✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | SMALL TOWN ROMANCE
Duke Evans didn’t expect to find a beautiful woman in a staring contest with a bison on his favorite hiking trail. He also didn’t expect to see her again after rescuing her from the surly beast. As the sheriff in Calamity, Montana, he’s had his fair share of surprises but none as pleasant as pulling over a shiny black car and finding his mysterious hiking companion behind the wheel.
Only she lied to Duke. She gave him a name as fake as her hair color. According to her driver’s license, her real name is Lucy Ross, the famous country music singer whose sudden disappearance has been a hot topic on the radio over the past two weeks.
He’s not sure why Lucy lied about her identity or why she’s in Calamity. And she’s not talking. Instead, she offers him a bribe to keep her secret.
Duke doesn’t want her money. He wants to know why this beautiful woman is on the run. And as long as the star shines on his badge, he’s going to find out.
This is the first book in the all-new Calamity Montana series of standalone novels with interconnected characters. Willa Nash is a pen name of Devney Perry.
Series recommended reading order: The Bribe | The Bluff (4 Feb 2021)
MARRIAGE IN TROUBLE
Fresh out of Vet school, I married Pierce Aldridge. Gorgeous, sexy, and smart. He’s a philanthropist with a heart of gold, or so I thought.
After a while he became distant, self-centered, and callous. The man I married disappeared before my eyes. I should leave him, but I can’t do it just yet.
There’s one thing I need but I can’t have it if I divorce him. Just a few more months…
But my plans fall through when his father dies.
The man was just as ruthless as his son.
Now I can either spend eighteen months with Pierce in his hometown playing the happy couple or I could avoid the ordeal entirely if I sign the divorce papers. But I would lose the one thing I’ve been wanting my whole life.
The more time that passes, the more I realize that maybe I’ve been wrong.
Maybe the man I married is still there. The man I still love.
But is it too late?
This is a standalone novel in The Baker’s Creek Billionaire Brothers series.
Owen Pick’s life is falling apart. In his thirties and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct—accusations he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel forums, where he meets a charismatic and mysterious figure.
Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.
Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.
This is a standalone novel.
Cheska Harlow-Wright was born into a life of luxury and privilege. She has never wanted for anything. A comfortable future as a married London socialite
awaits her. But since the age of thirteen, Cheska has harboured a secret—an unshakeable fixation on a boy who could never offer her anything close to comfort. A boy steeped in sin and draped in depravity. A boy born into the possessive embrace of darkness.
When Cheska’s seemingly perfect world is ripped apart by an unknown but deadly enemy, there’s only one person she can run to. One person in the world who has the power to keep her safe. The one person her weak and shattered heart craves.
Arthur Adley. The new head of the most feared crime family in London.
Forced too young to take the helm of the Adley firm, Arthur has become even more ruthless, formidable, and cold than ever before. His enemies are circling, and he must fight—and kill—to maintain his family’s place at the top of the London crime underworld. There is no room for weakness, emotion, or loss of control.
But then Cheska smashes back into his life with the force of a wrecking ball. She has no place in this dark, vicious, and bloodthirsty world. And worse, she is the solitary chink in his impenetrable armour. He’s already pushed her away once, but this time she desperately needs him. She’s broken, lost, and in danger, and he is the only one who can help.
Arthur must protect her. He must destroy those who dare to threaten her, hunt down those who would take what is his. He would raze all of London to the ground to keep her safe… but can he also protect himself?
The infamous Dark Lord of London Town faces his most brutal battle yet—the crippling weight of the past, the unrelenting enemies lurking in the shadows… and the havoc that Cheska’s presence is wreaking on the granite fortress that was once his heart.
This is a standalone novel.
Her brother’s best friend. Her lifelong crush. Her sweetest regret.
For as long as I can remember, Kace Matthews has been my brother’s best friend and my not-so-secret crush. But I knew nothing would ever happen between us. The successful single dad doesn’t fall for the hot mess party girl. Kace + Stella exists in the doodles in my high school notebooks and in my dreams. Never in real life.
Until he finds me on a hookup app and starts flirting shamelessly.
It turns out high school Stella was not prepared for Kace Matthews. Adult Stella isn’t much better, but I manage to break down the walls to show Kace the real me—not just the life-of-the-party exterior, but the vulnerable pieces I hide from the world. Combine that with the combustible chemistry we have in real life, and I’m a goner.
Too bad it takes me so long to realize Kace doesn’t know I’m the girl he’s been falling for online. Telling him the truth now that he knows my secrets could mean losing everything, and that’s one regret that could break me.
This is the second book in the Orchid Valley series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Every Little Piece of Me | Every Sweet Regret | Every Time I Fall (13 Apr 2021)
I’m a novice about to take my vows. He’s the embodiment of sin—and the new owner of the convent that’s been my home for the past two years.
I shouldn’t want him. Yet from the moment he walks into Mother Superior’s office and threatens to turn Saint Clare into a luxury hotel, all I can think about are those lush lips, tight muscles, and perfect hair. That, and the devil’s bargain he proposes.
My body in exchange for the convent. For fourteen days, I’m to be with him at Lust, his exclusive sex club. Fourteen days obeying his every command.
Whatever I do, I can’t let myself fall in love with him. Because Kegan Anderson is a beast, and a beast can never love.
He can only destroy.
This is a standalone novel.
COLLEGE SPORTS ROMANCE
Dillon McQueen: Babe. I promise. You want me.
Serena Jensen: Um, who are you?
There’s a legend at Waylon University: the first girl you kiss freshman year at the bonfire party is the one you’ll never forget. She’ll crawl under your skin. She’ll spark a passion so fierce you’ll burn the world down to possess her.
You might even put a ring on it.
But…timing is everything. That kiss can go horribly wrong. She might run in the opposite direction. And boy, did Serena run.
Dillon is Waylon’s hotshot quarterback with something to prove. All he wants is to graduate and make it to the NFL. What he doesn’t need is to finally meet the mystery girl he kissed at the bonfire freshman year. Isn’t it enough that she’s haunted his dreams for more than a thousand nights?
Fate laughs in his face when he runs into the plucky girl at the Piggly Wiggly. Surrounded by his entourage, he’s got all the Oreos in his cart; she gets revenge by buying every six-pack of his favorite beer.
Obviously, that legend is a curse. She’s not his type and hates him. Worst of all, how can she not remember him when she left a Serena-shaped hole in his heart for the past three years?
So why can’t he stop trying to win her?
Will this quarterback score the girl or make the biggest fumble of his life?
This is a standalone novel.
Ten years ago, half-Fae, half human Kerrigan Argon was discreetly dropped off onto the steps of Draco Mountain with nothing but a note. Her life changes completely as she’s swept into the care of the House of Dragons—an elite training program for gifted Fae.
On the year of her seventeenth name day, each student will be chosen by one of the twelve tribes of Alandria to enter society.
Everyone is chosen, except Kerrigan.
So, she strikes a bargain with the Dragon Society: convince a tribe to select her or give up her birthright forever.
With the unlikeliest of allies—Fordham Ollivier, the cursed Fae prince, who escaped his dark throne—she has to chart her own destiny to reshape the world.
This is the first book in the all-new Royal Houses series.
Kaylee Sloan’s home in Southern California is full of wonderful memories of the woman who raised her. But the memories are prolonging her grief over her mother’s recent death. A successful author, Kaylee hoped she could pour herself into her work. Instead she has terrible writer’s block and a looming deadline.
Determined to escape distractions and avoid the holiday season, Kaylee borrows a cabin in Virgin River. She knows the isolation will help her writing, and as she drives north through the mountains and the majestic redwoods, she immediately feels inspired. Until she arrives at a building that has just gone up in flames. Devastated, she heads to Jack’s Bar to plan her next steps. The local watering hole is the heart of the town, and once she crosses the threshold, she’s surprised to be embraced by people who are more than willing to help a friend—or a stranger—in need.
Kaylee’s world is expanding in ways she never dreamed possible. And when she rescues a kitten followed by a dog with a litter of puppies, she finds her heart opening up to the animals who need her. And then there’s the dog trainer who knows exactly how to help her. As the holidays approach, Kaylee’s dread turns to wonder. Because there’s no better place to spend Christmas than Virgin River.
This is a Virgin River novel.
Series reading order: Virgin River | Shelter Mountain | Whispering Rock | A Virgin River Christmas | Second Chance Pass | Temptation Ridge | Paradise Valley | Under the Christmas Tree | Forbidden Falls | Angel’s Peak | Moonlight Road | Midnight Confessions | Promise Canyon | Wild Man Creek | Harvest Moon | Bring Me Home for Christmas | Hidden Summit | Redwood Bend | Sunrise Point | My Kind of Christmas | Return to Virgin River
Fake dating the cute owner of a bakery Dean is an investor in sounds kind of messy…but messy can be fun.
Norah Donahue wants bakeries not babies, but her matchmaking mother won’t stop trying to play Cupid.
Dean Moser is a cocky stock market savant whose friends are all settling down, leaving Boulder’s infamous ladies’ man all alone.
When Norah needs a fake date for her parents’ anniversary party, her new silent investor is the perfect guy for the job. It seems like a foolproof plan…
That is until Norah decides to break her biggest rule and lock lips with Dean in the middle of the party to spite her meddling mother.
Turns out that Dean and Norah’s chemistry is sizzling hot, and mixing business with pleasure could turn out to be a recipe for disaster.
Or maybe they can have their cake and eat it too.
This is a standalone novel.
She’s got two strikes against her.
Her name is Erickson and her parents own The Bagel Place.
It wasn’t always that way. When we were nine, we were best friends. But then a feud between our dads ripped their successful business apart—and my best friend was ripped away too.
Our paths were bound to cross again. When both our families vie for the same spot on a Food Channel’s reality show, the producers decide to change the format, aligning us as allies.
In order to get our parents to agree to work together, Evan asks me to pretend to be her boyfriend, but I dare her to up the ante—be my fiancée. Fake fiancée… obviously.
As usual, I didn’t think things through. Turns out our parents have a lot of demands neither one of us expected. And all those demands lead to things feeling more real than fake.
This is a standalone novel in The Rooftop Crew series.
Vampire soldier Adare O’Cearbhaill’s default setting is cranky. Or irritated. Or down-right hostile. Still, as a Highlander of honor and duty, he stepped up to save an enhanced and special human female by mating her—with merely a bite and a brand. The last person he wants in his life is a fragile human, yet he can’t get her out of his mind as she regains her strength before taking off for parts unknown. And when he discovers she is in danger, nothing can stop him from hunting her down—whether she likes it or not.
There’s only one way to find out . . .
Photographer Grace Cooper has had it with vampires, demons, and the rest of an immortal world she was happier not knowing about. She also doesn’t believe she’s destined for some great battle because of an old birthmark. Forget the fact that her mate is the sexiest thing on two stubborn feet, or that her brand is fading along with her health. She’ll handle things on her own—until an old enemy reappears and she learns the only way to stay alive is to actually mate, wild sex and all, with that ripped and dangerous Adare—a powerful, captivating Highlander who demands nothing less than everything . . .
This is the twelfth book in the Dark Protectors series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Hate is a strong word.
Depending on the company, loathe is a good substitute. Abhor might be a little fancy, but it gets the job done. But the word that really sums up how I feel about Liam Darcy is, without question, hate.
He doesn’t seem to think much of me either. The second he lays his fault-seeking eyes on me, he sets out to oppose me. Everything about him is imposing, as if he consumes the nearby air to power the rise and fall of his broad chest, and it’s clear he resents my presence on his advertising team. Every idea I have is shot down. Every olive branch I offer is set on fire by nothing more than the blistering coals he calls eyes.
In return, I light him up with my words.
It’s not as if he can dismiss me, since I work for his client, Wasted Words. Instead, he’s forced to tolerate me, which seems the closest we’ll ever be to friends. Fine by me.
I can be civil and still hate Liam Darcy.
But if there’s more to him than his exterior shows, I won’t be able to hate him at all.
I might stumble over that line between love and hate and fall right into his arms.
This is a standalone novel in a series inspired by the works of Jane Austen. This story is a contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice.
Series recommended reading order: Wasted Words | A Thousand Letters | Love, Hannah | Love Notes | Pride and Papercuts
A trip to Italy could jump-start a lasting relationship—but only if all that’s hidden comes to light…
When Christof meets a beautiful mechanic on the side of the road, he knows they’re meant to be. His family, however, needs him and his mediation skills in Italy, where decades of secrets and betrayal could cost them everything. His mother is convinced a fiancée would help smooth things over. But he’d be nuts to ask a woman he just met to participate in such a farce.
Men always find something about McKenna they want to change—her independence, her success, the grease that clings to her after a satisfying day in the garage. So when she starts falling for a handsome billionaire, she doesn’t believe it will last. Their engagement is fake, but the sparks that fly when they’re together are too real to resist.
If Christof and McKenna trust themselves and each other, Italy will jump-start a love as intimate as it is intense. If not…their relationship isn’t the only one on the line.
This is the third book in the Corisi Billionaires series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: The Broken One | The Wild One | The Secret One
Dear Internet: Am I a horrible person for wanting to sabotage my work assignment—completely wreck a dating contest—because I hate the idea of love?
I know it sounds bad, but just hear me out, okay?
I (33F) work at a local paper, and two months ago, my editor assigned me a huge project—run the upcoming, highly anticipated Bachelor Anonymous contest.
In essence, I’m supposed to help a reader-nominated bachelor find his special someone, and while I should be excited to handle something of this magnitude solo, I can’t help but get queasy over how gross it feels.
Like, how cheesy could this thing get?
Not to mention, I’m the last person who should be involved in this—my dating and relationship history is a cluster. Generally, the person in charge of these things shouldn’t fantasize about lighting the whole three-ring dating circus on fire.
Anyway, men from all over Southern California, vying for the coveted bachelor role, submitted their personal ads to my paper. The readers voted, and Single Dad Seeks Juliet won by a landslide.
Enter Mr. Bachelor Anonymous (40M), the single dad Romeo seeking his Juliet.
Blah, blah, blah, right? Wrong.
You guys—and I cannot stress this enough—this guy is the ultimate man in a six-foot-three, chiseled-muscle, freaking Adonis package with aquamarine eyes that would haunt the dreams of an insomniac.
He’s a former Navy SEAL, successful business owner, motocross-riding, charming, supportive, funny-as-heck single dad, and the more time I spend with him, the more I want to bring this contest thing crumbling to the ground for an entirely different reason.
Real talk: I think I’m falling for him.
Me, the woman who despises love, might be falling for the completely off-limits Bachelor who I’m ironically assigned to help find love, while five other women think they’re the only contestants competing for his heart.
So, Internet. Am I scum? Or is all fair in love and war?
This is a standalone novel.
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Kerrigan Byrne returns to her sublime Devil You Know series with another breathtaking love story that is ripe with intrigue, sexual tension, and feminist strength. By consistently delivering tales that are anchored by fiery, resilient, unapologetically brazen heroines, Byrne continues to reach new depths in her portrayal of women who are unwilling to let anyone else dictate their own destiny, and this book is no exception. It’s the story of a young mathematician whose scandalous inheritance makes her the target of a man who’s made it his mission to close down all of London’s most notorious dens of vice, but their attraction burns far brighter than their immediate differences, and as danger begins to stir, they must work together to bring their enemy into the light. Byrne infuses her characters with self-awareness and agency, gently probing questions of patriarchy and internalized misogyny in them, thus delivering a tale that remains true to its characters while also dazzling with its romantic plot and sensuous writing. A real treat!
Devney Perry continues the Hush Note series with a hopeful, heartfelt tale that shows it’s never too late to rewrite one’s own story, or give true love a second chance. After years of chasing her dreams and clawing her way to the top of the music scene, Hush Note’s star drummer returns to her childhood home and to the man she left behind, forcing her to confront all she thought she had to give up in order to live life on her own terms. A romance that is imbued with a decade’s worth of hurts, regrets, and unsaid emotions, but that somehow manages to make us feel incredibly optimistic from beginning to end, this was EXACTLY the kind of escapism I am looking for right now.
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.
The next full-length standalone in Kristen Proby‘s With Me In Seattle series is coming in Jan 2021, and we have the cover.
We have the cover of the fourth and final book in Sierra Simone‘s Thornchapel series, coming on Nov 30.
K.K. Allen has a new suspenseful romance coming in November, full of small mountain town vibes and sizzling slow burn, and we have the gorgeous cover.
We have the cover of the first book in a brand new, page-turning romantic trilogy, coming in May 2021 from author Tijan.
We have the cover of the third book in Rachel Van Dyken‘s Mafia Royals series, a mafia romance about love and loss, coming on Jan 12.
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