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  • Cristina Merrill 2:00 pm on 2019/03/12 Permalink
    Tags: a lethal legacy, after, , between you and me, , georgia beers, , , , , susan wiggs, the do-over, this scot of mine, toxic game   

    Romance Roundup: College Romances, Runaway Ladies, and High School Enemies-Turned-Lovers 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes two people out to eliminate a deadly virus, a lady who makes a gutsy move to escape her evil fiance, and a farmer who gets thrown into a very different world and meets a very different type of woman.

    Toxic Game, by Christine Feehan
    Dr. Draden Freeman and his GhostWalker team are on a very important rescue mission. There are some wounded people with their lives at stake, and if everyone doesn’t get the heck out of an Indonesian jungle ASAP then a deadly virus will kill them all. (Draden, we’re all breaking out our Ghostbusters costumes and helping you!) Then Draden gets infected, and he’s found by Shylah Cosmos, who is also eager to track down this virus and make it disappear. They soon become quite attracted to each other, but then Shylah gets infected, too. Can she and Draden make it out of the jungle alive AND wipe out this horrible disease? (Shylah and Draden, we believe in you both! And just think, should the two of you ever get the flu at the same time, that will be a walk in the park compared to this adventure!) This is the latest book in Feehan’s extensive GhostWalkers series. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on March 12.)

    After, by Anna Todd
    College romance alert! Perpetual Good Girl Tessa has just started her freshman year of college. She has a boyfriend back home, but things change when she meets Hardin. (Let’s just say he’s got that whole I’m-A-Hot-British-Bad-Boy-With-A-Big-Heart-Buried-Deep-Deep-Deep-Down vibe down pat.) Hardin is pretty much the hottest guy she’s ever met and she secretly wants to bone him. (Tessa, you get ZERO judgment from any of us because we’ve pretty much all been there!) When Tessa and Hardin find themselves alone, they share the kind of kiss that you describe in vivid detail in the middle of the night to your best friend who attends college in a different state. They soon engage in the kind of relationship that involves Hardin disappearing every now and then, but Tessa is determined to, ahem, learn more about him. Tessa, you pursue this relationship to your heart’s content! Whatever happens, you’ll have some REALLY interesting stories to tell your granddaughters one day! This is the first book in Todd’s After series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on March 12.)

    A Lethal Legacy, by Heather Graham
    New York’s sexiest investigative duo are at it again! Psychologist Kieran Finnegan and special agent Craig Frasier have an especially creepy new assignment. A man named Finn Douglas is renovating an old manor house he inherited on the New York coast, and his business partner’s body has just been found. He’s convinced it wasn’t an accident, so Kieran and Craig are called in to investigate. It turns out that beneath that manor are many caverns that hold some pretty dark secrets. Kieran and Craig will need to work very hard to figure out exactly what’s going on. Here’s hoping they solve the mystery soon, that this Finn dude gets to live out his HGTV renovation dreams, and that everyone gets the chance to have a relaxing spa day when the drama is all over! This is the fourth book in Graham’s New York Confidential series. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on March 12.)

    This Scot of Mine, by Sophie Jordan
    Our gal Lady Clara has just made an exceptionally bold move to escape her disgusting fiance: She told everyone that she’s pregnant with another man’s baby. (Yep, THAT will make high society scatter away from you!) She hightails it to Scotland, totally ready to be alone for the rest of her life. Then she meets Laird Hunt MacLarin, and let’s just say neither of them have trouble feeling the, ahem, sizzle for each other. The problem is that poor Hunt comes from a long line of men who, er, kind of died before their firstborns were born, so he’s been very reluctant to get married. For this reason, he’s actually glad that Clara is already pregnant. Surely him not being the baby daddy means he’ll be spared from an early death, right? The only problem is that Clara’s eggo is not, in fact, preggo. Oh, Hunt! You are in MUCH better shape than your predecessors, and you and Clara are 100 percent meant to live a long life together filled with lots of babies! This is the latest book in Jordan’s Rogue Files series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on March 12.)

    Between You and Me, by Susan Wiggs
    Farmer Caleb Stoltz’s life revolved around his farm, his faith, and his orphaned niece and nephew, who he promised to raise. (Caleb, if anyone deserves a relaxing, long-weekend getaway it’s YOU!) As busy as he is, he still lives a somewhat quieter kind of existence, which changes when something bad happens and he has to deal with all things urban and medical and hospital-y. That’s when he meets Dr. Reese Powell. Like her parents, she’s a medical hotshot and she loves the fast-paced life that comes with it. (Reese, you a smart and ambitious woman with beautiful hair and an inspiration to us all!) There’s no doubt that Reese and Caleb are mega-attracted to each other, but they’ll still need to go through a lot before they can have their happily ever after. (Available in paperback on March 12.)

    The Do-Over, by Georgia Beers
    Bella Hunt and Easton Evans were mortal enemies in high school, mainly because Easton was the Ultimate Mean Girl and was just awful to Bella. It took Bella a LONG time to get over the pain. She did move on, though, and now she has a great life. Bella gets a big shock, though, when Easton walks into the conflict resolution class she’s about to teach. (Easton, you better be respectful to Bella and take lots and lots of notes!) Easton is still as beautiful as she was in high school. Oh, she’s also, like, nice now, which throws Bella in for a loop. They soon realize that they feel some very adult feelings for each other. (Now THIS will make for a fun high school reunion story!) Here’s hoping that Easton truly has become a nicer person, and that these two ladies can manage to forgive the past and create a beautiful life together! (Available in paperback and NOOK on March 12.)

    What romance novels are you excited about this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: College Romances, Runaway Ladies, and High School Enemies-Turned-Lovers appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 3:00 pm on 2019/02/12 Permalink
    Tags: , devil's daughter, , , , long tall texans: ethan/connal, , , , say you're sorry, shadow pact, stroke of luck, susan wiggs, tally adams   

    Romance Roundup: Young Widows, Devoted Sisters, and Ranchers Galore 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a tough lady who helps a detective solve a cold case, a human woman who gets caught up in some major werewolf and vampire-related drama, and a rancher who gets much-needed help from his childhood friend.

    Map of the Heart, by Susan Wiggs
    History buffs will love this reprint! Camille Palmer is finally settling back into a peaceful existence after the tragic death of her husband. She’s got a teenage daughter and a dad to look after, so she’s quite busy. (Camille, massages and champagne on all of us!) Then a mysterious package arrives, and the three of them go back to France, where Camille’s dad lived during World War II. Oh, and Camille meets a very handsome former naval officer during her travels. (Note to Camille: Find out ASAP if he kept his uniform!) A nice lady who gets another chance at love with a hunky man in the French countryside while surrounded by loved ones? Yes, we’ll all take that tale with a glass of wine and a chocolate croissant! (Available in paperback on February 12.)

    Say You’re Sorry, by Karen Rose
    A serial killer has just messed with the wrong woman! Not only does our gal, Daisy Dawson, manage to fend off an attack, she also manages to steal a valuable piece of evidence off of her attacker: a necklace. (Daisy, after we treat you to a spa day we’d love it if you showed us your self-defense moves!) Said necklace is of great interest to Special Agent Gideon Reynolds, who has a few very important things going on for him: buns of steel, arms of steel, abs of steel, and a—well, you get the picture!  Anyway, he’s been working on a cold case for 17 years, and now, thanks to this necklace, he just might finally have what he needs to solve it. He and Daisy will end up working closely together. They’ll need to be super careful, though, as the killer now wants to target both of them. Daisy and Gideon, stay two steps ahead of the game, and when you finally win, treat yourselves to a romantic, long weekend getaway! This is the first book in Rose’s Sacramento series. (Available in hardcover and NOOK on February 12.)

    Long, Tall Texans: Ethan/Connal, by Diana Palmer
    Two stories in one! “Ethan” features Ethan Hardeman and Arabella Craig. They, ahem, had relations when Arabella was 18 years old, which she really, really enjoyed, but then Ethan married another woman. (Ethan, we’re going to be generous and give you THREE WHOLE MINUTES to explain why you broke our gal’s heart!) Years have gone by, and now Arabella and Ethan are reconnected. Those years haven’t been too kind to Ethan—he’s divorced and, let’s just put it this way, Not Happy. Will he and Arabella get another chance at love? In “Connal,” Connal Tremayne finds himself somehow married to Penelope Matthews, who has pretty much loved him her whole life. Until recently he was a widower, and now he finds himself with a brand-new bride. (Sadly, he is not happy about this.) Here’s hoping that he and Penelope clear the air between them—and that they proceed to fill a Texas ranch with lots of cute puppies and babies! These reprinted stories are part of Palmer’s delicious Long, Tall Texans series. (Available in paperback on February 12.)

    Shadow Pact, by Tally Adams
    All Emily wants to do is find her missing sister, but instead, she finds herself in the middle of a major kerfuffle involving vampires and werewolves and a whole lot of attitude. She gets saved by William, a vampire-werewolf hybrid (and major hottie) who is ready and willing and able to assist Emily in her mission. Together, they’ll need to navigate some palace-like intrigue, complete with a vampire queen and a werewolf king who have less-than-noble intentions. (Think Game of Thrones with a more supernatural angle and characters with superior hygiene.) Emily will need to gather up every last ounce of courage she has if she’s going to survive all of this drama and find her sister. Emily, put your big-girl panties on and do whatever it takes to find her! And while you’re at it, show William how a human woman can rock his world! This is the first book in Adams’ Immortal Romance series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on February 12.)

    Devil’s Daughter, by Lisa Kleypas
    Phoebe, Lady Clare is a young widow, and she’s just met West Ravenel at a family wedding. She finds him exceptionally sexy, but she’s kind of determined to not like him. (He allegedly bullied her late husband when they were in boarding school together WAY back in the day.) She can’t help but become attracted to him, though, because West has that effect on women. Oh, and West soon discovers that Phoebe has quite the colorful family history, which gives him hope that she is not the cold-hearted, aristocratic woman he thought she might be. Phoebe, school was a very long time ago! Give West and his chiseled arms and jawline a chance! And West, be a gentleman and show Phoebe that while you can definitely be, ahem, naughty, you are also a nice guy who has come a long way in life! This is the fifth book in Kleypas’ Ravenels series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on February 19.)

    Stroke of Luck, by B.J. Daniels
    Montana hottie Will Sterling could use a helping hand right now. (Oh, Will, we all volunteer as tribute!) The Sterling Ranch’s season is about to start, but a blizzard threatens to make the opening a not-so-smooth endeavor. Plus, the guests staying at the ranch lodge are getting cranky. (Oh, just have some wine, you grouchy lot!) Fortunately, Will is about to get some much-needed help from his old childhood friend, Poppy Carmichael, and let’s just say that she and Will are children no more. They soon realize that they’d love nothing more than to spend the blizzard together, secluded, and nekkid in a quiet room with a giant fireplace. (#polarvortexfun #bringiton) Sadly, something very bad is going on (think: killer), and they’ll need to take care of it pronto. Here’s hoping they manage to dodge said killer, get the ranch the successful opening it deserves, and then find all kinds of fun ways to keep each other warm during those long, Montana winters. This is the first book in Daniels’ Sterling’s Montana series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, and NOOK on February 19.)

    What romance novels are keeping your nightstand warm this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Young Widows, Devoted Sisters, and Ranchers Galore appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 1:00 pm on 2018/04/24 Permalink
    Tags: a san diego romance, a scandalous deal, , don't call me cupcake, , , , navy brides, , , , susan wiggs, tara sheets, the designs of lor randolph cavanaugh   

    Romance Roundup: Navy Love, Architects, and Cupcake Wars 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a lady trying to keep her family’s estate together, an architect who gets cozy with her new employer, and two competitive foodies who have the major hots for each other.

    The Designs of Lord Randolph Cavanaugh, by Stephanie Laurens
    Lord Randolph Cavanaugh doesn’t give a hoot of what society thinks. His biggest concerns are his business ventures and his family. (Randy, buddy, with high society being as snooty as it is, we can’t say we blame you!) He travels to Buckinghamshire to review an investment, which brings him face-to-face with Felicia Throgmorton. Her father died not too long ago, and she’s working really hard to keep her family’s estate together. (Randolph, you BETTER take her out for a fun night at the theatre!) They soon become crazy for each other, because Felicia is a smart and strong and awesome lady and Randolph is also smart and strong and awesome with a beautiful body to boot. This is the first book in Laurens’ new series, The Cavanaughs. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on April 24.)

    Map of the Heart, by Susan Wiggs
    History buffs will love Wiggs’ latest! Camille Palmer is finally settling back into a peaceful existence after the tragic death of her husband. She’s got a teenage daughter and a dad to look after, so she’s quite busy. (Camille, massages and champagne on all of us!) Then a mysterious package arrives, and the three of them go back to France, where Camille’s dad lived during World War II. Oh, and Camille meets a very handsome former naval officer during her travels. (Note to Camille: Find out ASAP if he kept his uniform!) A nice lady who gets another chance at love with a hunky man in the French countryside while surrounded by loved ones? Yes, we’ll all take that tale with a glass of wine and a chocolate croissant! (Available in paperback on April 24.)

    Navy Brides, by Debbie Macomber
    Two stories in one—and lots of sexy Navy men in sexy Navy uniforms! In “Navy Wife,” Lindy Kyle decides to start a new chapter in Seattle. (Some jerk broke her heart, so good for you, Lindy!) She ends up becoming roommates with Rush Callaghan, who is in between Navy gigs. Rush always thought the Navy would be his first love, but he soon realizes that Lindy is extremely awesome, too. Will their love survive when he gets called to duty again? In “Navy Blues,” a lady named Carol really, really, really wants her ex-husband, Lieutenant Commander Steve Kyle, to father a baby for her. (Navy life and the long absences it can entail took a toll on their marriage, but she knows he’d be the perfect co-parent.) Can they realize that they’ve always been perfect for each other and that they have GOT to reconcile for good? (Fingers crossed!) (Available in paperback and NOOK on April 24.)

    A Scandalous Deal, by Joanna Shupe
    Gilded Age romance alert! Lady Eva Hyde, unfortunately, has had three dead fiancés, so it doesn’t look like she’ll get married anytime soon. She decides to go to New York City to pursue her dream of being an architect. (Many thanks to you, Eva, and other women like you who helped pave the way!) During her boat journey she has a very, ahem, passionate encounter with a handsome man. When in New York, she realizes that said handsome man is none other than her new boss. Phillip Mansfield is willing to give Eva a chance on his new luxury hotel project, but he’s not prepared for the many, many feelings she stirs up in him. Here’s hoping that Eva manages to take the architecture world by storm—and that she and Phillip have many passionate nights in an edifice of her creation! (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on April 24.)

    Don’t Call Me Cupcake, by Tara Sheets
    Bakery owner Emma Holloway likes to infuse the cupcakes she makes with good wishes. (Oh, and these good wishes work in a magical way, so Emma, we’ll all take ten!) Life is good, and then she meets Hunter Kane. Now, normally meeting Hunter would be A Good Thing, because he’s a Handsome Guy with Biceps Molded From Happy Tears. But Hunter, it turns out, is opening his own restaurant and bakery in town, so now he’s competition. (Hot, muscular competition, but competition nonetheless.) They soon discover they’ll need to work together for the town’s summer festival. This is difficult for our gal Emma to bear, because business is business and she’d like to be the town’s ONLY business, thank you very much. Then they start to connect in a very deep way. Can they work together? And will Hunter serve Emma sweets in bed wearing nothing but an apron? (Sorry, an apron AND a smile?) This is the first book in Sheets’ Holloway Girls series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on April 24.)

    A San Diego Romance, by Kianna Alexander
    Christopher Marland is the president of the San Diego Millionaire Moguls, and he doesn’t really have time for any romance. (Oh, Christopher, just give us all a chance!) Then Eliza Ellicott comes back into his life, and seeing his first love again makes Christopher realize that yes, he is still capable of deep emotion and intense physical passion. (We all knew you had it in you, buddy!) As for Eliza, she’s willing to give Christopher a helping hand with his teenage daughter because she’s, like, a super duper nice person with a boutique to run. (Eliza, we will all be your most faithful patrons!) She’s not so sure about Christopher himself, though. Can Christopher prove to her that he’s a man worth keeping who can also show her a rowdy time in just about any place? This is the sixth book in the multi-authored Millionaire Moguls series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    What romance novels are you swooning over this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Navy Love, Architects, and Cupcake Wars appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Corrina Lawson 7:00 pm on 2018/03/01 Permalink
    Tags: , come spring, , , jill marie landis, , lavryle spencer, lord of the night, morning glory, , , , , susan wiggs, , the prince of midnight   

    The Great RITA Read: The “Best Romance” Award 

    As I was studying the list of Rita-winning books in preparation for this great adventure in romance reading, I noticed an anomaly.

    From 1989 to 1996, the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award included winners of the “Best Romance” of the year. Then again, in 1998, an award called was “RWA’s Favorite Book” was given.

    And, then, alas, the award was dropped.

    I say “alas” because the books that received this award were some of the best of the genre, represented numerous romance subgenres, and would be ones I’d point to even today as a place to start reading romance.

    The authors?

    LaVryle Spencer. Laura Kinsale. Jill Marie Landis. Susan Wiggs. Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Nora Roberts. Diana Gabaldon.

    The books?

    Morning Glory. The Prince of Midnight. Come Spring. Lord of the Night. It Had to Be You. Born in Ice. Outlander.

    The sub-genres?

    Historicals set everywhere from late 1930s America, to Regency England, the American West, and Venice in 1531. A contemporary in which a supposed “bimbo” inherits an NFL team. A time travel story in which a World War II nurse steps through standing stones and into another era.

    Morning Glory was made into a movie starring Christopher Reeve. And, of course, Outlander is now a popular television series. All these books are still available and in print, over 25 years later.

    I applaud the taste of the RWA membership, who were responsible for honoring these books. The rest of the RITA Awards were judged by a jury of their peers. The “Best Romance” and “RWA’s Favorite Book” RITA Awards were chosen by an open vote of RWA members.

    That means these stories were not only quality, but they were also beloved by their fellow writers and thus have had had a huge influence on the genre.

    As someone who rarely read romance growing up, all these books save Outlander were new to me. I wish I had read them earlier, because they’re wonderful examples of the genre and probably would have hooked me on at least three of the authors.

    The Prince of Midnight is the story of a disabled former highwayman living in the ruins of a castle in France with a pet wolf. (Note: sold already!). Our hero is suffering from deafness in one ear and vertigo from a grenade that ended his rakish career. Then a young woman disguised as a man shows up, intent on learning from him how to kill people and avenge her wrongs.

    This heroine is fascinating. While the hero has obvious physical disabilities, the heroine has been emotionally destroyed by the systematic murder of her family and the failure of her friends and neighbors to protect them. She’s emotionally closed off, focused only on revenge, and is what we’d call today someone suffering from intense PTSD. She’s buried in her own anger, as it’s the only emotion keeping her functioning. She reminded me very much of the television show Jessica Jones, and I’ll just note here that Prince of Midnight won in 1989, many years before the superhero genre explored female emotional pain and trauma with any subtlety. So, the Prince of the title is attempting to reclaim his former panache, while the heroine is struggling to hold onto her anger, lest she fall apart. Of course, she eventually does, and it’s a powerful and healing moment. I immediately wanted to binge all of Laura Kinsale’s books but I have many more RITA winners to read before I can do that.

    This book should be a movie. Why isn’t this book a movie, Hollywood? No, scratch that. We need a British TV miniseries which casts all those wonderful British actors who pull off historical drama with panache. Did I mention the part where the hero has to train the heroine in swordfighting? Or how chilling the book’s description of the cult is?

    The book that did become a movie, Morning Glory by LaVryle Spencer, dials the world down to one farm in small-town Georgia, in an America on the brink of World War II and still suffering from the effects of the great depression. It’s a quiet, intense book about two broken people, a hero who’s never had a family and whose one friend betrayed him, and a heroine whose family believed her very existence was a sin. Slowly, these two shattered people find what they need in each other and create a family together, culminating in a beautiful love story.

    Come Spring by Jill Marie Landis is the prototypical “hero and heroine trapped in a cabin because of snow” book. In this case, the hero is a mountain man of sorts with a toddler niece to care for and he mistakes the heroine for the mail-order wife he needs to ensure the child’s safety. There is a class difference, as she’s from Boston money and he is assuredly not, and he must change to become the foster father the child needs and the person the heroine can love.

    Lord of the Night is a romance set in the Venice of the 1500s, where titles are everything, women are restricted to being wives or whores, and one women refuses to accept that her gender makes her any lesser, especially since she’s determined to become an artist. The hero is the head of what we’d now call the police, investigating a series of murders of men who are mutilated after death. Around them is all the intrigue of Venice, from the whispered meetings in canals to the festivals, to the way lordly men run amok when there is no one to check them. The descriptions of the heroine in the midst of artistic inspiration are amazing, as are the descriptions of her paintings, particularly those inspired by the hero. One note: the motivations of the killer, who turns out to be sympathetic and worthy of pity, may seem a bit dated.

    And then the contemporaries!

    It Had to Be You is Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ first entry into her now famous Chicago Stars series and it breaks all the supposed “rules” of romance. Sports hero. Check. Bimbo heroine. Check. But the heroine is so much more than the bimbo she projects to the world as a kind of emotional armor, and the hero is far smarter and savvier than the stereotype of the dumb jock. It begins with a hilarious opening at the funeral of the heroine’s father, who bequeaths her his football team. But Phoebe has more depth and more trauma than anyone gives her credit for and, like most great comedies, there is something very serious at the heart of this story.

    It was inevitable that a Nora Roberts book would be among those chosen for this award and Born in Ice is a terrific example of Roberts’ contemporary romances, the second in the Irish Born Trilogy, set in a small town in Ireland. The heroine runs the local B&B and the hero is a mystery writer whose books have been made into movies. They’re both holding close the damages imposed by their lack of parental love, and it takes chipping away at each other to get to the truth. In the meantime, there’s a lovely dream trip to New York City for shopping and a movie premiere. Easy to see why this story was chosen, as it’s an incredible fantasy to sink into and yet, it deals seriously with the wounds caused by family.

    Then there’s Outlander.

    The popular vote explains why Outlander is among these award-winning books. Gabaldon has been clear in interviews over the years that she believes the Outlander series should not be termed a romance. Her well-known insistence on “not a romance” was my biggest clue when it came to realizing that the “Best Romance of the Year” Award was not like all the others, as it seemed highly unlikely that Gabaldon would have entered the RITA Awards if she did not believe her book to be a romance.

    Nevertheless, Outlander was voted Best Romance of 1991. Note: having read the book, I believe it’s a romance that ends in a Happily For Now (as opposed to an HEA—a happily ever after). Later books in the series are part of the continuing story and, thus, probably not romance.

    Ending the “Best Book of the Year” award was one of many changes in the RITA Award categories in the 1990s. “Best First Book” was added and, for the first time, awards would be given in the paranormal and romantic suspense. I’ll take a look at those early paranormal books in the next article and see how that subgenre has changed over the years.

    For earlier articles see, The Great Rita Read: In the Beginning, The Great Rita Read: Nora Roberts, and The Great Rita Read: Young Adult Romance.

    Final note: A big thanks to the help of the RWA office, who researched the Best Romance Award and provided a copy of the original advertisement from 1989 that called for nomination;  nomination that resulted in the win for Morning Glory.

    The post The Great RITA Read: The “Best Romance” Award appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 3:00 pm on 2017/10/24 Permalink
    Tags: christmastime cowboy, , , first snow, , , , misadventures of the first daughter, , , , , susan wiggs, wilde in love, wyoming winter   

    Romance Roundup: International Lawyers, Wyoming Ranchers, and Wine Tastings 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a single mom who gets some neighborly help, a first daughter who can’t stay out of trouble, and a lord who needs to escape unwarranted notoriety.

    First Snow, by Nora Roberts
    Two stories in one! In “A Will and a Way,” Pandora McVie ends up having to spend Christmas in the Catskills with the very hunky Michael Donahue. He is the co-beneficiary of her late uncle’s will, who clearly wanted to hook these two youngsters up. Pandora is NOT a happy camper. (Um, Pandora, no offense, but Michael is gorgeous and I just did a Google image search of the Catskills and WOW they’re beautiful—so open your eyes!) In “Local Hero,” single mom Hester Wallace is working hard to make ends meet while raising her son in a Manhattan apartment. (Totally feel you, Hester! Keeping oneself alive in a Manhattan apartment is no easy feat.) Her neighbor Mitch Dempsey offers to help her out, which melts our gal’s heart. (Mitch, would you please walk my dog while you’re at it?) Will this be the last holiday season they spend unattached? (Available in paperback on October 24.)

    Christmastime Cowboy, by Maisey Yates
    Sabrina Leighton and Liam Donnelly had the hots for each other as teenagers. Then Liam skipped town and Sabrina never heard from him again. Little did she know that her dad bribed Liam to get him out of Dodge, and Liam took the opportunity because his options in life were very, very limited. Sabrina never forgot her tattooed boyfriend, though, because a guy like Liam is always worth remembering. Now she’s busy helping her family set up a tasting room at their winery. (Can we go?) Liam comes back, with far more money and muscles than he had back in the day, and gets involved. Can these two former lovers let bygones be bygones and focus on rebuilding their sizzling relationship? This is the latest book in Yates’ Copper Ridge series. (Available in paperback and audiobook on October 24.)

    Snowfall at Willow Lake, by Susan Wiggs
    International lawyer Sophie Bellamy has just survived a hostage situation, so she decides to clear her head and reconnect with her family. (Sophie, get a massage while you’re at it!) She goes to the village of Avalon, located in the Catskills, where said family lives. (Note to self: Book a long weekend getaway in the Catskills. It’s clearly THE place to be!) She soon falls head over stiletto heels for veterinarian Noah Shepherd. He hasn’t had much luck in the romance department, but his connection with Sophie might mean that things are about to change big time. Two nice people who have been struggling to find peace and love and happiness finally finding peace and love and happiness? Yes, please! Noah and Sophie, we’ll all visit you once we book our trips! This is the fourth book in Wiggs’ Lakeshore Chronicles series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on October 24.)

    Misadventures of the First Daughter, by Mia Michelle and Meredith Wild
    Charlotte Daley’s dad is the new U.S. president, and now that he’s won the election, she wants more than ever to let her hair down. (Politics can be such a drag, and she’s a bit wilder than her prim and proper, scandal-free family.) Bodyguard Zane Parker has been assigned the near-impossible task of guarding Charlotte and keeping her on the straight and narrow before she heads back to college. It’s a tough job, but he soon realizes that he is majorly attracted to her. They soon strike a deal that involves Charlotte getting to have all of the fun she wants while also staying out of trouble. It will require being 100 percent obedient to Zane in the, ahem, submissive sense. (This seems like an absolutely wonderful situation!) Here’s hoping that Charlotte and Zane manage to have fun while also being safe, and that they work on perfecting that balance for the rest of their lives! This is the latest installment in the multi-authored Misadventures series. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on October 30.)

    Wilde in Love, by Eloisa James
    Lord Alaric Wilde is back home after spending years abroad getting into all kinds of trouble and having a variety of adventures. He’s also ridiculously good looking. This is all why most of England’s ladies practically mob him when his boat docks. (Imagine Brad Pitt circa Legends of the Fall showing up at your local airport and…wait! Where did everybody go?) He soon meets Willa Ffynche, who wants people to think of her as nothing more than a polite, well-bred young lady. Little does society know that she’s got a raunchy sense of humor that would make the ballroom chaperones faint. (Willa, we are all SO adding you to our brunch and happy hour groups!) That said, she doesn’t want to be associated with Alaric. Can he convince Willa that he’s way more open to love and commitment than people think? This is the first book in James’ Wildes of Lindow Castle series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, and NOOK on October 31.)

    Wyoming Winter, by Diana Palmer
    J.C. Calhoun just wants to lay low and take care of his Wyoming ranch. (We support this, J.C. You are clearly a caring man with strong, capable hands!) He is still smarting from the hurt he felt when his fiancée became pregnant by another man. Now J.C. has just met a little girl, and she leads him right back to Colie Jackson. J.C. is still upset with Colie, but even he can’t deny that he still has feelings for her. As for Colie, she needs his help, as there are some very mean people on her trail with the worst intentions. Will J.C. find it in his heart to forgive her, and can they move on together and build a life on his ranch? (Oh, you two, think of all the cozy winters you can have together!) This is the latest book in Palmer’s Wyoming Men series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on October 31.)

    What romances are warming your nightstand this fall?

    The post Romance Roundup: International Lawyers, Wyoming Ranchers, and Wine Tastings appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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