✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION
A crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined…
Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.
Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.
This is a standalone novel.
Being a twenty-two-year-old virgin was not on my list of life goals. I don’t know how it happened. Well…I never date, dedicate all my time to college, and I’m awkward with a capital A around hot guys—okay, so I know exactly how it happened. When my best friends come up with a plan to make the most of this summer before grad school, I’m all for it. That’s how I end up at a charity bachelor auction, bidding on a date I hope will help me toss this V-card out the window.
What could possibly go wrong?
Life is good. I love my new job as PA to the owner of a major production company. Being a prize in a charity auction and scoring the highest bid? Icing on the cake. Now I get to be the date of the most adorable, rambling, bow-tie-wearing grad student I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I can’t be within ten feet of this guy without a smile on my face. When he slips that he’s looking for a summer fling to experiment with, I’m game. Jameson is so different from anyone I’ve hooked up with before, so completely himself, I’m immediately smitten.
Oh, and did I mention we find out he’s my boss’s son?
Between keeping our fling-turned-relationship a secret from his dad and another little familial bombshell that gets dropped in our laps, I’m quickly learning that love is a whole lot more complicated than I thought.
This is the second book in the Stumbling into Love series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Casey Nicholson has always been a little bit sensitive, and she puts it to use in her shop in Jackson Square, where she reads tarot cards and tea leaves. She’s not a medium, but she can read people well.
When the ghost of Lena Marceau comes to her in the cemetery, shedding tears and begging for help, Casey’s at first terrified and then determined. Lena knows she was the victim of a malicious murder. Assumes her husband was, as well, and now fears that her daughter and sister are also in danger. And all over what she believes is someone’s quest to control Marceau Industries, the company left to Lena’s late husband.
Casey isn’t sure how she can help Lena. She isn’t an investigator or with any arm of law enforcement. But when she receives a visit from a tall, dark and very handsome stranger—ironically an FBI agent—she realizes that she’s being drawn into a deadly game where she must discover the truth or possibly die trying.
Special Agent Ryder McKinley of the Krewe of Hunters has his own strange connection to the case. Hoping to solve the mystery of his cousin’s death, he arrives at Casey’s shop during his hunt for answers and finds something wholly unexpected. He fears that Casey’s involvement puts her in danger, yet she’s already knee-deep in deadly waters. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to do but follow the leads and hope they don’t also fall prey to the vicious and very human evil hunting his family.
This is a standalone novella in the Krewe of Hunters series.
Never in a million years did I think it would be Ian Parker who saved me…
I know I should stay away from Ian Parker.
But when my drug-dealing stepdad kicks me out, I have nowhere to go. Squatting in an abandoned shed on Ian’s grandpa’s farm seems like as good a plan as any.
Ian finds me there, of course, and he insists on me moving into his spare room. I should say no, but the appeal of a roof and a warm bed is too much. Not to mention Ian’s brown eyes and strong arms.
We’re nothing alike, but the spark between us is undeniable. My life is finally looking up.
Until I call the cops on my stepdad and unintentionally get my pregnant mom arrested.
Now I have to sacrifice my dreams to take care of my mom’s baby. She’s the only family I have left. Meanwhile, Ian’s band is taking off; his dreams are coming true.
Ian is my one chance at love. I just hope he doesn’t become the one chance that got away.
This is a standalone novel.
SMALL TOWN + FRIENDS TO LOVERS
Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds?
I had my life and career all planned out. That was until I was betrayed by someone I trusted and my perfect opportunity was stolen from underneath my nose.
So here I am, back on Stoneyridge Ranch in Poplar Falls licking my wounds. I love being home with my family and friends, but I am determined to move past my anger and build my career. I have goals and plans too big for my hometown.
When Brandt Haralson, the new Vet in town, offered me a job, it was the perfect opportunity for me to plan my next move and get some experience. He’s brilliant, driven and sexy as sin, but he is also not interested in getting involved with anyone. I can learn a lot from him and I don’t have to worry about any romantic engagement.
You know what they say about the best laid plans. When an attraction builds to the point of boiling and walls start to come tumbling down, can I stick to my plan or will I discover that everything I ever wanted was right here after all?
This is the fourth book in the Poplar Falls series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Rustic Hearts | Stone Hearts | Wicked Hearts | Fragile Hearts
Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.
When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.
As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.
This is a standalone novel.
Lt. Eve Dallas is about to walk into the shadows of her husband’s dangerous past…
While Eve examines a fresh body in Washington Square Park, her husband, Roarke, spots a man among the onlookers he’s known since his younger days on the streets of Dublin. A man who claims to be his half brother. A man who kills for a living—and who burns with hatred for him.
Eve is quick to suspect that the victim’s spouse—resentful over his wife’s affair and poised to inherit her fortune—would have happily paid an assassin to do his dirty work. Roarke is just as quick to warn her that if Lorcan Cobbe is the hitman, she needs to be careful. Law enforcement agencies worldwide have pursued this cold-hearted killer for years, to no avail. And his lazy smirk when he looked Roarke’s way indicates that he will target anyone who matters to Roarke…and is confident he’ll get away with it.
Eve is desperate to protect Roarke. Roarke is desperate to protect Eve. And together, they’re determined to find Cobbe before he finds them—even if it takes them across the Atlantic, far outside Eve’s usual jurisdiction…
This is the 51st instalment in Nora Roberts’ (writing as J.D. Robb) wildly successful In Death series.
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS
I’ve fallen victim to a heinous act.
An act so vile, so downright dirty, that I’m not sure as a twenty-year-old man I’ll ever recover. Brace yourself, because what I’m about to tell you might have you gasping in secondhand horror.
Ready? Here it goes . . .
I’ve recently become the pawn of a meddling mom.
Yes . . . A MEDDLING MOM—who’s been trying to set me up all summer.
Now, I understand it’s not a crime for a mother to want her child to fall in love, but when she makes it her relentless MISSION, the heinous act should be classified as a misdemeanor at least.
Of course, my mom, the evil matriarch in the devil’s leggings, made her final stab at finding a girl for me days before I went back to college.
And I hate to admit it, but she saved a doozy for last.
A titan in black skinny jeans.
A boss of nonchalance.
And a girl who would not only turn my life upside down, but do it while juggling a soccer ball, looking effortlessly gorgeous around campus, and is one hundred percent against relationships. Of any sort.
This is a standalone novel.
Years ago, I fell in love with a man named Maximilian Grant – tall, smooth talking, handsome as hell Maximilian Grant.
He was my everything—a man who could do no wrong—but then he did the one thing he promised he’d never do: he broke my heart.
Now, nearly seven years later, I’m happily married to a man who has completely changed my life…but with my health hanging in the balance, I often wonder what his future entails, because I know there is a possibility that he’ll have to live without me.
John, my husband, is the love of my life, and I have never questioned our love…that is until my past comes knocking at the door.
Every girl has that one guy—the one whom she can’t seem to forget or completely let go of, no matter how toxic the relationship was, or how bad it ended. Well, this story is a little different.
This is the story of how Maximilian Grant went from being my toxic first love, to the man who ultimately saves my life… and, trust me, this will not play out the way you think it will.
This is a standalone novel.
Mason Thatcher gave me chills when I first laid eyes on him. The good kind. The kind that make your body ache, and your heart hammer.
It’s not fair that his touch eased my pain.
That his lips on mine made my worries vanish.
That his love gave me a reason to breathe again.
With him I felt complete, as if fate had given me a second chance.
Then I learned the truth: the sins and secrets of what had really brought us together.
I only hope we could go back. I never could have imagined this.
This is the second and final instalment in Mason and Julia’s duet, part of the You Are Mine series.
Quarterback at our biggest rival high school.
My brother’s worst enemy.
So why can’t I stop thinking about him?
For one, he’s totally gorgeous and boy, does he know it. He’s an arrogant trash talker who brings drama wherever he goes.
And for some reason, he’s set his sights on me.
The more I get to know him, the more I realize he’s actually kind of…sweet. Deep down, he’s broken. Hurting. He’s dealing with a lot, but he also puts on a major front so no one can tell. I want to be there for him. I want to be with him. But because everyone in my life hates Eli, we have to keep our relationship a secret.
The problem with secrets is they never stay secret for long…
This is the third book in The Callahans series and it is not a standalone. Eli and Ava’s story will conclude in Meant To Be.
New York or Los Angeles? Romance or commitment? Younger…or older?
Liza Miller never dreamed that anyone would be interested in her life, let alone buy a book about it. But everything changes when, on the eve of her fiftieth birthday, she publishes a thinly veiled novel about a woman posing as a millennial called Younger—which her old friend Kelsey wants to turn into a TV show.
Liza is off to Los Angeles to help Kelsey write the pilot. But that means leaving behind her on-again off-again boyfriend Josh, her pregnant daughter, and her best friend Maggie. Can Liza find happiness in her new adventure if it means leaving everyone she loves?
Yet as Liza is swept up in the heady world of Hollywood, she finds herself thinking less and less of her life back home in New York. And when she meets Hugo Fielding—the devastatingly handsome and incredibly flirtatious Brit playing her boss on the show—she toes the line between having a crush and falling in love.
Torn between New York and Los Angeles, a familiar love and a risky one, an established career and a shot at stardom, Liza must decide if it’s too late to go to the ball…and if she even wants to.
This is the hotly anticipated sequel to Younger, now a hit TV series.
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With a deceivingly simple premise at its core—a romance author and a literary fiction writer swapping genres for the summer to break out of their writing ruts—this is the kind of story that packs an emotional punch even in its softest moments, flourishing as it unfolds, and just like its two leads, manages to be both romantic and reflective, and even sharp and biting in parts. In this marvellous tale of love, family, and overcoming grief, Emily Henry captures so much of the human experience in a brutally honest and beautiful way, and proves to be not only a gifted storyteller, but also a thoughtful one. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Just like its marvellous predecessor in the series, Bringing Down the Duke, this novel is set against an important historical backdrop of political activism and change in Britain—the women’s suffrage movement—and it offers a compelling perspective on what it truly means to be equal partners in life, both in and out of the bedchamber. The true beauty of this story, to me, however, lies in the fact that besides its fiercely feminist subplot, it’s really about a woman who learns that, despite what the world has told her all her life, being opinionated and outspoken does not make her any less worthy of being loved and treasured by a good man. Like her heroine, Evie Dunmore blends the passion, spirit, and progressive idealism of the time with a love story that is hopeful and grounded, delivering another unputdownable romance that leaves us wanting more.
There’s been so much talk about this series, and rightfully so, because Jennifer Armentrout has woven a truly fantastical new world for us that is fascinating, singular, and marvellously unexpected from the get-go. In this gripping tale of resilience and survival, the protagonist is a young woman who’s been forced onto a path that was never her choice, only to become entangled in a maze of secret agendas and deadly twists at every turn. As a centuries-old war between two powerful kingdoms begins to heat up again, everything she thought she knew is suddenly called into question, including her own heart. I just know that this whole series is going to be a wild ride start to finish.
Known for giving us romances brimming with compassion, courage, and unwavering optimism, Roan Parrish’s acute observation of human nature and the world around her keeps showing not only in the insightful language of every one of her beautiful tales, but also in the depth and distinctiveness of her characters. In her latest novel, she captures so clearly the deep, paralysing quicksand of shyness and social anxiety, and she does so with a touch that is both gentle and capable of hitting you right in the gut. I have never found a single false note in anything I have ever read by Roan Parrish, yet her latest offering still managed to leave me breathless with wonder.
At long last, Samantha Young takes us back to the quaint little coastal town of Hartwell, Delaware with a secret love story spanning a decade as two unlikely lovers discover they’re meant for each other. Book after book, this entire series has kept me spellbound with its colourful characters and the powerful bonds between them, but it seems like every story so far has been leading up to THIS one. We finally find out how the town’s shy bookstore owner ended up falling for the mysterious son of Hartwell’s most ruthless villain, and their story was not only profoundly moving and unexpected—it was also well worth the wait.
From the sandy shores of South Carolina to the Caribbean islands to the high seas, and set during the eighteenth-century’s Golden Age of Piracy, this book is unlike ANYTHING I’ve ever read in my life. It’s both a rip-roaring pirate adventure—packed with action and jaw-dropping twists on every page—and an all-consuming romance that oh-so perfectly captures the angst and drama of its unique setting, but every single part of it is utterly marvellous. Like the lapping waves of the sea, Pam Godwin’s seductive prose lulls the reader into submission with its lyricism and vivid imagery, only to then jolt us with the unexpected, time and time again, weaving a story that never stops knocking the wind out of us. If I had to recommend one book this year, it would be this one, and it has everything to do with a lady pirate named Bennett Sharp.
Amy Harmon‘s next novel is a powerful love story set in the 60s about a musical duo who put everything on the line to be together, and it’s coming in March 2021.
Sawyer Bennett has announced an-all new five-book urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, Chronicles of the Stone Veil, kicking off in Feb 2021.
Ella Frank‘s Prime Time series wraps up on Sep 28, and we now have the cover of the last instalment in this enemies-to-lovers romance trilogy.
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