✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | ROCKSTAR ROMANCE
There are some people in life who know exactly how to push your buttons. For me, it’s Rye Peterson. We can’t spend more than ten minutes together before we’re at each other’s throats, which makes working together that much harder. Rye is the bassist for Kill John, the biggest rock band in the world, and I am his publicist. It doesn’t help that the man is gorgeous, funny, talented, and…never takes anything seriously. Avoidance is key.
But everything changes when he overhears something he shouldn’t: a confession made in a moment of weakness. Now the man I’ve tried so hard to ignore is offering me the greatest temptation of all—him.
Brenna James is the one. The one I can’t have. The one I can’t get out of my mind. Believe me, I’ve tried; the woman loathes me. I managed well enough—until I heard her say she’s as lonely as I am. That she needed to be touched, held, satisfied. And I could no longer deny the truth: I wanted to be the one to give her what she craved.
I convinced her that it would just be sex, mutual satisfaction with nothing deeper. But the moment I have her, she becomes my world. I’ve never given her a good reason to trust me before. Now, I’ve got to show Brenna that we’re so much better together than we ever were apart.
Things are going to get messy. But getting messy with Brenna is what I do best.
This is the fourth book in the VIP series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | FRIENDS TO LOVERS
Seeing my best friend West, happy with his fiancé opened my eyes to things I’ve been missing in my own marriage. My divorce, which was amicable, followed. Strangely, at West’s wedding, I find myself confiding in Darren, the straight, confirmed bachelor and star quarterback of the Atlanta Lightning. Darren is a full-steam-ahead kind of guy, and one talk leads to hanging out, swapping phone numbers, and pranking West and Anson while they’re on their honeymoon. When I head back to California, I expect our chats to end, but I couldn’t be more wrong.
I still can’t say how it happened, how a random decision to strike up a conversation with Jeremy turned into…whatever this is. All I know is, months later, my days aren’t complete until we tell each other good night. Whether it’s on our calls or when he flies to Atlanta, we talk about everything, lying awake together half the night. Jeremy’s got me feeling…different. If it was just my newly discovered bisexuality, that’d be one thing. I’m not one to stress about being into a man for the first time. It’s the other stuff, the way he makes my pulse race and my heart swell, that’s throwing me for a loop.
I didn’t think I was made for relationships, thought something inside me was broken, but I want it all with him. Except, it feels like as soon as we make it past one obstacle, there’s an even bigger one waiting for us. We just have to keep our heads in the game and our eyes on the prize, to make it to the end zone, before one last tackle takes us down for good.
This is the second book in the Atlanta Lightning series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | STRANDED TOGETHER
Kerrigan Hale’s personal life is about as exciting as a bucket of tar. With hard work and hustle as her steadfast companions, who needs romance or adventure? Her empire in Calamity, Montana, isn’t going to build itself.
For years, her mentor—and investor—helped make her dreams come true. Until his unexpected death put her fate in his grandson’s hands. A brazen billionaire, he seems intent on ruining Kerrigan’s life. But if Pierce Sullivan thinks she’ll go down without a fight, he’s sorely mistaken. Pushed to the extreme, she drives to his ritzy mountain lodge to force the arrogant You Can Call Me Mr. Sullivan to hear her out.
No sooner does she arrive than a snowstorm traps her with Pierce. Stranded together for days, she’s in for the battle of her life. Pierce is nearly irresistible by candlelight. Without his suits and fancy cars, he’s almost human.
Except only a fool would let down her guard. And Kerrigan can’t risk her future. Not when she doesn’t know if he’s out to pilfer her dreams . . . or to steal her heart.
This is the third book in the Calamity Montana series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
FRIENDS TO LOVERS
When Anna wakes up from a coma after a car crash, she discovers life has gone on without her. Her husband has been unfaithful—with her best friend—and she’s been long since replaced at work. While her old life is a distant memory, her new life feels like an empty shell. Then she meets the stranger who saved her life during the crash, and he changes everything.
Leif Larsen—tattooist, joker, and player—has his own scars thanks to the crash that put Anna in a coma. Helping her move on from her failed marriage, and create a new life, sounds like a perfect distraction. So when he needs a new roommate, he invites Anna to begin her new life with him.
Although their lives may have been put on pause, together they just might find a way to heal.
This is a standalone novel, set in the same world as Repeat.
I am hers, and she is mine…
Vaughn has spent eons searching for the woman who captured his heart, only to be disappointed time and again. Sure, he sees her in his dreams. May get to touch and hold her. But it’s not the same. As the emptiness inside him grows, he jumps at the chance for a distraction. Setting his eyes on the dragons again in Zora is a balm, but it can’t compare to once again coming face-to-face with the gorgeous beauty who holds a piece of his soul.
With responsibilities comes sacrifice…
Eurwen has never known anything but the burden and joy of ruling the dragons. But unlike her twin, she’s always been curious about Earth and the Kings and felt as if something were missing from her life. When her reunion with her parents brings an unexpected surprise, she can’t help but give in to the pleasure that Vaughn offers. Still, her loyalty lies with her realm, and the hurdles in their way to happiness seem insurmountable—especially with a new and unknown foe seeking to destroy them.
Trust doesn’t come easily, but love conquers all. And no amount of time or space can keep those who belong together apart.
This is a standalone novel in the Dragon Kings series, a spin off from the Dark King series.
SMALL TOWN ROMANCE
One reality star bad girl. One small-town vet. And the passion is unforgettable…
Move away. Dye my hair. Change my name. Fly under the radar. That’s my plan to keep the public from recognizing me. I just want to be the new business owner of an old-fashioned barber shop, the ultimate man cave. But all anyone seems to remember is that I’m the bad girl on a popular reality show.
And when I meet the new sexy veterinarian, his gruff voice and grumpy manner get my blood pumping. His sweet way with animals makes me want to know everything about him.
For the first time in my life, cameras aren’t broadcasting my every move. No producer is telling me what to say or do. No one’s pushing me toward him.
This natural gravitation toward him is the realest thing I’ve ever felt. But when my past collides with my present, everything comes crashing down around me.
I wish I could just hide, but I can’t.
Escape my past. Keep my secrets buried. And secure the dream job.
That’s my plan to change my life.
I’m living like I could pack up and leave at a moment’s notice.
Now, my new boss won’t sell me his practice unless I convince him I’m here to stay.
Fresh from LA, Elle Carmichael walks into my vet office with her puppy and plans for her business. With her sunny disposition and wide-eyed hope, she thinks she’s a good fit for this town. As soon as her crazy business plan fails, she’ll be gone.
Getting involved with her is the worst kind of trouble. It will only attract attention to my past, ruining my future.
I wish I could resist her, but I can’t.
This is a standalone novel in the all-new Mountain Haven series.
When it comes to life’s fun and games, always know:
What’s at stake.
When to quit.
Wise words from…well…my fortune cookie. But wise words, nonetheless.
I just wish the Fortune Cookie People had considered how hard the whole “knowing when to quit” would be to carry out when a woman like me is gambling with her feelings.
Heart-palpitating, vageen-tingling, butterflies-in-my-belly feelings for a noncommittal, hot-as-sin player by the name of Jude Winslow.
After a crazy night where we were both pretending to be someone else, I’ve found myself immersed in the fun of the fling.
The irresistible charm.
The pleasure of being with a man like him.
Problem is, I’m positive he’s the exact opposite of husband material, and that is a serious issue for someone who is fixated on finding her happily ever after.
I know the rules and I know the stakes, oh wise Fortune Cookie.
Now I’d just like to know how close to self-destruction I have to get before I find the will to quit Jude Winslow.
Goodness knows, when your heart is on the line, you can’t ante up your bet with an IOU.
This is a standalone novel.
Before I even met Donovan Decker, I knew his shoe size.
You see, I’d gone away for a few days, and in my haste to get out of the airport, I’d grabbed the wrong suitcase.
After checking out the expensive footwear and tailored clothes, I dialed the number on the luggage tag hoping maybe Mister Big Spender might have my bag.
A deep, velvety voice answered, and as luck would have it, he had my suitcase, too.
Donovan and I met at a coffee shop to do the exchange.
Turned out, it wasn’t just his voice that was sexy. The man holding my luggage was absolutely gorgeous, and we had an immediate spark.
He got me to admit that I’d snooped in his bag and then convinced me to make it up to him by letting him buy me coffee.
Coffee led to dinner, dinner led to dessert, and dessert led to spending an entire weekend together. Donovan wasn’t just handsome with a panty-dropping voice. He was also funny, smart, and surprisingly down to earth for a man who wore seven-hundred-dollar shoes.
Did I mention he also did my laundry while I slept? Definitely too good to be true.
So what did I do to repay him for his kindness?
I waited until he was in the shower, then ghosted him.
My life was too complicated for such a great guy.
In the months that passed, I thought about Donovan often.
But New York City had eight-million people, so what were the chances I’d run into him?
Then again, what were the chances I’d run into him a year later…when I’d just started dating his boss?
This is a standalone novel.
BROTHER’S BEST FRIEND + FRIENDS TO LOVERS
When Dustin Bridges left Camp Verde to try to make it on his own, he left half his heart behind. A life with Hannah Judge was just too dangerous. A mountain of chaos and violence was always aiming for the target on Dustin’s back, and that made giving up the only person he ever loved feel necessary.
But impossible isn’t a word Dustin believes in. Defying odds is what he’s good at. It’s how he’s survived. And when fate calls him home, he sees it as his chance to take back his girl, to make his heart whole and to put his makeshift family back together.
Just one thing. That family? And more importantly, that girl? They want nothing to do with him.
When Dustin left Hannah without a word, he broke a promise. More than that, he broke a bond. He broke Hannah. The life she saw in her future was gone in a blink, and in its place she grew a heart of stone and a craving for danger.
But isn’t danger what Dustin Bridges is really all about?
This is the second book in the Fuel series. Dustin and Hannah’s love story will conclude in Burn.
Tragedy has found Cassiopeia Vitt. The woman she admires most, Esmerelda Fontana, has been brutally murdered. Then Cassiopeia’s castle rebuilding project is viciously attacked and people are hurt. Are the two incidents related? The answer comes when her old friend, Nicodème L’Etoile, is threatened and she finds herself drawn into a tangled web of revenge that leads straight to the person she loves the most.
And his life will depend on what she does next.
From the rocky coasts of northern Spain, to a medieval building site in France, and finally into Italy and the oldest surviving republic in the world, Cassiopeia must confront a devil from her past, a man obsessed with her destruction. The choices she has to make will be the toughest she’s ever faced. Life and death decisions that force her—to the end of forever.
This is a Cassiopeia Vitt Adventure.
Series reading order: The Museum of Mysteries | The Lake of Learning | The House of Long Ago
ENEMIES TO LOVERS + FANTASY ROMANCE
The king of wolves was more beast than man, more tyrant than king, and so much more than he seemed.
Raised to avenge his murdered parents, he’d been trained and conditioned until nothing but violence and hatred lined the walls of his dead heart.
For nearly four years, I’d done all I could to help my kingdom as we faced the wolf king’s unconquerable evil—hardly anything at all.
As the only heir to the Gracewood line, I’d been relegated to menial tasks that would keep me and my secrets safe.
A chance to do more than fret behind our castle walls arrived when I breached them after overhearing my parents’ plans for my future. Fleeing, I unknowingly raced into a fate we’d all desperately hoped to avoid.
By the time I saw him coming, it was far too late. For my family. For my kingdom.
For my heart.
Before I could staunch the bleeding, the king had me under his giant paw, and one wrong move after another caused those razor-sharp claws to sink deeper and deeper beneath my bruised skin.
I might have been trapped, naïve, and furious, but I still had a kingdom to save—and a plan.
Yet when we collided, the bloodshed, the fear, his atrocities… all of it dissolved like stardust upon the night sea.
The stars had mapped out our destiny, but it didn’t matter what they or my heart wanted.
I refused to see the enigmatic male, the heartless lost boy with a soul beneath the flesh of a monster.
The savage king who’d destroyed everything I loved would fall—even if my heart fell with him.
This is a standalone novel.
Two people realize that it’s no longer an act when they veer off-script…
Ben Stephens has never bothered with serious relationships. He has plenty of casual dates to keep him busy, family drama he’s trying to ignore and his advertising job to focus on. When Ben lands a huge ad campaign featuring movie star, Anna Gardiner, however, it’s hard to keep it purely professional. Anna is not just gorgeous and sexy, she’s also down to earth and considerate, and he can’t help flirting a little…
Anna Gardiner is on a mission: to make herself a household name, and this ad campaign will be a great distraction while she waits to hear if she’s booked her next movie. However, she didn’t expect Ben Stephens to be her biggest distraction. She knows mixing business with pleasure never works out, but why not indulge in a harmless flirtation?
But their light-hearted banter takes a turn for the serious when Ben helps Anna in a family emergency, and they reveal truths about themselves to each other, truths they’ve barely shared with those closest to them.
When the opportunity comes to turn their real-life fling into something more for the Hollywood spotlight, will Ben be content to play the background role in Anna’s life and leave when the cameras stop rolling? Or could he be the leading man she needs to craft their own Hollywood ending?
This is a standalone novel in The Wedding Date series.
Series recommended reading order: The Wedding Date | The Proposal | The Wedding Party | Royal Holiday | Party of Two | While We Were Dating
Radha is on the verge of becoming one of the greatest kathak dancers in the world… until a family betrayal costs her the biggest competition of her life. Now she has left her Chicago home behind to follow her stage mom to New Jersey. At the Princeton Academy of the Arts, Radha is determined to leave performing in her past and reinvent herself from scratch.
Jai is captain of the Bollywood Beats dance team, ranked first in his class, and is an overachiever with no college plans. Tight family funds means medical school is a pipe dream, which is why he wants to make the most out of high school. When Radha enters his life, he realizes she’s the exact ingredient he needs for a show-stopping senior year.
With careful choreography, both Radha and Jai will need to face their fears (and their families) if they want a taste of a happily ever after.
This is a standalone novel.
A Hollywood “It Girl” is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong.
Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.
Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.
Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart.
This is a standalone novel in an all-new series of interconnected stories.
What happens when the queen of romance falls for the king of horror?
Event planner Kate Sweet is famous for creating the perfect happily-ever-after moment for her clients’ dream weddings. So how is it that her best friend has roped her into planning a bestselling horror writer’s book launch extravaganza? But the second Kate meets—or rather, accidentally maims—the drop-dead-hot Drake Matthews, her well-ordered life quickly transforms into an absolute nightmare.
Drake Matthews is tired of the spotlight and tired of his reputation as the Knight of Nightmares. He’s really a nice guy! But he’s not prepared for Kate, a fearless agent of chaos in steel-tipped stilettos, or for that sweet sting of attraction he feels for her. She’s inspiring him to take his writing in a whole new direction—one that no one expects. Because now Kate and Drake are changing up the rules, and this plot twist might just surprise everyone . . . including themselves.
This is a standalone novel.
Bad things never happen in the picturesque town of Haddon Falls … until now.
It all starts with a killer party. It will end with a savage crime spree.
Seniors Donovan Walsh and Drea Sullivan attend a high school party for very different reasons. But after discovering the body of one of their classmates, they find themselves thrust into the same waking nightmare. From that moment, their lives become intertwined in a search for answers to questions they never should have asked.
As bodies pile high, the unlikely pair dig into Haddon Falls’ past and uncover secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. In a small town where every face is friendly and every door unlocked, Donovan and Drea must unravel who is an ally … and who is willing to bury them—and the truth—six feet under.
This is a standalone novel.
Sparks fly between a playboy prince and an idealistic lawyer, but when the demands of the throne call, can they get a fairy tale ending?
Prince Leopold of Avelle-am-see is destined to rule his small European country. But he doesn’t want to. His entire life, Leopold has rebelled against the inevitable, gaining a reputation in Europe as a bad boy royal with a chip on his shoulder.
Skye Porter jams on researching complex legal issues, but with her lifelong speech impairment, she’s happy to pass the briefs off to another lawyer to argue. Just the idea of being in the spotlight makes her cringe. Two years ago, she dodged a bullet when her intense college fling with charismatic Leo ended when the bastard ghosted her. At the time, she’d had no idea he was a prince, or she never would have fallen so hard.
Now Leo is back, and the chemistry between them sparks just as hot. With his promise of secrecy, Skye surrenders to one more wild night. But when the press finds them together, Skye is tossed into a nightmare of tabloid photos, graphic memes, and a life in the public eye.
Can a reluctant royal and the girl next door find their happily ever after?
This is a standalone novel.
AGE GAP + ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
What lengths will he go to in order to claim his babygirl?
I’m thirty four…and I’m in love with a girl who’s eighteen.
Did I mention that Havana is my son’s ex-girlfriend?
Yeah, this isn’t complicated at all.
When I’m grazed by a Glock in a parking lot, she keeps me from bleeding out.
We hole up in a luxurious hideaway that’s like a fantasy.
Clear of danger and interference, I stop resisting her.
And I get the surprise of my life.
But if I don’t eliminate my enemies, we won’t see the sun rise…
This is a standalone novel in the Forbidden Confessions series.
Finding out you’re the daughter of a millionaire true crime novelist isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
When I was two, I was kidnapped. Kidnapped by a loving family, sure, but still kidnapped.
Now, my biological mom wants me to live with her on the opposite side of the country.
Her … and my new stepdad and his jerk of a son: Parrish.
Wannabe tattoo artist, languorous rich boy, pouty mouth.
Starting a new life on the West Coast sucks, especially when there’s no love lost between me and my new family.
Oh, and my biological father? Did I mention that he’s a serial killer who wants me to play his games?
Find the right clues, follow the right trail, or someone I love gets hurt.
But what if he’s just kidnapped someone I hate instead?
Parrish Vanguard is a royal asshole.
The question is: does he deserve to die?
With the help of Parrish’s best friends—Maxx and Chasm—I have to risk everything to save a boy who considers himself my sworn enemy. Even if I save his ass, he’ll never thank me.
Lucky for him that our love-hate relationship isn’t a deal breaker.
I’ll play, Dad.
Start the game.
This is the first book in the Lost Daughter of a Serial Killer trilogy.
Series reading order: Stolen Crush | Payback Princess (20 Sep 2021) | Title TBA
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Under the guise of sexy, bantery romances about a band of famous rock stars falling in love, Kristen Callihan continues to deliver breathtaking tales of friendship, acceptance, and family found—both delighting and pushing readers out of their emotional comfort zones—and her latest offering in the VIP series is no exception. It’s the long-awaited story of Rye and Brenna, two thirtyish frenemies and colleagues who’ve spent their entire adult lives working towards making their dreams a reality, but now, while both at the top of their game, the future is staring them in the face, and it’s looking colourless and lonely. A no-strings-attached, sex-only arrangement between them seems like the answer to both their problems . . . until things get very complicated in and out of the bedroom, and two people who’ve spent far too long pretending not to like each other are forced to face their true feelings for one another or continue to live the lie. The playful yet wildly combustible chemistry between the characters alone makes this the kind of book I will want to read over and over again.
The third book in Devney Perry’s (writing as Willa Nash) Calamity Montana series is a ‘stranded together’ romance between Kerrigan Hale, a young woman who’s been making a name for herself in Calamity with her entrepreneurial ventures, and Pierce Sullivan, grandson of her former investor and man who now holds her fate in his hands. Forced to make a case for herself as someone deserving of not being ruined by the brazen billionaire, Kerrigan drives to Pierce’s ritzy mountain lodge to confront him, but a snowstorm traps them together and leaves them stranded together. Whether she writes as Devney Perry or Willa Nash, this author continues to deliver characters that are unique, interesting, and easy to love, and this story is a perfect example of this. Kerrigan and Pierce’s story might sound trope-y, but there is nothing about these characters’ journey to one another or their personal arcs that is simple or predictable. The story is full of surprises, emotionally satisfying moments, and stellar writing, as always.
Apart from being so very different to most romances I’ve read lately, which is always the case with this author’s works, everything about this story was simply fresh and delightful. It’s the story of struggling single mother Rosaline Palmer who, in the hopes of giving her daughter a better life, enters a popular TV baking competition—the fictional equivalent of UK’s Great British Bakeoff. But when Rosaline enters into a love triangle with two fellow contestants, her life suddenly becomes very complicated. A heartwarming and at times hilarious tale of a young woman learning to love herself that I absolutely ADORED.
Set in the tranquil beauty of the Scottish Highlands, Samantha Young’s newest novel is to die for. It’s the story of a young American policewoman who, after almost losing her life on the job, travels to Scotland to reconnect with her estranged father, only to find herself caught in the crossfire of a dangerous stalker targeting her father’s employer and anyone close to him. As the attacks grow more and more violent, an unlikely romance blossoms between two people who are trying very hard to keep disliking each other, but as their bond deepens, so does the danger to them both. Barrelling full steam ahead from the get-go, Young writes with such page-turning ease that it is impossible not to get lost in the story, but it is her impressive grasp of human emotion that never fails to leave me awestruck. A moreish start to a series that is sure to keep us on the edge of our seats.
Natasha Boyd (writing as Tasha Boyd) fuels our wanderlust with the titillating tale of a newly unemployed young architect from Charleston, South Carolina, who ends up jump-starting her life on a megayacht in the South of France, working as a nanny for a brooding, widowed billionaire. What was only supposed to be a six-week summer gig while she looks for another job in her field turns into everything she didn’t even know she needed in this deeply felt, searingly passionate romance that I loved so so much. Boyd steadily builds the love story from both perspectives, making us almost taste the mounting desire between the leads, but it’s the way she leaves no emotional stone unturned in her powerful portrayal of a broken widower who is afraid to open his heart again that had me reading until four in the morning, two days in a row. I heartily recommend this book to those looking to soothe their travel cravings from the safety of their couch, or to anyone whose catnip just happens to be a curmudgeonly, dirty-talking Frenchman with a big… yacht.
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!
The fourth book in Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s Blood and Ash series is coming in March 2022, and it’s now available for pre-order.
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