✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | FANTASY ROMANCE
She’s been the victim and the survivor…
Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.
The enemy and the warrior…
Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.
A lover and heartmate…
But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.
And now she will become Queen…
This is the third book in the Blood and Ash series.
✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION
Jasper-Anne Cleary’s guide to salvaging your life when you find yourself publicly humiliated, out of work, and unemployable at 35—not to mention newly single:
1. Run away. Seriously, there’s no shame in disappearing. Go to that rustic old cottage your aunt left you. Look out for the colony of bats and the leaky roof. Oh, and the barrel-chested neighbor with shoulders like the broad side of a barn. Definitely look out for him.
2. Stop wallowing and stay busy. It doesn’t matter whether you know how to bake or fix things around the house. Do it anyway. Dust off your southern hospitality and feed that burly, bearded neighbor some pecan pie.
3. Meet new people. Chat up the grumpy man-bear, pretend to be his girlfriend when his mother puts you two on the spot, agree to go as his date to a big family party. Don’t worry—it’s only temporary.
4. Cry it out. Screwing up your life entitles you to wine, broody-moody music, and uninterrupted sobbing.
5. Get over it all by getting under someone. Count on your fake boyfriend to deliver some very real action between the sheets.
6. Move on. The disappearing act, the cottage, the faux beau—none of it can last forever.
Linden Santillian’s guide to surviving the invasion when a hell-in-heels campaign strategist moves in next door:
1. Do not engage. There is no good reason you should chop her wood, haul her boxes, or pick her apples.
2. Do not accept gifts, especially not the homemade ones. Disconnect the doorbell, toss your phone over a bridge, hide in the basement if you must, but do not eat her pie.
3. Do not introduce her to your friends and family. They’ll favor her over you and never let you forget it.
4. Do not intervene when she’s crying on the back porch. Ignore every desire to fix the entire world for her. By no means should you take her into your arms and memorize her peach-sweet curves.
5. Do not take her to bed, even if it’s just to get her out of your system.
6. Do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with her.
This is a standalone novel, a modern take on Beauty and the Beast.
✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | FOOTBALL PLAYER ♡ SENATOR
When I left home, I swore I’d never hide anything about myself again. From college, to law school, to the United States Senate representing California, I’ve done it all as an out gay man. So, when I’m in DC and see a beautiful guy at the hotel bar, I don’t hesitate to proposition him…right before he runs out on me, leaving his sunglasses behind like my very own Cinderfella.
I’ve always known I’m gay, but never acted on it. Pretending isn’t easy, but it means I can keep playing football. No one has ever guessed my secret until the gorgeous man at a bar in DC. At least he doesn’t know who I am–the best tight end in the NFL, playing for the Atlanta Lightning. Though my identity doesn’t stay a secret from him for long.
Between texts and late-night phone calls, we get to know each other. West’s the only person who knows all the parts of me, just like I know his. When he asks for one night together so he can show me what it’s like to be with a man, I can’t say no. But once isn’t enough, and we keep sneaking around together–brief encounters, in California, Georgia, or DC, filled with passionate touches and whispered truths.
I never thought I’d have love. West never thought he’d want it. Now we’re all in with each other, but he still has time left in his Senate term. I have contract obligations to fulfill, and I’m closeted. We don’t even live in the same state. The odds are stacked against us, but if there’s one thing I know, it’s how to win. He’s the endgame in the biggest challenge of my life, the one I’m banking my future happiness on.
This is a standalone novel.
FRIENDS TO LOVERS + ROCKSTAR ROMANCE
The Sinners of Seattle were the only family I knew.
That’s where I met Ethan “Kill” Killian.
Both of us had bad childhoods. We knew all about unrequited love.
You know what they say… misery loves company.
We shared firsts.
We shared nights.
One of us fell in love. It wasn’t him.
After the band broke up, Kill became the CEO of a communications firm.
Turns out, suits suit him. He’s found success.
And he’s getting married.
He’s marrying someone who can’t understand him.
Who has no idea what it’s like to lose control.
Not to have a future.
I’m trying to stay sober, but it’s hard when my world has crumbled.
Unrequited love can destroy you. I know.
But just one call from him reignites our spark.
Now there’s no stopping it.
When things get dark, I don’t care if I am shattered into pieces.
I just need one last time.
This is the first book in the Second Chance Sinners duet and it is not a standalone novel.
One night changed everything.
In a single breath my entire future was ripped away.
Now I’m left simply trying to pick up the pieces.
Endless nights waiting tables in hopes of keeping a single piece of the dream I left behind.
He came for pie with dark eyes and a cocky smile.
But those eyes saw more than they should.
Past my walls to all those secrets I’d long buried.
That should’ve been my first warning.
I should’ve said no when he offered me a job too good to be true.
But I said yes.
Slowly friendship sparked to something more.
Stolen moments became an obsession neither of us could kick.
Hudson gave me more than I’d ever dreamed.
So much of what I had lost.
A home. A family.
I should’ve known it was all a beautiful lie.
I should’ve known he’d only leave me with all the ugly things…
This is the first book in the Love and Lies duet and it is not a standalone novel.
Series reading order: All The Ugly Things | All The Beautiful Things (11 May 2021)
GRUMPY BOSS + SMALL TOWN ROMANCE
What happens when a smoking hot, but grouchy vet meets a sunny and sassy optimist?
Broody wildlife veterinarian Griffin Foster is done. Done trying to save the world. Done getting attached. He’s been fired twice for standing his ground and now he’s going to be content—by God—in small-town Louisiana, in a small veterinary practice, where there will only be small problems.
Quiet and boring, though? Um, no. He’s been adopted by a loud, crazy Cajun family with a tiny petting zoo for him to care for. Hey, it’s not endangered tigers at a nationally renowned zoo, but a family of otters—and all the gumbo he can eat—isn’t a bad deal.
Until she shows up. Again.
The sunny, gorgeous optimist who stole his heart—and his favorite shirt—two months ago. Who clearly hasn’t heard the word “no” enough in her life. And who is the first woman to put even a tiny crack in his don’t-get-attached wall.
Charlotte “Charlie” Landry is the new marketing consultant for the family swamp-boat tour company and petting zoo. It might not have been her plan, but she is all in, ready to grow the business. Whether the hot, grumpy vet likes it or not.
Worse, sparring with his unforgettable one-night stand is more fun than he’s had in a long time.
But watching wears-designer-dresses Charlie find her dream job amongst a bunch of goats, alpacas, and otters is a surprise.
And her helping him find his passion again is…well, irresistible.
This is the first book in the all-new Boys of the Bayou Gone Wild series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Otterly Irresistible | Heavy Petting (25 May 2021) | Flipping Love You (29 Jun 2021)
SMALL TOWN ROMANCE
“My secrets have always kept me safe… until he saw my truth.”
Kingston Scott is the most eligible bachelor in professional football, a charming rebel on and off the field. He’s also in desperate need of an attitude adjustment.
After a reckless night puts him behind bars, he’s sentenced to coach football at a sleepaway camp in the middle of nowhere. He’s not sure he’ll survive an entire month of torture…until he sees her. The intoxicating woman with the silver moon eyes, the reserved smile, and the past she’s determined to keep hidden.
Silver Livingston is the resident nurse at Camp Dakota, a beautiful temptress on and off the clock. She’s also a forbidden mystery to all who know her.
After a decade of living in the shadows of the safe haven she’s created, she receives news that threatens her perfect façade. Silver isn’t sure what to do next… and then she sees him. The new arrival with the body of a god, a flashy smile, and evergreen eyes that burn straight through to her core.
Now, Silver isn’t sure which threat to fear most—the irresistible man she knows she must deny or the inevitable head-on collision with her past.
This is a standalone novel.
ENEMIES TO LOVERS + ROCKSTAR ROMANCE
I’m obsessed with Laila Fitzgerald. There, I finally admitted it. I’ve tried not to want her. I tried to step aside when my best friend said he wanted her. But it’s proved impossible. She’s too gorgeous and talented, too charismatic and badass, for me not to want her for myself.
Unfortunately, though, karma’s a bitch. In trying to do the right thing by my best friend, I’ve done the wrong thing by myself. I’ve pushed her away every chance I’ve had. Dug way too deep a hole to crawl out of . . . And now, Laila downright hates my guts. And rightly so.
But since we’re stuck together, yet again—and, this time, even more closely—I’ve decided nothing will stop me from getting what I want. This time, I’m going to figure out a way to coax Laila into falling out of hate with me . . .
This is the second and final book in the Hate-Love duet.
Series reading order: Falling Out of Hate with You | Falling Into Love with You
A bestselling author who goes to Paris to overcome writer’s block and rediscovers family, independence, and love along the way…
All Maggie Bliss needs to do is write. Forty-eight years old and newly single (again!), she ventures to Paris in a last-ditch effort to finish her manuscript. With a marvelous apartment at her fingertips and an elegant housekeeper to meet her every need, a finished book—and her dream of finally taking her career over the top—is surely within her grasp. After all, how could she find anything except inspiration in Paris, with its sophistication, food, and romance in the air?
But the clock is running out, and between her charming ex-husband arriving in France for vacation and a handsome Frenchman appearing one morning in her bathtub, Maggie’s previously undisturbed peace goes by the wayside.
This is a standalone novel.
Sahvage has been living under the radar for centuries-and he has every intention of staying ‘dead and buried.’ But when a civilian female sucks him into her dangerous battle with an evil as ancient as time, his protective side overrides his common sense.
Mae has lost everything, and desperation sets her on a collision course with fate. Determined to reverse a tragedy, she goes where mortals should fear to tread- and comes face to face with the Brotherhood’s new enemy. She also discovers a love she never expected to find with Sahvage, but there can be no future for them.
Knowing they will part, the two band together to fight against what Mae unknowingly unleashed- as the Brotherhood closes in to reclaim one of their damned, and the evil vows to destroy them all…
This is the nineteenth novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and it is not a standalone novel.
A runaway groom. A cautious neighbor. Too many sexually fueled run-ins to speak of.
I came to New York for a fresh start.
A new job. A new apartment. A new life.
The last thing I’m looking for is a man.
I flee for my life when I leave Chicago.
Escaping a lifetime of misery.
But from the moment my eyes land on Mya Whitfield—I’m done for.
And don’t even get me started on watching her play the cello.
I’ve never envied anything the way I envy that enormous piece of wood between her legs.
Move over, cello…
There’s a new man in town.
This is the first book in the all-new G.D. Taylors series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Wanted Wed Or Alive | The Bold and the Bullheaded (24 Jun 2021)
ENEMIES TO FRIENDS TO LOVERS
The ice maiden faces off with her greatest enemy, a villain brutal beyond imagining…
For centuries, Taliyah Skyhawk has prepared to become Harpy General, leader of the deadliest female army in existence. One of the requirements? Remain a virgin. But, for a chance to save her people, she must wed the fearless leader of the Astra Planeta, Alaroc Phaethon.
The time has come for Roc to sacrifice another virgin bride to his god. There has never been a woman alluring enough to tempt him from his path. No warrioress powerful enough to overcome his incredible strength. No enchantress desirable enough to make him burn beyond reason. Until now.
With the clock ticking, war between husband and wife ignites. Except Taliyah never expected the merciless king to challenge the future she once envisioned. She certainly never anticipated the thrill of their battles turning into games… The problem is, only one spouse can survive.
This is the first book in the all-new Rise of the Warlords series, a spin-off from the Lords of the Underworld series.
BEST FRIENDS TO LOVERS
She’s the woman he can’t live without.
The one he can’t risk screwing up their relationship by sleeping with her.
Linc Kingston doesn’t accept anything less than perfection. Not in his billion-dollar business or in his personal life. He has it all. Except one thing. His personal assistant and best friend in his bed, moaning his name. No matter how much Linc wants her, she’s completely off-limits.
Jordan Greene grew up the daughter of the housekeeper at the Kingston estate, where she met and bonded with Linc at a young age, despite their economic differences. But no matter how close they are now or how much their attraction simmers beneath the surface, they’re still from two different worlds. Besides, Jordan isn’t about to risk losing her best friend for one sensual night.
Jordan might be the only woman who can handle Linc and his domineering, bossy attitude, but beneath that gruff exterior is a vulnerable man who, despite his wealth, has had a less-than-charmed life. And when Linc’s father dies, she’s there for him—unwavering in her friendship.
Until one night of passion and a positive pregnancy test changes everything.
This is the first book in the all-new The Kingston Family series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Just One Night | Just One Scandal (27 Jul 2021) | Just One Chance (9 Nov 2021) | Just One Spark (18 Jan 2022)
I learned a lot the night my cheating fiancé called off our wedding:
1. A cheater’s gonna cheat no matter how smart you are, how charming you act, or how hot your bod is.
2. Nothing eases the pain of a broken heart like a late-night donut delivery from a hot guy like Liam Evans
3. Said donuts and a pitcher of margaritas do not mix well.
4. Drunkenly declaring that a hot guy is your best friend will not make your tingly bits chill out.
Somehow, my drunken decree making Liam Evans my best friend works and we decide to open a food truck together—The Dump Truck… a late-night junk food truck servicing the broken-hearted.
With our new business venture and the rocky relationship between his brother and my sister, a friendship between us is as far as it can go… until a national broadcast claims that we’re a couple.
Now the whole world thinks we’re madly in love, and The Dump Truck business is booming as a result.
And as our make-believe relationship gets all too real, I’m finding that breaking up has never been so sweet…
This is a standalone novel in the Beefcakes series.
Series recommended reading order: Beefcakes | Sugarlips
COLLEGE SPORTS ROMANCE
He’s chaos on and off the field.
For hotshot quarterback, Luke Finnegan, Love and Chaos are always intertwined, and when he decides he’s through with relationships, a blonde artist with pink streaks in her hair convinces him sometimes love is worth the madness.
Miley St. Claire doesn’t do relationships. She’s seen the chaos they cause for those around her and she wants no part of that drama…so why is she considering taking Luke Finnegan up on his friends with benefits offer?
This is the second book in the Campus Hotshots series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Rebellious and Reckless | Chaos and Love | Dangerous and Disastrous (22 Jun 2021)
ROMANTIC COMEDY + SUPERNATURAL TWIST
Jobless and forced home to Wisconsin, journalist Sabrina Monroe can tolerate reunions with frenemies and kisses from old boyfriends, but not the literal ghosts that greet her…
For Sabrina Monroe, moving back home to the Wisconsin Dells–the self-described Waterpark Capital of the World–means returning to the Monroe family curse: the women in her family can see spirits who come to them for help with unfinished business. But Sabrina’s always redirected the needy spirits to her mom, who’s much better suited for the job. The one exception has always been Molly, a bubbly rom-com loving ghost, who stuck by Sabrina’s side all through her lonely childhood.
Her personal life starts looking up when Ray, the new local restaurateur, invites Sabrina to his supper club, where he flirts with her over his famous Brandy Old-Fashioneds. He’s charming and handsome, but Sabrina tells herself she doesn’t have time for romance–she needs to focus on finding a job. Except the longer she’s in the Dells, the harder it is to resist her feelings for Ray. Who can turn down a cute guy with a fondness for rescue dogs and an obsession with perfecting his fried cheese curds recipe?
When the Dells starts to feel like home for the first time and with Ray in her corner, Sabrina begins to realize that she can make a difference and help others wherever she is.
This is a standalone novel.
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It doesn’t happen all too often that I become so enamoured with a book that I feel utterly drunk on it, but this radiant gem of a story stole my heart and fed my soul in ways I didn’t even know it had needed it. In this slow-burning, opposites-attracting romance between two unlikely lovers, Rosie Danan makes us believe that love truly conquers all, and that a cynical former sex performer and a forward-thinking young rabbi could find their happily-ever-after in a world that is set on rejecting the very idea of them together. The soft shimmering sensuality of Danan’s voice is intoxicating, subtle yet bold in the way she makes the reader feel each tantalising increment of desire between the characters, but it is her ability to give them genuine emotional depth and complexity that leaves a lovely, lingering effect long after we close this book. A rare delight!
I’ve been enamoured with Abby Jimenez’s books ever since discovering her unique brand of storytelling in The Friend Zone, and her newest Romantic Comedy is another perfect marriage of humour and heart-wrenching emotion. It’s the story of a famous YouTuber whose family’s tragic health history has taught her to live each day to its fullest, and never dare to hope for a future she might never get to see. But then the hot lawyer living next door walks into her life and shakes her resolve to never fall in love… A joyful story full of heart and hope and truth and everything I always hope to find in a book. A triumph!
The perfect blend of romance, intrigue, and humour, this is the story of Lucy Coover, an aspiring artist who after stumbling upon a naked man passed out drunk in an alley, is compelled to immortalise his perfect form on canvas. Little does she know that she is painting the one and only Duke of Weston, a man whose family legacy has cornered him into a situation of powerlessness and dependency. Desperate to avoid scandal by gaining possession of the scandalous painting, he makes a deal with Lucy. But as they begin to work towards their respective goals, their lives become more and more intertwined, ultimately revealing an enemy that threatens them both. Flawlessly written, with characters that are intriguing and complex from the start.
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.
A sexy new fake-relationship romance is coming in May from Kylie Scott, and we have the gorgeous cover.
JB Salsbury has an angsty new romance with a bossy hero and woman who was born to survive, out on May 18. It’s the first standalone in the all-new The North Brothers series.
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