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  • Tara Sonin 7:00 pm on 2018/01/24 Permalink
    Tags: a royal invitation, abundance, , allison pataki, , anne boleyn: a king's obsession, be my prince, brenda joyce, carolyn meyer, crimson bound, , dark breaks the dawn, devil's bride, , emma campion, , empress of the night, erin summerill, eva stachniak, ever the hunted, everless, , , , girl on the golden coin, graceling, , helen of troy, , , in the prince's bed, intisar, , jo beverly, john burnham schwartz, , , julianne maclean, , Karen Hawkins, , khanani, , kirstin cashore, kristin cashore, , long may she reign, lynn cullen, , make way!, marci jefferson, , maya rodale, medici's daughter, , , , rae carson, red queen, reign of madness, renee adieh, rhiannon thomas, , rosamund hodge, , , sally christie, sara b. larson, sarah holland, , sena jeter naslund, shadow and bone, sisi, sophie page, sophie perinot, splendor, , the commoner, the cruel prince, the duke and i, the heir and the spare, the king's mistress, the perils of pursuing a prince, the prince who loved me, , the royal we, , , , the sisters of versailles, the switch, the trouble with princes, the virgin's lover, the wild queen, the wrath and the dawn, thorn, , to marry a prince, tracy anne warren, victoria, ,   

    Prepare For The Royal Wedding With 50 Royal Reads 

    If you’re anything like me, the new royal wedding is pretty much the only news you care about these days. But we have until May 2018 to wait until Prince Harry and Princess Meghan (sorry, I don’t care what the official rules say, she’s a princess!) tie the knot…so here are fifty royal reads to tide you over until happily ever after.

    The Royal We, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
    The story couldn’t be better than a fairytale: a regular girl falls in love with a prince. Bex always thought something like that could happen to her sister, Lacey, the romantic one…but instead she’s the one who winds up falling in love with Nick, who just so happens to be the next in line for the throne of England.

    Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
    Witness the rise and fall of the Queens of England from the perspective of an influential man on the sidelines, as he experiences his own rise to becoming the man who pulls the strings behind the curtain. Who was Thomas Cromwell, and how did he become Henry VIII’s right hand man?

    The Virgin’s Lover, by Philippa Gregory
    The master of historical fiction weaves a captivating tale of royalty and romance—as Elizabeth I becomes Queen, Amy Dudley knows this means her husband will once again find himself in her thrall. Elizabeth knows she must marry to ensure her country’s political safety, but the only man she wants is the one she can’t have.

    The King’s Mistress, by Emma Campion
    King Edward III had a mistress—but who was Alice Perrers? Was she a manipulative, ambitious woman who sought a station higher than she should have, or was she a prisoner of her own circumstances?

    The Sisters of Versailles, by Sally Christie
    One of the greatest court scandals never before written about in English is the focus of this scandalous, steamy novel. Four sisters are thrust into the orbit of King Louis XV, each of them occupying a place in the King’s bed for enough time to change history.

    Girl on the Golden Coin, by Marci Jefferson
    A girl goes from poor exile to the center of the English and French courts, relying on her connection to royal Stuart blood to advance her station. But she makes a terrible mistake: refusing to become the mistress of the French King, and in exchange is burdened with the task of seducing the English one as punishment. But she cannot, under any circumstances, fall in love with him.

    Sisi, by Allison Pataki
    Married to the Emperor Franz Joseph, Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Hungary is beloved by her people—but despite the gilded lifestyle she leads, Sisi is tempted by another life all together. She loves another man, Count Andrassy, and is willing to risk her marriage, her children, and her country itself to keep him. But turmoil follows Sisi wherever she goes, and as the First World War gathers steam, she must decide where her loyalties lie.

    Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession, by Alison Weir
    One of history’s most fascinating Queens, Anne Boleyn’s rise to power is explored in this fast-paced and romantic novel in which a teenage girl from a scheming family finds herself growing closer and closer to the King, heedless of whichever women she must cast aside—including the current Queen, and even her own sister—to get there.

    Victoria, by Daisy Goodwin
    Inspired by the diaries of this long-reigning Queen, this novel follows another teenage Queen as she navigates the traditions and unspoken rituals of the monarchy…and in many cases, defies them, in order to forge an empire of her own.

    Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard
    If you’re in the mood for some YA royalty, check out this series about a society where red-blooded people are controlled by those with magical, silver blood. That is, until Mare is revealed as a red-blooded girl with Silver powers. As she grows closer to the crown—and the brothers surrounding it—Mare realizes it may not be her destiny to become Queen of the Silver world, but the leader of the rebellion to destroy it.

    Dark Breaks the Dawn, by Sara B. Larson
    A reimagining of Swan Lake, this fantasy features a princess of the Light Kingdom on the cusp of coming into her full magical ability. But when she is thrust into a war with the Dark Kingdom—and realizes the King has corrupt plans to usurp her mother and control both thrones—she realizes that the cost of not controlling her magic could be the loss of her kingdom.

    Abundance, by Sena Jeter Naslund
    Marie Antoinette’s legacy is an infamous one, but thisliteary novel explores who she was before she met the guillotine. A child-bride forced to unite two countries; a beloved Queen who thrives on the love from her people; and an outsider unwilling to concede to elements stronger than herself.

    Helen of Troy, by Margaret George
    One of the first wars caused by a woman of royal importance, The Trojan War has inspired songs and stories for centuries. But who was Helen, the woman who abandoned her marriage in favor of an enemy prince?

    The Wild Queen, by Carolyn Meyer
    A Queen forced to relinquish her title and all she holds dear finds the courage to take control of her future—by returning to the place of her birth, Scotland, and securing another marriage in the hopes of taking back her throne. The one snag? The person she needs to dethrone is her cousin, Elizabeth I.

    The Wrath and the Dawn, by Renee Adieh
    Khalid is the Caliph of Khorasan, the ruler who marries a new girl each night—and orders her execution every time the sun rises. But for some reason, Shahrzad, a beautiful girl who volunteers to marry him—with plans to seek revenge for the murder of her best friend—is not killed on the first sunrise of her marriage.

    The Selection, by Kiera Cass
    The Bachelor meets Fantasy in this series about thirty-five girls competing for the hand of the Prince…and the throne that comes with it. What girl wouldn’t want that? Meet America singer, who is forced to leave behind the boy she loves to fight for a prince she is convinced she could never love.

    To Marry a Prince, by Sophie Page
    Bella doesn’t believe in fairytales, or true love. But then she is saved by a handsome strange—Richard, who just so happens to be the heir to the throne. But Bella’s fairytale romance soon hits a snag, when she butts heads with the royal family, feels like public property instead of a princess, and wonders whether an ordinary girl has any place loving a prince.

    The Commoner, by John Burnham Schwartz
    Haruk is the first Japanese woman not in the aristocracy to become a central figure in the monarchy. By marrying the Crown Prince, Haruko is derided by royal society and suffers because of it. But thirty years after the marriage, she is the Empress, and tasked with trapping yet another young woman in a marriage…this time, to her son, to secure his place on the throne.

    Royally Screwed, by Emma Chase
    Nicholas is used to getting everything he wants. And as a prince, he has everything anyone could ever want…except true love, which he finds when a beautiful girl defies him instead of bowing down. Olivia Hammond is exactly what he needs in his life…now he just has to convince the entire monarchy that she deserves him.

    Ever the Hunted, by Erin Summerill
    Britta Flannery tracks criminals with her bounty-hunter father…until he is murdered by her best friend, Cohen, the boy she thought she loved. To bring him to justice, she must venture to the far reaches of her kingdom, armed only with a magic she cannot control, and the bravery to face the truth about her father’s death.

    Long May She Reign, by Rhiannon Thomas
    She was twenty-third in line for the throne, but in this brutal and beautiful novel, Freya becomes Queen when the entire court is poisoned. But is she safe upon a throne she was never supposed to possess? And who can she trust, when she is surrounded by even more power-hungry people than before?

    The Red Queen, by Philippa Gregory
    The White Queen’s enemy has her story told in this Philippa Gregory novel; Margaret Beaufort has given her life to ensuring that her son, Henry Tudor, will sit on the English throne.

    Three Dark Crowns, by Kendare Blake
    Three Queens, each born with a power that could spell their ascension to the throne…and each charged with the terrible task of killing her sisters in order to take it. Game of Thrones fans who love dark magic and badass female characters will devour this sordid, sexy YA.

    Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo
    Alina is a refugee with incredible power—and when she uses it to save her best friend’s life during a war caused by dark magic, she is thrust into the royal world of the Grisha. These magical warriors are ruled by The Darkling, and while Alina knows she must keep her wits about her and her power under control in order to save her kingdom, she is tempted by the promise of power and passion.

    The Perils of Pursuing a Prince, by Julia London
    Lady Greer wants to avoid marriage at all costs, including if that means going off alone to find an inheritance controlled by the Earl of Radnor…also known as the Prince of Powys. But Rhodrick is notorious and possibly even villainous. Greer cannot fall in love with him before securing the way out of an unhappy marriage…but her dark prince has other plans.

    Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
    Katsa’s Grace—the special power that sets her apart from society—is killing people. She uses this power in her position close to the King, but in this classic and fast-paced fantasy full of conspiracy, court intrigue, and romance, Katsa wishes she were free to choose her own destiny.

    Everless, by Sarah Holland
    In Sempera, time is blood—and both are owned by the Gerlings, who extract it from the poor and vulnerable in exchange for adding time to their own lifespans. When Jules finds herself working at the Gerling estate—and closer to the past she thought she’d escaped long ago—the secrets she finds in the blood are more than she bargained for.

    The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black
    When Jude was a child, her parents were murdered and she was sent away to live with the Faeries at their mysterious High Court. Now, she wants to become one of them, despite the derision with which Prince Cardan views humans.

    Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, by Sarah Maclean
    Lady Calpurnia has no interest in being a typical ‘lady’, even if it means she remainds unmarried. But being unmarried doesn’t mean going unsatisfied, and so she decides to find a partner willing to break the rules with her, like Gabriel St. John, whose reputation for being wicked is exactly what she’s looking for.

    Crimson Bound, by Rosamund Hodge
    Rachelle is a servant to the realm, one of a select few capable of fighting dangerous creatures and protecting the prince. But she hates Armand, the man whose life she is supposed to put before her own. Court conspiracies, dark magic, and forbidden love run amok in this retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.

    Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson
    Elisa is the younger princess, married to a King in secret…and despite thinking she’s not special, she is the one destined to save her kingdom.

    The Duke and I, by Julia Quinn
    Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton are about to become engaged…but it’s really all a ruse to keep Simon out of the clutches of society’s rules, and Daphne hopes to find a suitor of her own since she has the stamp of approval from a Duke. But despite their courtship of convenience, they find themselves falling for one another.

    The Secret, by Julie Garwood
    Judith has traveled from her English home to the Highlands in order to help an old friend through childbirth…but the truth is she comes from Highland royalty, as the daughter of Laird Maclean. She only intended to learn about her father, but instead falls for another Laird, Ian, who confuses and excites her and draws her closer to a place she never thought she could call home.

    Sins of a Wicked Duke, by Sophie Jordan
    Fallon is working class, never meant to fall in love with someone above her station. But when she disguises herself as a footman in a wealthy household, she falls head over heels for her boss: Dominic Hale. Dominic finds himself intrigued by his young employee, but a torrid romance could ruin them both.

    The Switch, by Lynsay Sands
    Twin sisters escaping their uncle take turns pretending to be a boy in order to keep themselves safe. But Charlie winds up falling for Lord Jeremy Radcliffe, and she finds it more difficult to keep up the ruse while she’s in danger of losing her heart.

    Devil’s Bride, by Stephanie Laurens
    Devil has lived up to his name and compromised the honor of governess Honoria Wetherby…but instead of giving in to his rakish ways he winds up proposing marriage. But Honoria cares little for keeping her honor; she wants a lover who can live up to her expectations—and quickly puts Devil to the test.

    The Prince Who Loved Me, by Karen Hawkins
    Prince Alexsey is a notorious flirt with no plans to marry. So when he meets Bronwyn—a girl who prefers books to vain matters of beauty—he is convinced his Grandmother won’t allow the match. But when sparks fly between them, and a wicked stepmother gets in the way of their newfound passion, they have to prove that an ordinary girl and a prince can find happily ever after.

    In the Prince’s Bed, by Sabrina Jeffries
    In order to secure her lost inheritance and save her family’s prospects, Katherine will do anything…including marry a childhood friend. But Alexander Black, the Earl of Iverslley, also needs a woman of wealth to warm his bed, and so he does what any rake would do to get the other man out of the way.

    The Serpent Prince, by Elizabeth Hoyt
    In this sensuous historical romance, Lucy lives a content country life—until her routine is disrupted by a naked Viscount beaten half to death, whom she must heal back to health. But while Simon is consumed by his quest for vengeance against his attackers, Lucy is consumed by her desire for him.

    A Royal Invitation, by Nora Roberts
    Two love stories intertwine in this romance series from bestselling author Nora Roberts. In one, Prince Bennett is obsessed with Lady Hannah and will not rest until she belongs to him. In the second, a princess flees the confines of the palace in search of a simpler life…but falling for Vermont archaeologist Delaney Caine proves to be anything but simple, indeed.

    The Trouble with Princes, by Tracy Anne Warren
    Ariadne is ready to make a change: when she receivs her inheritance, she will publicl declare her intent never to marry, but to find a lover instead. Rupert Whyte is the prince of a small kingdom, also determined to enjoy his freedom…that is, until marriage gets in the way. But while he seeks an independent lifestyle, he fears Ariadne is about to make a terrible mistake…

    The Heir and the Spare, by Maya Rodale
    An American has charmed London society with her sparkling wit and personality. But Emilia only has the intention of being charmed by one man—Lord Phillip. However, the man she thinks is Phillip, is actually his twin, Devon, the spare child forced to endure society rituals while his brother, the heir, spends their fortune. But Emilia does not know the difference, and unwittingly finds herself being courted by two men who share the same face.

    Be My Prince, by Julianne Maclean
    Forced into an impossible situation, Lady Alexandra is tasked with the impossible: she must become engaged to Prince Randolph to secure her family’s future. Instead, she falls for his younger brother, Nicholas, and the resulting war between her passion and her duty threatens to ruin everyone she holds dear.

    Splendor, by Brenda Joyce
    A woman of little means, Carolyn has managed to garner notoriety as a columnist in a London paper under a male pseudonym. But when her wry wit targets a foreign prince, he stops at nothing to discover her true identity—and to show her the beauty of all she claims to hate, by whisking her away to his home court of St. Petersburg.

    Forbidden, by Jo Beverly
    After a terrible marriage, Serena Riverton is finally done with men. But in a moment of passion and desperation, she seduces Lord Middlethorp, ruining his chances at an honorable marriage. The consequences of one night of passion ensnare them both in a love affair that soon enough neither of them want to escape.

    Thorn, by Intisar Khanani
    A princess cursed to spend her life in the shadows of her family and the court, Alyrra has been forced to marry a foreign prince. But along the journey, they are attacked…and when her identity is mistake for someone else’s, she takes the chance to live someone else’s life.

    Reign of Madness, by Lynn Cullen
    Isabel and Fernando are the heart of the Spanish monarchy…and Juana, their third child, will never sit on their throne. So when she marries, she hopes it may be everything to her that being Queen never would be. That is, until Juana unexpectedly winds up on the throne, and her husband turns on her and seeks power for himself. Learn the story behind infamous Spanish monarch Juana the Mad in this captivating novel.

    Empress of the Night, by Eva Stachniak
    Catherine the Great relives the events of her life including her early years as a daughter-in-law to an Empress, her plans to usurp a King’s throne, and the years of occupying the throne herself.

    Medicis Daughter, by Sophie Perinot
    Catherine de Medici is a fascinating character of history…but her daughter is the one who stars in this story, as she moves from a daughter eager to please her powerful mother by marrying a man she did not love, and suffering in the bloodshed that followed.

    The Princess Saves Herself in this One, by Amanda Lovelace
    This beautiful poetry collection melds fairytales and real life to put the reader in the position of princess in her own story; conquering demons and dragons both physical and internal to find the happily ever after we all deserve.

    What royal reads are distracting you as we count down to the next royal wedding?

    The post Prepare For The Royal Wedding With 50 Royal Reads appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Tara Sonin 6:00 pm on 2017/12/07 Permalink
    Tags: a notorious countess confesses, a rogue by any other name, , , , , , , , , Joanna Wylde, , julie anne long, , , , , , , one good earl deserves a lover, original sinners series, , reaper's legacy, , , slightly wicked, , the royal we, , trouble at the wedding, unclaimed, when he was wicked   

    A Romance Novel for Every Song on Taylor Swift’s reputation 

    It’s been over a week, we’ve listened to it over a thousand times…and now the moment has come: we’re pairing up romance novels with Taylor Swift’s newest album, reputation!

    “…Ready For It?”

    I immediately thought of Claire and Jamie for this song, so Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander is my pick! It’s fast-paced, like their adventures, but also sensual and sexy, like their relationship. “Younger than my exes but he acts like such a man” make sense since Jamie is younger than Frank (and Claire herself) in the series. And of course all the references to islands reminded me of the current Season Three (no spoilers, if you haven’t seen it!)

    “End Game (featuring Ed Sheeran and Future)”

    “Ahh, and I heard about you…you like the bad ones too.” This song is all about a couple whose reputation precedes them, making them probably the least likely to work. “And I bury hatchets but I keep maps of where I put ‘em” made me think of Devon Ravenel of Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas: he’s a rake who lives up to his name. But then he inherits an earldom and must step up to the plate and assume responsibiity for his status—and the honor of the late earl’s three sisters. “You’ve been calling my bluff on all my usual tricks” is what happens when he meets Kathleen, who knows better than to ever fall in love with a man like Devon…except, as the song implies, they both wind up wanting to be one another’s end game.

    “I Did Something Bad”

    Unclaimed by Courtney Milan is about a handsome Bachelor known for having unimpeachable character…who finds himself entangled with a secret courtesan, not the high-bred lady he assumed her to be. “I never trust a playboy, but they love me…” totally embodies Jessica’s character: she’s a woman who knows what she wants, and is willing to do “something bad” in order to get it…like team up with the bachelor’s enemies to take him down in exchange for money. But of course, doing bad things makes you feel oh so good, and Jessica and Mark are no exception to the rule.

    “Don’t Blame Me”

    The moody, rumbling, erotic nature of this song brought one threesome to mind: Nora, Soren, and Kingsley from Tiffany Reisz’ Original Sinners series. “For you, I would cross the line/I would waste my time/I would lose my mind/They say, “She’s gone too far this time…” are definitely words worthy of Nora, preeminent Dominatrix and submissive only to Soren, a Priest she credits with saving her life. And of course, there’s Kingsley, the owner of the BDSM club, Dominant in every way…except when it comes to Soren. “If you walk away/I’d beg you on my knees to stay…” The pulse-pounding romance between these three people over the course of the series is the perfect accompaniment to Taylor’s pining words.

    “Delicate”

    Two people with broken pasts—and reputations that have never been worse, as this song croons—meet and marry for convenience in A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean. It’s just business between them: Bourne runs a casino after being stripped of all societal influence a decade ago, and Penelope is just trying to secure her future after a string of failed relationships. But eventually their boundaries start to slip. “Is it cool that I said all that?/’Cause I know that it’s delicate…” That’s contemporary speak for the passion that ignites between this regency couple when they least expect it.

    “Look What You Made Me Do”

    A revenge song needs a worthy book—and I can’t lie, this one made me think about one particular villainess in the 50 Shades Series…Christian Grey’s ex-girlfriend, Leila. “I don’t like your kingdom keys/they once belonged to me…” those words might as well have come out of her mouth in Fifty Shades Darker. We all know that Taylor likes to parody the “man-eater” persona the media has developed for her, but in this case, Leila’s instability was totally real. “I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams”, indeed.

    “So It Goes…”

    This is one of the quieter songs on the album, but with lyrics like “You know I’m not a bad girl/but I do bad things with you” and “I’m so chill, you make me jealous” the book to match needed to have the right balance of sweetness with an undercurrent of passion. Sarah MacLean’s One Good Earl Deserves a Lover totally fits! Pippa is a good girl from a good family who wants nothing more than a quiet life…and the freedom to pursue science. But before she settles down in that life, she wants one little taste of true passion. So she goes to Cross, a notorious gaming hall owner, and proposes an arrangement between them—all in the name of science. But of course, Pippa can’t stay “chill” when it comes to Cross for long.

    “Gorgeous”

    This upbeat song is definitely worthy of a happily ever after! Julia Quinn’s When He Was Wicked follows the track of the song: a man and woman meet, and sparks fly…the problem—well, in the song it’s that she’s got “a boyfriend, he’s older than us…” but in this book, it’s a betrothal! And to make things worse, the guy she’s marrying is the cousin of the one she falls for. “You’ve ruined my life, by not being mine…” That’s exactly how Michael Stirling feels when she marries the guy anyway. But trust me, there’s a happily ever after waiting for this gorgeous couple.

    “Getaway Car”

    One of my favorite songs on the album spins a story about doomed lovers caught in the aftermath of their betrayal. “Nothing good starts in a getaway car”, the song begins…and the statement rings true in Reaper’s Legacy by Joanna Wylde, except for one thing: you can swap out “car” for “motorcycle”. A love triangle winds its way through the story of Sophie, Zach, and Ruger: Sophie and Zach slept together, resulting in their baby, Noah…but Zach’s a deadbeat dad, leaving his brother Ruger to pick up the pieces. But living—and loving—a man in a motorcycle club can be dangerous, and even when he tries to provide security for Sophie and her son, the past always finds a way of catching up with a speeding bike. After all, remember what Taylor says: “Us traitors never win…”

    “King of My Heart”

    This song makes specific reference to the “American” identity of the heroine (and of course, there’s been rampant speculation on the British identity behind most of Taylor’s new songs) so for this one I chose Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke, a story about an American falling for a Brit! Annabel does not want true love (just like the heroine of the song, who knows she is “better off being alone,”) but still, she agrees to marry a high-born man with a British title as a way to protect her new, “Southern” estate. The problem? Christian, the Duke of Scarborough, does NOT approve of Annabel’s choice. “Change my priorities/the taste of your lips is my idea of luxury…” And that’s exactly what Christian decides to do: make Annabel fall for him, instead, and become King of Her Heart.

    “Dancing With Our Hands Tied”

    Mary Balogh’s Slightly Wicked is about the ramifications of one reckless, erotic night that you think no one else will ever find out about. When Judith meets Rannulf after an accident with her stagecoach, she indulges in a passion she knows she will soon have to bury. (“First sight, yeah, we love without reason…”) But when he shows up at her aunt’s house, intending to court her cousin, Judith knows her secret will not be kept in the dark for long, especially when she can’t stop her feelings from pouring out. As this song says, “I knew there was no one in the world who could stop us/I had a bad feeling”, and soon enough, Judith and Rannulf are dancing with their hands tied, too.

    “Dress”

    One of the sexiest songs on the album deserves a romance to match. A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long made me think of some of the song’s steamiest lyrics, starting with “All of this silence and patience, pining and anticipation/My hands are shaking from holding back from you (ah, ah, ah).” Evie is an ambitious actress, and has charmed all of London…until her scandalous marriage goes down in flames. (Sound at all like a familiar narrative?) She escapes the tidal wave of gossip only to find herself tempted once more…by Vicar Adam Sylvaine, a man sworn to piety and prayer. “Even in my worst lies, you saw the truth in me…” Soon enough, they can’t stop their passion from overflowing, and the costumes come off to reveal their true hearts to one another.

    “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

    You can finish the title of this romance novel with the title of Taylor’s diss track: If You Deceive…this is why we can’t have nice things! Two people caught at the center of a family feud (aka, a “narrative” they’d like to be excluded from, perhaps?) in the third novel in Kresley Cole’s MacCarrick Brothers series find themselves irrevocably drawn to one another despite the pain and anguish that their families have wrought. “But then you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand…” What starts as a quest for revenge soon becomes a mission to keep the one thing they both hold dear in this Highland romance.

    “Call It What You Want”

    The Royal We by Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks is a sweet romance with just a tad of high-stakes drama: Bex Porter has a real-life fairytale in the form of Nick, the heir to the throne of England. But just like Taylor Swift, loving a famous person comes with consequences. “All the drama queens takin’ swings/All the jokers dressing up as kings…” is right: between the paparazzi, backstabbers, and family baggage, it’s going to take everything she has to keep their relationship together.

    “New Year’s Day”

    This poignant, piano-based closer is heartfelt and raw with emotion, all about what happens when the glitz and glamour fades and the reality of life sets in….and who will be by your side when it does. “I want your midnights/but I’ll be picking up bottles with you on New Year’s Day…” It’s not a New Year’s story, but that sentiment really reminded me of The Notebook: a love story all about choosing the harder road, but the one that’s ultimately true to who you are.

    What do you think of our pairings?

    The post A Romance Novel for Every Song on Taylor Swift’s reputation appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Tara Sonin 7:00 pm on 2016/06/22 Permalink
    Tags: castles, , here comes the bride, , , , something borrowed, the bride quartet, the royal we   

    7 Romances to Read During Wedding Season 

    Summer is the season of love and weddings, so no matter where you are in the process of planning your wedding (or just find yourself a frequent guest at one!) here are some sweet and swoony romances to sweep you off your feet.

    The Royal We, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
    If you’re constantly scrolling through royal weddings for inspiration to add to your Pinterest board, then definitely read The Royal We! It’s a tale as old as time: regular-gal Bex travels from America to Oxford and finds herself falling for Prince Nicholas, the heir to the British crown. What I love most about this book is that it covers their entire relationship, not just the falling in love part! Over five years you see Bex wrestle with the changes and challenges of living and loving a monarch— and we, the readers, get to live vicariously through her.

    Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld
    A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice? Sign me up. The roles of women have certainly changed, as has the general acceptance of their being single as they approach middle-age, but the central plot is still the same: Liz is a magazine writer who lives in New York City, as does her sister, Jane. But when their father has a health scare, they go home to find their family in shambles. Enter, of course, the men: in this version, Bingley is a doctor who took a turn on a Bachelor-esque  TV show, and Darcy is a neurosurgeon (still with a chip on his shoulder). The modern updates to the characters make for a much more relatable and funny read.

    Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
    Of course if you’re going to read the retelling, you should try your hand at the original! Did you fall in love with your intended the moment you set eyes on each other? Or, like Lizzie and Darcy, did you have some “prejudices” and “pride” (see what I did there?) to overcome before you could say “I do”? A classic historical romance that will remind you that people are always more than what they seem.

    Something Borrowed, by Emily Giffin
    Okay, so this scenario might be every bride’s nightmare, but I love this book so much (it’s my favorite of Emily Giffin’s novels). Rachel has always been a good girl, a loyal friend, a rule-follower…until one night she ends up in bed with her best friend’s fiancé. This novel is all about how falling in love is NOT always a fairy tale. When Rachel has to make a choice between keeping her BFF in the dark-and keeping silent to save her own skin, the lines between good and bad are crossed, friendships are tested, and true love comes at a cost.

    Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas
    I had to put one of Lisa Kleypas’ novels on here—she’s the queen of historical romance, and a perfect pick for a bride (or bridesmaid) looking to escape the harsh realities of seating charts and family feuds. Her newest novel, Marrying Winterborne, will introduce you to one my new all-time favorite heroes: Rhys Winterborne, a man of “new money” and cunning, with an eye for beautiful things. When he meets lady Helen Ravenel, nothing will stop him from possessing her—least of all her virtue. We first met these characters in the first Ravenel’s novel, Cold-Hearted Rake, and they do not disappoint! Winterborne is devastatingly charming, and eventually, compassionate, while Helen is a passionate heroine with a mind of her own.

    Castles, by Julie Garwood
    Alessandra and Colin from the Crown’s Spies series are one of my favorite reluctant-to-wed couples. An orphaned princess taking refuge with a Duke’s family, Alessandra must wed to protect her kingdom from the will of a bloodthirsty general who would marry her first. But Colin, the Duke’s son, does not want to marry—especially someone his father picks. They strike up a bargain that he will help her choose her husband from the leftover candidates…and in the process, they fall in love.

    The Bride Quartetby Nora Roberts
    Okay, I’ve cheated a bit: this option is four books in one: Vision in White, Bed of Roses, Savor the Moment, and Happy Ever After. Whether you’ve just gotten engaged, are in the middle of planning your wedding, or are about to embark on your honeymoon, the Bride Quartet is one of my favorite Nora Roberts series. Four best friends run a wedding planning company together, and in each installment, meets the man of their dreams!

    What are your favorite wedding-season romances?

     
  • BN Editors 4:30 pm on 2016/05/31 Permalink
    Tags: , , delfina blaquier, , nacho figueras, national velvet, riders, , , the polo season, the royal we   

    Nacho Figueras and Delfina Blaquier on the Books That Inspired the Feel for The Polo Season 

    Summer is heating up with the debut of a new series set in the seductive world of high-stakes polo competition. Nacho Figueras, the captain of Argentina’s Blackwatch polo team, presents The Polo Season—perfect summer reading for romance fans who like a little drama and intrigue along with their gorgeous athletes and stunning thoroughbreds. Equestrian fans in particular will love this fascinating behind-the-scenes look at a thrilling sport. A smart, saucy country vet and a sexy, determined polo team captain match wits in the steamy first novel in the series, High Season—in stores today. Figueras teamed up with his wife, photographer Delfina Blaquier, to share a few of the books that inspired the feel for this captivating new series.

    Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell
    One of the best classics of all time. I think my daughter needs to be a little older for me to read it to her, but I already can’t wait. It’s true that every horse has a personality, and a good owner can bring out the best in a good horse.

    The Royal We, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
    This is such a fun look at the behind the scenes of a “royal” family and what might happen if the heir to the British throne fell in love with an American commoner. Bex is so much like Georgia in High Season, being in this fancy world with all kinds of rules she doesn’t even know. We only wish they’d included one of the princes playing polo!

    Riders, by Jilly Cooper
    One of the ultimate dishy summer reads. We love how this gives such an amazing look at the world of high-stakes horse jumping combined with sexy, charismatic characters. Jilly puts you right there. It’s exactly what we wanted to do with The Polo Season, but for a different horse-related sport.

    The Bourbon Kings, by J.R. Ward
    A sprawling wealthy family with plenty of secrets? Yes, please! Kentucky is some of the best horse country in the world (outside of Argentina, of course), and reading about the life of privilege of the Bradford siblings is very similar to Alejandro and Sebastian in The Polo Season series. They might fight with each other, but no matter what, they also have each other’s backs.

    National Velvet, by Enid Bagnold
    We’ll end on another classic. After reading this, it’s impossible not to want a horse of your very own (you’ve been warned!). The thrill of excitement as Velvet takes an unremarkable horse to the world’s most famous steeplechase competition is a true underdog story that has us cheering Velvet all the way every time. It’s the same kind of feeling we wanted to bring to Alejando del Campo as he sets out with his struggling team to win the biggest polo match of the season.

    High Season is in stores today. The Polo Season series continues this summer with Ride Free, available July 26.

     
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