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CATEGORIES: Weekly Recap
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Latest Top Recommendations

Devney Perry kicks off an exciting new series with a gripping page-turner that has all her trademark elements—a small town setting, well drawn characters, an intriguing storyline—but with a much stronger thread of mystery and suspense running through it. The heroine is the new owner of a small town newspaper and she is set on uncovering the real reason why a notorious local motorcycle club disbanded and went their separate ways after decades of criminal activities that went unpunished. So when the former Club president suddenly becomes the key suspect for a new violent crime in town, the heroine sees this as the perfect opportunity to dig deeper into the Club’s nefarious past, but the president’s son has other ideas… While most of Perry’s books have a touch of suspense pushing the story forward, this series relies heavily on not knowing what’s coming, and we are kept on the edge of our seats until the very end. The writing is wonderful, the pace exhilarating, and the plot is completely unpredictable.

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There’s something so euphoric about stumbling upon a book by chance, and then loving it SO completely and SO viscerally from the very first page, that you feel like you’ve lost a friend once it’s over. I’m not sure what caught me by surprise more—the sensuous, plush prose that simply took my breath away, the emotional depth of the characters, or the intense chemistry between them—but this story is so ‘out of the ordinary’ that every single about it is quite simply extraordinary. Set in a small English village, this is the tale of a beautiful but cynical city boy who escapes to the countryside looking for clarity and a way to gain control over his own life, but ends up falling for a bearish, soft-hearted farmer. And while this is a love story first and foremost, Talia Hibbert does a fine job at showing how mental illness can fester overtime and consume a person when they begin drifting unknowingly into the dark currents of their thoughts. She does so with empathy, authenticity, and a sense of profound optimism that leaves the reader feeling uplifted, hopeful, and maybe even a little enlightened. This is one of those books you’ll never forget, and talk all your friends into reading.

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I’m forever on the lookout for stories that are not only well-written and deeply romantic, but that are also fresh, textured, unique and wonderfully quirky in their own way, so when I stumble upon a book that ‘ticks’ ALL the boxes—a book that is as quietly unsettling as it is tender, as emotionally gripping as it is witty—I get all giddy inside. A ghost-hunting adventure and sweeping romance in equal parts, and peppered with moments of breath-holding tension, it amazes me that this Gilded Age gem of a story is a debut effort. It’s a moving, evocative, beautifully told and, at times, chilling read, and even when I desperately wanted to speed ahead to find out what happens in the end, I made myself savour every exquisite last word of it.

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It only took a hot minute for me to be dazzled by Catherine Bybee’s books when I first discovered them, but it was THIS series in particular that made me irrevocably fall in love with her storytelling, so seeing it come to an end was nothing short of bittersweet. And while I always expected this heroine’s story to be somewhat different from the rest given what we knew of her backstory, nothing could have prepared me for this fast-paced, high-stakes, globetrotting game of cat and mouse that somehow embodies and outdoes every single thing I’ve come to love about this author’s writing style. Bybee keeps us guessing until the very end in this perfect, edge-of-your-seat finale to a much-loved series, delivering an immensely satisfying ending that truly brings the series to full circle.

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Renowned for her female leads that are aware, independent, brave, and freethinking, Kerrigan Byrne’s heroines are wonderfully modern without seeming out of place in their 1800s setting, and her latest novel reflects more than ever an era that gave rise to so many progressive women and female social reformers. The heroine is her own knight in shining armour—she is the daughter of an Earl, an accomplished archaeologist, and a rape survivor, but a dark secret from her past leaves her with no other choice but to propose marriage to a man whose touch she dreads. And while her male counterpart is a tortured alpha whose own past might have made him distrustful of any woman wishing to marry him, he proves to be a broadminded, protective, and devoted partner in all the ways that matter. Kicking off a brand new series that centres on the lives and loves of three fiercely independent best friends, Kerrigan Byrne delivers a dazzling tour-de-force novel that tackles head-on the lingering terror and lasting effects of living as a survivor of sexual violence. She does so sensitively but unflinchingly, and her every word takes your breath away.

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If anyone ever asks you why you read romance books, tell them to read this book! The perfect escapist summer read, Leylah Attar’s latest gem is everything I’ve come to expect from this incredibly gifted storyteller—evocative, moving, witty, sublimely written—and it’s the kind of story that fills you with delight from the moment you start reading it. Attar transports us to an exotic paradise of sun-kissed beaches and crystal-clear waters, a place where reality looks and feels like a dream, and where a young woman finally finds herself in the arms of a man who makes her feel brave, loved, and weightless in a world that has held her down for too long. This is by far one of my favourite books of the year.

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Bookish News

An all-new friends-to-lovers romance is coming on Nov 11 from Melanie Harlow—part of her Cloverleigh Farms series—and we have the gorgeous cover.

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Sarah MacLean has revealed the cover of the much-anticipated final book in her Bareknuckle Bastards series, coming on Jun 30.

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NBJ WEEKLY RECAP

New & Upcoming Releases; Bookish News; Latest Top Recommendations

29 October, 2019

NEW RELEASES

✪ TOP RECOMMENDATION | ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

The former Tin Gypsy motorcycle club has everyone in Clifton Forge, Montana convinced they’ve locked their clubhouse doors and ripped off their patches.

Everyone but Bryce Ryan.

There’s more happening at the club’s garage than muscle car restorations and Harley rebuilds. Her instincts are screaming there’s a story—one she’s going to tell.

As the new owner of the small town’s newspaper, Bryce is hungry for more than birth announcements and obituaries. When a woman is brutally killed and all signs point to the Tin Gypsies, Bryce is determined to expose the club and their leader, Kingston “Dash” Slater, as murderers.

Bryce bests Dash match after match, disappointed her rugged and handsome opponent turns out to be an underwhelming adversary. Secrets are exposed. Truths defeat lies. Bryce is poised to win this battle in a landslide.

Then Dash breaks all the rules and tips the scales.

One kiss, and she’s fighting to save more than just her story.

She’s fighting to save her heart from the Gypsy King.

This is the first book in the all-new Tin Gypsy series.

Series reading order: Gypsy King | Riven Knight (21 Jan 2020)

Click to Read An Excerpt


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Apple Books | Print | Audio

✪ TOP RECOMMENDATION | FAKE MARRIAGE

Introducing the Bow Street Bachelors—men who work undercover for London’s first official police force—and the women they serve to protect. . .and wed?

Shipping heiress Georgiana Caversteed is done with men who covet her purse more than her person. Even worse than the ton’s lecherous fortune hunters, however, is the cruel cousin determined to force Georgie into marriage. If only she could find a way to be . . . widowed? Georgie hatches a madcap scheme to wed a condemned criminal before he’s set to be executed. All she has to do is find an eligible bachelor in prison to marry her, and she’ll be free. What could possibly go wrong?

Benedict William Henry Wylde, scapegrace second son of the late Earl of Morcott and well-known rake, is in Newgate prison undercover, working for Bow Street. Georgie doesn’t realize who he is when she marries him—and she most certainly never expects to bump into her very-much-alive, and very handsome, husband of convenience at a society gathering weeks later. Soon Wylde finds himself courting his own wife, hoping to win her heart since he already has her hand. But how can this seductive rogue convince brazen, beautiful Georgie that he wants to be together…until actual death do they part?

This is the first book in the all-new Bow Street Bachelors series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.

Series recommended reading order: This Earl of Mine | To Catch an Earl (30 Jun 2020)


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Apple BooksPrint | Audio

FRIENDS TO LOVERS

Evan Bryant wasn’t your typical hero.
But he was mine.
Broken by the worlds’ standards, he was still the strongest boy I would ever know.
My best friend. The boy I’d given everything to. My heart, my body, and the promise of forever.
The day I’d needed him most, he walked away.
He left me shattered and questioning the love I’d thought we’d shared.

Three years later, I wasn’t prepared for him to return to Gingham Lakes.
It wouldn’t have mattered if he still wasn’t the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.
My fingers still would have ached to caress his skin.
My body still would have begged to get lost in his touch.
And my heart . . . it would have always sung his name.
But time changes things. With it, secrets that could ruin everything.
Can we find a way to love again, or have the fears of our past stolen the hope of our forever…

This is a standalone novel.

Click to Read An Excerpt


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Print

Bryce Simpson did the only thing he could. He spurned Marjorie Steel. Even though he’ll be living on her ranch, he is determined to stay away from her. She’s worthy of more than he can even think about giving, especially now that long-buried memories are surfacing and he’s learning that his father’s sins may go even deeper than he imagined.

Bryce’s rejection destroys Marjorie, and she descends to a dark place she thought she’d abandoned forever. She emerges stronger, though, and is determined not to let heartbreak rule her life. Change is the answer, she’s sure, so she makes plans—plans that include a handsome personal trainer she meets at the gym.

When Bryce and Marjorie are thrown together, though, their ravenous hunger for each other takes over, leaving both of them more vulnerable than they realize.

This is the eleventh book in The Steel Brothers Saga.

Series reading order: Craving | Obsession | Possession | Melt | Burn | Surrender | Shattered | Twisted | Unraveled | Breathless | Insatiable (28 Jan 2020)


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Black and white. Right and wrong.
That’s how Craig Bailey has always lived his life.
The son of a fallen, decorated police officer,
He’s had no choice but to follow the rules.
Until he met the ultimate bad boy
and decided to follow him instead.

Henri Boudreaux is everything Bailey never knew he wanted.
Mysterious, sexy, and hiding more secrets than friends.
He’s exactly the kind of man Bailey knows could break his heart.

But there’s a vulnerability to Henri that calls to Bailey.
A longing for a connection that Bailey is unable to resist.
And while Bailey has always lived his life on the straight and narrow, he is now beginning to understand that falling in love is never so black and white.

This is the final book in the Confessions series (a spin-off from the Temptation seriesand it concludes Henri and Bailey’s story that began in Henri.

Series reading order: Robbie | Julien | PriestThe Princess, The Prick & The Priest | Henri | Bailey


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

ENEMIES TO LOVERS / WORKPLACE ROMANCE

Smart, successful, and sitting pretty at the top of her game, Neera Malik has it all figured out.
Save for the small issue of Gustavo Guillmand.

The artist with a cult—and Instagram—following has a problem and it’s not his preference for shirtless selfies.
No, he has an attitude problem, a minding his own business problem, an infuriatingly sexy problem.

They can’t stand each other and they can’t stay away from each other.

This is a standalone novella in the Talbott’s Cove series. It originally appeared on the Read Me Romance podcast, but this edition includes an extended epilogue beyond the podcast content.

Serial recommended reading order: Fresh Catch | Hard Pressed | Far Cry | Rough Sketch


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Power. Passion. Betrayal.

Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition.In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.

My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I’m determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and will do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.

And neither will I.

This is the first book in the All the King’s Men duet.

Series reading order: The Kingmaker | The Rebel King (17 Nov 2019)


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Print | Audio

PARANORMAL / ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

I am never alone. Not even when I am alone.

I see the unquiet dead, the souls that wander through the French Quarter.

They can’t move on, and I can’t stop seeing them.

I wear malachite for protection, and I control what I let in. It’s the only way to stay sane. Everything changes the day Cassian Winslow joins my ghost walking tour and knocks my world off its axis with green eyes the color of the stone around my neck.

An unspeakable evil is loose in New Orleans, taking young women and leaving a bloodbath in his wake. More shadows lurking for me. More unhappy dead. There might be a way to stop it.

Open myself up to Cassian.

If I do, it could spell his death.

But if I don’t, it’s mine.

This is the first book in the all-new Bayou Magic series.

Click to Read An Excerpt


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With her heart literally in his hands, Celia will have to try and bargain with a devil.

Edward Fasbender is my captor.

Trapped on this island he owns everything on—including, it seems, me.

He told me he would break me, but I thought he meant in the bedroom. It turns out Edward is playing a completely different game.

And he won’t stop until he’s ruined me.

This is the second book in the Slay quartet.

Series reading order: Rivalry | Ruin | Revenge (25 Feb 2020) | Rising (12 May 2020)


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Apple Books | Print | Audio

SECOND CHANCES

I might be a country girl from the same small town of Sweetwater, Texas, as horse wrangler Roarke Frost, the girl next door who knows him like few know him, but I didn’t know enough to save my heart.

He’s the reason why I left Sweetwater behind.

But now fate proves she loves a wicked twist and sends me back to Sweetwater to pull together a Christmas festival—and I run smack into the man again, quite literally. His body is pressed to mine, his hands on my arms, and I’m melting like chocolate in the sizzling Texas sunshine. And I run.

I know it’s not exactly respectable, but it works, just not for long. No matter how much I try to get tangled up in Christmas, I end up tangled up in Roarke instead—and the man has me feeling the heat of our attraction and the warmth of our past friendship. He feels like Mr. Right, but history says he’s Mr. Wrong.

But if he wants a second chance, Roarke Frost is going to have to work for it. He’ll need to prove to me that this holiday is a season of new beginnings, the kind that last forever.

This is the second standalone in the Texas Heat series.

Series recommended reading order: The Truth About Cowboys | Tangled up in Christmas


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Apple Books | Print | Audio

Shay Gable hated my guts, and I hated hers, too.

We went out of our way to avoid one another at all times. When she came my direction, I went the other. When we locked eyes, she’d turn and walk away.

All of that changed the day I was presented with a challenge. It started out as a stupid bet: make Shay fall in love with me before I fell in love with her first.

That was an easy bet for me to win.
I didn’t love, I hardly liked.

Yet slowly the game started to shift. Shay made me crave things I never knew I wanted.
Love.
Happiness.
Her.

The closer we grew, the more she challenged my darkness, and the parts I kept locked away.
The hurts.
The pains.
The truth.

The game between us became too real, our feelings intermixed, and the risks of hurting one another grew higher.

But you know what they say…
All’s fair in the game of love and war—especially the heartbreaks.

This is the first book in the Landon & Shay duet.

Series reading order: Landon & Shay – part one | Landon & Shay – part two (4 Dec 2019)


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

SCI-FI ROMANCE

She is the last human. And she’s mine.

The year is 3232. I prepare to descend upon humanity and take what my kind have taken for thousands of years: any female I please.

But the Earth I find is not the Earth I remember.

The humans are gone.
Their cities destroyed.
I mourn a lost species…
Until I find her.
A girl I name One.

One female left from billions.
One precious gift from a dying planet.
One I will make my own.

I will possess her.
I will protect her.
I will never let her go.

This is a standalone novel set in an all-new romantic sci-fi universe.

Series recommended reading order: Mine | Interstellar Human Petting Zoo (6 Dec 2019)


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

POP PRINCESS FALLS FOR BODYGUARD

First Top 40 hit at age seventeen? My first tabloid breakup scandal quickly followed.
Earned my first Grammy? Discovered Mommy Dearest was embezzling my money.
Landed a leading role in a movie? My fiancé called off our engagement the next day.

I might have a multi-million-dollar recording contract, a sold-out world tour, and more money in the bank than I ever imagined, but every time I hit a milestone in my career, my personal life suffers.

Then in steps my new bodyguard, rugged and with a past I connect with. The closer we get, the more powerful my feelings grow, complicating our professional relationship.

I thought Kane would be different. I hoped he’d be the one man to stand by my side, undaunted by the fame and attention that trails me.

The press calls me the “Ice Princess of Pop” because of my unyielding façade throughout heartbreak and betrayal. Perhaps it’s time to show them the real me.

With every syllable, I pour out my emotions and allow them to puddle, forming lyrics from my soul’s breath. And with each word, my broken heart cries out for Kane, begging him to help me break this pattern.

To help me stop being so damn good at goodbyes.

This is a standalone novel.


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Apple Books | Print

Gabriel Luca Maldonado, III and Francesca Leandra Solomon were meant to be. They were so in love that everybody prayed for what they had.

Everything was glorious. They would get married, have children and live a perfect life. She would be a doctor in the emergency room once she finished her doctorate, and he would be a badass Navy SEAL and save people for a living.

But then Luca is deployed across the world, and per military regulations, Frankie isn’t allowed to follow.

They’ve overcome a lot in their short relationship, and they can overcome this, too. Two years was a piece of cake. She’d finish her schooling and wait for him. And when he finally returned home, they would marry.

But two months into Luca’s deployment, the unthinkable happens, and Frankie is left alone and heartbroken, knowing that she’ll have to face the rest of life without Luca at her side.

* * *

Fast forward two years, and Frankie is exactly where her fiancé’s father left her, in a pit of despair that she has no hope of ever finding her way out of.

She lives life one second at a time, depressed and alone, hoping tomorrow won’t hurt like today.

She finds a job, moves, and hopes that the nightmares won’t swallow her whole.

But just as she thinks that she’s getting better, one of her nightmares walks through the doors of her ER, and that nightmare has a name.

Gabriel Luca Maldonado, III. In the flesh.

Also healthy and whole, and definitely no longer missing.

Sadly, it only takes her a half a second to realize that the man that left her isn’t the same man that returned.

The old one wanted her. The new one? Well, he’s definitely not interested anymore.

This is the sixth book in the KPD Motorcycle Patrol series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.

Series recommended reading order: Hide Your Crazy | It Wasn’t Me | I’d Rather Not | Make Me | Sinners are Winners | If You Say So


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Apple Books

ROCK STAR ROMANCE

I found my stillness, my space between breaths, when I was a kid. The answer is simple. If it hurts, I pour music on it.

After years of hard work, it’s finally happening. Tragic has a number one album and we’ve gone from being discussed as one hit wonders to hearing words like meteoric mentioned alongside our name.

With two tours planned and another album on its way, we have a lot to look forward to. Playing in a different city every night, the shimmer and roar of the crowd, after parties and endless women.

My lifelong dream is in the palm of my hand until one phone call leaves everything hanging in the balance.

This is the first book in the Tragic duet.

Series reading order: Rock Star, InterruptedRock Star, Unbroken (25 Feb 2020)


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Print

SECOND CHANCES

They say there are three things you should do at least once in your life:

Dance like nobody’s watching.
Travel the world.
And fall hopelessly in love.

I aimed to do all three.

I went to Italy to find myself.
But he found me.

It was like a story book, our eyes met across a crowded room.
He asked me if I needed help reading the menu.
We ate, we laughed, we danced, and I fell.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go to plan, and we parted ways.

Two years later, our eyes meet across a room again.
Only this time I was on a date with another man.
He went crazy in a jealous fit.

But the man I met then is different now.
He’s colder, harder, and officially one of the most powerful men in Italy.
Dare I say it, even more enticing.

But if you dance with the devil, you get burnt.

And the fires in Italy are scalding hot.

This is a standalone novel.


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

ROMANTIC COMEDY

It’s hard to get revenge without getting a rap sheet.

After Tempest Cassidy walks in on her husband banging her high school nemesis, her whole world gets turned upside down. She goes from being known as the Duchess of Muffins to the town crazy. Her new MO: revenge.Eventually, Tempest grows weary being arrested. Yet what choice does she have? If she’s not angry, then she’s simply . . . sad.

Just as she decides to get her life back on track, in walks Cage Erickson, the new bouncer at the local strip club. He’s scary-handsome and the polar opposite of her ex. She’s attracted to him, but she’s not looking for a rebound. He’s attracted to her, but he’s not looking for a serious relationship. So, they agree to be friends.

But when lines get blurred in the friend zone, will they both get burned? Or will it be a TKO?

This is a standalone novel in the Donner Bakery series.

Series recommended reading order: Baking Me Crazy | Stud Muffin | No Whisk No Reward (12 Nov)


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Print

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Two opposites in uncharted territory.

The government made Chloe Wilson an explosives expert, trained to take out a target with a precise, controlled hit. But there’s nothing controlled about her current situation—or the danger coming after her. When a good-looking stranger is sent to watch her back, she’s not impressed. This mission is personal, and it’s liable to get her killed. The former Valkyrie can’t afford any mistakes or attachments, but this time she has no choice, and soon her new partner proves his worth.

One explosive situation.

When former Pararescueman Heath Barrett gets a call from his best friend asking him to keep tabs on a woman in danger, he has no idea what he’s getting himself into. Far from a helpless civilian, Chloe holds him at knifepoint the first time they meet. She’s a deadly operative being hunted by lethal enemies and by the time he realizes the extent of the danger, it’s too late to walk away. Now they’re both targets, and he and Chloe must face the threat head on—and if they want to survive, they’ll have to do it together.

This is the third book in the Vengeance series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.

Series recommended reading order: Stealing Vengeance | Covert Vengeance | Explosive Vengeance | Toxic Vengeance (21 Jan 2020) | Beautiful Vengeance (31 Mar 2020)


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Apple Books | Print

Lyla was completely off limits.

My best friend’s baby sister was the thing wet dreams were made of. Killer body, sexy personality, and the ability to win my daughter over with that disarming smile of hers.

I’ve loved her since before she was legal, but there was always something in our way.

Her brother would kill me if I touched her though. What Judge ruled, everyone in the Underground obeyed.

Including me.

When I told her I wouldn’t go against her brother, she walked away.

Yet she always came back. Not for me, but for my daughter. I lived off those brief visits. Just listening to Josie giggle every time Lyla was in the same room with her fed my soul.

Now, she was home for more than the random weekend, and I ached to make her mine.

To hell with her brother and the consequences.

Josie and I needed Lyla, and we weren’t letting her go this time.

This is the first standalone in the all-new Sons of the Underground series.


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Apple Books | Print

A man consumed by a meaningless life is going to do something he’s never considered doing before. He’s going to enjoy the day…

For hyper-particular publishing heir Jonathan Grief, the day starts like any other—with a strict morning fitness regimen that’ll keep his divorced, easily irritated, cynical, forty-two-year-old self in absolutely flawless physical condition. But all it takes to put a crimp in his routine is one small annoyance. Someone has left a leather-bound day planner with the handwritten title Your Perfect Year in his spot on hismountain bike at his fitness course!

Determined to discover its owner, Jonathan opens the calendar to find that someone known only as “H.” has filled it in with suggestions, tasks, and affirmative actions for each day. The more he devotes himself to locating the elusive H., the deeper Jonathan is drawn into someone else’s rich and generous narrative—and into an attitude adjustment he desperately needs.

He may have ended up with a perfect year by accident, but it seems fate has set Jonathan on a path toward healing, feeling, and maybe even loving again…if only he can meet the stranger who’s changing his life one day at a time.

This is a standalone novel.


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Print | Audio

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More New Releases...

Latest Top Recommendations

Devney Perry kicks off an exciting new series with a gripping page-turner that has all her trademark elements—a small town setting, well drawn characters, an intriguing storyline—but with a much stronger thread of mystery and suspense running through it. The heroine is the new owner of a small town newspaper and she is set on uncovering the real reason why a notorious local motorcycle club disbanded and went their separate ways after decades of criminal activities that went unpunished. So when the former Club president suddenly becomes the key suspect for a new violent crime in town, the heroine sees this as the perfect opportunity to dig deeper into the Club’s nefarious past, but the president’s son has other ideas… While most of Perry’s books have a touch of suspense pushing the story forward, this series relies heavily on not knowing what’s coming, and we are kept on the edge of our seats until the very end. The writing is wonderful, the pace exhilarating, and the plot is completely unpredictable.

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There’s something so euphoric about stumbling upon a book by chance, and then loving it SO completely and SO viscerally from the very first page, that you feel like you’ve lost a friend once it’s over. I’m not sure what caught me by surprise more—the sensuous, plush prose that simply took my breath away, the emotional depth of the characters, or the intense chemistry between them—but this story is so ‘out of the ordinary’ that every single about it is quite simply extraordinary. Set in a small English village, this is the tale of a beautiful but cynical city boy who escapes to the countryside looking for clarity and a way to gain control over his own life, but ends up falling for a bearish, soft-hearted farmer. And while this is a love story first and foremost, Talia Hibbert does a fine job at showing how mental illness can fester overtime and consume a person when they begin drifting unknowingly into the dark currents of their thoughts. She does so with empathy, authenticity, and a sense of profound optimism that leaves the reader feeling uplifted, hopeful, and maybe even a little enlightened. This is one of those books you’ll never forget, and talk all your friends into reading.

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I’m forever on the lookout for stories that are not only well-written and deeply romantic, but that are also fresh, textured, unique and wonderfully quirky in their own way, so when I stumble upon a book that ‘ticks’ ALL the boxes—a book that is as quietly unsettling as it is tender, as emotionally gripping as it is witty—I get all giddy inside. A ghost-hunting adventure and sweeping romance in equal parts, and peppered with moments of breath-holding tension, it amazes me that this Gilded Age gem of a story is a debut effort. It’s a moving, evocative, beautifully told and, at times, chilling read, and even when I desperately wanted to speed ahead to find out what happens in the end, I made myself savour every exquisite last word of it.

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It only took a hot minute for me to be dazzled by Catherine Bybee’s books when I first discovered them, but it was THIS series in particular that made me irrevocably fall in love with her storytelling, so seeing it come to an end was nothing short of bittersweet. And while I always expected this heroine’s story to be somewhat different from the rest given what we knew of her backstory, nothing could have prepared me for this fast-paced, high-stakes, globetrotting game of cat and mouse that somehow embodies and outdoes every single thing I’ve come to love about this author’s writing style. Bybee keeps us guessing until the very end in this perfect, edge-of-your-seat finale to a much-loved series, delivering an immensely satisfying ending that truly brings the series to full circle.

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Renowned for her female leads that are aware, independent, brave, and freethinking, Kerrigan Byrne’s heroines are wonderfully modern without seeming out of place in their 1800s setting, and her latest novel reflects more than ever an era that gave rise to so many progressive women and female social reformers. The heroine is her own knight in shining armour—she is the daughter of an Earl, an accomplished archaeologist, and a rape survivor, but a dark secret from her past leaves her with no other choice but to propose marriage to a man whose touch she dreads. And while her male counterpart is a tortured alpha whose own past might have made him distrustful of any woman wishing to marry him, he proves to be a broadminded, protective, and devoted partner in all the ways that matter. Kicking off a brand new series that centres on the lives and loves of three fiercely independent best friends, Kerrigan Byrne delivers a dazzling tour-de-force novel that tackles head-on the lingering terror and lasting effects of living as a survivor of sexual violence. She does so sensitively but unflinchingly, and her every word takes your breath away.

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If anyone ever asks you why you read romance books, tell them to read this book! The perfect escapist summer read, Leylah Attar’s latest gem is everything I’ve come to expect from this incredibly gifted storyteller—evocative, moving, witty, sublimely written—and it’s the kind of story that fills you with delight from the moment you start reading it. Attar transports us to an exotic paradise of sun-kissed beaches and crystal-clear waters, a place where reality looks and feels like a dream, and where a young woman finally finds herself in the arms of a man who makes her feel brave, loved, and weightless in a world that has held her down for too long. This is by far one of my favourite books of the year.

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Bookish News

An all-new friends-to-lovers romance is coming on Nov 11 from Melanie Harlow—part of her Cloverleigh Farms series—and we have the gorgeous cover.

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Sarah MacLean has revealed the cover of the much-anticipated final book in her Bareknuckle Bastards series, coming on Jun 30.

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Natasha

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