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  • Cristina Merrill 3:00 pm on 2019/09/24 Permalink
    Tags: a country christmas, a macgregor christmas, a wedding in december, , how the dukes stole christmas: a christmas romance anthology, , , , , , , , , tessa dare, the christmas sisters   

    Romance Roundup: Aspen Weddings, Revolutionary War Fighters, and Advice Columnists 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a bride who’s having second thoughts about her upcoming nuptials, a woman who reunites with her husband and children, and a Scotswoman who reluctantly falls passionately in love with an Englishman. 

    A Wedding in December, by Sarah Morgan
    Rosie White is about to get married in Aspen, and her whole family is in town for the nuptials, but she’s having some serious second thoughts. (Rosie, if you decide against the whole marriage thing, we’ll keep our car engines running and our tanks full of gas for an efficient getaway!) As for her sister, Katie, she’s not too thrilled with Rosie’s choice of husband-to-be. She wants to talk Rosie out of it, but she keeps getting sidetracked by the best man, Jordan, who is distractingly hot and would make even the most prim and proper of brides and/or bridesmaids want to participate in the garter toss using his teeth. Adding to the drama are Katie and Rosie’s parents, who are on the verge of divorce and have zero desire to be all cute and cuddly, even if their baby girl is getting married. Here’s hoping that everyone finds the happy ending they want—and that Katie and Jordan get to eat wedding cake off of each other! (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on September 24.) 

    Coming Home for Christmas, by RaeAnne Thayne
    Elizabeth Hamilton has had it extremely—but like, extremely—rough. Not only did she lose both of her parents, she also had a major bout of postpartum depression. Then she got into a car accident and lost her memory. When she did get her memory back, she doubted whether she was a good enough wife and mom. (Yes, you are, Elizabeth! On both counts! You are the best mom and wife ever and your family is lucky to have you!) Seven years later, her husband, Luke, finds her and brings her home for Christmas to fantastic results. Not only do Elizabeth’s kids adore her (because there is NO ONE like mom!) but Luke also still has that very loving feeling. (Buddy, time to, ahem, get creative and rekindle that romance!) Could this be the happy and hopeful new beginning the Hamilton family needs? Will Elizabeth realize she is an awesome person who is 100% capable of love? And does Luke still have a set of exceptionally manly biceps? This is the tenth book in Thayne’s Haven Point series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, and audiobook on September 24.) 

    A Country Christmas, by Debbie Macomber
    Two reprinted fan favorites in one volume! In “Return to Promise,” which is part of Macomber’s Heart of Texas series, rancher Cal Patterson and his wife, Jane, have just separated. Oh, she’s also left town with their kids, leaving Cal with plenty of time to think about what just happened. (Cal, buddy, we know the ranching life is hard and self-reflection may not be your strongest suit, but please, please, please think really hard about whether you are okay with losing Jane forever!) In “Buffalo Valley,” which is part of Macomber’s Dakota series, Vaughn Kyle just got out of the army and has come back home. He is engaged, but let’s just say that she and Vaughn have very different priorities in life. (He is humble. She is not. Yep. Clearly this is NOT a recipe for success.) Then Vaughn meets Carrie Hendrickson, a lovely local lady with whom he shares many values. Here’s hoping that Cal gets in touch with his more sensitive side and woos back his woman—and that Vaughn lets his fiancee down easy and embraces Carrie and life in Buffalo Valley with his entire giant heart! (Available in paperback and NOOK on September 24.) 

    A MacGregor Christmas, by Nora Roberts
    This volume features two reprinted stories from Roberts’ MacGregors series. In “Rebellion,” the year is 1745, the season is winter, and the country is Scotland. Serena MacGregor absolutely hates all Englishmen, so she’s quite peeved when her brother brings his English friend to her family’s home. As for said English friend, Brigham Langston, it pretty much just takes one look at Serena for him to realize he’d love to be the jam to her biscuit. Or, the biscuit to her jam. Either way, he really, really likes her. He’ll need to work really hard in order to get over her prejudices and win her heart, and that’s totally fine because he’s all like “Challenge accepted!” In “In From the Cold,” it’s 1776 in America and injured minuteman Ian MacGregor is at the mercy of young widow Alanna Flynn. Fortunately, she’s a kindhearted lady who is willing to nurse him back to health. (We’ll tend to your wounds, Ian! We’ve read the Outlander series and watched the TV adaptation! Claire Fraser taught us well! Also, you have penicillin, right?) Will Alanna be able to help Ian, and will they survive the Revolutionary War? (Available in paperback on September 24.) 

    The Christmas Sisters, by Sarah Morgan
    This reprint features sisters Hannah, Beth, and Posy, who lost their parents when they were kids and were subsequently adopted by their mom’s friend and her husband. In Scotland. Twenty-five years later, all three ladies are back home in Scotland for Christmas, and they are each in some desperate need of time to unwind and rethink their lives. Hannah doesn’t want to get close to anyone. She’d rather work herself to the bone. (Brace yourself, Hannah—it’s Group Hug and Vacation time!) Posy wants a life of adventure but she’s stuck helping with her family’s cafe. (We’ll take over a couple of your shifts, Posy!) And then Beth is doing the stay-at-home mom thing, but she is itching to get her career back. (Hang in there, you brave and strong ladies, and make sure you all realize that it’s totally fine to want a better life!) Here’s hoping each lady manages to live the life she deserves, and that they all enjoy each other’s company during the holiday season! (Available in paperback on September 24.) 

    How the Dukes Stole Christmas, a Christmas Romance Anthology, by Tessa Dare, Sophie Jordan, Sarah MacLean, and Joanna Shupe
    Four Christmas stories in one delicious volume! In Dare’s “Meet Me in Mayfair,” Louisa Ward has GOT to find a rich husband so her family won’t get evicted. Then she waltzes with an exceptionally handsome man, the Duke of Thorndale. Trouble is, he’s the one with the power to evict her family, so she’s feeling a tad conflicted. In Jordan’s “Heiress Alone,” Annis Bannister gets stranded in the Scottish Highlands during a snowstorm. Her only hope for survival is her neighbor, a duke who is also a bit of a social hermit. (That’s okay, because the things he does best are best done in private, wink wink!) In MacLean’s “The Duke of Christmas Present,” Lady Jacqueline Mosby returns home after an extended absence, which stirs long-standing feelings inside the blackened heart of Eben, the Duke of Allryd. Can Jacqueline unlock his softer side? In Shupe’s “Christmas in Central Park,” Mrs. Rose Walker writes a popular advice and recipe column. Never mind that she doesn’t actually, you know, cook. (Rose, we absolutely understand that it’s a tough world out there and a gal’s gotta pay her bills!) Trouble is, her boss, the hunky Duke of Havemeyer, wants her to throw a Christmas shindig using her skillset. Sounds like a fun crop of stories worth absorbing with a giant mug of tea! (Available in paperback and NOOK on September 24.)

    What new romance novels are you excited about this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Aspen Weddings, Revolutionary War Fighters, and Advice Columnists appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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

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

    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.)

    The post Romance Roundup: Animal Lovers, Wily Widows, and Cute Politicians appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 4:00 pm on 2018/06/21 Permalink
    Tags: a duke to remember, by right of arms, , , it started with a scandal, , , , kelly bowen, , my lady notorious, robin carr, , , tessa dare, , the tender texan   

    The Great RITA Read Takes on Historicals: Oh, Those Dukes, Spies, and Rakes! 

    In the latest installment of my Great RITA Read series, in which I attempt to read as many winners of the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award as possible, it’s time to discuss a subgenre that happens to be my personal favorite: historical romances.

    The most recent winner of the Historical Romance Rita Award was Kelly Bowen’s delightful A Duke To Remember, which features a lost Duke who does not want to be found and a heroine who is, at various times, an actress, a spy, and a private investigator.

    You would think that A Duke To Remember would have little in common with Day Beyond Destiny, winner of the first Historical RWA award (then the Golden Medallion) in 1982. While there are differences, especially since Day Beyond Destiny is a generational saga, there are similarities which point to the reasons behind the staying power of historical romances.

    First, the heroines are trapped in a world that doesn’t value female sexuality, but they still crave, well, great sex. Bowen’s heroine is instantly attracted to the lost Duke, especially since he pulls her out of a river after she rescued a young boy. In Tessa Dare’s delightful Romancing the Duke, the 2015 Historical Romance: Short winner, the passion-starved heroine is only too glad to become the equivalent of a ruined woman.

    Even back in 1982, the main heroine of Day Beyond Destiny is trapped in an abusive marriage but leaves her husband for a passionate lover who values her.

    These women aren’t ashamed of their sexuality or their needs; instead, they crave the passion and intimacy of a satisfying sexual relationship. It is a pattern that plays out in many romances but, in historicals, particularly the early ones, the heroines must push harder against the social mores of the time.

    Second, many historical romances also explore class and cultural differences between the heroes and heroines. In A Duke To Remember, the gulf between the private investigator and her lost Duke is vast. He’s nobility, she’s a commoner and no virgin. In Meredith Duran’s Fool Me Twice, the Historical Romance: Long winner in 2015, the hero is a Duke mourning not only the death of his wife but her betrayal, while the heroine is the illegitimate daughter of a politician on the run from her father’s assassin. Already, there’s a status difference but the chasm widens when she is hired as his housekeeper. Watching each of them push against this societal gulf is one of the many joys of the book.

    And, of course, in Day Beyond Destiny, the heroine is an American housewife, while the hero is a Greek revolutionary. The cultural differences between them are vast.

    Even Westerns can have these class differences. Jodi Thomas’s The Tender Texan, the Short Historical winner in 1992, features a young cowboy who agrees to an arranged marriage with a widowed German immigrant. The language and cultural differences between this hero and heroine are solved by kindness and love, but there’s a learning curve.

    The last commonality is easy to guess: the heroes of historical romances tend to be nobility of some kind or another. Day Beyond Destiny features a Greek prince of a sort, and that’s part of a pattern too. Even when the heroes aren’t nobility, per se, they are powerful and important, and include: Dukes, various lords, businessmen, and the occasional shipping magnate/pirate.

    If there were as many Dukes in England as in Regency Romance novels, you could stack them up from London to Cornwall and still not have enough room. But this rank for the hero is an important element of the class/power dynamic found in many historical romances. These are stories in which the heroine, by the force of her personality and her competence in her chosen endeavors, wins the heart of the hero. And by winning his heart, I also mean winning his approval of her worldview. One of the few medieval romances to win a RITA, in 1992, in what was then just the Historical Romance category, was Robin Carr’s By Right of Arms. Carr’s story featured a marriage of convenience between a conquering knight and the widow of the lord of the castle. You’d guess he would have all the power in this situation but, no; because she is beloved by her late husband’s knights and local villagers, he must work with her, listen to her, and, eventually, he comes to see that the way she rules the keep is the best way to win the loyalty of those on his new land. (Note, oh, yes, we could do a full article on marriages of convenience….)

    Those three elements: the need for sexual satisfaction, class differences, and intrepid heroines, can be seen in nearly all the historical RITA winners from 1982 to 2017.

    The main manner in which the award-winning novels in these categories have evolved over the years has to do with the sexual history of the heroine. Earlier historical heroines often move from being ignorant of sex but aware of its passionate possibilities, to finding out what it’s all about, such as the on-the-run noble heroine of the late great Jo Beverly’s My Lady Notorious, the Historical Romance winner in 1992. Many later heroines have already experienced sex, like the fallen women with the illegitimate son in It Started With A Scandal by Julie Anne Long, the 2016 Historical Romance Short winner. In years past, this heroine might have been taken advantage of, or forced, or unjustly accused of being a fallen women.

    It seems now that the heroines can actually be “fallen” women.

    Is this a case of our own changing ideas about sex, being reflected back through time? Likely, but then historical romances, like science fiction stories, also tend to have something to say about our present world. The idea that you can be worldly and experienced and still worthy of having your story told is a positive one.

    Next up, it’s time to explore contemporary romance Rita winners and how those have changed through the years. Those too, have a great deal to say about the changes in sexual morals but also about the changing needs of women from the 1980s to the present. One hint: alas, sexual harassment of women in the working world remains as much of a constant as it ever was.

    The post The Great RITA Read Takes on Historicals: Oh, Those Dukes, Spies, and Rakes! appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Tara Sonin 5:00 pm on 2018/02/22 Permalink
    Tags: a darker shade of magic, , , almost a scandal, black daggar brotherhood, , , , , , flowers from the storm, forged in steele, , , , , , , , , , , , london's perfect scoundrel, , , , , , , , romancing mr. bridgerton, , , , tessa dare, the danger of desire, , the lady hellion, , the secret pearl, , , , , to beguile a beast, victoria schwab, , yours until dawn   

    A Romance (or Two!) For Every Astrological Sign 

    Do you believe fate is written in the stars? Are you obsessed with learning how the stars will align for your life in any given season? Then this list of Astrology-inspired romances is for you!

    Aries
    Aries signs are strong, full of leadership. They can be heroic and caring, but also impulsive and competitive. They love being the best at things—including, and especially, at winning the hearts of those they admire.  

    Black Dagger Brotherhood, by J. R. Ward
    Wrath is the leader of a group of vampires known as the Black Dagger Brotherhood—and he is set on vengeance against the people who killed his parents. After centuries of violence in pursuit of this goal, he meets a woman who will make him wonder if fighting for love is better than fighting for revenge.

    Forged in Steele, by Maya Banks
    Nothing says Aries more than military background fighters who work beyond the confines of the US Government, right? In this sexy novel, Steele leads his team on dangerous missions, protecting his heart in a thick layer of ice. Until he meets Maren, a doctor he cannot stop himself from wanting to protect, despite the secret he knows she is keeping.

    Taurus
    Known for being organized, supportive people, Taurus signs are ruled by the “Earth” element. They are patient and romantic, but can have a stubborn side, especially when it comes to the security of those they love. (Also, they can have a streak for indulging in the finer things in life!)

    A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
    Diana is a scholar at the top of her game…and a reluctant witch at the center of a grand conspiracy. She knows she should stay away from Matthew, a vampire and supposed enemy of her kind, but when she discovers that all of the supernatural world is after her because she possesses a dangerous document that could shake their order, she turns to him for protection.

    A Darker Shade of Magic, by Victoria Schwab
    Kell is one of the last Atari, a magical being with the ability to travel between worlds. He is essential to keeping the balance of magic between the worlds…but when he cannot help himself from stealing an item that does not belong in his world and the consequences prove fatal, he must risk it all to right the wrong before it claims the lives of those he loves.

    Gemini
    Geminis do not respond well to authority. They are adventurous and fun, but always like to be on the winning side of any debate. Some might call them judgmental, but that’s what makes their wit so striking.

    The Wolf and the Dove, by Kathleen Woodiwiss
    Aislinn’s home has been ravaged by a conqueror in this medieval romance. He is strong and courageous, but responsible for so much pain…and yet, she finds herself drawn to him even as she vows to destroy him.

    Hate to Want You, by Alisha Rai
    For one night every year, Livvy and Nicholas share a night of passion…even though their families hate one another. That is, until Livvy reneged on the deal, and something changed. But suddenly she is back, and Nicholas finds himself craving answers just as much as he continues to crave her.

    Cancer
    Nurturers, homebodies, and romantics—that’s who Cancers are. Sure, they may be prone to gossip and competition, but their hearts are incredibly sensitive and loyal to those they trust. (Just don’t break that trust, or else.)

    Yours Until Dawn, by Teresa Medeiros
    Samantha is a nurse charged with healing a fallen soldier back to health, but her task is difficult. Gabriel lost his sight, the woman he loved, and his place in the world. But her determination and care slowly brings him into the light, and into the arms of a woman who loves him like no other.

    Flowers from the Storm, by Laura Kinsale
    A classic story of love through pain and hardship, Maddy Timms finds herself in the unique position of being the only one who can save the dangerous, fascinating Duke of Jervaulx from himself.

    Leo
    Leos have a love of honesty that can get them in trouble. Sometimes jealous, often generous, Leos command attention and energy wherever they go. Named after the lion, it won’t surprise you to learn that Leos are natural leaders.

    Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
    Noble, proud, and heroic, Jamie Fraser embodies all of the qualities above…as does his love, Claire, who finds herself thrown into a different time and forced to marry the Highlander to keep herself safe. Two strong-willed souls battle for dominance in their relationship, but each will sacrifice everything to save the other if need be.

    London’s Perfect Scoundrel, by Loretta Chase
    Evelyn knows that the Marquis of St. Aubyn is not a man who should be trusted, but she needs his help in a mission more important than her pride. Headstrong and refusing to back down even when he denies her, eventually their fiery temperaments give way to flames in their hearts.

    Virgo
    Helpful and hardworking, Virgos are friends to all. Known for being practical (to the point of being preachy), these Earth signs get a lot of satisfaction out of creating things on their own.

    The Duchess Deal, by Tessa Dare
    A marriage of convenience is a practical thing to do. So the Duke of Ashbury decides that he will marry Emma Gladstone and employ a set of rules to ensure that they not cross any boundaries he isn’t prepared for. But Emma wants more than just a convenient marriage, she wants passion, and love…and their battle of wills will not cease until she gets what she wants.

    Devil in Winter, by Lisa Kleypas
    Not wanting to entrap her inheritance in the hands of unscrupulous relatives, Evangeline decides she needs to marry someone who will keep it safe. So she decides to marry Lord St. Vincent, a rake beyond compare, and is determined to make him into the husband she knows she deserves.

    Libra
    The sign of the scales is known to embody balance and partnership, but Libras also have a dramatic side! They are ruled by the planet Venus—the planet of love—so they are often charming and romantic…and are often riled by things they deem unfair.

    If You Deceive, by Kresley Cole
    Ethan MacCarrick’s life was changed rorever when he was beaten and scarred as payment for a crime he was innocent of committing. Paid for by a powerful nobleman, Ethan has decided there will be no justice until he has bankrupted the man. But it still isn’t enough, so he decides fair is fair: he will seduce the man’s daughter, bed her, and then cast her aside, a ruined woman. But soon, he finds himself falling for his target.

    The Serpent Prince, by Elizabeth Hoyt
    Simon is a Viscount hell-bent on revenge after being beaten almost to death. But his mission is put on hold while Lucy helps him heal—and when the attackers start to target her as well, he must make a choice between the woman he has grown to love and the fight that could cost them their lives.

    Scorpio
    Scorpios do not take no for an answer. Headstrong, passionate, and motivated by how much they can control both in and outside the bedroom, they are as intense as any romance love interest can get. Their symbol is the scorpion, so their bark can have some bite…but when they are on your side, there’s nothing better.

    The Siren, by Tiffany Reisz
    If a romance as described above is your cup of tea, you must meet Soren and Nora, the protagonists at the heart of the Original Sinners series. Soren is a Dominant, but more than that, he feels an inner need to hurt people (and derives sexual pleasure from it) that he controls by way of BDSM. Nora is his submissive—but she’s also the most prominent Dominatrix at the underground club they both visit. How did this arrangement unfold? You have to read the whole series to learn the full story.

    The Secret, by Julie Garwood
    Iain Maitland, a Highland clan Laird, totally fits this mold. When Judith Hampton meets him as her escort into the Highlands to help a friend give birth, she finds him to be everything her polite society has taught her to fear. Cold, calculating, and strong beyond belief; but eventually Judith’s light begins to warm Iain’s heart.

    Sagittarius
    A Sagittarius will never turn down a dare! These rule-breakers are fun-seeking adventurers you will never have a dull day with.

    The Danger of Desire, by Sabrina Jeffries
    Delia Trevor is the heroine inspired by this zodiac sign; seeking revenge for her brother’s death, she disguises herself as a man to infiltrate high society. Gambling with not only her reputation but her life, she finds herself in danger when the infamous Warren, Marquess of Knightford, recognizes her.

    Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, by Sarah MacLean
    Gabriel St. John defies all the rules—he’s a known rake, his skills at seduction both admired and reviled in high society. Lady Calpurnia is the opposite: a total rule-follower, but not for long. Since no one wants to marry her anyway, she decides to pursue him, and together, they find a love that dares to break the mold.

    Capricorn
    Ever seen someone with a color-coded planner? They are probably a Capricorn. Known for being ambitious and organized, these folks are rarely quitters. But dedication can be a double-edged sword, as sometimes Capricorns can be cold.  

    To Beguile a Beast, by Elizabeth Hoyt
    Helen has made mistakes in the past, but she is determined not to give up and to find a new life for herself. So when she takes a job as the mysterious and reclusive Sir Alistair’s housekeeper and finds him to be as cold and unfeeling as his reputation let on, her work is cut out for her. She isn’t afraid of his scars, or his past, or of what will happen if they fall in love.

    Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
    Elizabeth Bennett and her sisters are all still unmarried, which presents a problem for her lower-class family, which still has five children to support. But she is headstrong and refuses to marry for less than true love…and when a man she despises interferes with her sister’s happiness, she knows he is the last man she could ever love.

    Aquarius
    These Air-ruled people are friendly and eccentric, known for being inviting and kind. They always seek to root out injustice where they find it, and are at their best when they have a mission to achieve. But be careful: sometimes having a mission can lead someone on a path towards their own destruction.  

    The Lady Hellion, by Joanna Shupe
    Sophie has never shied away from a good fight: her latest battle is to protect the rights of prostitutes, but no one takes her seriously as a woman. So she decides to dress as a man to command the attention her cause desires…and to get an accomplice in her quest, like Damien Beecham, the only man she trusts to help her despite him having broken her heart months ago.

    Almost a Scandal, by Elizabeth Essex
    Sally Kent’s family has always served in the Navy…but when her brother decides not to, she is determined to take his place, even if she has to disguise herself in order to serve. The problem? She’s distracted by the disarmingly handsome Lieutenant David Colyear, who knows without a doubt that there’s a woman on board his ship whose secret he must keep.

    Pisces
    Fantasy lovers known for having huge imaginations, this Fish sign is always on the lookout for perfect love. But sometimes that can lead them into dangerous situations, where they trust people they shouldn’t.

    The Secret Pearl, by Mary Balogh
    Fleur has resorted to desperate lengths to stay alive and afloat in London society. So when she gets a chance to be a governess and escape a life on the streets, she jumps at the chance…only to find her new employer is the mysterious man who took her to bed one night she could never forget.

    Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, by Julia Quinn
    Colin Bridgerton is charming, handsome, totally gossip-worthy…and his sister’s best friend, Penelope, has been secretly in love with him for years. When she discovers a secret that changes how she sees him—and Colin’s feelings for her begin to change—will the scandal of his past bring down their romance?

    What’s your sign? And what’s your favorite romance?

    The post A Romance (or Two!) For Every Astrological Sign appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sarah Skilton 4:00 pm on 2018/02/08 Permalink
    Tags: all of you, , christina lee, , kate willoughby, , out of the game, , , so lonely, tessa dare, the spymaster's lady, topaz, uncertain magic   

    6 Forever Alones Who Find Love  

    Whether it’s by choice or circumstance, Forever Alones believe they’re destined for a life of solitude. Of course, this makes for an especially sweet romance when they’re proven wrong. Featuring spies and spinsters, telepaths and tattoo artists, and one hell of a brooding duke, these tales prove it’s never too late for love to change your heart.

    Romancing the Duke, by Tessa Dare
    Izzy Goodnight, “at her best when invisible” is “overdue for a ravishing.” As a child, she was a beloved character in her father’s serial, a fantasy adventure that included a sweeping romance. But as a spinster of 26, wild-haired Izzy learned long ago that fairy tale endings and happily-ever-afters are for other people, not her. But then she unexpectedly inherits a castle, with a grumpy, scarred-but-sexy Duke to go with it. As they vie for the rights to the property, sparks fly between them that prove impossible to ignore. A fun historical with a Beauty and the Beast vibe.

    Topaz, by Beverly Jenkins
    Today there’s nothing unusual about an unmarried, 28-year-old newspaperwoman. But in 1884, it’s extremely rare. Especially if the newspaperwoman is black. Accomplished, ambitious, “too tall” journalist Katherine Love doesn’t need or want a man in her life, until the story she’s broken wide open lands her in danger. Enter Dixon Wildhorse, a Black Seminole marshal from Oklahoma’s Indian country. The strapping lawman has been sent by Kate’s father to rescue (and wed) Kate. Although Kate feels an undeniable attraction to Dix, she’s equally determined to continue her career. Whose will power will prove strongest?

    Out of the Game, by Kate Willoughby
    In her third stand-alone book from the In the Zone series about contemporary hockey players, Willoughby introduces readers to the gorgeous team playboy, Alex, who never intends to settle down the way his friends and teammates have. But a torrid kiss from Claire several months earlier has rarely left his mind, and when he gets the opportunity to spend a weekend with her, he jumps at the chance—and discovers he might be ready for a relationship after all.

    The Spymaster’s Lady, by Joanna Bourne
    In this Regency-era swashbuckler, Annique Villiers has been a spy for as long as she can remember. A French double-agent entrusted with the much-coveted Albion plans, her code name is “Fox Cub,” and “she’s made mistakes which haunt her at night and which [she] cannot erase.” As Annique puts it, “To love, in our profession…is madness.” But after teaming up with a dashing enemy agent, Robert Grey, to enact a bonkers-awesome prison break, Annique and Grey find themselves willing to twist a few laws if it means getting closer to each other.

    All of You, by Christina Lee
    This New Adult romance features Bennett, a hot, tattooed, male virgin who captivates the imagination of his frisky downstairs neighbor, Avery. Though Bennett and Avery come from similarly dysfunctional pasts, their methods of coping couldn’t be more different. Convinced that being single is the only way to stay sane, Avery eschews relationships, preferring short-lived hookups. Bennett, however, is wary of no-strings sex, determined to hold out for something real. Will he find it with Avery?

    Uncertain Magic, by Laura Kinsale
    Fans of Sookie Stackhouse will love this supernatural Gaelic romance about Roderica (“Roddy”) Delamore, an Irish lass whose telepathy allows her to read the minds of everyone around her. Roddy is resigned to a lonely existence, dressing up as a boy and tending to her father’s horses, whose physical ailments she deciphers with her gift. She’s certain “no man could abide to have his mind an open book for his wife to read,” but then she discovers there is one man upon whom her powers don’t work; too bad he’s the terrifying Devil Earl of Ireland, Faelan Savigar, and he may be hiding an even bigger secret than Roddy.

    What Forever-Alone-no-more romances do you love?

    The post 6 Forever Alones Who Find Love  appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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