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  • Cristina Merrill 4:00 pm on 2018/05/29 Permalink
    Tags: hot response, , lisa berne, maid for love, , piper j. drake, , , shannon stacey, state secrets, the bride takes a groom, the chase, total bravery,   

    Romance Roundup: Cookbook Authors, Firefighters, and Canine Missions 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes an EMT who has the hots for a firefighter, a man and canine rescue-duo out to help a lady in distress, and an art investigator with a super sexy new client.

    The Bride Takes a Groom, by Lisa Berne
    Katherine Brooke comes from a ridiculously wealthy family, and her parents really—but like, really—want her to marry into the nobility at any cost. (And you thought YOUR parents were pushy!) Katherine so does NOT want to play her parents’ game, so she’s thrilled to learn that Captain Hugo Penhallow, her childhood friend, is in need of money. He comes from a very respectable family, but they’re so, so broke, and he’s got quite a few siblings to support. A marriage of convenience will work out quite nicely for them—she needs his good name and he needs her dowry. Then they realize that they’ve both grown into very kind and caring people over the years. Katherine and Hugo, you two better get your act together ASAP and realize that nice and sexy spouses don’t just grow on trees! This is the third book in Berne’s Penhallow Dynasty series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    State Secrets, by Linda Lael Miller
    Cookbook author Holly Llewellyn has been labeled an enemy of the state, mainly because her brother was a traitor and she also has some personal ties to the U.S. president. The Secret Service sends in the very ripped Agent David Goddard to get close to Holly and track her every move. (Watch out, David, she’s got a spatula!) He soon finds himself falling truly, madly, deeply in love with her, because let’s face it, our gal is gorgeous AND she can cook up a feast. But is she up to something besides perfecting her pot roast? And, if Holly truly has anything to hide, will the sight of David’s abs (which deserve their own classified files) encourage her to come forward with any valuable information? This book also includes a bonus story—“Tall, Dark…Westmoreland!” by Brenda Jackson. It features two people meeting at a masquerade ball, so you know that at least one item of clothing is guaranteed to come off! (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK.)

    Hot Response, by Shannon Stacey
    Gavin Boudreau, whom every woman wants to take into her boudoir, is the youngest firefighter in the Ladder 37 unit. He’s eager to prove himself to the higher-ups, so settling down is not high on his ladder list of priorities. Then he meets EMT Cait Tasker, who is also on a no-nonsense kick. She’s got some major family drama going on right now, so it’s not like she can just go home after a long day at work and unwind with a glass of wine. (Cait, we’re kidnapping you for a spa day, followed by a fancy dinner!) Then Gavin and Cait start working closely together, and realize they’d like to take their CPR skills to the next level. (Cait, here’s a pro tip for you: Gavin’s bunker gear involves zippers AND Velcro!) Here’s hoping that Gavin gives our gal many things to look forward to every day! And foot rubs. All of the foot rubs. This is the latest book in Stacey’s Boston Fire series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK.)

    The Chase, by Vanessa Fewings
    Dream job alert! Zara Leighton is an art investigator and works for a top-notch firm in London. Her latest case is to track down Icon, an international art thief who has caused quite a bit of hullabaloo around the globe. (Icon’s mischief has been an especially tough nut to crack, but our gal is on the case!) Zara’s also got a very sexy client in the form of American billionaire Tobias Wilder. He’s certainly got that whole Obey-My-Every-Order stare down pat, not to mention a body that would incite all kinds of enthusiasm. They start to get to know each other very well, but Zara isn’t 100 percent convinced that Tobias wants The Real Thing with her. Does he, though? And if so, can he prove it over and over and over again, ideally in the penthouse of a high rise building with an unobstructed view of the ocean? This is the latest book in Fewings’ Icon series. (Available in paperback and audiobook.)

    Maid for Love, by Marie Force
    Single mom Maddie Chester has GOT to escape her hometown of Gansett Island. She’s had enough of the town and the people, not to mention the dark past and rumors that have haunted her for a very long time. Then she’s knocked off of her bicycle by Mac McCarthy, who was once the town’s Golden Boy. (Mac, would you PLEASE be a little more careful?!) He’s back in town to help his family sell their marina, but one look between him and Maddie has them both rethinking their escape routes. Mac and Maddie, whether you decide to stay in town or skedaddle, you don’t have to go it alone! You can be together and pursue your respective dreams and expand your little family. Oh, and Mac, make sure you take extra good care of our injured gal, and then proceed to show her a super duper good time! This is the first book in Force’s Gansett Island series. (Available in paperback and audiobook.)

    Total Bravery, by Piper J. Drake
    Raul is the newest recruit at Search and Protect, and he’s got the best sidekick anyone could ever ask for: a German Shepherd dog named Taz. Raul and Taz go on a mission in Hawaii, where they are charged with protecting a very special lady named Mali. Mali is on the run from would-be kidnappers, so she needs a helping hand. She’s certainly feeling much safer with her new protectors. (Who wouldn’t? That noble stature! Those soul-searching eyes! And that’s just Taz!) She also feels some major lovey-dovey feelings for Raul, who could impregnate a woman just by looking at her. (Don’t worry, Mali, he only wants to impregnate YOU.) Here’s hoping they all dodge the bad guys, that Mali is safe from kidnappers forevermore, and that she, Raul, and Taz can enjoy many long, peaceful walks on Hawaiian beaches together. This is the fourth book in Drake’s True Heroes series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    What romance novels are you diving into this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Cookbook Authors, Firefighters, and Canine Missions appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Amanda Diehl 4:00 pm on 2018/02/20 Permalink
    Tags: , baron, , breathless, , , east in paradise, erin nicholas, forever mine, fraternize, , , , , rachel van dyken, , , rose lerner, sweet disorder, , the chase, ,   

    Romance Recommendations for Your New Year’s Resolutions 

    With January over, it’s possible that many of us (myself including) of already hit a wall with our new year’s resolutions. We’ve either fallen off the wagon entirely or the restless January feeling has begun to creep into our goals. Whoever thought January was a good time to get on track with personal goals clearly did not know how sluggish the month is. Truly, Januarys are like the Mondays of calendar months. But, if you need a little boost to get back into the swing of things, here are a few romances that’ll help light a fire under your butt!

    New Experiences

    For some, their new year’s goals are all about embracing adventure. Whether it’s visiting somewhere new or fully living in the spirit of Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes, take advantage of thrilling opportunities!

    Roman Crazy, by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci
    If you’ve ever dreamed of throwing caution to the wind and living abroad, Roman Crazy will scratch that itch. In the midst of finalizing her divorce, Avery Bardot decides that what she needs is a good ol’ Roman holiday. But while spending the summer in Italy with her best friend, she winds up reconnecting with a sexy architect from her past. As the season ends, Avery will have to choose whether to return to her life in the States or let her vacation last a little while longer.

    East in Paradise, by Tif Marcelo
    Bryn Aquino used to manage a Filipino restaurant, but now she’s pursuing her own dreams of opening up a foodie business of her own. She has an MBA and an excited investor, and she’s ready to get to work starting a “culinary retreat.” When her retreat winds up going viral on social media, Bryn is shocked at the idea of her life becoming reality TV fodder. The pay and publicity would be amazing, but there’s just one catch. Viewers are vying for a romance between Bryn and the retreat’s landlord: army reservist Mitchell Dunford.

    Financial Goals

    Perhaps not the most exciting resolution, it’s sometimes necessary to achieve peak-levels of adulting. Maybe you want to save a certain amount of money each month or cut back on impulsive purchases.

    Baron, by Joanna Shupe
    While Ava Jones isn’t well-off financially, she’s the sort of heroine who will do whatever it takes to make she and her family are cared for and fed. Ava makes her living as “Madame Zolikoff,” a performer who insists she can convene with the spirit world. But her schemes might have come to an end when respected and rich Will Sloane threatens to expose her as a fraud. He needs her helping in winning over the masses for his upcoming political campaign. You can’t knock Ava’s hustle, especially with her humble upbringings of begging, borrowing, and stealing.

    The Chase, by Vanessa Fewings
    Zara Leighton works at an art investigation firm, appraising art collections and delving into the world of art thievery. The Chase is truly a good lesson in superfluous spending, especially when Tobias Wilder, enigmatic billionaire, makes an appearance. From decked out galas to art exhibitions only for A-list clients, it’ll give you the luxe atmosphere some people can only dream of without managing to hurt your wallet.

    Body Positivity

    This is an all encompassing resolution since we’re all on different body positivity journeys. I, for one, have joined a gym in an effort to lose weight and complete a 5K sometime this year. But others might just want to change their eating habits or simply learn to be comfortable in the skin they’re in!

    Fraternize, by Rachel Van Dyken
    As one of professional football’s only plus-sized cheerleaders, Emerson knows all eyes are on her. She’s living her dream, but she also knows that it can come at a high cost to stay in shape while maintaining a positive attitude about her body. Of course, there’s also the benefit of being surrounded by attractive athletes. Emerson’s can-do personality is infectious and I loved the mindset that healthiness isn’t necessarily achieved by hitting a certain number on a scale.

    Sweet Disorder, by Rose Lerner
    With a disabled hero and a plus-sized heroine, Sweet Disorder is a standout historical romance that promises what its title suggests: sweetness. What’s truly great about this romance is that neither the hero’s disability nor the heroine’s weight is central to the plot of the story. Both aspects are part of their identities and that’s that! Instead, Nicholas Dymond is trying to help his younger brother win an election and the town’s charter allows Phoebe Sparks’ husband to vote. Too bad she doesn’t have one…yet.

    Self-Care

    It’s tough to just take a moment to breathe or enjoy something you really love. Some of us are conditioned to work, work, work, but it’s okay to accept help and care from others, and to just indulge a little.

    Breathless, by Beverly Jenkins
    Portia Carmichael runs one of the best hotels in the Arizona Territory and she certainly doesn’t expect to be reunited with a man from her past. And while readers can always count on Jenkins for an amazing romance, Portia’s hotel staff and the women she surrounds herself with provide an amazing sense of girl power. It’s a good reminder that sometimes self-care isn’t always about being alone, but also being in the company of those who support and uplift you in positive ways.

    Forever Mine, by Erin Nicholas
    There’s something about seeing a friend or loved one enjoying a hobby they’re passionate about. Their excitement and happiness can easily become your own as you watch then geek out over things like fandom, sports, or even a favorite crafting project. And that’s the precise feeling readers will get when they meet Maya Goodwin: martial artist, cosplay enthusiast, and all around nerd. Finding something that relaxes you or puts you in a positive mindset is a great way to exercise self-care. The only downside to not being Maya is the fact that there’s not a hunky doctor to go along with it.

    Career Goals

    Vying for a new position at work? Hoping to land a dream job? Your new year’s resolution might favor your more professional side. Climb that ladder; you got this!

    Dating You/Hating You, by Christina Lauren
    Evie Abbey knows she’s good at being a talent agent, despite having to deal with a toxic boss day in and day out. However, one of the bright spots in her day is her charming, budding relationship with fellow agent, Cater Aaron. When they both realize their companies are merging and the new agency can only keep one of them, their relationship quickly comes up short when faced with having to compete for employment. A great read for anyone who’s had to deal with sexism in the workplace!

    The Beauty of Us, by Kristen Proby
    So far, opening a restaurant with her best friends has granted Riley Gibson with a certain degree of success. But Riley soon has the chance of a lifetime to get their restaurant on national television as part of the Best Bites TV Network. She just has to convince her friend and head chef, Mia that letting a camera crew into the kitchen is a good idea. The inner workings of a restaurant are fascinating and Riley’s creativity in trying to keep things fresh borders on maniacal (but in a fun way!). Too bad attractive executive producer, Trevor Cooper, is about to complicate things.

    Which books are great for a new year’s resolution pep talk?

    The post Romance Recommendations for Your New Year’s Resolutions appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Amanda Diehl 3:00 pm on 2017/10/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , , beauty like the night, , , , , elyse springer, , heels over head, , , kirsten ashley, , , , , , , the chase, the deep end, , the pages of the mind, , ,   

    Romance Recommendations for Your Zodiac Sign 

    Playing matchmaker with readers and romance novels is so much fun! I’m also a huge zodiac junkie. I read my horoscope routinely and go absolutely nuts for compatibility charts. Inspired by traits of the twelve signs, here are some reading recommendations, though don’t take them too seriously. I won’t tell if you want to dip into the recs for other signs!

    Aquarius: Heels Over Head, by Elyse Springer
    First off, Aquarius is a water sign and a romance featuring professional divers and swimmers is pretty on the nose. Brandon Evans is aloof and carefree. He also knows how good of a diver he is. Meanwhile, Jeremy Reeve is struggling with his family’s feelings on his sexuality. He thinks his only hope of being accepted is by winning an Olympic medal. While Brandon and Jeremy seem like opposites on the surface, they’re rather complementary as teammates and it’s beautiful to see the divers find a sense a community within their sport.

    Pisces: The Duchess Deal, by Tessa Dare
    Pisces are known to be compassionate and selfless, but that can often bite them in the butt later on. The Duchess Deal has a battle-scarred hero who has a nightly hobby of fighting London’s riffraff, but what he wants deep down is an heir. Emma Gladstone is the daughter of a vicar and a seamstress, and she sees beneath the Duke of Ashbury’s physical insecurities. She agrees to help him with his heir problem, but she has a few conditions. Ash forbids kissing. Emma wants to share a meal every night. Though they both agree to help one another, they’ll definitely get more than they bargained for with this arrangement.

    Aries: Hate to Want You, by Alisha Rai
    Speaking as an Aries myself, I know we’re a bit turbulent and moody, but we’re also confident and incredibly passionate. Hate to Want You is pretty emotional and is bursting with dramatic family secrets and scandals. In a Romeo and Juliet-esque romance, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler feel as though they can’t be together because of their families and accompanying baggage. But one night a year, they agree to meet in the bedroom. However, their forbidden romance can no longer remain a secret as their arrangement becomes complicated: Livvy doesn’t show for their scheduled yearly meeting and instead returns to their hometown.

    Taurus: The Pages of the Mind, by Jeffe Kennedy
    Tauruses are known to be practical and responsible, but a bit uncompromising, which is why Dafne, the scholarly librarian heroine of The Pages of the Mind, is a great fit. Dedicated to her job, she travels on behalf of her queen to help successfully incorporate the northern kingdoms into her queen’s realm. There, she meets a barbarian king with a significant language barrier between them. Dafne’s resolve never falters even as King Nakoa has her submit to marriage in order to broker a new alliance. Dafne handles things in stride, surprisingly, and the way she adapts to a new kingdom is rather sweet.

    Gemini: The Deep End, by Kristen Ashley
    Gemini are often defined as having two different personalities and the submissive Alpha hero of The Deep End is sure to appeal to both. Outside the bedroom, Olivier is strong, masculine, and all Alpha. Then he joins the Honey Club and meets Amelie, a cold, calculating Domme who likes her men submissive. Having an “Alpha-sub” is an interesting twist in characterization, especially since the heroine is often in a position of power in the bedroom. This romance is also heavy on erotic content, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in a beautiful, developing romance between Olly and Amelie.

    Cancer: Beauty Like the Night, by Joanna Bourne
    While Cancers can be incredibly empathetic, they can also be a bit manipulative. Sorry, Cancers! But a historical romance with espionage and spy shenanigans is a perfect romance read for you. Sèverine de Cabrillac and Raoul Deverney are brought together by a similar goal: justice. When Sèverine seeks out Raoul’s help in rescuing her missing daughter, Raoul knows that this mission could very well lead him to the killer of his estranged wife. Brought together by grief and worry, the pair quickly become a formidable and rather cutthroat team. It’s a romance with some bite!

    Leo: Dating You/Hating You, by Christina Lauren
    Leos are charismatic, funny, and often the life of the party. They’re also stubborn and demand a lot of attention. And trust me, Dating You/Hating You is going to demand nearly all of your free time. It’s also really hilarious. Evelyn Abbey thought she met a really great guy at a friend’s Halloween Party, but when she realizes that same guy, Carter Aaron, is now her competition at work after a company merger, their romance quickly skids to a halt. There’s an office prank war, an oblivious boss who things dog treats are granola bars, and some serious girl power in this battle-of-the-sexes workplace romance.

    Virgo: The Winter King, by C.L. Wilson
    When it comes to Virgos, they’re incredibly detailed, but are also frequently drawn to nature. A fantasy romance seems like a sure bet! Wilson’s fantasy romances have some amazing world-building from the differing kingdoms to how magic operates from person to person. The heroine can also summon storms. How cool is that! Wynter Atrialan hopes to get revenge on the king of Summerlea by taking one of his daughters, Khamsin Coruscate, as his bride. What Wynter doesn’t count on is Khamsin enjoying her newfound sense of freedom. The settings are descriptive and the courtship is lovely in this utterly bewitching fantasy romance.

    Libra: A New Leash on Love, by Debbie Burns
    Gentle and with a love of keeping company, Libras always strike me as being on the sweeter side of the astrological spectrum. A New Leash on Love is an adorable contemporary romance, as if it weren’t obvious by the chocolate lab puppy on the cover. Megan Anderson runs the local no-kill shelter, dedicating her life to helping animals in need. Craig Williams hates that he has to take his daughter’s new dog to the shelter, but since his divorce seems to suffer one misstep after another. When he drops the dog off, he isn’t counting on a tense confrontation with the shelter’s owner. Their first meeting doesn’t go particularly well, to say the least, but things definitely improve on their second meeting. And the third. Pick this one up, if you like romances with plenty of cute, furry secondary characters.

    Scorpio: The Chase, by Vanessa Fewings
    Scorpios are the ones you call when you need some resourceful and courageous. They can meet a challenge head-on, but they’re steadfast in their beliefs and can hold things close to the vest. The Chase is a contemporary romance with elements of suspense as the heroine, Zara Leighton, is enlisted to track down an international art thief. It’s a case she could only dream of. There’s just one problem and that’s her investigation firm’s billionaire client: Tobias Wilder. Enigmatic and mysterious, Tobias seems like the perfect suspect—or Zara’s greatest distraction.

    Sagittarius: Roman Crazy, by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci
    If there’s one weakness to being a Sagittarius, it’s the call of wanderlust and the need for travel! With her divorce nearing finalization, Avery Bardot restarts her life for the summer in beautiful Rome, Italy. She spends her days exploring the city and her nights eating amazing food. It’s in Rome, surprisingly, that she meets the one man she never forgot: Marcello Bianchi, and the feeling seems to be mutual. Though with the summer quickly approaching its end, Avery isn’t sure if she can give up her adventurous life in Italy and return to the States.

    Capricorn: Silver Silence, by Nalini Singh
    Capricorns are masters of self-control, but when it comes to their family, all bets are off. Silver Mercant helps run an international emergency response network. It’s practically her job to remain calm under pressure. Then she meets Valentin Nikolaev, a bear shifter and leader of his powerful clan. There’s something about Silver that sparks an undeniable interested in Val and when an unknown force begins to threaten Silver’s life, Val will protect her at any cost. And we all know what happens when you poke a bear.

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

    The post Romance Recommendations for Your Zodiac Sign appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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