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  • Cristina Merrill 4:26 pm on 2018/12/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , sally mackenzie, , year's best romance   

    The Top 10 Must-Read Romances of 2018 

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    The genre just gets better and better every year.

    2018 was another great year for the romance genre. Authors continued to push the envelope in just about every time period with a wide variety of characters and situations, while television adaptations of beloved stories such as Outlander and Poldark continued to enjoy popularity and appreciation.

    If you’re looking to catch up on your romance reading this holiday season, or even looking for gift ideas for your fellow romance reader, here are some of 2018’s best reads!

    Someone to Trust, by Mary Balogh
    A man falls in love with an older woman in this installment of Balogh’s Westcott Family series. Fans know that Balogh isn’t afraid to explore romance between couples of a certain age. While the vast majority of the romance genre tends to skew younger, focusing on couples in their twenties and thirties, Balogh also gives older characters a chance at finding romance. In this lovely tome, widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield wants to get remarried to a respectable man. She ends up falling for Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, who is nine years younger than her. It seems unlikely that they’ll end up together, but when they meet again a year later they realize that yep, those feelings aren’t going away. Like, ever.

    More to Love, by Alison Bliss
    Professional interests collide in this lovely story, the third in Bliss’ A Perfect Fit series. Jessa Gibson is ready to make her mark on the Granite, Texas food scene with her gourmet food truck. Her only problem is the local health inspector, Max Hager. He seems to have it out for her, constantly accusing her of health code violations, which would be infuriating if he wasn’t so gosh darn sexy. It turns out that he and Jessa have off-the-charts chemistry, which is going to make it really hard for him to reveal who he really is: a man who is NOT a health inspector. (Yes, he has some explaining to do.)

    Shot on Gold, by Jaci Burton
    Two professional athletes get it on in this installment of Burton’s Play-by-Play series. Hockey player Will Madigan and figure skater Amber Sloane are ready to get it on at the Winter Olympics. They are each competing for gold, especially Amber, because it’s her third time there and she plans on retiring after this round. She is mega-focused indeed, but Will really likes the fact that she’s both gorgeous and ambitious and has a life and isn’t a Stage 5 clinger. He’s pursuing her big time, which would normally be a win-win for any woman, but Amber is going to focus no matter what it takes. When the Olympic games are over, they’ll need to figure out whether they want to play games with each other year-round.

    Rancher’s Dream, by B.J. Daniels
    Old lovers reunite in this cowboy-centric story, which is part of Daniels’ Montana Cahills series. Drey Hunter pretty much just had the worst wedding night ever. Her new husband disappeared on her, and now she’s all alone in a mountain cabin. She soon realizes that her life is also in some serious danger, so she gets help from her old flame Hawk Cahill. They were crazy in love once upon a time, and let’s just say that feeling never really went away. He’s as devoted as ever, and she starts to realize she never wants to be parted from him again. Can they solve the mystery and then live their lives together in peace?

    On-Air Passion, by Lindsay Evans
    The first book in Evans’ Clarks of Atlanta series features two people who clash over their very different ideas of love. Elle Marshall is pumped to talk about her dating service, a service that promises to create The Perfect Date for couples, on the radio. Basketball player-turned-radio host Ahmed Clark is NOT an optimist when it comes to L.O.V.E., and he and Elle end up clashing big-time. On the air. Where listeners can listen. These two arguers are so adorably curmudgeonly with each other that the radio station decides to capitalize on their popularity with viewers by arranging a media-friendly date. It doesn’t take them long to realize that they might actually like each other.

    Her Unexpected Valentine, by Sherelle Green
    More professional interests collide in this story, the fifth book in Green’s Bare Sophistication series. Hair and makeup guru Nicole LeBlanc and creative director Kendrick Burrstone only just met, but it soon becomes evident that they have exceptional chemistry together. Kendrick isn’t one for love, though, and he also doesn’t like to get involved with anyone at work. As for Nicole, she wouldn’t mind finding The One, but Kendrick isn’t exactly making things easy. This could have to do with some secrets he has, secrets that involve an extortion plot against him. (Did we mention that he also has a crazy ex-girlfriend?) Indeed, Kendrick and Nicole have a lot to go through together before they’ll be able to find their happily ever after.

    Hello Stranger, by Lisa Kleypas
    Romance readers who appreciate historical heroines ahead of their time will love the fourth book in Kleypas’ Ravenels series. Dr. Garrett Gibson is a lady doctor, and she’s working really hard to help London’s poor. She gets some help from Ethan Ransom, a former detective with whom she decides to have a one-night affair. They decide to stay away from each other after that one night – that one extremely entertaining night – but they are reunited when he has an assignment. They’ll need to work together and work smartly if they’re going to take down a treacherous government. Medical AND political drama, plus two sexy people right in the thick of it? Yes, please!

    Devil in Tartan, by Julia London
    And we have another historical heroine story, the fourth one in London’s Highland Grooms series. The livelihood of Lottie Livingstone’s clan rests entirely on her strong, capable shoulders. She has zero time to dilly dally, which is why she leads a scheme that involves taking over Aulay Mackenzie’s ship. This annoys and inconveniences him, to say the least, but he still can’t help admiring Lottie. When authorities start to get involved, and it looks as if they want to lock up Lottie and throw away the key, Aulay will need to evaluate his feelings for her and decide on what he really wants out of life.

    What Ales the Earl, by Sally MacKenzie
    Craft beer enthusiasts will enjoy this particular historical romance. Childhood friends and former lovers Penelope Barnes and Harry Graham are reunited after 10 long years apart. During that time, Penelope honed her beer-making skills, gave birth to and raised their daughter, and endured all kinds of judgment from her family and society for her life choices. As for Harry, he went off to war and came back and inherited his family’s title due to his brother’s death. (Yep, that’s a lot of activity in a decade!) Harry and Penelope are still in love, because a love like theirs doesn’t die. Ever. He’ll have to prove to her, though, that he’s never going to let them be parted again.

    About that Kiss, by Jill Shalvis
    Two people who shared one passionate kiss and then went their separate ways are reunited in the fifth book in Shalvis’ Heartbreaker Bay series. It pains Kylie Masters to ask Joe Malone for help, but she really needs someone with great finding skills to help her recover something quite precious. Joe won’t say no to helping her, but he doesn’t expect to end up falling heads over heels for her, even though they quite the makeout session. He always thought he’d be a player bachelor, but spending some real quality time with Kylie has him rethinking his priorities. Will he admit that his love for her is deeper than either of them realize?  

    The post The Top 10 Must-Read Romances of 2018 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Cristina Merrill 3:00 pm on 2018/08/07 Permalink
    Tags: , , , highland devil, in shadows, lily blackwood, one perfect moment, pale as death, , , sally mackenzie, , the warrior of clan kincaid, what ales the earl   

    Romance Roundup: Single Mother Brewers, Sextuplets, and (lots of) Kilts 

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    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a famous sextuplet who wants to get very intimate with a very special lady, a single mom who is learning the fine art of brewing, and an FBI man who wants to keep his beloved wife safe.

    In Shadows, by Sharon Sala
    Jack McCann married his sweetheart, Shelly, smack in between college and joining the FBI. The FBI is a pretty demanding job, no doubt, but he tries to see his beloved wife as often as he can. His latest assignment has kept him away from home for months, though, which means no cozy nights that involve home-cooked meals and Netflix and his loving wife. (Jack, we’re confident you’ll manage to make it all up to her!) Then Jack’s cover is blown, he gets shot in the back, and his enemy swears to pretty much murder everyone Jack loves. Ouch. Shelly’s been told that Jack is dead, but the truth is that he’s still alive, and he will stay away from her if it means keeping her safe. (Cue the “Awws!”) Here’s hoping that Jack figures out a plan that involves him staying alive AND going home to his adoring wife! (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 31.)

    Pale as Death, by Heather Graham
    LAPD detective Sophie Manning has a gruesome new case to work on, one that involves a dead body and zero evidence. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s starting to get visits from ghosts, and let’s just say she’s not exactly a believer. She really isn’t feeling the whole ghost thing, but what she IS feeling is the man who’s been assigned to help her out. Bruce McFadden is a consultant for the FBI’s paranormal unit. (Um, Bruce? Where can we apply for that kind of job? And can we please get an idea of the career trajectory? Thanks!) Bruce and Sophie will need to work very closely together if they’re going to solve this murder. And when it’s done, it will ideally bring them closer together in a very carnal, non-ghosty way. This is the latest installment in Graham’s extensive Krewe of Hunters series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 31.)

    Highland Devil, by Hannah Howell
    Sir Gybbon Murray was on his way back to his family’s stronghold when Mora Ogilvy tried to steal his horse. (Hear her out, Gybbon! Hear her out!) Turns out, Mora’s been through a rough patch in her life. Her evil cousins have taken over her home, and they’re trying to frame her for murder. No bueno. Fortunately for our gal, Gybbon believes her, and he brings her to his family’s place so that she can recover. Mora doesn’t want to stay very long, because she’s got some major plans, but then the threats from her family start to get WAY worse. Oh, and she realizes she wouldn’t mind being nekkid with Gybbon until death do them part. Can they rid themselves of her malicious extended family? And will they get the opportunity to make sweet love for many, many years to come? This is the latest book in Howell’s Murrays series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 31.)

    The Warrior of Clan Kincaid, by Lily Blackwood
    Derryth MacClaren is on the run. There’s an evil nobleman out to get her, and so she skedaddles from her home. Then she’s ambushed and captured by Cull, who is all kinds of hot AND super duper nice to boot. (Best! Day! Ever!) They soon get to know each other very well, and Derryth recognizes the tattoo on his arm. She tells her man —who has zero memory of his childhood—that he’s the long lost son of the murdered Laird of Kincaid. Cull isn’t sure he’s too thrilled by this discovery, because he’s been on this whole revenge scheme, and now that can cost him Derryth. Get it together, Cull! If you could survive a harsh childhood and warrior existence, surely you can figure out a happy ending for you and your lady! This is the third book in Blackwood’s Highland Warrior series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 31.)

    What Ales the Earl, by Sally MacKenzie
    Penelope Barnes—and her young daughter—are the newest residents of Puddleton Manor’s Benevolent Home. Things are looking up, though, because Penelope is an awesome lady with a green thumb and she’s using said green thumb to become a budding beer brewer. (Oh, Penelope, we want to pick your brain on SO many levels!) As for the father of her child, it’s her childhood friend Harry Graham. He’s the son of an earl, and she’s penniless, so sadly their love could not go anywhere. But now he’s back from war, and his elder brother has died, which means our Harry boy is now THE earl. He’s not thrilled by the responsibility, but then he reconnects with Penelope and discovers that he’s a daddy. For Pete’s—er, Penelope’s—sake, Harry, move fast and marry that lovely lady! She’s seriously considering marrying a country vicar who would absolutely bore her to tears. Don’t you dare let that happen! (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 31.)

    One Perfect Moment, by A.C. Arthur
    Dr. Gage Taylor is a famous sextuplet. As in, he and his siblings had their moves tracked for years and were featured nationwide and everyone has always known who they are and…yeah, it’s all been extremely invasive and exhausting. (Oh, come here, Gage! We’ll make it all better!) The one person who didn’t know who Gage was was television producer Ava Cannon. In her defense, Gage has been aggressively avoiding the media spotlight in recent years, because he’s a great, talented, sexy man who wants to get by on his own merit. (Good for you, buddy!) They start to get friendly again, which is very, very nice, but Ava might have to choose between trying to get him back in the spotlight and keeping him in her bed. (The latter option, Ava! The latter!) Here’s hoping they figure out a solution that involves Ava keeping her career AND her man. This is the third book in the Taylors of Temptation series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    What romance novels are warming your nightstand this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Single Mother Brewers, Sextuplets, and (lots of) Kilts appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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