) This is the first book in Spear’s Heart of the Wolf series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    The Rogue is Back in Town, by Anna Bennett
    Sam, a wayward brother from a wealthy family, is back in London. He’s ready to make peace with his brother, and his first step is to take up residence in a ramshackle townhouse. Unfortunately for Sam, the house is occupied by Miss Juliette Lacey. She wants to use the house for her own purposes, namely, to make her weird family seem just a tad more normal in society’s eyes. (Oh, Juliette, just embrace their flaws! It’ll make life easier. ) Sam and Juliette keep trying to kick each other out of the house and claim their territory, and they fall for each other in the process. Who will win this battle of wits and walls? (Hint hint, Sam and Juliette: You can totally get married and share the townhouse, although we’re pretty sure you’ll end up preferring the country life when you expand your family!) This is the third book in Bennett’s Wayward Wallflowers series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    Every Dog Has His Day, by Jenn McKinlay
    Brewery owner Zachary Caine is the resident hunk and playboy of Bluff Point, and he has zero plans to change his ways. Then he meets a cute kitten named Chaos, and ends up becoming quite close to the kitten’s owners—single mom Jessie Connelly and her two daughters. Jessie refuses to fall for Zachary, because she’s gotten burned by sexy men in the past. That said, he’s very good with her daughters. (Trust your kids’ instincts, Jessie! They know when someone is good or bad, and Zachary is very, very good!) Then a snowstorm hits, and Jessie and Zachary are forced to get to know each other in all kinds of ways. (Side note: Here’s hoping that SOMEONE got lucky during the Bomb Cyclone!) When dirt from Jessie’s past comes to the surface, Zachary decides that no one is going to get to his woman or their girls without going through him first! This is the third book in McKinlay’s A Bluff Point Romance series. (Available in paperback, NOOK, and audiobook.)

    Blood Fury, by J.R. Ward
    Vampires Novo and Peyton are two of the newest recruits at the Black Dagger Brotherhood training center. (As the name would suggest, it’s a very competitive program, and everyone involved is on a mission to destroy the Lessening Society and make the world a sunny place.) Novo is a tough, scrappy lady with a body that makes the CrossFit people stew in envy, and Peyton has that whole hot, haughty aristocratic thing going for him. (Peyton, you can look down your lordly nose at us any day of the week!) Peyton gives in to his more emotional side, though, and confesses his feelings and attraction to Novo. Sadly, our gal rejects him in favor of a guy who just makes her feel, in a word, meh. There just might be a second chance for these two during training. Novo and Peyton, please don’t blow it! This is the third book in Ward’s Black Dagger Legacy series. (Available in hardcover, NOOK, and audiobook on January 9.)

    What romances are you snuggling up with this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Breeds, Brewery Owners, and Vampire Warriors appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Cristina Merrill 5:00 pm on 2017/09/05 Permalink
    Tags: , chasing red, chelle bliss, going dark, , j.r. ward, , misadventures of a city girl, Monica McCarty, , , , second chance girl, , the chosen   

    Romance Roundup: Giraffe Keepers, Mountain Men, and SEAL Agents 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a vampire who is feeling very protective, a gamekeeper who finds love with the new bad boy in town, and a famous divorcee who meets an isolated mountain man.

    Going Dark, by Monica McCarty
    Marine ecologist Annie Henderson heads over to Scotland to protest some offshore drilling that does not jive with her ideas of peace and happiness. She runs into Dan Warren, the sea boat captain who can captain all of our boats in any body of water any day of the week. Annie and Dan don’t exactly have the warm fuzzies for each other right away, but they soon get to know each other and Annie realizes there is more to him than his grumpy mood and his smoldering body. He might be undercover, though, so he can’t get too outwardly emotional, but Annie brings out his deep desire to write sappy poetry and give her all of the pleasure. This is the first book in McCarty’s new Lost Platoon series, which is about a group of SEAL agents who are presumed dead – but are very much alive and hot! (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on September 5.)

    Chasing Red, by Isabelle Ronin
    Basketball player Caleb Lockhart is the ultimate catch with his lofty ambitions and rock-hard body. Veronica Stafford is a super smart college student who just got kicked out of her apartment and might need a place to crash. When they meet, Caleb realizes he’d like her to be part of his life plan. She was wearing a red dress, for one, which he found pretty hard to resist. (Note to self: Do some online shopping!) She’s not going to be the easiest lady to get, though, so Caleb will have to use every trick up his sleeve to win her over. Can he convince Veronica that he can offer her far more than just endless merrymaking sessions in between the sheets? This is the first book in Ronin’s Chasing Red series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on September 5.)

    Misadventures of a City Girl, by Chelle Bliss and Meredith Wild
    Madison Atwood just got divorced from a major Hollywood figure, so she’s got to nurse a broken heart while also dodging the media. (Think paparazzi, tabloids, TMZ, the works.) She finds solace in Avalon Springs, California, and she finds more than she bargained for when she runs into Luke Dawson. He’s got that whole sexy mountain man thing going for him, which helps make up for his broodiness. He wants to live in isolation, which might be hard to do with a woman like Madison. They begin an acquaintance, which is quickened when they end up under the same roof together for a short period that involves frolicking for hours on end. (Now THAT’S how you disconnect from the outside world!) Here’s hoping that makes them realize they are actually quite perfect for each other! This is the first book in the very entertaining Misadventures series. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on September 12.)

    Second Chance Girl, by Susan Mallery
    Matthias Mitchell is feeling all of the pains after a family betrayal, so he does what seems like the most sensible thing to do: He moves. His new home is Happily Inc., California, a popular wedding destination town crawling with bridesmaids. He figures this will ensure hookups galore but ZERO commitments, thank you very much. (Dude, really?! Come on!) He soon realizes, though, that local gamekeeper Carol Lund is a very special lady indeed. Carol cares for a giraffe (A GIRAFFE!!! CUTE!!!), and Matthias decides he wants to help Carol adopt a herd because – and this is news to yours truly – giraffes can actually get pretty lonely. (Sounds like a metaphor for our buddy Matthias.) Will he give up his romping ways and realize that Carol is the only woman he ever wants to romp with? This is the second book in Mallery’s Happily Inc. series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on September 26.)

    The Chosen, by J.R. Ward
    This is the latest book in Ward’s very sexy and entertaining Black Dagger Brotherhood series. In this installment, the Black Dagger Brotherhood is engaging in a bit of manhandling. Their captive is Xcor, who leads the Band of Bastards, and he is undergoing some pretty intense interrogation tactics. Granted, he hasn’t always been on his best behavior, but he’s still a person with feelings. More specifically, he still has feelings for Layla. She’s the Chosen, and she’s pretty much always loved Xcor right back. (After everything he’s been through, what woman wouldn’t want to give him all of the TLC she has to offer?!) Here’s hoping that these two lovers catch a break and that they can work together to save their people from unpleasant things, like death and doom and catastrophe and pretty much any other awful thing there is. No pressure, you two! (Available in paperback on September 26.)

    Archangel’s Viper, by Nalini Singh
    Holly Chang has had it rough. She used to be known as Sorrow, so we can only imagine, and recently she was turned into a bloodthirsty lady by a nutty archangel. She’s caught the eye of Venom, a private guard of the Archangel Raphael. (Venom, you can stand guard over all of us any day of the week!) Venom may be a dangerous vampire, but Holly soon brings out his softer side, which is no way diminishes his sinewy physique. This is a good thing, because someone has put a bounty on Holly, and times are rough in the Guild Hunter world. Can Holly and Venom manage to control their bloodier urges and create a peaceful existence together? (Or at least one that involves them fighting the bad guys together?) This is the tenth book in Singh’s Guild Hunter series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on September 26.)

    What romances are on your TBR pile this month?

    The post Romance Roundup: Giraffe Keepers, Mountain Men, and SEAL Agents appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Cristina Merrill 4:00 pm on 2017/08/01 Permalink
    Tags: carla neggers, , devil's cut, dragonsworn, j.r. ward, liar's key, , , lucky in love, nancy bush, ominous, , , rosalind noonan, , worth the wait   

    Romance Roundup: Murder Mysteries, Dragon Men, and Kissable Cowboys 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a dragon man with the hots for a very special lady, a single dad who knows how to barbecue, and a rancher who is reunited with his dream woman.

    Worth the Wait, by Lori Foster
    Two love stories in one! First, there’s hot single dad Hogan Guthrie, who has a beautiful body, a wonderful personality, AND can make delicious barbecue food. He doesn’t exactly jive with restaurant owner Violet Shaw, but they soon realize they’d like to, ah, use every tool at their disposal. Can they let go of their respective differences and give the rest of us valuable cooking tips? Then, there’s Sheriff Nathan Hawley, who has a major double take when he sees Brooklin Sweet. She’s trying to keep her distance from anyone and everyone, but let’s be honest, that’s not possible because it’s Nathan. Knowing Nathan, it will not take long before he makes Brooklin want to shed everything. (Don’t fight it, Brookin!) This is the second book in Foster’s Guthrie Brothers series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook and NOOK.)

    Ominous, by Nancy Bush, Lisa Jackson, and Rosalind Noonan
    A story written by three brilliant romance writers? Yes, please! Kat, Ruth, and Shiloh were besties as teenagers, and they were having fun swimming in a lake one summer when a creepy man spied them. (Note to self: Be on alert when swimming in friend’s building’s rooftop pool this summer!) Then something awful and violent happened, and the three young ladies were forever changed. They reunite 15 years later, and immediately go on edge when a local teen girl goes missing. The three women get a lovely note from the gruesome person, and they are determined to make sure that the bad guy goes down. Here’s hoping all three of them keep their heads, that they find romance along the way, and that all of the nice people involved take a nice beach-related (i.e. no more lakes) vacation. This is the second book in the authors’ Wyoming series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK.)

    Liar’s Key, by Carla Neggers
    Art crimes specialist Emma Sharpe is less than thrilled when art thief Oliver York strikes again. She doesn’t want to get involved, but then her fellow super sleuth Colin Donovan (also her fiancé) decides that he does. Oh, and someone turns up dead, which of course changes everything for our gal. She gets drawn in, which doesn’t exactly thrill her, but no woman can really resist the call of the wild—or Colin’s convincing ways. They will get to do a bit of world traveling as they solve this mystery, one that goes back generations for Emma and her family. (Emma, you can scout wedding venues while you’re at it!) Can Emma and Colin finally put this art mystery to bed, and then go to bed? This is the latest book in Neggers’ Sharpe & Donovan series. (Available in paperback.)

    Devil’s Cut, by J.R. Ward
    Edward is facing some jail time, mainly because he might (but might not have!) murdered his father. (Okay, let’s all take a deep breath and exhale!) Edward doesn’t relish the thought of time in the slammer, and neither does Sutton Smythe. She’s the CEO of a competitor, so there’s a bit of a Romeo-Juliet thing going on there. As for Edward’s brother, Lane Baldwine, he does NOT believe that Edward killed anyone. Lane enlists the help of his one true love, Lizzie King, to help him solve this family-related mystery. Here’s hoping that Edward is not, in fact, guilty of murder, and that Lane and Lizzie figure out a solution that won’t result in any more deaths! This is the third book in Ward’s sexy, suspenseful Bourbon Kings series. (Certainly wouldn’t mind having a book OR a bottle!) (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on August 1.)

    Dragonsworn, by Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Cursed dragon Falcyn, who also takes a very sexy, manly human form, has two major problems: humanity in general, and Greek humans. (Falcyn, you clearly need a good cuddle, and we’re all lined up to help!) He may not exactly immediately feel the hots for our gal, Medea, then. She’s the granddaughter of Apollo, who was, cough cough, a Greek god. Apollo wants to destroy her people, which is so NOT a grandfatherly activity. Then Apollo does something evil that turns Falcyn into an even deadlier weapon, and Medea must do what she can in order to save her people. (Medea, we’ll help you while standing at a safe distance wearing fire suits and holding axes!) This is the latest book in Kenyon’s very sexy and extensive Dark Hunter series. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on August 1.)

    Lucky in Love, by Carolyn Brown
    Beau Luckadeau isn’t exactly living his best life right now. True, the rancher is doing very well with ranching activities. (Beau, we’ll help you fill that ranch up with babies!) That said, he wants to get rid of a persistent gold-digging lady, all while thinking about an amazing woman he met once upon a time. Then he’s reunited with said amazing woman, Milli Torres, who shows up to work at a nearby ranch. She’s a tad mortified to see him again, but surely they can give things another go. Milli, put on your most form-fitting jeans and your most flattering flannel shirt and get your man! And Beau, pick some wildflowers and practice your sexy dance, because you’ve got some serious courting to do! This is the first book in Brown’s Lucky Cowboys series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on August 1.)

    What romance novels are you diving into this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Murder Mysteries, Dragon Men, and Kissable Cowboys appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Tara Sonin 4:00 pm on 2017/08/01 Permalink
    Tags: j.r. ward, love and bourbon, , the angel's share, , the devil's cut   

    J.R. Ward’s Devil’s Cut Cuts to the Core 

    With Devil’s Cut, J.R. Ward has crafted a finale to a thrilling and romantic trilogy that has all the heat, sting, and luxury of fine bourbon.

    Fans of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood will find some similar themes in the Bourbon King series: siblings with strong temperaments, romantic tension, hidden family secrets, and a complex, interesting world. But no vampires roam these pages; instead, the monsters are the mortal men and women themselves, and they hunt their prey with manipulation, greed, and lust as their ultimate weapons. In the previous books, The Bourbon Kings and The Angels’ Share, we met the Baldwine family: Edward, the eldest son, presumptive heir of their bourbon fortune, and man in love with their prime competitor, Sutton Smythe, of the Bradford Bourbon Company; Lane, the reformed playboy in love with their family’s gardener, Lizzie; Maxwell, the black sheep who left town to get away from it all; and Gin, the daughter who had a child out of wedlock as a teenager and never told the father—the man she still loves, but cannot marry—that she is his.

    As if this family did not have enough tension to pull a hangman’s noose taut, the murder of their abusive family patriarch brings them together once more. In the aftermath of William Baldwine’s death, it is revealed that his business holdings were mostly fraudulent, and if they can’t find any assets of value, the company—and the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to—will go with it. But Edward has confessed to murdering his father, and so the only one of them who had any care for the bourbon business is locked behind bars.

    But Devil’s Cut revolves around a central question, revealed in early chapters: did Edward actually kill his father? He insists he did, but a crucial piece of evidence suggests that someone else may have done the deed. As they bury a man they did not love and fight for those they do, the Baldwine siblings are drawn further into a scandalous mystery that could end with freeing an innocent man…and condemning someone else close to them.

    Of course, the various romances in Ward’s Southern epic are rugged, ruthlessly passionate, and read like candy. Lane has finally found happiness with Lizzie, but complications with his soon-to-be ex-wife threaten that joy. While Edward sits in prison, he wishes he could have made things work with Sutton, overcoming the competition between their families’ bourbon businesses. Gin married a rich, violent man to ensure her estate remains safe no matter the fate of the company, but is drawn to her childhood love—the father of her child—and their continued dalliances have disastrous consequences. Class issues, race relations, and the complexity of family legacy are explored as all of the Baldwine siblings yearn for someone they should not.

    The plot is incredibly fast-paced, which is something the South is not known for being; it does not drawl or sit on the porch for a large glass of sweet tea—rather, Ward shifts from suspense to lust to deception to family and back again, ratcheting up the tension with each chapter. As each Baldwine sibling takes actions that complicate their personal lives, the truth behind William’s murder grows closer to being revealed, and while the consequences unite the family in the path they must take, other threats abound to tear them down.

    A satisfying cocktail of a romantic family saga that concludes with equal parts romance, heartbreak, and redemption, Devil’s Cut is on B&N bookshelves now.

    The post J.R. Ward’s Devil’s Cut Cuts to the Core appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Tara Sonin 5:00 pm on 2016/12/06 Permalink
    Tags: , black dagger legacy series, blood vow, bringing the heat, j.r. ward,   

    Fates Collide as J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Legacy Series Continues with Blood Vow 

    The tension, romance, and suspense of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood continue full throttle in the latest installment of her Black Dagger Legacy SeriesBlood Vow. As one vampire seeks to find love amidst the ruin of their past—another is terrified that what they love most will be taken away.

    My favorite part of the Black Dagger Universe—aside from the romances, of course—is the complex world full of ritual that J.R. Ward has created. Picture the show Sons of Anarchy, but replace the motorcycles with a set of Old-World style rules of engagement for how men and women, vampires and humans, and vampires of different classes are meant to interact, and that’ll give you some idea of the ride you are in for.

    Vampire Elise is still reeling after the death of her cousin, Allishon, who was brutally murdered in the raids and whose death—and life—remain somewhat of a mystery. Elise admires her cousin for living the way she chose to, and not following the dictates of their vampire society, and yet…she knows Allishon’s rebellious lifestyle is what probably got her killed. Feeling suffocated by her father’s strict ideals of what a female “of worth” (ie, wealth and blood status) should do with her time, Elise has found her own way of rebelling—by registering for college courses and continuing her education….and maybe being attracted to a human.

    But then her father finds out, and punishes Elise for taking such a risk…by giving her a bodyguard. Which is where Axewell (aka Axe) comes in. Axe is, to put it plainly (and to my delight) a raw sex machine. He has no attachments to anything in this world—no shellan, no other family since his father was killed in the raids and his mother walked out on him years before. He’s not even that attached to the Brotherhood…that is, until he meets Elise and decides not only to take the bodyguard job, but to have her as his own. Elise doesn’t care about Axe’s sexual past, only their future—but with too many people warning both of them that being together is impossible, it is only a matter of time before one of them begins to believe it.

    In this new series, the training center the Original brothers used is now open to new recruits—which means appearances by old, beloved characters. Blood Vow features Rhage and Mary from Lover Eternal, book two of the original series. Still as in love as ever, the pair is facing a new challenge: the expansion of their family through the adoption of Bitty, a young, orphaned vampire who has not yet undergone her transition. After years of abuse by her mate, Bitty’s mother died—and even though they killed the monster who treated her and his child with such neglect, Rhage is still angry. His and Mary’s greatest hope is that the adoption will go through uncontested—which unfortunately, it does not. Someone from Bitty’s bloodline shows up to claim her, and Rhage must do everything he can not to unleash the Beast from within.

    J.R. Ward weaves these two separate plot threads throughout the novel, building up the conflict in each one until they inevitably collide. The romance is as sensual and the conflicts as memorable as they were in the original series. As each couple strives for their happy ending, they examine what it means to be loyal to one’s own blood—and whether that loyalty is worth the sacrifice.

    The post Fates Collide as J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Legacy Series Continues with Blood Vow appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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