✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION
My love story all started with a letter.
Only it wasn’t from the man I’d eventually fall in love with. It was from his daughter. A sweet little girl named Birdie Maxwell who’d written to the magazine that I worked for.
You see, once a year my employer fulfilled a few wishes for readers. Only that column didn’t start up again for months.
So I fulfilled some of her wishes myself. It was harmless…so I thought. Until one day I took things too far.
While anonymously granting yet another of Birdie’s wishes, I got a look at her father. Her devastatingly handsome, single dad father.
I should have stopped playing fairy godmother then. I should have left well enough alone. But I just couldn’t help myself. I had a connection to this girl. One that had me acting irrationally.
Like when I showed up on their doorstep.
This is a standalone novel.
✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | BROTHER’S BEST FRIENDS
I always felt I wasn’t wired like my peers, but when my brother, Kellan, gave me three terms—ace, aromantic, and demi—I had possible names for it. Those three words have been on my mind ever since, as has my brother’s best friend, Josh Westbrook. It’s been cool getting to know him and spending time together, just us. He makes me feel something I never thought I’d be able to feel. When we end up alone in a cabin with only one bed, all my crossed wires finally connect and point toward being demi and wanting him.
Griff and I were never supposed to be more than friends, but I like him more and more. I like being the reason he smiles, and…yeah, I enjoy making him writhe with pleasure too. But Griff doesn’t hook up casually, and I swore off love a long time ago. Still, we keep finding ourselves drawn together, a shared loneliness and a deep want guiding us. Kellan’s afraid I’ll hurt Griff. Frankly, I am too. My past is still an open wound that keeps me from getting too close.
One thing is becoming clear, though—my Grumpy Griff is making me break my own rules. He says he’s never known his place in the world, but I do. It’s with me. The only way for us to move forward is for me to stop looking back…before I lose sight of him for good.
This is the fourth and final book in the Havenwood series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
MYSTERY + ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Scarlett Lattimore arrives at Lilith House, an abandoned mansion built in 1876, that later housed a reform school for troubled girls, to start a new life with her seven-year-old daughter.
But between the nearby town with the strange, disconcerting feel, the deputy sheriff who is equal parts intriguing and suspicious, and the discovery that their new home holds a dark and violent past, Scarlett soon begins to question her rash decision.
She is shaken and afraid by the screams that echo in the walls and the drumbeat that arises from the surrounding woods where the ghost of an indigenous man is said to roam, seeking vengeance. Her fear is also personal, because Scarlett knew one of the girls who attended the school, a friend who escaped into those woods and was never seen again. They all thought she was a rebellious runaway who later encountered foul play, but perhaps the truth is far more sinister.
As Scarlett’s extraordinary daughter Haddie becomes consumed by the eerie figure who weaves and beckons through the forest fog, and a legacy of secrets reveal themselves, it becomes clear both Scarlett and Haddie are in grave danger. When the past intersects with the present, they will come face to face with the true evil of Lilith House. An evil that has lasted for more than a century.
This is a standalone novel.
There’s always the one that got away. Or kicked you out…
The new darling of rock n’ roll, Adam Dillon, is ready to show his ex-girlfriend, Jill Schwartz, what a mistake she made kicking him to the curb. So maybe he wasn’t the best of boyfriends. Writing great songs and climbing to the top of the charts isn’t easy.
Only problem is, he’s fast finding out that success isn’t everything.
This is a standalone novella in the Stage Dive series.
With the stakes this high, it’s no longer just a game for the Mustang’s quarterback…
Elliot Reed is living her best life—or pretending to. She owes it to her dad’s memory to be happy and make the most of her new job as Strategic Communications Manager for the Denver Mustangs. Things are going well until star quarterback Quinton Howard Jr. decides to use the field as his stage and takes a knee during the national anthem.
As the son of a former professional athlete, Quinton knows the good, the bad, and the ugly about football. He’s worked his entire life to gain recognition in the sport, and now that he has it, he’s not about to waste his chance to change the league for better. Not even the brilliant but infuriating Elliot, who the Mustangs assign to manage him, will get Quinton back in line.
A rocky initial meeting leads to more tension between Quinton and Elliot. But as her new job forces them to spend time together, Elliot realizes they may have more in common than she could’ve imagined. With her job and his integrity on the line, this is one coin toss that nobody can win.
This is a standalone novel in The Playbook series.
Ruthless. Cunning. Deadly. That’s Nico Alcanzar, Miami’s biggest drug cartel leader.
And I’ve found myself directly in his crosshairs. He plans to use me to eliminate his number one competitor.
I become embedded in his life where he watches my every move. Then, I find myself doing the unthinkable: I fall for the glimpses of the man beneath the dark, menacing exterior.
I want him. The criminal. The murderer. The lover. The protector. The man who never asked for my heart.
The further I fall, the more ensnared I become in his tangled web of lies, masking the truth beneath.
Because when it comes to the art of deception, nothing is as it seems.
This is a standalone novel.
Black Mountain Academy was my only choice. It was meant to be freedom. But with those watchful eyes, it’s anything but the fresh start I crave.
When you’re good, nobody ever remembers. But when you’re bad, they can’t stop reminding you. I was labelled a rebel, a party girl, a nuisance, even a… never mind, you don’t need to know that.
That all changed when he gave me a label. I submitted to the nickname.
I am a Deviant. I revel in the dark, alongside him.
Forbidden. Against the rules. A bad idea.
We can’t stop ourselves from breaking the moral compass.
But the stranger is watching me. Every move, every breath, and every dream.
He’s there, waiting, biding his time. In the end, he will get me.
When secrets are spilled… Who will be the deviant then?
Because where Black Mountain Academy is concerned… never judge a book by its cover.
This is a standalone novel in the Black Mountain Academy series, a multi-author series of stories filled with drama, angst, love, lust, and everything in between.
Secretly hooking up with the team captain’s sister was a bad idea.
In my defense, the first time I saw her I didn’t know who she was.
Kind, gorgeous, a little naïve. Ginny brightened my world from day one.
I knew I was no good for her. She was just out of a relationship and I had a reputation for having a new girl in my bed every weekend.
I tried to do the right thing. Honest.
I’m the one who insisted we should be just friends.
That lasted about as long as you’d expect.
But Ginny? She’s the best—best friend, best everything.
So yeah, hooking up with the team captain’s sister wasn’t a great idea.
Would I do it again?
In a heartbeat.
This is the first book in the all-new Campus Nights series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Secret Puck | Bad Crush (27 Apr 2021)
Some love stories are a slow burn. Others are quick to ignite, scorching and branding your very soul before you’ve taken that first breath. You’re never given a chance to run from it.
That’s how I’d describe what happened to us.
Everything around me blurred and all that existed were his lips, his touch…
The chase and the heat between us became addictive.
Our nights together were a distraction, one we craved to the point of letting the world crumble around us.
We should have paid more attention; we should have known that it would come to this.
We both knew it couldn’t last, but that didn’t change what we desired most.
All we wanted was each other…
This is the second book in the This Love Hurts series.
Series reading order: This Love Hurts | But I Need You | And I Love You the Most (29 Dec 2020)
He is the darkest star.
She is the burning shadow.
And together, they will bring about the brightest night.
Less than a year ago, Evelyn Dasher was a normal girl, living a safe, rather unremarkable life—a life that was a total lie. Now she’s learned the truth about who she was and what she is.
Hidden within Zone 3, she knows that if she loses control of her dangerous abilities again, she not only puts everyone in the secret community at risk, but also the beautiful, deadly inhuman Luc. He will do anything to keep her safe. Lie. Barter. Beg. Kill.
But there are truths that not even Luc can prepare for, and as Evie’s abilities evolve, the consequences of everything he’s done turn devastating.
Luc is stepping into the darkness. But Evie might already be lost to the shadows.
This is the third book in the Origin series.
Series reading order: The Darkest Star | The Burning Shadow | The Brightest Night
Joe Harper has backpedaled throughout his life. A once-promising guitar prodigy, he’s been living without direction since abandoning his musical dreams. Now into his thirties, having retreated from every opportunity he’s had to level up, he has lost his family, his best friend, and his own self-respect.
But Joe finds an unlikely path to redemption when he starts working as a carpenter for the bohemian conceptual artist October Danko. The job returns him to his hometown, loaded with bittersweet reminders of his former life, in the shadows of his beloved redwood trees. As Joe’s relationship with October develops, he yearns to take a daring step toward a bold future, but struggles to escape the craven decisions of his past.
A stunning, moving novel that explores masculinity and suspended adolescence, all the while begging the questions: Can courage be learned? And is it ever too late to follow your heart?
This is a standalone novel.
Prosecutor. Marine. Brother.
I thought I knew the man I was.
But in one moment, I found my real purpose: saving Nina de Vries.
On the outside, she seemed the perfect, icy aristocrat.
But I knew different.
Trapped by her monstrous husband and fear of her powerful family, Nina was begging to be saved.
And I was the only one who could do it.
Instead I broke her heart, and now I’ll stop at nothing to put it back together.
Because when fate introduces you the love of your life, you don’t walk away.
You fight for your chance, even if it means dragging the world down with you.
Nina and I were written in the stars.
That’s not even a question.
But will fate let us take our happy ending?
Or is our future one we’ll have to steal?
This is the final book in the Rose Gold series.
Series reading order: The Scarlet Night (prequel novella) | The Other Man | The Perfect Woman | The Honest Affair
ENEMIES TO LOVERS
Connor isn’t in the market for messy.
His life is going completely according to plan. He’s set to become CEO of his family’s company, his Ironman time is better than ever, and his regular poker nights with the guys are his one night a month he can stop worrying about counting macros and indulge himself. What he doesn’t need is a relationship with Emerson Dyer—daughter of his father’s lifelong enemy and most-hated rival.
Emerson’s life is nothing but messy.
Since her father died, leaving her CEO of their gin distillery, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Emerson is barely holding it together—what she doesn’t need is a complication like Connor Finch. Sure, his abs do look like they’ve been photoshopped, but she has no time to spend counting them. It’s her company’s numbers she should be worrying about. Still, there’s something about the way he makes her feel.
Together, they’re perfect.
Connor knows he and Emerson don’t make sense on paper. Too many differences between them—and one big secret that could destroy Emerson’s family business tells him to cut and run. But for once in his life, Connor doesn’t care about messy or imperfect—because the fact is, Emerson is the one perfect thing he needs in his life. Now if he can only convince her . . .
This is a standalone novel in the all-new Love Distilled series.
GRUMPY HERO + BILLIONAIRE ROMANCE
I may be a shy letter carrier, but when my beloved apartment building is threatened by a mysterious and reclusive billionaire, I’m willing to push the envelope.
I’m going to march right up to Malcolm Blackberg’s fortress of fierceness and deliver a cease-and-desist notice he can’t refuse.
Except as soon as I get inside his gilded doors, things go sideways—I’m mistaken for Malcolm’s court-ordered emotional intelligence coach, as if I’m acting out a wacky postal carrier cosplay.
They drag me in, a sacrificial lamb for the big bad.
Make that big, smolderingly sexy bad.
So I make up a lesson involving a story about our building. He doesn’t seem happy. Can he tell that I have no idea what I’m doing?
Before I know it, I’m flying around the country, up close and personality testing the most devilishly exasperating man I’ve ever met.
He’s scary for sure…but the way he sometimes looks at me turns my knees to jelly, and has me writing love letters to his gorgeous eyes, his mouthwatering smile, his impressive…package.
Our coaching sessions are getting hot-hot-hot, but I can’t let my guard down. If he ever finds out I’m a first-class fake, I’ll lose everything I’ve ever loved in this world!
This is a standalone novel in the Billionaires of Manhattan series.
They called me the pretty boy on and off the ice. Hockey’s most eligible bachelor.
When my teammate asked me to donate one date to his charity, I figured why not. Worst case, I’d spend the night with a fan. Best-case scenario, she would be hot. What I wasn’t expecting was for my dream girl to be the highest bidder.
For years, she brushed me off, and now, I finally had a chance to take her out and show her who I really was.
With only one shot at this, I really hoped I didn’t mess it up.
At the top of my career, I was riding the wave of my sports talk show having the best rating on the radio.
I also made it a rule to never date any sports players.
It was my one rule, and I was sticking to it until I bid on the only man who gets under my skin.
All it takes is one touch, one night, one kiss, and only one chance.
This is the second book in the Only One series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Only One Kiss | Only One Chance | Only One Night (5 Jan 2021) | Only One Touch (9 Feb 2021)
The end to his story has already been written…
Brad Steel made a promise to his wife and children—to create a legacy born from his love for them and his desire to protect them from harm. It was a worthy ambition…
But along the way, something went terribly wrong.
Daphne Steel loves her husband beyond measure and will stand by him no matter what, even when it’s more than she can deal with. She escapes when she must, still always putting Brad and their children first.
Mysteries deepen, secrets are unveiled, and Brad vows to continue to protect his family at all costs. But is the price too high? The lies and misdeeds get easier and easier, until he descends to a place he swore he’d never go.
There’s no turning back, though, and his actions have consequences—for those he did everything to protect.
This is the fifteenth book in The Steel Brothers Saga.
Series reading order: Craving | Obsession | Possession | Melt | Burn | Surrender | Shattered | Twisted | Unraveled | Breathless | Ravenous | Insatiable | Fate | Legacy | Descent | Awakened (29 Dec 2020) | Cherished (23 Mar 2021) | Freed (29 Jun 2021)
Air force pilot turned electrician Brandon Anderson never thought he’d have money or security, so the inheritance he and his brothers receive from his billionaire uncle seems too good to be true. Brandon can’t help but wonder if there are strings attached. After all, his uncle loves to meddle…
Working alongside his brothers to build a new veterans center, Brandon just wants to get the job done. That all changes when his uncle asks Chloe—the beautiful and confident daughter of a famous chef and food critic—to design the center’s kitchen. Brandon and Chloe have a steamy chemistry, but he struggles with allowing himself happiness, and Chloe is a perfectionist determined never to be in a long-term relationship. Now Brandon has to convince her to finish this job with him.
Brandon and Chloe are used to putting work first, but as they grow closer, they’ll learn that even a real-life love story can have a fairy-tale ending.
This is the third book in the Anderson Billionaires series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Finn | Noah | Brandon | Hudson (3 Dec 2020)
It’s hard to miss your boyfriend when he’s standing right next to you being a sarcastic nimrod. I have a temper and he has an attitude. Our antics inside and outside the bedroom are off the charts. Half the time we’re giving each other a hard time just to get to the good times.
Things get more complicated when he’s all those things and dead as well.
Evan’s a newly formed ghost, and I’m Sammi, the girlfriend whose lady bits are accused of being so strong they shot him off a cliff.
Our new life is tinged with pirates, mermaids, undead carjackers who look like they should be on the set of a horror movie, and a nefarious ghost that has it out for me.
The worst part? We have to figure it all out before Evan goes ghost. For good this time.
This is standalone Halloween novella.
I found my boyfriend mid-thrust in a vampire.
Gross. WTH, right? Also, a fork might’ve been thrown.
I expected to spend the night commiserating with my best friend.
That didn’t happen. I found myself on a mission to save her.
And somehow, I woke up in the back of a vehicle, across from a guy who could be described as literal sex on a stick.
Then I found out a few things:
He’s seriously and overwhelmingly powerful.
He’s hot, like holy cannoli hot.
He’s the Big Bad that I’ve been sensing, but no one knew what kind of a Big Bad he was.
Oh, and apparently, he’s kidnapped me.
This is standalone Halloween novella.
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Latest Top Recommendations
I honestly can’t believe that one of the BEST, most thought-provoking books I read this year is not even a romance. A failed bank robbery turns into a hostage situation at an open house, but when the hostages are eventually released, the robber is nowhere to be found. Through police interviews and flashbacks, we get to know not only the quirky hostages, but also the two policemen trying to solve the case, and as more and more puzzle pieces curiously fit together, we begin to piece together a breath-taking tale of life, love, death, marriage, parenthood, and compassion. Packed with both moments of laugh-out-loud humour and heart-piercing honesty, I found myself having to put this book down more than once, desperate to fully absorb each scene and process the sheer genius of it all. Fredrik Backman is a wonder, a brilliant storyteller and a keen observer of human nature, and this book is the rarest of gems. And the audiobook is simply OUTSTANDING.
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.
R.S. Grey‘s newest RomCom is coming on Nov 5, and we have the gorgeous cover.
A witty, effervescent new novel about what happens when two people with everything on the line are thrown together by science—or is it fate?—is coming from Christina Lauren in May 2021, and we have all the details.
Brittainy Cherry returns with another emotional romance—a story about healing, hope, family, and love, and featuring a rock star grieving the death of his twin brother and bandmate, and a single mum struggling to make ends meet—coming in May 2021.
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