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  • Tara Sonin 4:00 pm on 2017/11/16 Permalink
    Tags: a devil in scotland, a duke in shining armor, about that kiss, , , beyond scandal and desire, blood fury: black dagger legacy, , , , , ella quinn, enchantress of numbers, headmaster, hello stranger, highland ever after, , jill shelves, , , , , , , , , Romance, surrender to the highlander, suzanne enoch, , tempted, the marquis and i, year one   

    Your Guide to Winter Romance: 16 Novels to Get You Through the Season 

    Even though the seasons change, there are always new romances to be read! Get your TBR ready for these winter reads to keep things steamy as snow starts to fall.

    Darker: Fifty Shades Darker, by EL James (11/28)
    The world of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele continues to grow and deepen with this new installment, Darker. Following the same storyline as the original second novel, there’s a special twist: the book is from Christian’s POV! He’s lost the love of his life, but this billionaire is not the kind of man who takes no for an answer.

    A Duke in Shining Armor, by Loretta Chase (11/28)
    Hugh is the seventh Duke of Ripley, and he’s totally a rake. But the one night he chooses to do the right thing and return his best friend’s bride to her wedding when she attempts to flee. They fall in love instead, and in this humorous and passionate novel a rake must romance a runaway bride.

    Past Perfect, by Danielle Steele (11/28)
    Danielle Steele returns with a sweeping romance that spans centuries. When Sybil and Blake Gregory move their family from the city that never sleeps to San Francisco, they find more than a fresh start. They find the ghosts of a family who lived there over one hundred years ago. How can two families—one living, one dead—share the same home?

    Enchantress of Numbers, by Jennifer Chiaverini (12/5)
    A woman’s love affair with numbers is told in stirring detail in this novel from a New York Times bestseller. Ada Lovelace was a nobleman’s daughter, but she far outshined his looming shadow thanks to her work in computer programming. Detailed and entrancing, this one is not to be missed.

    Year One, by Nora Roberts (12/5)
    Nora Roberts returns to the paranormal, exploring a dystopian, speculative future where a mysterious condition destroys all of humanity…except for those left behind, who now possess powers thanks to the blight. Called Uncannys, Max Fallon and Lana Bingham suddenly have more power than they ever have before, but can they protect their love while saving the world from the terrifying Doom?

    Any Dream Will Do, by Debbie Macomber (12/26)
    Shay Benson went to prison for a crime her brother committed, but now she’s determined to start over. A new town, a new job, and a new chance at love with a widowed pastor, Shay is feeling like her dreams have finally come true. That is, until her past sneaks up behind her and threatens to take it all away. Suspenseful yet hopeful, this is the perfect romance to give you some holiday cheer.

    Headmaster, by Tara Sue Me (1/16)
    A second chance at love and a BDSM romance all in one: Lennox owns the RACK Academy, where Dominants and submissives can practice their lifestyle in a safe environment…except for him. Lennox no longer participates in the lifestyle after the death of his submissive, Winnie. So he never intended on falling in love with her best friend…

    Blood Fury: Black Dagger Legacy, by JR Ward (1/9)
    The brothers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood are back, and sexier than ever. A fight is brewing against the dangerous society determined to wipe out their kind, but love has a way of distracting them from the danger around them. Except for Novo, who wants no part of love. Peyton was supposed to marry a female of his class and standing…but then the one he wanted fell for someone else. Together, they confront the demons of their pasts and present while their passion consumes them.

    Beyond Scandal and Desire, by Lorraine Heath (1/28)
    Mick was raised a commoner, but his dirty secret is that he’s a dirty bastard: born illegitmately to a Duke. He’s moved up in the world thanks to his own wit and grit, but his success has only emboldened his thirst for vengeance. On a quest to punish his father’s recognized son, he meets the lady Aslyn Hastings and finds himself equally possessed by her. The problem? She’s engaged to another.

    About that Kiss, by Jill Shalvis by (1/23)
    Kylie and Joe had one incredible kiss. And then he never called again! But when something valuable gets stolen, the only one she can turn to is the one guy who rebuffed her.

    Tempest, by Beverly Jenkins (1/30)
    Regan Carmichael is a free-spirited woman even in the Old West…and so she plans to marry a man she’s never met, so her freedom can’t be tamed by the lasso of love. Those plans change when she finds herself falling for her intended groom.

    A Devil in Scotland, by Suzanne Enoch (1/30)
    It’s the early 19th Century in Scotland, and Callum MacCraeath is perfectly fine being a bachelor. That is, until his older brother decides to marry a woman he wants for himself. This one is sure to be a deliciously steamy romance full of temptation and torment!

    Surrender to the Highlander, by Lynsay Sands (1/30)
    In this Highland romance, after being sent to a nunnery, Edith Drummond’s life changes drastically when she awakes after a mysterious illness to find herself surrounded by rugged, brutish Highlanders. Niels Buchanan saves her life by informing her that she isn’t ill; she’s been poisoned. While he helps her heal, Niels finds himself falling for the lovely lass, and is determined to rescue her from the nunnery by marrying her himself.

    Highland Ever After, by Maya Banks (February 2018)
    We’re so excited to return to Banks’ dangerously seductive Scottish world in the second installment of her Montgomerys and Armstrongs series. The King demands that Talisan McHugh marry a man to secure an alliance….which she reluctantly submits to, as she believes her physical disability would prevent a man from choosing to love her naturally. Until she meets Brodie Armstrong, who chooses to defy the king and save Talisan from a marriage without love and passion, and take her for himself.

    Hello Stranger, by Lisa Kleypas (2/27)
    Dr. Garrett Gibson is the only female doctor in all of England, and that’s not the only way she defies convention. Determined to pursue passion just as voraciously as any man would, she meets Ethan Ransom, a former detective turned rumored assassin…and she never shies away from a bit of danger.

    The Marquis and I, by Ella Quinn (2/27)
    When Charlotte Carpenter is kidnapped, she learns the reason why: her brother-in-law put a brothel out of business, and they intend to hold her until his pays. When Charlotte attempts an escape, she is rescued by one of the men who frequented the former establishment. Will Charlotte trust a known rake, or put her fate in the hands of men who want to see her family pay?

    The post Your Guide to Winter Romance: 16 Novels to Get You Through the Season appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Amanda Diehl 5:00 pm on 2017/11/15 Permalink
    Tags: , , it's not you it's me, , laura lee guhrke, love is blind lynsay sands, Romance, the bride   

    My Amicable Breakup with Historical Romances 

    To me historical romance is the bread and butter of the romance community, and many readers (including myself) have started with the subgenre. However, historical romance and I have had a falling out (that’s shown no signs of repair), and that’s okay!

    My first historical was The Bride, by Julie Garwood. I was swept away by how romantic it was. The castle, the violet-eyed heroine, and the swoony Alec Kincaid. From there, I devoured the Wallflower Quartet, by Lisa Kleypas. (My favorite is It Happened One Autumn, which isn’t the most popular opinion.) And of course, the best underrated historical romance I’ve ever read is tied between Love is Blind, by Lynsay Sands and Guilty Pleasures, by Laura Lee Guhrke.

    The long-ago time periods enraptured me as the characters strained against propriety and societal norms. Being naughty was frowned upon, which only made me turn the pages faster and faster, until one day I found myself struggling to finish a historical romance. Thinking it was me, I picked up another and had the same problem. It was like being stuck in the movie Groundhog Day where I seemed forever trapped in my historical romance book slump.

    This was definitely a situation of “it’s not you, it’s me.” I’m still unsure what prompted my sudden disinterest in a genre I used to love so deeply. My guess is that I overwhelmed myself too much, too soon. It was like a relationship that happened at breakneck speed. You meet and fall head over heels. You love everything about that person and suddenly, you’re spending every waking moment together and talking about moving in together.

    And then suddenly, you start to notice things that aren’t gelling. You’re always late and they’re always early. Are they chewing too loudly or am I just being overly sensitive? Their cologne or perfume no longer is the best smell you’ve ever smelled in the history of smells. With historical romances, I seemed to always find fault. There wasn’t enough sexytimes. The heroine was too innocent. The hero was too much of a jerk. But I realize now that none of my complaints were specific to the subgenre. I could have these complaints about contemporary romances or erotica. I was just being too difficult to please. Things didn’t necessarily go bad between me and historical romance, they just sort of petered off, and I had to sit down with myself and my reading tastes and admit that historically aren’t just working for me anymore.

    It’s hard when you see all your friends and fellow readers having such a good time with historicals. Why not me? I want to be a part of that too! It’s like seeing your ex at a bar and he or she is having a great time. They’re smiling and laughing and you suddenly remember, for a brief moment, what attracted you to them in the first place. Then you remember the boring nights where you struggled to make conversation with each other or, like me, read the same paragraph over and over in the hopes of making some progress in a book. It probably won’t work out again and you’d rather not repeat the slog through another book (or another attempt at a relationship).

    So the two of you lock eyes across the bar, give a gentle wave, and carry on about your business, which is my current standing with historical romances. I’m content see other people enjoying them and at times, I wish I could have a beautiful reunion with Tessa Dare and Elizabeth Hoyt. But why force it? Take a break, re-evaluate, and much like romantic pursuits, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. I can find a romance that suits my current needs.

    Maybe historical romances and I will have tear-stained, beautiful reunion one day, or perhaps that ship as sailed. But much like a hot and heavy, passionate relationship, I’m grateful for the time we had together, even if we didn’t have our happy ending.

    How enduring is your love for historical romance?

    The post My Amicable Breakup with Historical Romances appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 5:00 pm on 2017/11/14 Permalink
    Tags: a hope divided, , close contact, , , , , , m.f. wild, , misadventures of a valedictorian, , , Romance,   

    Romance Roundup: Broke Dukes, Valedictorians, Civil War Heroines 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a duke who needs to marry a wealthy lady, a woman who needs her lover’s professional protection, and a high school valedictorian who is about to have a bit of a wild time.

    Nauti Angel, by Lora Leigh
    Our gal Angel Calloway is the new woman in town, and people aren’t exactly warming up to her at first. They think she might be dangerous, for one. (Oh, Angel, to be in your boots! Be the naughty, new girl in town so that we all may live vicariously through you!) She soon catches the eye of Reece “Duke” Duquaine, a former Army investigator and resident Bad Boy who can serve us breakfast in bed any day of the week. Duke wants to learn more about Angel, and Angel is finding him incredibly hard to resist. (Totally understandable, Angel. Totally understandable.) Can they each manage to get past those tough exteriors and find the loving person within? And can Angel prove to everyone that she only wants to be bad for Duke? This is the fourth book in Leigh’s Nauti Girls series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    No Other Duke Will Do, by Grace Burrowes
    Julian St. David is the Duke of Haverford, and things aren’t exactly peachy keen. He’s inherited a whole lot of debt, the kind that makes the modern-day student loan seem manageable by comparison. Julian’s sister comes up with a brilliant scheme: Throw the ball of the decade in the hopes that Julian will meet a super duper rich lady and marry her. He meets Elizabeth Windham, who finds herself in dire need of a husband after a scandal made her not-so-great marriageable material. (We’re sure it’s not your fault at all, Elizabeth!) They both soon develop a very strong desire to tear each other’s clothes off, which is totally fair, because Elizabeth is a smart and beautiful lady who loves to read and Julian has a rock-solid body and a huge library. (Literally!) Here’s hoping they get the happy ending they deserve! This is the third book in Burrowes’ Windham Brides series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    Misadventures of a Valedictorian, by Mia Michelle and M.F. Wild
    Clare Winston is about to become her high school’s valedictorian. (Clare, you go, girl!) She’s never really had time for romance, and a personal tragedy has kept her from making any lasting friendships. Then she has a chance encounter with quarterback Eric Hayward, who is basically all of our high school crushes rolled into one. He’s not exactly boyfriend material, but hanging out with Clare makes him realize he might be missing out on the simpler pleasures of life. That said, he’s determined to take Clare away from her books for a little bit and, ahem, show her a really good time. He soon realizes that there is more to this so-called nerdy girl than meets the eye. Can these two youngsters forge a strong bond and embark on a deep and meaningful relationship? This is the seventh book in the multi-authored Misadventures series. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on November 14.)

    Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian, by E.L. James
    The billionaire dominant Christian Grey was taken down a peg when Anastasia Steele dumped him. The thing is, he just wants to do the whole dominant and submissive thing with Ana while she wants a real relationship with all of the romantic trimmings. (Good for you, Ana! Never settle for anything less!) Christian gets a little bit of help from his therapist, which is great, but he’s still got to deal with a couple of women from his past who are back to haunt him. (Get to it, Christian! Strutting around a room nekkid and looking sexy won’t be enough for our heroine—although it might be enough for some of us!) Fans know how this story ends, but reading from the guy’s perspective will open a whole new door into this love story. This book, a sequel to Grey, is part of James’ Fifty Shades of Grey universe and tells the story through Christian’s point of view. (Available in paperback and NOOK on November 28.)

    A Hope Divided, by Alyssa Cole
    Marlie Lynch is doing everything she possibly can to help the Union win the war against the South. (Think coded letters to warn of enemy uprisings, poultices galore, and helping escaped slaves, just to name a few.) She’s been fairly protected, thanks to everything her mother taught her and her white father’s name. (She’s never met him, but he’s helped her in an indirect way.) Then the Confederate Home Guard takes over her home. At the same time, escaped prisoner Ewan McCall is hiding in Marlie’s laboratory. Ewan and Marlie soon develop a very deep connection, which is a great thing, because they soon find themselves on the run together. A brave, medical-oriented historical heroine and a supersensitive, hunky man helping to restore peace to their country while also having mind-blowing chemistry? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! (Oh, and Dear Hollywood, please adapt for the screen. Thanks!) This is the second book in Cole’s Loyal League series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on November 28.)

    Close Contact, by Lori Foster
    MMA fighter Miles Dartman had a special understanding with personal shopper Maxi Nevar. She would initiate an amazing sexual encounter with him and then ditch him faster than he could say “How was it for you?” This hasn’t been enough, though, for our tenderhearted hero. He wants something deeper, as in, marriage and kids and the house with the white picket fence and a two-car garage and crown moldings everywhere and an open floor plan and…sorry, getting back on track now! Maxi comes to Miles in desperate need of his security services. Her ex-boyfriend has come back to haunt her, along with some shady former acquaintances, and she doesn’t feel very safe. (We’ll all distract them while you run, Maxi!) Here’s hoping they dodge the bad guys—and lose them forever—and that Maxi and Miles dive into a relationship that will withstand the toughest of times. This is the third book in Foster’s Body Armor series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on November 28.)

    What romance novels are on your TBR pile this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Broke Dukes, Valedictorians, Civil War Heroines appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Nicole Hill 3:00 pm on 2017/11/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Romance,   

    Outlander Season 3 Episode 9 Recap: The Doldrums 

    There have been a number of search-and-rescue missions throughout Outlander’s three seasons. Rarely, though, has the target in need of rescuing not been Claire or Jamie.

    In “The Doldrums,” the two have a chance to work together in their quest to retrieve young Ian, with whom pirates absconded at the end of last week’s tumultuous episode. Last week’s relationship issues seem to have been resolved, at least temporarily, by the crisis at hand.

    Cousin Jared has secured passage aboard a fine vessel. Jamie is wearing a verrah fine tricornered hat. And they think they know where the ship that took Ian was headed. Strap on your finest trusses and gird your aching loins: we’re going to Jamaica.

    One note before we set sail: Jenny and Ian still think Claire and Jamie 1) have their son and 2) are on their way to France. Jamie claims he’s sent them a letter to explain everything, but I have my doubts this will assuage Jenny’s fury.

    Meanwhile, Jamie is quickly beset by ferocious seasickness, an ailment not helped by an extra surprise. Young Fergus has brought another passenger along for the voyage: Laoghaire’s spirited eldest daughter, Marsali. The two are young and in love. Additionally, Marsali is determined to stay with Fergus because someone must be around to insult Claire endlessly. Laoghaire’s going to haunt Jamie like an attic wife clinging to Mr. Rochester.

    For what it’s worth, Fergus’ puppy-love pleadings are pretty adorable, even if Jamie’s too nauseated to appreciate them. All Fergus wants is Jamie’s blessing to marry Marsali, a desire not easily satisfied, and not just because Jamie can’t stop puking.

    The captain of this vessel takes Jamie’s infirmities as an opportunity to mansplain the sea to Claire—because, again, it’s been too long since the last time a man was infuriating at her. He tells her she must respect the crew’s superstitions. Plus, it could be worse: he hasn’t forced her to go topless. After all, it’s common knowledge a woman’s bare breasts calm an angry sea. This seems a convenient superstition that exists on boats full of lonely men riddled with scurvy, but who am I to question the wisdom of generations of boats full of lonely men riddled with scurvy?

    As a non-sequitur, Mr. Willoughby is apparently also on this boat and stops by Jamie’s quarters to suggest cutting off his testicles to cure his seasickness. (Mercifully, he actually treats Jamie with acupuncture.)

    “It reminded me of a simpler time,” Claire says of her days and weeks tending wounds and making medicine. And there is plenty of time to do both. In the middle of its journey, the ship “loses the wind.” Becalmed for weeks, Claire and Jamie enjoy snuggly time under the stars, but the crew soon grows jittery.

    Their solution: throw someone overboard. The preferred target of this rage is one of the good-hearted dinguses Jamie brought with him. Jamie goes full Errol Flynn as he tries to prevent his pal, Hayes, from throwing himself from the mainsail. He’s successful, but he’s unable to calm the crew. That honor falls to Mr. Willoughby, who holds everyone’s attention with the impassioned spoken-word poetry of his life. At the end of his recitation, he throws the pages of this story into the wind—and suddenly, there is, in fact, wind.

    Lest you roll your eyes, Mr. Willoughby quickly reveals why his performance worked. He noticed a bird just off the ship’s bow, and its flight pattern indicated a storm was brewing. He knew the wind was coming, but he gave the men aboard the mystical confirmation they needed.

    With the wind gusting and the rain falling, Claire and Jamie sneak belowdecks for the first bit of love-making of this episode. The afterglow is so sweet, we’ll ignore the fact that there were most assuredly drowned rats in the same place earlier.

    Of course, things can’t continue going right for too long. They never do. A British vessel pulls up alongside their ship. The (roughly) 12-year-old captain boards and begs for a surgeon. He says there’s been an outbreak of “the plague” and they need medical attention and supplies. After documenting the symptoms, Claire’s able to diagnose the disease instead as typhoid fever, an illness for which she’s been inoculated.

    Claire agrees to help the ship treat and contain the outbreak, a move that turns out to be a humanitarian mistake. The young captain kidnaps Claire to keep her on board and hopefully mitigate the death toll. At the least, however, he promises to deliver her to Jamie when both ships arrive in Jamaica.

    The hospitality never ends in this show, I tell you. It never ends.

    The post Outlander Season 3 Episode 9 Recap: The Doldrums appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Tara Sonin 1:00 pm on 2017/11/10 Permalink
    Tags: all in his head, darker, , , , , Romance   

    Seven Sexy Things We Can’t Wait to Read in E L James’ Darker 

    Haven’t you always wondered what goes on in Christian Grey’s head? He’s gorgeous, he’s filthy rich, and he’s deeply troubled, but there’s nothing more enticing than that combo when it comes to romance heroes! And this time, in this new intallment in EL James’ 50 Shades series, Darker, you’ll get to relive all the steamy moments from his POV! Such as…

    His breakup with Ana
    How DID Christian cope during the (very brief) time that he and Ana were broken up? She meant what she said, but let’s admit it- we want to read about him pining for her!

    The reunion! (And an attempt at being “vanilla”)
    If you remember, Christian made a pretty big sacrifice (for him) to win Ana back: he committed to a “vanilla” relationship. Meaning no contracts, no punishments, and no Red Room. Why did he make that decision? We can’t wait to find out…

    A jealous mind, rife with passion
    One of the things Ana struggles with is Christian’s desire to control her…but it’s also what entices her about him. Part of her WANTS that…just like part of Christian wants to be rid of the traumas of his past. In the world of romance novels, jealousy can be kind of hot. We want to see Christian’s possessive side!

    A hero at the center of a mystery (or two)
    This book is where the suspense elements of the series pick up: ghosts (and ex girlfriends) from Christian’s past come back to haunt him. Was there anything he didn’t tell Ana, to protect her? How did he unravel the reason for Leila’s return? We can’t wait to see the billionaire play detective.

     

    Mrs. Robinson, causing drama as always
    A little drama never hurt anyone, and Christian’s ex-lover Elena provides a lot of entertainment. But the best entertainment of all? Seeing him pick Ana over her when it matters most!

    Life or death
    The plane crash was a plot twist we never saw coming in the first version, so even though we know it’s coming- we don’t know how Christian survived, or what he did after the crash.

    The proposal!
    Speaking of things we don’t know…when did Christian buy that ring!? Will we see the scene where he picks it out? And of course…what went through his mind when he proposed to the love of his life?

    Darker is on B&N bookshelves November 28.

    The post Seven Sexy Things We Can’t Wait to Read in E L James’ Darker appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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