Romance Roundup: Spunky Widows, Layover Flings, and Manly Mannies 

This week’s Romance Roundup includes a manny who falls for the mom of his latest charges, two strangers who start a fling during a long layover, and a rich guy who goes bride hunting in London and falls for a widow.

Merry and Bright, by Debbie Macomber
Merry Smith is delightfully busy this holiday season. She’s got family to look after, decorations to hang up, and many, many Christmas treats to bake. (Merry, we’ll help you!) She’s also doing the temp thing at a consulting firm, so this is a good time to disengage from her demanding boss whenever she has a chance. (We certainly feel for you, Merry!) She doesn’t really have time to date, so her mother and brother take it upon themselves to create an online dating profile for her. They leave out her photo, though, because they have some semblance of boundaries. Merry soon starts trading emojis with a kindhearted dude online, but when she realizes who it is, she’s not exactly thrilled. Will she give him a Christmas chance? (Available in paperback on October 9.)

A Very Special Christmas, by Mary Balogh
This is a collection of some of the author’s Christmas romances, and boy does it deliver! The main story in this collection is “A Christmas Bride.” Super duper wealthy guy Edgar Downes has GOT to find a bride, mainly because he promised his aging father that he would. He decides to hightail it to London, which is filled with eligible ladies on the husband hunt. He’s not interested in the childish debutantes, though. Instead, he meets and falls for a widow, the beautiful Helena, Lady Stapleton. (She was wearing a red dress when they first met, and let’s just say that no one in London can pull off that color quite like our gal!) Helena and Edgar are from two very different social classes, though. He’s rich and she’s, well, not rich. Oh, fie on those crusty upper crust people, you two, and follow your hearts into the sack and down the altar! (Available in paperback on October 9.)

Covert Game, by Christine Feehan
Gino Mazza and Zara Hightower are involved in some pretty intense dealings. Gino is a deadly member of the paranormal GhostWalkers group, and he suffers from a severe lack of cuddling. Zara recently wiped a crime lord’s computer of valuable information—because she’s amazing like that—but now she’s been taken hostage. Her situation isn’t pretty, so Gino’s going to have to do some fancy footwork in order to get her out. (He’s already quite fancy in the sack, so we’re confident he’s got plenty of other skills up his sleeve.) Zara and Gino, now’s the time to show the world what you’re made of, so suit up and get yourselves out of this very bad situation! And when it’s over, get yourselves off on a little getaway that involves a remote tropical bungalow, yoga, and a no-clothing policy. This is the fourteenth book in Feehan’s GhostWalkers series. (Available in paperback on October 9.)

Mutts and Mistletoe, by Natalie Cox
Our gal Charlie isn’t having the smoothest of Christmas seasons. Her apartment was just obliterated by a gas leak, her boyfriend ditched her for his personal trainer and her mom is gallivanting with Husband Number We’ve Lost Track At This Point. Needless to say, Charlie is physically and emotionally drained. (Charlie, we are SO bringing you a vat of delicious, hot soup!) She decides to spend the holidays at Cozy Canine Cottages, a doggy day care center that belongs to her cousin. She’s not a puppy person, but she’s got nowhere else to go. The dogs are driving Charlie a tad bonkers, but Charlie ends up getting some much-needed help from Cal, an exasperating but panty-melting sexy local vet. Will Charlie’s bad situation settle down? Will she learn to embrace the wonders of puppy love? And when the dogs have finally gone to sleep for the night, will Charlie and Cal engage in some good old-fashioned Christmas Eve-romping? (Available in paperback and NOOK on October 9.)

Fight or Flight, by Samantha Young
Ava Breevort is working really hard to keep it together. She just buried her best friend in Phoenix, and all she wanted for her flight back to Boston was a seat in first class. That last seat, though, ends up being taken by Caleb Scott, a Scotsman who is as arrogant as he is sexy. They end up having some very fun times during a layover, and they continue said fun times when Caleb ends up in Boston, where Ava lives. Oh, and it turns out, Caleb is not the jerky kind of guy Ava thought he was. Deep, deep down, far below that cranky, gruff, can’t-nobody-tie-me-down exterior, beats the heart of a kind and passionate man who needs and wants more hugs. Caleb ends up moving to Boston, so here’s hoping they manage to work out their differences and build something long-lasting! (Available in paperback and NOOK on October 9.)

Misadventures with a Manny, by Toni Aleo
Our heroine Vera Woods has three sons – and her husband just abandoned them all for the nanny. Making matters worse, her three boys are not the easiest little guys to take care of. They’ve gone through six replacement nannies, and things are just not looking up. Vera ends up finding the help she needs through Lincoln Scott, a manny with many years of experience. The family he worked for during the past six years has just moved to Germany, so he’s out of a job. He and Vera need each other, and they soon realize they also want each other. Quite badly. (To be clear: Lincoln is a manny. He does NOT have a Dad Bod.) Vera and Lincoln, you make sure to have lots of fun together as you get to know each other – ya now, after the kids are put to sleep! This is the latest book in the multi-authored Misadventures series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on October 9.)  

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