✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | SECOND CHANCES
Clara Saint-James is completing a journey started by an old friend. She’ll return a Cadillac to California, a place she’s avoided for more than a decade. But it’s time for closure and to put old ghosts to rest. And it’s time to find out if the feelings she’s cherished for the boy from her past are just fanciful memories—or if there’s a chance they are real.
Timing was never on her side, especially when it came to Karson Avery. The two of them lived in a junkyard as runaway teens, and though she wanted more than his friendship, he always belonged to another—until that one night when he was hers.
When Clara finds Karson living in a small, coastal town, she’s not surprised the beautiful boy from her past grew into a stunning man. His smile is as captivating as ever. His eyes have the same roguish glint. But timing is still working against her.
Clara must decide how far she’s willing to go to battle for Karson’s heart. Or if it’s time to let him go and surrender to the dotted lines that have always kept them apart.
This is the fifth and final book in the Runaway series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Eros Brassard and I met at JFK years ago while trying to catch two different planes. We had an instant connection that was too powerful to deny. Love happened, and we hooked up.
After our crazy romp, we agreed we couldn’t be together. We live too far away to make it work. Yet ever since, destiny has brought us together. Our paths have crossed so many times it’s obvious fate has intervened in our lives.
But there’s always something else–or someone else–getting in the way. Until now.
I’m hired to plan the wedding of Eros’ best friend, Misty. He thought Misty was the one who got away… until I walked in.
Will circumstances push us apart again?
Or is it the perfect time… maybe… for us to finally admit the truth?
This is the third standalone novel in the Against All Odds series.
Everyone knows Miz Poppy, the vibrant reviewer whose commentary brightens the New Orleans nightlife. But no one knows Hollyn, the real face behind the media star…or the fear that keeps her isolated. When her boss tells her she needs to add video to her blog or lose her job, she’s forced to rely on an unexpected source to help her face her fears.
When aspiring actor Jasper Deares finds out the shy woman who orders coffee every day is actually Miz Poppy, he realizes he has a golden opportunity to get the media attention his acting career needs. All he has to do is help Hollyn come out of her shell…and through their growing connection, finally find her voice.
This is the first book in the all-new Say Everything series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
COMING OF AGE
At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys…
Ronan Wentz has been to hell and back, and he carries the scars to prove it. Worse, the blood of a monster runs through his veins, but after ten years in foster care, eighteen-year-old Ronan is finally reunited with family. His uncle gives him a roof over his head and puts him to work, managing a shabby apartment complex in Santa Cruz, California.
But a second chance is still a second chance. Ronan becomes a solitary hunter, a vigilante, walking the streets at night to keep the nightmares at bay. If he can use the anger burning in his tainted blood to protect instead of hurt, maybe then he’ll find the absolution he seeks.
Then he meets Shiloh.
Shiloh Barrera looks like she has it all together. Smart, ambitious and full of artistic creativity she channels into making beautiful, one-of-kind jewelry. But Shiloh’s cool, capable demeanor is a front. Her demons drive her to succeed as much as her ambition—to prove her worth to the mother who can’t stand to look at her, and who’s harboring secrets of her own.
When Shiloh and Ronan meet, the physical attraction is instant and scorching. Neither believe it will last. Falling in love is an impossible pipe dream saved for those less shattered and damaged than they are.
But as hard as they try to resist, the growing feelings between them seem inevitable… until one terrible night destroys Shiloh’s dreams and Ronan’s future. When the smoke clears, and the rubble settles, they’ll have to choose – do their pasts determine their future, or can they build a new one from the broken pieces of their hearts?
This is the third book in the Lost Boys series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Heartbroken by the loss of her fiancé, adventurous Anna finds a second chance at love with an Irish sailor…
After a reminder goes off for the Caribbean sailing trip Anna was supposed to take with her fiancé, she impulsively goes to sea in the sailboat he left her, intending to complete the voyage alone.
But after a treacherous night’s sail, she realizes she can’t do it by herself and hires Keane, a professional sailor, to help. Much like Anna, Keane is struggling with a very different future than the one he had planned. As romance rises with the tide, they discover that it’s never too late to chart a new course.
This is a standalone novel.
A bed posed on a stage under a dazzling spotlight. An audience of hungry eyes. And him, the other half of my soul, our supple bodies moving as one . . .
Sundara: the lush and forbidden oasis in the desert where men travel to watch acts of sexual deviancy, and the only existence seventeen-year-old Karys has ever known. But despite a life where secrets and sin are in high supply, and freedom remains far beyond their reach, Karys and her partner Zakai find safety in each other, their passionate love the light that helps them both survive the darkness.
Very suddenly, Karys and Zakai find themselves in the bright and confusing world of New York City, navigating separation, school, and relatives who are all but strangers. If they’ve been found, why do they still feel so lost? As their new lives threaten to drive them apart, and Zakai spins out of her grasp, Karys must figure out who and what can be trusted in this strange city, seemingly filled with more venom than the desert they once called home.
This is a standalone novel.
ENEMIES TO LOVERS
Luna Rossi is a veritable crafting genius—she can bedazzle and bead so hard her Etsy site is one of the hottest in the world. So it’s only natural that Luna would convince her brother and his husband-to-be to compete on The Wedding Game, a “do-it-yourself” TV show, for the title of Top DIY Wedding Expert.
As a jaded divorce lawyer, Alec Baxter scoffs at weddings and romance. But when his recently engaged brother begs him to participate in The Wedding Game, Alec grudgingly picks up a glue gun and prepares for some family bonding.
Both fierce competitors, Luna and Alec clash on national TV as harsh words and glitter fly with abandon. But as they bicker over color swatches and mood boards, they find themselves fighting something else: their growing mutual attraction. While Luna is torn between family loyalty and her own feelings, Alec wonders if he might have been wrong about love and marriage all along…
This is a standalone novel.
Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.
But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.
Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.
This is the second book in The Last Hours trilogy, set in the Shadowhunters world.
Life as I knew it ended the day I accepted my fate.
In its place is an existence even the wildest imagination could never fathom. Strange creatures walk among us, plotting our demise, and I’ve come to find that the fate of our world rests squarely on my shoulders. We’re all in danger and I’m trying to figure out how to make it through each day.
The key to my survival is a man I can’t figure out. As dangerous as the darkest fae, I have no choice but to work with him to stop the prophecy that’s foretold to be the ruination of mankind.
Carrick Byrne continues to be my only source of information, but he doles it out as he sees fit. He intrigues and scares me in equal measure, yet I can’t help but be attracted to him. And the more I discover about him, the more it becomes clear he feels the same.
As we travel to Faere in search of answers, we find that every piece of information leads to more questions, that every question leads to a new piece of the puzzle, and that, most importantly, no one can be trusted.
The more secrets we uncover, one thing is certain— if we have any chance of saving the world, we have to do it together.
This is the second book in the Chronicles of the Stone Veil series.
Series reading order: The Clash of Yesterday (prequel novella) | The Revelation of Light and Dark | A Discovery of Secrets and Fate | The Evolution of Fae and Gods (23 Mar 2021) | A Battle of Blood and Stone (13 Apr 2021) | The Rise of Fortune and Fury (4 May 2021)
As the eldest son of Seattle’s current mob boss, Carmine Martinelli’s life has never really been his own. But he doesn’t mind because his family means more to him than his life. Which is why he’s determined to make those responsible for the death of his aunt and uncle pay—in inventive and gruesome ways. And what better way to do that than to infiltrate the Russian mafia from the inside? It’s a good thing the bratva’s princess is stunning and seemingly willing to do whatever he asks. This vengeance could be the perfect mix of business and pleasure.
Nadia Tarenkov has several things stacked against her: she’s a woman, and she’s not the eldest child in her family. But it doesn’t matter. She has her sights set on ruling the syndicate, and she always gets what she wants. When the heir to one of the States’ most powerful crime families comes knocking, Nadia sees it for the gift it is. He thinks he has her fooled, but she’s smarter, more cunning, and always two steps ahead. She’ll beat the gorgeous mobster at his own game, and secure her place in the fold.
What neither of them takes into consideration, however, is that they aren’t the only ones with deadly plans in motion. To survive, they’ll have to come clean and work together—and acknowledge that the growing love they’ve been pretending isn’t there, is very real.
This is the first book in the all-new With Me In Seattle Mafia series of standalone novels with interconnected characters, a spin-off from the With Me In Seattle series.
Series recommended reading order: Underboss | Headhunter (6 Apr 2021) | Off the Record (11 May 2021)
SMALL TOWN + SISTER’S EX-BOYFRIEND
I just wanted to get my hands on his beans…
Four years ago, I had a ridiculous crush on my sister’s boyfriend. But when they moved away together, I put Beck out of my mind and my heart. But now he’s back, and roasting the best coffee in Vermont. I need to convince him to supply the Busy Bean. And I need more of those kisses we accidentally shared outside the coffee shop. He still makes my heart race faster than a triple shot of espresso.
She should be off limits, but instead she’s pushing mine…
Her sister burned my life to the ground, so Haley Elliot is the last woman I should bring into my bed. Although our business relationship is giving way to something more than a fine grind. Neither of us can help ourselves. And what’s worse, I think I’m falling for her.
But it’s a small town, and ours is a big secret. And when her sister blows back into town, suddenly the coffee isn’t the only thing brewing…
This is the first book in the all-new The Busy Bean series of standalone novels, written by different authors but all set in a shared world.
Series recommended reading order: Sweetheart | Cowboy | Cakewalk (24 May 2021) | Friendzoned (24 May 2021)
SMALL TOWN + ONE NIGHT STAND
Pregnant at forty-two? Back the cow up…
Harland Bull Eaton has lost many things—his first wife, his beloved mother, those three women he proposed to . . . Oh, and there was that time he almost lost the family dairy farm due to a scandal. He’s losing faith in just about everything, especially love.
But one night, his friends give him a dare. No commitments. No heartbreak. Just buy that gorgeous redhead a drink. The big-city bombshell he’s set his eyes on swirls him into a tailspin that lands them in bed for a one-night stand he’s pretty sure he’ll never forget. But this time he won’t let his heart ride herd on his common sense.
Recently separated and newly unemployed, Scarlett Russell is at a crossroads. With no other plan than visiting a friend in Vermont, the last thing she expects is a hunky, silver fox offering to buy her a drink. Even less expected is when she raises that offer to “take me to bed, cowboy.” She just wants one night to forget everything gone wrong.
Turns out once won’t be nearly enough. Won’t ever be enough, feeling the way she does. But secrets and an unexpected surprise are a lot to handle . . . unless these two can break a trail to an unexpected happily ever after.
This is the second book in the all-new The Busy Bean series of standalone novels, written by different authors but all set in a shared world.
Series recommended reading order: Sweetheart | Cowboy | Cakewalk (24 May 2021) | Friendzoned (24 May 2021)
When firefighter Kal Donovan transfers to the Tactical Rescue Team, he’s determined to succeed by giving work one hundred percent of his attention. This proves more difficult at his ten-year high school reunion when he runs into Hannah Clark, his first love. She’s still the smart, funny, beautiful girl he loved in high school, but everything has changed. She’s divorced, has a son, and has zero interest in exploring an old romance.
Hannah has moved back home after a disastrous end to a marriage that never should have been. Now her only focus is getting her hair salon up and running, and making sure her son is happy. She doesn’t have time for love—especially not with Kal. She intends to look forward, not backward, and Kal is most definitely part of her past.
However as Hannah and Kal start spending time together, Hannah realizes that what she’s feeling for him isn’t nostalgia, but red-hot attraction. Kal’s intent on showing her what it’s like to be cared for, romanced, and consumed with passion—and Hannah loves it. But she wonders if she has the courage to risk her heart again, even as Kal vows not to lose her a second time.
This is the third book in the Brotherhood by Fire series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Hot to the Touch | Ignite on Contact | All Consuming
When it comes to bread, Reena Manji knows exactly what she’s doing. She treats her sourdough starters like (somewhat unruly) children. But when it comes to Reena’s actual family—and their constant meddling in her life—well, that recipe always ends in disaster.
Now Reena’s parents have found her yet another potential Good Muslim Husband. This one has the body of Captain America, a delicious British accent, and lives right across the hall. He’s the perfect, mouthwatering temptation . . . and completely ruined by the unwelcome side dish of parental interference.
Reena refuses to marry anyone who works for her father. She won’t be attracted to Nadim’s sweet charm or gorgeous lopsided smile. That is, until the baking opportunity of a lifetime presents itself: a couples’ cooking competition with the prize of her dreams. Reena will do anything to win—even asking Nadim to pretend they’re engaged. But when it comes to love, baking your bread doesn’t always mean you get to eat it too.
This is a standalone novel.
The Devil is in the details . . .
Cletus Byron Winston wishes to marry Jennifer Anne Donner-Sylvester (aka The Banana Cake Queen) posthaste! He’s spent the last year wanting nothing more than for the celebrations to be brief, libations flowing, and BYOB (bring your own blueberries). His future mother-in-law has other plans, plans his intended has been willing to indulge, much to Cletus’s chagrin. Therefore, so must he. To a point. But truth be told, he wouldn’t mind if the meddlesome matriarch disappeared, at least until the nuptials are over.
On the night of Cletus and Jenn’s long-awaited engagement party, just when the surly schemer is of a mind to take matters into his own hands, a shocking event upends everyone’s best laid plans and sends the small hamlet of Green Valley into complete disarray. The final months leading up to Cletus and Jenn’s matrimonial bliss are plagued with chaos and uncertainty. Will Cletus and Jenn finally make it to the altar? Or will murder and mayhem derail their happily-ever-after?
And most importantly, who done it?
Series reading order: Engagement and Espionage | Marriage and Murder | Home and Heist (TBA) | Baby and Ballistics (TBA)
FRENEMIES TO LOVERS
You don’t fall for your brother’s high school sweetheart, your boss’s daughter, or your ex-wife’s best friend. Especially when they’re all the same woman.
Under Brick Callan’s mile-wide chest beats a loyal heart with a few cracks in it. He’s the steadfast, overprotective type. Especially when it comes to the one woman he can never have. It’s a long, complicated history punctuated by fights, friendship, family, and an attraction that strains his iron willpower.
When Remi Ford returns to Mackinac Island in the dead of winter with a secret, Brick makes it his mission to find out what put the shadows in those green eyes. Even if it means breaking down the walls he’s built between them. Even if it means falling for the one girl he’ll never get over.
The free-spirited artist just needs to lay low for a few weeks so she can figure a way out of this nightmare. She’s definitely not staying. Not when the man who broke her teenage heart into splinters keeps showing up at her parents’ dinner table. Remi doesn’t need broody, bearded Brick riding to her rescue…again. Not when it will put them both in danger, costing them much more than their hearts.
This is a standalone novel.
Former military man turned government assassin Kellan “Eagle” Trowbridge isn’t looking for love. He’d rather keep his head down at his cover job as an employee of Silverstone Towing. That all changes, however, when he meets Taylor Cardin.
Beautiful, smart, and witty Taylor instantly falls for the mysterious tow truck driver, who comforts her both in the aftermath of the car crash she sees firsthand and when the police dismiss her as a credible witness because of her prosopagnosia, or face blindness. Eagle, on the other hand, can remember every person he’s ever met—and the two counterparts forge an immediate connection. But someone else is just as intrigued by Taylor’s unique condition as Eagle is…and his intentions are downright deadly.
Soon, Eagle and Taylor are too caught up in each other to see the danger that’s approaching. But as time runs out, they’ll discover their love isn’t the only thing fighting to survive.
This is the second book in the Silverstone series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Trusting Skylar | Trusting Taylor | Trusting Molly (13 Jul 2021)
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I’m forever on the lookout for emotionally satisfying stories with strong heroines over forty who are embarking on a ‘second act’ in their lives, and as my own years begin to add up, I find myself gravitating more and more towards not only characters with some miles on them, but also towards stories that make us believe it’s never too late to find true love in life. On one hand, this is a third-chance romance between two college best friends who, after losing touch for more than twenty years, run into one another and have a single night of passion that ends badly in the morning. When they see each other again some years later, their new working relationship forces them to face their past and to deal with feelings that neither of them have ever truly gotten over. But on the other hand, this is also a searingly personal tale of a woman navigating her way through middlescence, of finding herself after a lifetime of self-doubt, and of letting her natural sparkle shine even brighter. I fell in love with every word, every sentence, every page of this exceptional Gen-X romance.
The marriage might be fake, but the chemistry is off the charts in this thoroughly satisfying small town romance, second in Devney Perry’s (writing as Willa Nash) Calamity Montana series. There’s much about the inevitable undoing of a marriage of convenience arrangement that makes me so ridiculously giddy—the slow burn, the sexual tension, the angst—but Perry is the kind of author who not only knows how to weave a story that’s got the perfect balance of escapism and complexity, but who also continues to deliver characters that are unique, interesting, and easy to love. And Hux and Everly stole my heart from the get-go.
I’ve had a love affair with Kristen Ashley’s books from the first moment I came across her inimitable style of storytelling, and to me, there is no one who writes Motorcycle Club Romances quite like her. But the problem with loving something so much and for so long is that one’s expectations only continue to rise higher and higher, and while I could read some of her books repeatedly and never grow tired of them, I know that the bar has been set sky high. That is why I dove into her latest offering of biker-y goodness with both anticipation and trepidation, fearing that nothing could ever replicate the badass biker vibe of Motorcycle Man, or the enduring romance of Own the Wind, or the sheer raw emotion of Walk Through Fire—and she’s already given us all of those. But that is exactly what she delivers once again. Bursting with the author’s trademark energy and imagery, Still Standing is a celebration of one woman’s indomitable spirit and resilience, of family, loyalty, friendship, and of love conquering all, and it’s the kind of story that reminds us that the human spirit can flourish and triumph even in the face of the darkest adversity. Kristen Ashley’s intimate understanding of her characters is on full display in this story, and it hits every note of emotion.
Class and privilege of the Victorian Era are joined together in transactional matrimony with the excess and opulence of the American Gilded Age in Harper St. George’s exquisite new tale of a marriage of convenience that becomes something more. Inspired by the late nineteenth-century real-life sagas of wealthy American heiresses marrying title-rich but cash-poor British noblemen, this is the story of just such a “dollar princess”, whose parents, in hopes of elevating their own social fortune, offer their daughter’s hand in marriage to an impoverished duke. But shackling herself to a man in marriage is the last thing on this heiress’ mind, and no grand title would ever be worth the loss of her independence, even if her intended could very well be the only man in her life willing to see and accept her for all that she is. With lush prose and captivating, nuanced characters, St. George has created a world that you won’t want to leave.
Wanted: American nanny for an adorable four-year old. Must be able to handle a moody, brooding sexy British boss. A brand new standalone romance is coming in April from Louise Bay, and we have the gorgeous cover.
Settled in the tranquil remoteness of the Scottish Highlands, Ardnoch Estate caters to the rich and famous. And the exclusive haven hides a darkness few knew existed. Until now… Samantha Young has an all-new Romantic Suspense novel coming in May, and we have the stunning cover.
An all-new Brooklyn Bruisers novel is coming in April from author Sarina Bowen, and we have the cover.
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