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  • Amanda Diehl 3:00 pm on 2017/10/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , alisha rai, beauty like the night, , christina lauren, dating you/hating you, , elyse springer, hate to want you, heels over head, , joanna bourne, kirsten ashley, , nina bocci, roman crazy, , , , the chase, the deep end, the duchess deal, the pages of the mind, , , what's your sign?   

    Romance Recommendations for Your Zodiac Sign 

    Playing matchmaker with readers and romance novels is so much fun! I’m also a huge zodiac junkie. I read my horoscope routinely and go absolutely nuts for compatibility charts. Inspired by traits of the twelve signs, here are some reading recommendations, though don’t take them too seriously. I won’t tell if you want to dip into the recs for other signs!

    Aquarius: Heels Over Head, by Elyse Springer
    First off, Aquarius is a water sign and a romance featuring professional divers and swimmers is pretty on the nose. Brandon Evans is aloof and carefree. He also knows how good of a diver he is. Meanwhile, Jeremy Reeve is struggling with his family’s feelings on his sexuality. He thinks his only hope of being accepted is by winning an Olympic medal. While Brandon and Jeremy seem like opposites on the surface, they’re rather complementary as teammates and it’s beautiful to see the divers find a sense a community within their sport.

    Pisces: The Duchess Deal, by Tessa Dare
    Pisces are known to be compassionate and selfless, but that can often bite them in the butt later on. The Duchess Deal has a battle-scarred hero who has a nightly hobby of fighting London’s riffraff, but what he wants deep down is an heir. Emma Gladstone is the daughter of a vicar and a seamstress, and she sees beneath the Duke of Ashbury’s physical insecurities. She agrees to help him with his heir problem, but she has a few conditions. Ash forbids kissing. Emma wants to share a meal every night. Though they both agree to help one another, they’ll definitely get more than they bargained for with this arrangement.

    Aries: Hate to Want You, by Alisha Rai
    Speaking as an Aries myself, I know we’re a bit turbulent and moody, but we’re also confident and incredibly passionate. Hate to Want You is pretty emotional and is bursting with dramatic family secrets and scandals. In a Romeo and Juliet-esque romance, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler feel as though they can’t be together because of their families and accompanying baggage. But one night a year, they agree to meet in the bedroom. However, their forbidden romance can no longer remain a secret as their arrangement becomes complicated: Livvy doesn’t show for their scheduled yearly meeting and instead returns to their hometown.

    Taurus: The Pages of the Mind, by Jeffe Kennedy
    Tauruses are known to be practical and responsible, but a bit uncompromising, which is why Dafne, the scholarly librarian heroine of The Pages of the Mind, is a great fit. Dedicated to her job, she travels on behalf of her queen to help successfully incorporate the northern kingdoms into her queen’s realm. There, she meets a barbarian king with a significant language barrier between them. Dafne’s resolve never falters even as King Nakoa has her submit to marriage in order to broker a new alliance. Dafne handles things in stride, surprisingly, and the way she adapts to a new kingdom is rather sweet.

    Gemini: The Deep End, by Kristen Ashley
    Gemini are often defined as having two different personalities and the submissive Alpha hero of The Deep End is sure to appeal to both. Outside the bedroom, Olivier is strong, masculine, and all Alpha. Then he joins the Honey Club and meets Amelie, a cold, calculating Domme who likes her men submissive. Having an “Alpha-sub” is an interesting twist in characterization, especially since the heroine is often in a position of power in the bedroom. This romance is also heavy on erotic content, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in a beautiful, developing romance between Olly and Amelie.

    Cancer: Beauty Like the Night, by Joanna Bourne
    While Cancers can be incredibly empathetic, they can also be a bit manipulative. Sorry, Cancers! But a historical romance with espionage and spy shenanigans is a perfect romance read for you. Sèverine de Cabrillac and Raoul Deverney are brought together by a similar goal: justice. When Sèverine seeks out Raoul’s help in rescuing her missing daughter, Raoul knows that this mission could very well lead him to the killer of his estranged wife. Brought together by grief and worry, the pair quickly become a formidable and rather cutthroat team. It’s a romance with some bite!

    Leo: Dating You/Hating You, by Christina Lauren
    Leos are charismatic, funny, and often the life of the party. They’re also stubborn and demand a lot of attention. And trust me, Dating You/Hating You is going to demand nearly all of your free time. It’s also really hilarious. Evelyn Abbey thought she met a really great guy at a friend’s Halloween Party, but when she realizes that same guy, Carter Aaron, is now her competition at work after a company merger, their romance quickly skids to a halt. There’s an office prank war, an oblivious boss who things dog treats are granola bars, and some serious girl power in this battle-of-the-sexes workplace romance.

    Virgo: The Winter King, by C.L. Wilson
    When it comes to Virgos, they’re incredibly detailed, but are also frequently drawn to nature. A fantasy romance seems like a sure bet! Wilson’s fantasy romances have some amazing world-building from the differing kingdoms to how magic operates from person to person. The heroine can also summon storms. How cool is that! Wynter Atrialan hopes to get revenge on the king of Summerlea by taking one of his daughters, Khamsin Coruscate, as his bride. What Wynter doesn’t count on is Khamsin enjoying her newfound sense of freedom. The settings are descriptive and the courtship is lovely in this utterly bewitching fantasy romance.

    Libra: A New Leash on Love, by Debbie Burns
    Gentle and with a love of keeping company, Libras always strike me as being on the sweeter side of the astrological spectrum. A New Leash on Love is an adorable contemporary romance, as if it weren’t obvious by the chocolate lab puppy on the cover. Megan Anderson runs the local no-kill shelter, dedicating her life to helping animals in need. Craig Williams hates that he has to take his daughter’s new dog to the shelter, but since his divorce seems to suffer one misstep after another. When he drops the dog off, he isn’t counting on a tense confrontation with the shelter’s owner. Their first meeting doesn’t go particularly well, to say the least, but things definitely improve on their second meeting. And the third. Pick this one up, if you like romances with plenty of cute, furry secondary characters.

    Scorpio: The Chase, by Vanessa Fewings
    Scorpios are the ones you call when you need some resourceful and courageous. They can meet a challenge head-on, but they’re steadfast in their beliefs and can hold things close to the vest. The Chase is a contemporary romance with elements of suspense as the heroine, Zara Leighton, is enlisted to track down an international art thief. It’s a case she could only dream of. There’s just one problem and that’s her investigation firm’s billionaire client: Tobias Wilder. Enigmatic and mysterious, Tobias seems like the perfect suspect—or Zara’s greatest distraction.

    Sagittarius: Roman Crazy, by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci
    If there’s one weakness to being a Sagittarius, it’s the call of wanderlust and the need for travel! With her divorce nearing finalization, Avery Bardot restarts her life for the summer in beautiful Rome, Italy. She spends her days exploring the city and her nights eating amazing food. It’s in Rome, surprisingly, that she meets the one man she never forgot: Marcello Bianchi, and the feeling seems to be mutual. Though with the summer quickly approaching its end, Avery isn’t sure if she can give up her adventurous life in Italy and return to the States.

    Capricorn: Silver Silence, by Nalini Singh
    Capricorns are masters of self-control, but when it comes to their family, all bets are off. Silver Mercant helps run an international emergency response network. It’s practically her job to remain calm under pressure. Then she meets Valentin Nikolaev, a bear shifter and leader of his powerful clan. There’s something about Silver that sparks an undeniable interested in Val and when an unknown force begins to threaten Silver’s life, Val will protect her at any cost. And we all know what happens when you poke a bear.

    What’s your sign? (And what’s your favorite romance?)

    The post Romance Recommendations for Your Zodiac Sign appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Donn Saylor 5:00 pm on 2015/04/15 Permalink
    Tags: , , joanna bourne, , , , september, teresa medeiros, the search   

    5 Great Romance Novels for Dudes 

    Romance novels are nearly always centered on the heroine, and from the conversations I’ve had, this is one of the big reasons most men don’t read romance. They think a female-centric story just won’t be relatable or interesting to them. They also think the stories are going to be chock-full of lovey-dovey sap—and little else. And then, of course, there’s the issue of those romance novel covers. I’ve yet to find any guy who’s thrilled by the idea of carting around a book decorated with brightly colored blooms and bustiers.

    Thankfully, ereaders are everywhere these days, and romances seem to be breeding like bunnies in ereader format. So the “embarrassing cover” issue need no longer be a roadblock to enjoying zee romance. And neither should the misconception that, because romance primarily centers on women and love, the stories and characters are going to be unrelatable, unengrossing, or overflowing with treacle, because (as you’ll see from just these five novels alone), that’s just not true.

    And there’s sex! Fun, exciting, crazy sex! I mean, come ON, guys! Get on board!

    As a Dude Who Proudly Reads Romance, I knowmany romance novels can absolutely be enjoyed by both men and women, and as such, I’ve become an unofficial curator of romance novels other dudes might enjoy.

    Here are my top picks for Romance Novels for Dudes. Whether you’re new to romance novels or are, like me, an old friend of the genre, these are romances everyone (including fellas) will enjoy.

    Nobody’s Darling, by Teresa Medeiros
    Set in the town of Calamity, New Mexico, this Old West adventure is filled with action, humor, and luuuuuurve. As the tale of fallen aristocrat Esmerelda Fine and outlaw gunslinger Billy Darling unfolds, Medeiros nicely balances comedy, tragedy, and a love story. The plot has classic Western elements, and the two central characters are interesting, complex, and, at times, hilarious. A great read for all genders.

    The Spymaster’s Lady, by Joanna Bourne
    Okay, I get it. France during the Napoleonic Wars may sound about as exciting as a trip to the salad bar. But hear me out. Bourne’s debut novel, the first in her Spymasters series, is a rollicking good espionage story with a peppering of romance thrown in. Think John le Carré meets Danielle Steel (if Steel wrote historicals, that is). Against the backdrop of early 19th-century France, master spy Annique Villiers crosses paths with British spymaster Robert Grey, and a story of love, espionage, mystery, and hairpin plot twists ensues.

    The Search, by Nora Roberts
    It’s about time I throw in a contemporary romance. Though I’m partial to historicals, I do enjoy the occasional foray into the modern world—and there’s no greater contemporary romance author than the insanely talented, crazily prolific Nora Roberts. In The Search, we meet dog trainer/canine search-and-rescue expert Fiona Barstow and charming woodworker Simon Doyle, both living in the breathtaking San Juan Islands off Washington State. As they tentatively embark on a romance, Fiona’s long-buried traumatic past comes slamming into the present…along with the looming threat of a bloodthirsty killer. This is Roberts at her best: complicated yet likably real characters, an engaging story, AND a bevy of adorable dogs—what’s not to love?

    September, by Rosamunde Pilcher
    You won’t find any sex in Pilcher’s novels, but that’s no reason to ignore what I think is her masterwork, September. A contemporary romance set in a small Scottish village, it tells the intertwining stories of several town residents as they plan and prepare for a big autumn bash. The characters are expertly drawn (I’d even say…unforgettable), the locations are jaw-droppingly beautiful, and the characters’ stories breathe new life into the old tropes of love, relationships, family, and death. This is a perfect book for a cozy night in and a tumbler of fine single malt. (And I dare any man not to fall in love with the gorgeous Pandora Blair!)

    {{EAN5}}Chances and Lucky by Jackie Collins
    Purists may say Collins’ books don’t fall into the romance category, but there’s enough lovin’ in these novels to make them meet my not-altogether-strict qualifications. While all of Collins’ Santangelo novels are hard to put down, my favorites are still the first two in the series, Chances and Lucky. They tell the rip-roaringly good story of gangster Gino Santangelo and his badass daughter, Lucky. The novels move at a lightning-fast clip, careening from exotic locale to exotic locale throughout the better part of the 20th century. These are great big lusty books, filled with mobsters, violence, soap operatic relationships, and, of course, Collins’ signature sex scenes (which—fair warning—aren’t for the prudish). I quite literally stayed up all night to read these novels, unable to put them down. Even 30+ years after publication, they remain as astonishingly good as ever.

    What are your must-read romance recommendations for dudes?

     
  • BN Editors 6:00 pm on 2014/11/06 Permalink
    Tags: a passage to india, , blame michelle huneven, , half bad, human croquet, jessica martinez, joanna bourne, , kss kill vanish, rogue spy, , sally green, the new yorker stories, , , ,   

    What to Read in November 

    novcollageEach month we ask a panel of our bloggers to suggest a book based on what they’re reading right now. Here’s what we think you should read this month!

    Nicole: The Walled City, by Ryan Graudin
    Hands down one of the most skillful thrillers of the year, The Walled City is part YA, part suspense, part mystery, part race against the clock, and a whole heaping helping of dystopia. Told from the perspective of three teenagers trapped in the aforementioned city, Hak Nam, a shady enclave of excess and iniquity, this story never stops its breakneck pace from the moment you crack the cover.

    Ginni: The New Yorker Stories, by Ann Beattie
    Leo Tolstoy wrote, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” That’s never more apparent than in Ann Beattie’s spot-on short stories depicting relationships and domesticity in modern American life. For decades, Beattie has been a celebrated contributor of short stories to The New Yorker with an uncanny knack for capturing people at their most vulnerable, most narcissistic, and most unwittingly transparent moments. Beautifully and sparely written, these stories are a perfect retreat from family drama around the holidays. Beattie’s narratives remind you that people are flawed, fickle, and little in their love, but they’re all that we have.

    Ester: Half Bad, by Sally Green
    In this heady English YA thriller, Nathan’s magical community treats him like he’s an infection waiting to spread, and he begins to live up to their expectations—until he breaks free, determined to face down his own destiny, no matter the cost. The adrenaline of reading will keep you warm throughout November and the family dysfunction will prepare you well for Thanksgiving.

    Lauren: Blame, by Michelle Huneven 
    Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction of the Year, blahblahblah, this book won so many words it’s boring to talk about. And it deserved each and every accolade. Blame is the portrait of Patsy MacLemoore, a 28-year-old teacher with a wild streak who accidentally runs over two people when she’s black-out drunk. The story spans the following decades of her life as she puts together the pieces of what happened, attempts to rise above her guilt, strives to love herself and others, and deals with the final curveball life throws her at the end. It’s a portrait of one deeply flawed character, as well as the deeply flawed characters around her. It’s a roller coaster that comes around full circle, but when you return, everyone and everything is different, and you are, too.

    Dell: A Passage to India, by E.M. Forster
    Because it’s a lot like looking into Jared Leto’s eyes (or, I suppose, the sun), I’m rereading Forster’s classic novel, A Passage to India. It’s the time of year when I celebrate my 3 favorite Fs: Food, Family, and Fiction, and Forster’s complex portrait of Dr. Aziz and Adela in tense colonized India is a masterful example of the latter.

    Melissa: Human Croquet, by Kate Atkinson
    I’m powerless to resist a book with this in the description: “As Isobel investigates the strange history of her family, her neighbors, and her village, she occasionally gets caught in Shakespearean time warps.” But that doesn’t even begin to describe Atkinson’s deeply weird sophomore novel. It’s a rangy, sad, magical-realistic look at teenaged Isobel Fairfax and the enchanted pocket her house is built on, where things get lost then resurface without warning—shoes and people and whole other times. Atkinson’s character studies are astonishing, and her writing crackles with magic. If you loved her Life After Life, you must read this immediately.

    Joel: The Peripheral, by William Gibson
    Tech visionary William Gibson’s 1984 novel Neuromancer looks pretty prescient these days, having more or less accurately envisioned how this thing called the Internet would change our lives. Which makes the prospect of his first far-future novel in nearly two decades an even more tantalizing prospect: Are we looking through a window into life a few decades from now?

    Dahlia: Kiss Kill Vanish, by Jessica Martinez
    An honest-to-goodness rare YA suspense thriller, filled with twists and turns, skillful character and relationship development, and gorgeous writing. Unlike anything else from this author, or from YA this year.

    Sara: Rogue Spy, by Joanna Bourne
    I have been waiting for this book since, literally, the moment I finished Bourne’s last historical romance set during the Napoleonic wars. There are spies, romance, mortal peril, and bringing the whole series together, Bourne’s writing, which is so luscious and has such a distinct voice I just want to wrap myself in it and stay there for a month. Don’t come looking for me November 4—I ‘ve already voted and this is what I’m doing all day.

    Paul: Metrophage, by Richard Kadrey
    The first novel by Kadrey, this vastly underappreciated cyberpunk novel is being reissued after being out of print for more than two decades. Fans of cyberpunk classics like Gibson’s Neuromancer and Sterling’s Islands in the Net will find this dystopian romp through late 21st-century Los Angeles to be both visionary and visceral. A cult classic unearthed.

    What are you reading in November?

     
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