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  • Cristina Merrill 4:00 pm on 2019/08/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , michelle hazen, , , on the corner of love and hate, , romance roundups, , the duchess in his bed, the pagan stone, the wallflower wager, unbreak me, what doesn't kill her   

    Romance Roundup: Animal Lovers, Wily Widows, and Cute Politicians 

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    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a traumatized woman who’s about to get lots of tender loving (and delicious meals), a widow with a plan who ends up falling in love unexpectedly, and two old friends who are about to see each other in a very different light. 

    The Wallflower Wager, by Tessa Dare
    Gabriel Duke worked hard (like, really hard) to escape the slums and become a filthy rich man. He’s now on a quest to get even with his enemies. He does NOT have the time or patience for his neighbor, Lady Penelope Campion, and her bajillion animals. See, Penelope would rather take care of wounded animals—everything from otters to parrots—than do the whole society thing. (Penelope, we are all SO coming over and helping you out with these cute, cuddly creatures, including the hedgehog!) Penelope and Gabriel strike a deal: She’ll get rid of the animals if Gabriel helps her find good homes for them. (Gabriel, buddy, do you REALLY want to be That Guy who doesn’t like animals?!) Oh, and Penelope soon realizes she’d like to take Gabriel’s little black heart and nurture it back to life. Sounds like these two neighbors should merge their properties and devote the rest of their lives to being friends to the animals (#friendstotheanimals)—and making each other super duper happy! This is the third book in Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series. (Available in paperback on August 13.) 

    Unbreak Me, by Michelle Hazen
    Horse trainer Andra Lawler was assaulted in college, and let’s just say her recovery has been very, very difficult. (Andra, with your permission, we are all going to give you TONS of hugs!) She has chosen to live in isolation on her family’s horse farm. (Hint: She eats A LOT of lonely, frozen dinners.) Then she hires LJ Delisle, a sexy, Haitian-Creole cowboy man with a knack for cooking supremely delicious meals, to help her on the farm. LJ promptly rolls his sleeves up his very muscular arms and starts to make her meals. (The first thing he makes for Andra is a lemon velvet cake, so he’s guaranteed a spot on our Nice List for life!) It doesn’t take either of them long to realize that they’ve each met an exceptionally wonderful person. Things are a bit shaky, though, because people in Andra’s small Montana town don’t trust LJ. (They are shallow and horrible and need to realize that LJ is THE BEST!) Here’s hoping that Andra feels better soon, that LJ ignores the haters, and that they have a big, beautiful wedding complete with all kinds of delicious food! (Available in paperback and NOOK on August 13.) 

    The Duchess in His Bed, by Lorraine Heath
    Aiden Trewlove owns a club that caters to women’s naughtier fantasies, which pretty much makes him our Best Friend Ever. (Aiden, every beer moving forward is on us!) He has zero desire to fall in love or even so much as fool around with a client (#naughtybutprofessional), but he does get quite the run for his money when Selena Sheffield, the Duchess of Lushing, shows up at his club. She’s a recent widow with some major plans to secure her future, and those plans might involve using Aiden’s chiseled face and body. The thing is, Aiden has quite the big, warm heart to go with said chiseled face and body. (It should also be noted that Selena’s late husband didn’t exactly put her in the throes of passion. Like, ever.) Selena wants to throw her plans out the door, but life just isn’t going to be that easy. Selena, we’re very excited to hear about your plans, and we’re confident you’ll find a way to build yourself a beautiful life AND get the man of your dreams! This is the fourth book in Heath’s Sins for All Seasons series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on August 20.) 

    The Pagan Stone, by Nora Roberts
    Longtime friends Gage, Fox, and Caleb have come a long way since they started fighting a demon in their town of Hawkins Hollow. Now the battle is almost over, but as they embark on the last step of this terrifying journey, Gage needs to sort out his feelings for his crush, Cybil, pronto. (Fox and Caleb have already found their mates for life, so Gage needs to seriously step up his game if he wants to get in on the next holiday card exchange!) Gage is confident he and his friends can defeat the demon called Lazarus Twisse. He just really needs to also focus on the very strong and smart and beautiful Cybil. (Buddy, sounds like you need to bring her breakfast in bed wearing nothing but…you know what? Just wear nothing!) Can Gage and Cybil work together to defeat this demon? Will the three couples bring peace to Hawkins Hollow? Does Gage have a killer recipe for waffles that involves using real butter and is somehow still relatively low in calories? This reprint is the third book in Roberts’ Sign of Seven series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on August 20.) 

    What Doesn’t Kill Her, by Christina Dodd
    Our gal Kellen Adams suffered a bullet to her brain, which caused a yearlong memory gap. This had her feeling not so great for a while, but as she’s learned more and more about what happened to her, she’s gained a whole lotta much-needed confidence. (That’s right, Kellen! We don’t know what happened either, but we’re positive you are nothing less than a strong, focused woman with enviable biceps!) Now she’s on a mission, and she doesn’t have a whole lot to guide her. This would bother an average person, to say the least, but Kellen is getting a better idea of all of the awesome things she’s capable of. No doubt she’ll manage to defeat her enemies and save the day—and keep her daughter safe—while looking fabulous at the same time. Here’s hoping that when the drama is all over, she’ll get the pampering spa day she deserves! This is the second book in Dodd’s Cape Charade series. (Available in paperback on August 20.) 

    On the Corner of Love and Hate, by Nina Bocci
    Emmanuelle Peroni’s father is the mayor of his town, and he wants her to help his protege, Cooper Endicott, win the local election. More specifically, Emmanuelle needs to help Cooper improve his image, because, well, while Cooper is a rising political star he is also a longtime flirt who has loved the ladies just a little too much over the years. (Oh, Cooper, we’d all be more than happy to give you, ahem, a guiding hand or two. Preferably two.) Emmanuelle is constantly putting out public relations fires because Cooper’s love life keeps coming up. (Yes, something has indeed come up many, many times for Cooper.) As much as this new gig annoys Emmanuelle, she finds herself falling for Cooper big time. This is totally understandable, because Cooper is quite the cutie and he and Emmanuelle used to be very good friends. Oh, Cooper, please realize that Emmanuelle is the woman you want to have by your side forever—both in politics and in life! This is the first book in Bocci’s Hopeless Romantics series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on August 20.)

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  • Cristina Merrill 2:00 pm on 2019/08/08 Permalink
    Tags: , romance roundups   

    Romance Roundup: Dating App Creators, Kind-Hearted Ranchers, and Sewing Circles 

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    This week’s Romance Roundup includes two tech rivals who just might benefit from a merger, a single mom who’s about to face her ferocious grandmother for the first time in a long time, and a woman who’s about to be wooed by the handsomest of ranchers. 

    The Right Swipe, by Alisha Rai
    Tech genius Rhiannon Hunter and former pro-football player Samson Lima shared a hot and heavy night together. (As in, the kind of night that makes one want to take up journaling and poetry and every other form of writing so that they can commemorate the magic.) Then Samson disappeared. Like, on purpose. (Dude, how could you?!?!) This made Rhiannon a tad upset, because Samson is a rather fine-looking specimen of manly man, whether he’s wearing his athletic gear or his best suit or nothing at all! Fast forward a few months and Rhiannon and Samson are in each other’s faces again thanks to a potential business deal. They’ve each created a dating app, and there might be the possibility of a merger. (Ooh, Rhiannon and Samson, please tell us all about said dating apps and their creep-blocking features!)  Will Samson realize he was a doofus to not stick around longer? Will Rhiannon make her tech business dreams come true? And once that business deal gets signed, will Rhiannon and Samson realize they’ll never have to swipe again? (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on August 6.) 

    Life and Other Inconveniences, by Kristan Higgins
    Our gal Emma London had a rough upbringing. Her mom died when she was still a kid, and her father promptly left her on the doorstep of Genevieve London, Emma’s paternal grandmother. Now, Genevieve is no ordinary woman. She is the head of one of the world’s major fashion empires. Oh, she also kicked Emma out of the house when she got pregnant in her teen years. Emma went on to live with another relative and raise her daughter and build a beautiful life for them both, because she’s a strong, badass woman and EMMA WE ALL LOVE YOU, but she never quite forgave her grandmother for doing that to her. Almost 20 years later, Genevieve reaches out to Emma and asks for help. Emma will need to gather all of her courage again to face her past and deal with her grandmother. Girl, you’ve got this! And Genevieve, it wouldn’t hurt if you do something a tad grandmotherly, like set out some milk and cookies! (Available in paperback and NOOK on August 6.)

    Dark Sentinel, by Christine Feehan
    Lorraine Peters just lost her entire family, so she’s off to the woods for a little R&R. She comes across Andor Katona, who is being attacked by three vampire hunters. Lorraine rescues him, because she’s awesome like that, and Andor soon realizes he might have just found his lifemate. (Andor, in addition to having a rippling upper body, you are also very, very smart! Lorraine is definitely the kind of amazing lady you want by your side for life.) They are about to get cozy when a master vampire sets his sights on Lorraine—and on destroying Andor’s fellow Carpathian people. (Lorraine and Andor, we may not be the most competent allies in this particular fight, but we’ll make you a nice dinner when it’s all over!) Here’s hoping they both manage to defeat this master vampire and build a new life together! This book is part of Feehan’s extensive Carpathian series. (Available in paperback on August 6.)

    Phantom Waltz, by Catherine Anderson
    Bethany Coulter had a barrel-racing accident years ago that left her in a wheelchair, but she hasn’t let that get in the way of her being a kind, outspoken person with a fun sense of humor. (Bethany, we’re all coming over to hang out with you and bask in your awesomeness and WE’RE NOT LEAVING!) That said, she’s a tad guarded when it comes to matters of the heart, because someone in her past might have been not so nice to her. (Bethany, just point us in the right direction and we’ll sic ‘em!) Then Bethany meets rancher Ryan Kendrick, the kind of man with whom a lady would not mind at all if he were to plow her fields. Ryan is smarter than the average cowboy, and it doesn’t take him long to realize that he’d like to be with Bethany on a permanent basis. Bethany, please, please, please realize that Ryan is a great guy with a big heart to go with that big plow! And Ryan, buddy, step up your game ASAP and prove to Bethany what a wonderful man you are! This reprint is part of Anderson’s Coulter series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on August 6.) 

    Blood Truth, by J.R. Ward
    Boone has worked his way up the ranks of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and now he’s a lean, mean, fighting machine. (Good for you, Boone, for getting a well-deserved promotion!) Oh, and let’s just say that, looks-wise, he is the Grade A maple syrup on our waffles. The parmesan cheese on our pasta. The hot sauce on our eggs. (Note to self: Buy groceries!) Now he’s working on a case with a former homicide cop to investigate a serial killer, one who is targeting women at a live action role play club. (Boone, are we talking about the zombie apocalypse kind of role-playing club or the naughty kind of role-playing club? Either way, we’re down to help investigate!) That’s where he meets Helaine, who’s on a mission of her own. Her sister was murdered in that very same club, and Helaine is ready to kick some butt and take some names. Here’s hoping they solve their respective mysteries soon, that Helaine gets closure about her sister, and that she and Boone find time to engage in their own role-playing sessions! This is the fourth book in Ward’s Black Dagger Legacy series. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on August 13.) 

    The Oysterville Sewing Circle, by Susan Wiggs
    Caroline Shelby was living the high life in Manhattan and working towards becoming a big-name fashion designer, but then some pretty terrible things happened. She’s decided to head back home to the seaside town of Oysterville, Washington after spending 10 years away. Oh, and she’s got two orphaned kids in tow. (Caroline, we’ll all happily babysit while you get your life back in order!) She thinks she’ll leave all of the drama behind her, but it turns out the drama just might be getting started. Her siblings have some serious issues, for one, plus there’s Will Jensen, her old flame who broke her heart and left Caroline for her best friend. (To quote Jane Austen’s Mr. Knightley, badly done, Will! Badly done!) Yes, our gal has been through a lot lately, but she’s ready to roll up her sleeves and deal with all of the drama and not let it get the best of her. That’s right, Caroline! You’re a super awesome lady and don’t you dare forget it! (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on August 13.)

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  • Cristina Merrill 2:00 pm on 2019/07/23 Permalink
    Tags: a seal never quits, abitail owen, , holly castillo, , , laughter in the rain, , , romance roundups, , the one who stays, the rogue king, toni blake   

    Romance Roundup: Dragon Shifters, Undercover SEALs, and Small-Town Innkeepers 

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    This week’s Romance Roundup includes two women who find themselves torn between two men, a very special, supernatural lady who gets protection from a dragon shifter, and an innkeeper who falls for the new, mysterious stranger in town. 

    Laughter in the Rain, by Debbie Macomber
    Two reprinted stories in one! “Laughter in the Rain” gives us Abby Carpenter, a romantic-minded lady who is dating the somewhat bland Logan Fletcher. She doesn’t NOT like him, but he doesn’t exactly inspire passion in her. (Oh, Abby, surely underneath Logan’s difficult exterior lies a beautiful, soulful heart covered by six-pack abs!) Then Abby meets Tate Harding, who gives her some major butterflies. Logan sees this unwelcome activity and immediately gets all “STEP AWAY FROM MY WOMAN!” Logan will need to step up his game big time and prove to Abby that she will never be bored with him. In Lee Tobin McClain’s “Engaged to the Single Mom,” the first book in the author’s Rescue River series, a woman decides to fulfill two of her son’s biggest wishes—and is flummoxed on what to do when he says he wants a father. The answer might lie in the very capable hands of Troy Hinton. (Available in paperback on July 30.) 

    The Rogue King, by Abigail Owen
    The whole supernatural world and their mother is hunting down Kasia Amon. She has some special abilities that make her even extra appetizing to dragon shifters. One dragon shifter on her tail is Brand Astarot. He’s a bit of an outcast, and delivering Kasia to the Blood King would win him some major kudos—and perhaps even get him some highly-desirable revenge. (Um, Brand? What would it take for you to hunt all of US down? Some of us are really good at making…um…I dunno…banana bread? Daiquiris? Oh, breakfast in bed! Yes, that’s it! Breakfast in bed!) Then Kasia starts to make Brand feel feelings, which puts a damper on that whole revenge scheme thingie. Will Brand manage to win his lady love AND claim what’s his? (This is quite possible!) Can Kasia forgive Brand for wanting to turn her over to a bloodthirsty supernatural overlord? (Might be tough.) And when it’s all over, will Kasia and Brand start a new life together that will involve having lots of cute, little, dragon-shifting babies? (OMG how adorable would that be?!?!) This is the first book in Owen’s Inferno Rising series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 30.)

    A SEAL Never Quits, by Holly Castillo
    Lieutenant Amador “Stryker” Salas and his fellow SEALs are going undercover—on a Texas ranch! (Stryker, we have several questions. Will you and all of your hunky friends be shirtless while working outside for hours at a time? Will you all occasionally pour water on your heads to stay cool, water that will pour over your glistening, muscle-hardened bodies? And may we rub sunscreen all over each and every one of you?) Veterinarian Anya Gutierrez is also working on the ranch, and it doesn’t take long for our gal to realize that she wants to do the whole breeding thing with Stryker. She soon gets caught up in his mission, which puts Stryker into extra-protective mode. He’ll need to think quick and act fast and flex his muscles extra hard if he’s going to complete his mission AND keep Anya safe AND figure out a way for them to be together. (Stryker, we’ve seen your body—and we believe in you!) This is the first book in Castillo’s Texas Navy SEALs series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 30.) 

    The Conspiracy, by Kat Martin
    Harper Winston is on a mission to find her missing brother. He recently disappeared while sailing the Caribbean and the Coast Guard has been unable to locate him. She ends up going to Chase Garrett, her brother’s former best friend and now the owner of Maximum Security. Chase has feelings for Harper, but he’s very reluctant to get involved again with her family. (Sadly, much of the Winston clan is involved in some very shady dealings that would make the proverbial mafia blush.) Chase ends up helping Harper anyway, because The Feelings, and he’s going to work very hard to keep her safe. Good for you, Chase! When the drama is all over—and, we hope, her brother is found safe and sound and not involved in anything bad—you and your special woman should consider living in a peaceful land that’s far, far away from the in-laws! This is the first book in Martin’s Maximum Security series. (Available in paperback on July 30.) 

    Lost and Found Sisters, by Jill Shalvis
    This reprint features Chef Quinn Weller, who is finally recovering from her sister’s death. Indeed, things in general are looking great. She’s got a job at one of Los Angeles’ best restaurants, a hunky boyfriend who wants to marry her, and a fabulous family. Then she learns that she has inherited something extremely valuable, but it comes with some very shocking family revelations. She decides to pack her bags and move to a small coastal town, which brings WAY more peace and satisfaction than she ever would have expected. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that a very handsome resident is mega into her. (Two hot guys vying for your hand, Quinn? What a lovely problem to have!) Will this city lady leave it all behind for a new chapter of her life? (Available in paperback on July 30.) 

    The One Who Stays, by Toni Blake
    Meg Sloan is perfectly happy on Summer Island. She runs the Summerbrook Inn, which used to belong to her granny, and she enjoys many close relationships within her community. (Sounds idyllic, Meg! May we all come for a visit and stay at your inn and post only the best photos of said inn on our Instagram accounts?) One area where things are not exactly all hunky-dory for Meg is her relationship with Zack Sheppard. The trouble with Zack is that he doesn’t want to be exclusive with Meg because he is a doofus who doesn’t appreciate a good woman and DIE, ZACK, DIE!!! Anyhoo, things get shaken up when Seth Darden shows up on Summer Island. He’s on a mission to dig into some deeply-buried family secrets. That said, he is pretty much instantly smitten when he meets Meg and realizes he wants her in his life on a permanent basis. (Seth, buddy, we’ll make every effort to keep Zack out of your way while you woo our gal!) Here’s hoping that Meg gets over Zack—like, forever—and opens her heart entirely to Seth! This is the first book in Blake’s Summer Island series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 30.)

    What romance novels are you swooning over this week?

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  • Cristina Merrill 2:00 pm on 2019/07/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , one fine duke, , reunited in walnut river, , romance roundups, , , the soldier, willing to die   

    Romance Roundup: Fiery Debutantes, Lady Detectives, and Lovey-Dovey Neighbors 

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    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a debutante who wants to nab one man and falls for another, a finance professional who wants to get the promotion she deserves, and a detective on maternity leave with a tragic case to solve. 

    One Fine Duke, by Lenora Bell
    Miss Mina Penny is finally (but FINALLY) ready to enjoy her first London Season. She was raised in the country by her overprotective uncle, and she would love nothing more than to kick up her heels a bit. Oh, she also knows who she wants to nab for a husband: Rafe Bentley. He’s the biggest rake in town, but there is one person who is determined to stop his bad behavior whenever possible, and that’s his brother, Drew. Drew is the Duke of Thorndon, and let’s just say that society and socializing and society and small talk and society are just not his proverbial cup of tea. (Drew, we admire the way you stay true to yourself in a world that’s constantly pulling you in a certain direction!) Drew is determined to make sure that Mina does not ruin her life by aligning herself with his wastrel brother. He decides to do this by kissing her until her legs turn to jelly, which makes them both seriously rethink their priorities. This is the third book in Bell’s School for Dukes series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 23.) 

    Reunited in Walnut River, by RaeAnne Thayne
    Our gal Anna Wilder is a crazy awesome finance professional, and she just has to do one more thing before she dominates the world slash gets a promotion: take over her hometown’s hospital. The only thing standing in her way is attorney—and hometown hunk—Richard Green. (Oh, that Richard would stand in ALL of our ways!) They shared The Ultimate Kiss many, many years ago, right before Anna said “Peace out!” to her town, determined to never look back. Now, Richard absolutely, most definitely does NOT want Anna to succeed in her hospital takeover, and he’s willing to use every tool at his disposal to prevent it from happening. (Richard, you can dispose of your clothing pronto!) Here’s hoping that Anna gets her promotion in a way that won’t cause a snafu in her community—and that Richard realizes he’s never really lost that loving feeling! This reprint includes a bonus story, “A Matter of the Heart,” by Patricia Davids. (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 23.) 

    Before We Were Strangers, by Brenda Novak
    Sloane McBride’s mother abandoned her family when Sloane was just five years old. At least, that’s what everyone told Sloane. She couldn’t take the family drama anymore, though, so she got the heck out of her small Texas town at the age of eighteen, landing in New York City to pursue a modeling career. Now she’s an adult, and the loss of another person in her life prompts her to find out what really happened to her mom. (Sloane, we are all sending you a bajillion hugs right now!) She goes back home to Texas, and let’s just say she has a ton of people and issues to confront, including the boyfriend she left behind. Here’s hoping that Sloane finds the answers that she’s looking for, and that she gets another shot at all of the love she deserves! (Available in paperback on July 23.) 

    Willing to Die, by Lisa Jackson
    Detective Regan Pescoli is busy enjoying her maternity leave when her sister and brother-in-law are found murdered. She starts looking into the case with her partner, Selena Alvarez, and things just get scarier and scarier. (It’s quite possible that her sister’s family had some seriously horrible enemies.) On top of everything, Regan now also needs to care for her teenage niece. This is certainly a lot for anyone to handle, and let’s not forget that Regan also recently squeezed a tiny human out of her. (Regan, we are all SO coming over to help babysit and clean your house while you take a well-deserved—and uninterrupted—five-hour nap!) Will Regan be able to solve this murder mystery? Can she make space in her home and heart for her niece? And when everything does settle down, will she get to have lots of snuggle time with her brand-new baby? This book is part of Jackson’s To Die series. (Available in paperback and audiobook on July 30.) 

    Sisters Like Us, by Susan Mallery
    Sisters Harper Szymanski and Dr. Stacey Bloom are each going through A Challenging Time. Harper recently got divorced and is stuck with a way-too-expensive house. Oh, and her teenage daughter isn’t exactly the epitome of happiness and sunshine at the moment. Yes, Harper most definitely needs a day off, complete with her beverage of choice. (That said, there’s a local cop—a HOT local cop—who has the hots for our gal!) As for Stacey, she’s six months pregnant and most definitely not feeling that whole maternal glow thing. (Stacey, you also deserve a day off! Sans drink, of course!) These two sisters will need to lean on each other big time if they’re going to get through their respective dramas. Hang in there, ladies! When it’s all over, you can plan a beautiful family day at the beach! This is the fourth book in Mallery’s Mischief Bay series. (Available in paperback on July 30.) 

    The Soldier, by Grace Burrowes
    Devlin St. Just is finally home from war, and all he really wants is some goshdarn peace and quiet while he figures out what to do with his crumbling country estate. (We’ll all help you fix it up, Devlin! We’ve watched A LOT of HGTV! #weloveyoudrewandjonathan #stillcanttellyouapart #itdoesntmatteryourebothhot) Enter Emmaline Farnum, Devlin’s exceptionally pretty neighbor and the only woman who can control the wild, five-year-old child that has been terrorizing Devlin’s estate. (Dude, you survived all of this war and hardship and trauma and yet you can’t control a five-year-old?! Actually, scratch that. We don’t judge!) He decides to hire Emmaline to be the little girl’s governess, and he soon realizes that he may just want Emmaline for himself. Like, to be his wife. Forever. Because love. (Devlin, SO glad to see that while war has hardened your body—not that we’re complaining—it hasn’t hardened your heart!) This reprint is the second book in Burrowes’ Windhams: The Duke’s Obsession series. (Available in paperback on July 30.)

    What romance novels are you reading on the beach (or on the beach in your mind) this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Fiery Debutantes, Lady Detectives, and Lovey-Dovey Neighbors appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Cristina Merrill 4:00 pm on 2019/07/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , long tall texans: donovan/emmett, , , romance roundups, tempation's darling, the seekers, the wedding party, ,   

    Romance Roundup: ICU Nurses, Texas Cowboys, and Wedding Party Romances 

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    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a lawyer who’s finally about to find true love, an ICU nurse reentering the dating world, and a writer who falls for an exceptionally handsome detective. 

    Under Currents, by Nora Roberts
    On the surface, Zane Bigelow’s childhood looked idyllic—successful parents and a big, fancy house and all that jazz—but said childhood was actually filled with all kinds of abuse. (Zane, you’ll need to run exceptionally fast in order to escape…our hugs!) Fast forward many years and Zane is now a successful—and smokingly gorgeous—lawyer. He decides to return to his hometown and be with his loved ones. There he meets Darby, a landscape artist who’s new to the area and has her own haunted past. (Darby, what is the name of your business? We all want to give it the positive Yelp reviews it deserves!) Darby and Zane may each have their own issues to grapple with – not to mention dark pasts they can’t seem to shake—but that doesn’t stop either of them from realizing they’d like to do the nekkid dance on a regular basis. Will they be able to dodge their demons and start a new chapter of their lives together? (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on July 9.) 

    Long, Tall Texans: Donavan/Emmett, by Diana Palmer
    Two stories in one! In “Donavan,” hottie-of-our-hearts Donavan Langley is very happy to be a walking, talking example of rugged Texas masculinity. (We are all very happy about this, too, Donavan.) Then Fay York walks into the local bar looking mighty fine and causing Donavan to do a major double take. He’s determined to avoid Fay by using his silly “She’s too fancy for me” argument. Will he open his heart to love? In “Emmett,” single dad Emmett Deverell decides to move to small-town Texas with his three loud and exhaustingly mischievous kids. (“Nanny 911,” anyone?) He decides they need a calm woman in their lives, but the only single gal in the area is Melody Cartman, and Emmett wouldn’t exactly call himself a member of her proverbial fan club. (No offense, Emmett, but you’re a doofus.) Will Emmett realize that Melody is a wonderful woman with whom he can build a beautiful life? These two reprinted stories are part of Palmer’s Long, Tall Texans series. (Available in paperback on July 9.) 

    Window on the Bay, by Debbie Macomber
    Intensive care nurse Jenna Boltz has been doing the single mom thing for the past 20 years, and now she’s facing an empty nest thanks to her kids going to college. (Jenna, you clearly did an awesome job with your kids! Oh, and we’re all coming over with pizza and wine and planning tons of fun times!) She doesn’t quite know what to do with herself. One thing is for sure: Jenna is not ready to navigate the dating world. (That’s okay, Jenna. No one ever really is!) Then she meets Dr. Rowan Lancaster, a silver fox of a man who helps Jenna’s elderly mom when she breaks her hip. (Rowan, we are all SO bringing our relatives to you—from babies to grannies!) Rowan certainly has that whole Stiff and Silent Man act down pat, but beneath that stony exterior beats a heart that soon becomes wholly devoted to Jenna. Oh, Rowan, Jenna’s about to go through a really tough time, so please put on your best face (as in, you know, smile) and use your envy-worthy body to give our gal a helping hand! (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on July 16.)

    The Wedding Party, by Jasmine Guillory
    Alexa Monroe from The Wedding Date is getting married, and her best friends Maddie and Theo are both going to be involved in the big day. This would be all fine and dandy if Maddie and Theo didn’t hate each other so much after their one-night stand. (To be fair, Maddie and Theo, you both made—er, un-made?—that bed and if you want a fresh start you’ll need to strip that bed and make sure you use hypoallergenic laundry detergent and then follow up with a couple of dream-inducing dryer sheets and…wait! Wrong list of instructions!) Anyhoo, Theo and Maddie need to work together in order to help make Alexa’s wedding day dreams come true. (And you both BETTER do that because Alexa is AWESOME and if you DON’T we will all SNEER at you!) How soon will it take for each of them to realize they are perfect for each other? Will they find a private moment during the wedding reception to unabashedly make out? And where the heck are all of OUR wedding invitations?! (Available in paperback and audiobook on July 16.) 

    Temptation’s Darling, by Johanna Lindsey
    Our gal Vanessa has led a pretty freedom-filled life with her exiled father in the Scottish Highlands. (What time period is this? Can Jamie Fraser come out and play?) Then Papa Bear pushes her go to London for her debut. She’ll be living with her estranged mother while this happens, and she soon becomes acquainted with her mother’s guest, Lord Montgomery Townsend. His main job in life is to cover up the Prince Regent’s many, many scandals. (He’s basically the equivalent of a modern-day, top-notch celebrity public relations professional, except he has way cooler outfits.) Montgomery is mega-intrigued by this newcomer, and he’s determined to prevent her mother from making her marry the insipid son of a high-profile family. He also wants to give her a helping hand as she navigates this scary world of high society. The thing is, he soon realizes that he wouldn’t mind being the one to rock her world. Go get your woman, Montgomery! (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on July 16.) 

    The Seekers, by Heather Graham
    Nonfiction writer Keri Wolf has a new gig as a crew member of a TV show that looks into paranormal-related stuff. The latest show subject is an allegedly haunted Pennsylvania inn. Everything is going as it should—until a dead body turns up. (Yup, that’ll definitely ruin the fun.) If that weren’t creepy enough, a ghost appears, which totally messes with Keri’s head. (Keri, we would not judge you AT ALL if you need a moment—and a giant glass of wine—to compose yourself.) The only person who understands what she’s going through is former detective Joe Dunhill. He’s looking into the whole Dead Body Thing and he’s a very good candidate for the job because, in addition to having a beautiful face that would convince anyone to spill the beans, he can also communicate with the dead. Here’s hoping that Keri and Joe solve the mystery soon, and that they then do something fun and calming, like nekkid yoga on a secluded beach. This is the latest book in Graham’s Krewe of Hunters series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 23.)

    What romance novels are you excited about this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: ICU Nurses, Texas Cowboys, and Wedding Party Romances appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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