✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Going toe-to-toe with a brooding Scotsman is rather bold for a respectable suffragist, but when he happens to be one’s unexpected husband, what else is an unwilling bride to do?
London banking heiress Hattie Greenfield wanted just three things in life:
1. Acclaim as an artist.
2. A noble cause.
3. Marriage to a young lord who puts the gentle in gentleman.
Why then does this Oxford scholar find herself at the altar with the darkly attractive financier Lucian Blackstone, whose murky past and ruthless business practices strike fear in the hearts of Britain’s peerage? Trust Hattie to take an invigorating little adventure too far. Now she’s stuck with a churlish Scot who just might be the end of her ambitions….
When the daughter of his business rival all but falls into his lap, Lucian sees opportunity. As a self-made man, he has vast wealth but holds little power, and Hattie might be the key to finally setting long-harbored political plans in motion. Driven by an old desire for revenge, he has no room for his new wife’s apprehensions or romantic notions, bewitching as he finds her.
But a sudden journey to Scotland paints everything in a different light. Hattie slowly sees the real Lucian and realizes she could win everything–as long as she is prepared to lose her heart.
This is the third book in the A League of Extraordinary Women series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
SMALL TOWN + FRIENDS TO LOVERS + ROMANCE OVER 40
At forty-three, Holden Barnett is getting along just fine. His job as a pilot keeps him from getting restless, and he’s got a man who doesn’t want promises for the future. One phone call from his estranged sister changes everything. She needs his help, so Holden drops everything and heads to Harmony, a small town in Briar County, which represents everything he’s tried to avoid in life.
Monroe Covington is forty-five and happy. He loves his life—running his store, helping at his family’s farm, and spending his days with his best friend, Lindsey, and their son, Wyatt. Sure, half the town likes to forget he’s gay, and he’d love for the queer population to be bigger, but Roe makes do. He misses dating, relationships, and a man to hold at night, but at least he gets new eye candy when Holden, the brother of the woman who’s renting his cabin, shows up.
The attraction is instant, the friendship not far behind, but between Holden’s initial relationship status, family complications, and the two of them wanting different things, they’re a disaster waiting to happen…only it doesn’t feel that way, not with how much time they spend talking, laughing, and eventually, tumbling into bed, a field, or the back of a truck together. The closer they get, the more Holden realizes that just being fine isn’t enough, and Roe begins to see that his life isn’t as complete as he thought. Now, if they could only sort out the rest of it…
This is the first book in the all-new Briar County series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
I know everything about brains, but nothing about hearts.
Love isn’t in my future. Romance isn’t in my cards. I focus on my job and nothing else. Neurosurgery doesn’t play well with distraction, anyway. If only my meddling, matchmaking Mom would get the hint.
Accepting a move to Baker’s Creek, getting off her radar and away from any eligible bachelors that she knows should keep me safe, right?
I might not want a boyfriend but I do have a type: broody, angsty, and quiet. And there’s one of those living in this small town.
He’s a military man who’s numbed himself to the point of no return. He’s been forced to choose between love and family one too many times, and I just saved the life of his baby brother.
He fascinates me far beyond his chiseled good looks. I want to know how he thinks, what makes him tick, and if I can make him smile…
But can I learn to read his mind without giving away my heart?
This is a standalone novel in The Baker’s Creek Billionaire Brothers series.
From a very young age, Chloe Pierce was trained to look after the ones she loved.
And she was trained by the best.
But when the man who looked after her was no longer there, Chloe is cast adrift—just as the very foundation of her life crumbled to pieces.
Then she runs into tall, lanky, unpretentious Judge Oakley, her exact opposite. She shops. He hikes. She drinks pink ladies. He drinks beer. She’s a city girl. He’s a mountain guy.
Obviously, this means they have a blowout fight upon meeting. Their second encounter doesn’t go a lot better.
Judge is loving the challenge. Chloe is everything he doesn’t want in a woman, but he can’t stop finding ways to spend time with her. He knows she’s dealing with loss and change.
He just doesn’t know how deep that goes. Or how ingrained it is for Chloe to care for those who have a place in her heart, how hard it will be to trust anyone to look after her…
And how much harder it is when it’s his turn.
This is the second book in the River Rain series.
Jude Andrews is famous. Well, at least on Instagram. Her brand is clean eating, good vibes, Pilates, and casually looking like a sun-kissed goddess. In real life, however, she’s a total disaster. She has a strained relationship with her fame-hungry mom and her latest bad decision emptied out her entire savings account.
Lauren Turner had a plan: graduate medical school and become the top surgeon in the country. But when she became unexpectedly pregnant, those plans changed. And when her fiancé left her, they changed again. Now navigating the new world of coparenting, mom groups, and dating, she decides to launch a mommy podcast with all the advice she wishes someone had given her.
Jude and Lauren don’t have much in common, but maybe that’s why they’ve been best friends since the third grade. Through ups and downs, they’ve been by each other’s sides. But now? They’re broke, single, and do the only thing that makes sense—move in together, just like they talked about when they were teenagers. Except when they were younger, the plan didn’t include a five-year-old daughter and more baggage than their new townhouse can hold.
This is a standalone novel.
When Brooke Baker first meets Dustin Grant, the attraction is instant. Add in how he doesn’t cringe at the mention of anal beads, then she’s crushing hard. With a chance second meeting where he’s in need of help with a charity dinner, Brooke is more than ready to step in.
Despite her being dressed to the nines, her perfect day out with the handsome football player doesn’t go as planned. You see, Dustin already has a date for the night. Brooke’s instead there to look after his son, Benjie.
Since it’s obvious Brooke isn’t Dustin’s type, she pushes away her attraction and moves on.
That’s all fine… until Dustin turns the tables and decides he’s interested after all. But Brooke isn’t prepared to lower her guard, nor does she want to be a backup.
Can Dustin woo her with his charms, or will he bumble the whole thing and miss out on the chance of something special?
This is the second book in the Clumsy Love series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
I can’t have Elijah Iverson.
I can’t have him because he’s my older brother’s best friend. I can’t have him because I broke his heart five years ago; because he’s now engaged to someone else—someone kind and dependable who deserves his whiskey eyes, his soft mouth, his fierce intellect.
I can’t have Elijah because I’ve chosen God instead.
The Bell brothers, though . . . well, we don’t exactly have the greatest track record with vows. But I’m determined to do this monk thing right—to pledge myself to a cloistered life and spend the rest of my years in chastity and prayer. But now Elijah’s here. He’s here and he’s coming with me on my European monastery road trip, and between the whispered confessions and the stolen kisses and the moments bent over an ancient altar, my vows are feeling flimsier by the day.
And vows or not, I know in my heart that it would take more than a good and holy monk to resist Elijah Iverson right now. It would take a saint.
And we all know that I’m no saint.
This is the third full-length standalone novel in the Priest series, featuring Father Bell’s brother, Aiden Bell.
Homicide detective Eve Dallas sifts through the wreckage of the past to find a killer…
The body was left in a dumpster like so much trash, the victim a woman of no fixed address, known for offering paper flowers in return for spare change—and for keeping the cops informed of any infractions she witnessed on the street. But the notebook where she scribbled her intel on litterers and other such offenders is nowhere to be found.
Then Eve is summoned away to a nearby building site to view more remains—in this case decades old, adorned with gold jewelry and fine clothing—unearthed by recent construction work. She isn’t happy when she realizes that the scene of the crime belongs to her husband, Roarke—not that it should surprise her, since the Irish billionaire owns a good chunk of New York. Now Eve must enter a complex world of real estate development, family history, shady deals, and shocking secrets to find justice for two women whose lives were thrown away…
This is the 53rd instalment in Nora Roberts’ (writing as J.D. Robb) wildly successful In Death series.
ENEMIES TO LOVERS
He was the one-night stand that didn’t exactly go as planned. Now he’s standing before me as if he’s never seen me naked, telling my manager he’ll take the job. Reluctantly.
Sports agent extraordinaire. Handsome as hell. The man who just signed on to control my every move.
Sure, I’m to blame for my recent bad press, but when your whole life has been so regimented, isn’t it normal to want to live it up a little?
But when the partying stops and the grief I’m running from has nowhere else to hide, reality sets in. Turns out, Finn’s the only person I have left to help pick up the pieces. The only person to call.
Staying with him is a temporary thing. But when our fighting turns into laughter and our friendship turns into something more, will I fight for a man who swears he’s hard to love? Or is it wiser to walk away? To follow the plan?
* * *
Offering to help with a client is a way to repay a long overdue IOU to my mentor. Little did I know she was the woman who left my hotel room at four in the morning.
Top-seeded US tennis player. Good girl gone bad. The woman currently about to throw her career away. And now my problem.
The compensation to “babysit” her is great, but she isn’t worth my trouble.
But when her world falls apart and she has no one else to turn to, I try to be a good guy by gathering her up and hiding her from the media’s eye.
Now she’s in my house, in my space, and even though I’m enjoying the side benefits of this unexpected arrangement, surely she’s better to leave when the time comes and follow her destiny. Because I’m not the man she needs. Not the man she could love. Right?
This is a standalone novel in the Play Hard series.
Series recommended reading order: Hard to Handle | Hard to Hold | Hard to Score | Hard to Lose | Hard to Love | Hard to Love
Retired from the military and finally free of the demons of past missions, former Special Forces soldier Charlie “Red” Cooper leads a blissfully calm life running his successful distillery. At least until the day he finds his partner and best friend drowned in one of their best barrels of whiskey. Now he must dredge up old skills and memories to not only avenge his friend’s death, but to protect the one woman who has always made his pulse race—his friend’s grieving widow.
Shocked by her husband’s death, Josephine Swift should be mourning, but instead she’s terrified and…pissed. Turns out the husband she’d fallen out of love with was into some seriously bad business. Even worse, he’s dragged her and his partner into his web of deceit and danger. Now his mistakes could get them both killed.
Jo is glad to have the benefit of Red’s skills to keep them safe. She shouldn’t be interested in him—especially not now—but there’s no denying the white-hot attraction that smolders between them. Red’s far too honorable to sully his best friend’s memory by giving in to his desire for Jo. But when their lives hang in the balance, all bets are off. And as the depth of their passion grows, Jo dares to hope for a future. First, though, they have to survive…
This is a standalone novel in the Stark Security series. Stark Security, a high-end, high-tech, no-holds barred security firm founded by billionaire Damien Stark and security specialist Ryan Hunter has one mission—Do whatever it takes to protect the innocent. Only the best in the business are good enough for Stark Security. Men with dangerous skills. Men with something to prove. Brilliant, charismatic, sexy as hell, they have no time for softness—they work hard and they play harder. They’ll take any risk to get the job done. But what they won’t do is lose their hearts. Or will they?
I joined Jameson Force Security for three reasons: the missions, the danger, and the money. I definitely didn’t join the team to be an overpriced babysitter for a spoiled princess. Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you Jackson Gale is an adventurer through and through. Yet here I am, halfway across the world, watching over Princess Camille of the House Winterbourne. Even her name sounds stuck up.
After arriving in Bretaria, I realize that Princess Camille is nothing that I expected. Beautiful, smart, and sophisticated, Camille is the very picture of elegance and grace. But under her perfect façade, she is funny, adventurous, sexy as hell, and impossible to resist. And that is a dangerous combination.
The closer Camille and I become, the more obvious it is that while she and I are compatible in many ways, our destinies are not. She has a duty to the monarchy, and I’m just an average American who’s fallen for a princess. Everyone says we can’t be together, but how does one walk away from the other half of their heart?
This is the seventh book in the Jameson Force Security series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Code Name: Genesis | Code Name: Sentinel | Code Name: Heist | Code Name: Hacker | Code Name: Ghost | Code Name: Rook | Code Name: Tiara | Code Name: Disavowed (14 Dec 2021)
On a beautiful summer night in a charming English suburb, a young woman and her boyfriend disappear after partying at the massive country estate of a new college friend.
One year later, a writer moves into a cottage on the edge of the woods that border the same estate. Known locally as the Dark Place, the dense forest is the writer’s favorite area for long walks and it’s on one such walk that she stumbles upon a mysterious note that simply reads, “DIG HERE.”
Could this be a clue towards what has happened to the missing young couple? And what exactly is buried in this haunted ground?
With her signature “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) prose, Lisa Jewell has crafted a dazzling work of suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page.
This is a standalone novel.
ENEMIES TO LOVERS
Derek Ballentine and I have always been on opposite sides of everything.
I went to a public Savannah high school. He went to a private Catholic school. I went to Duke on scholarship. He went to UNC as a legacy. When we both end up at Harvard for graduate school and we’re finally on a level playing field, I think it’s all going to change.
I was wrong.
The only thing that changed was ending up in his bed.
Now my grandma has passed away, and Derek is the attorney helping the people trying to steal her legacy. I’ll do anything to stop that from happening. Even take on my lifetime enemy.
I hate him at first sight…but I also want him at first hate.
This is a standalone novel.
FRIENDS TO LOVERS + ROCKSTAR ROMANCE
One life-changing conversation in the dark lit with high voltage attraction.
The unexpected hits me and Violet like a bolt of lightning right when we need each other the most.
I may be a rockstar on the rise, and Violet, a small town girl with big artistic dreams, but we share a roar of connection, a blaze of desire. Intense, thrilling, and I don’t want to let go.
But I have to. I’m in the middle of a tour, success is finally happening now for my band. And she’s making a change for the better.
Moments like this only happen once in a lifetime.
Or do they?
This is a novella and the first book in The Wind & the Roar trilogy, set in the Lock & Key world.
Series reading order: Freefall | Whirlwind (29 Sep 2021) | Whisperwind (20 Oct 2021)
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Set against an important historical backdrop of political activism and change, Evie Dunmore’s A League of Extraordinary Women series epitomises the very spirit of the women whose passion, vision, tenacity, and courage powered the suffrage movement in Britain. The third book in the series focuses on London banking heiress and Oxford scholar Hattie Greenfield, who, after being caught in a compromising position, finds herself married to the ruthless financier Lucian Blackstone. Their attraction is palpable, but while Hattie continues to hold on to her romantic notions of love and wedded bliss, Lucian is driven by an old desire for revenge . . . until a journey to Scotland slowly changes everything between the newlyweds. Based on the Beauty and the Beast romance trope, this was one of my most eagerly anticipated reads of the year, and rightfully so. Evie Dunmore’s beautiful writing simply dazzles as she brings together two characters who never expected to find love with one another. My fave in the series so far!
There are stories that, quite simply, change the fabric of a genre in my eyes, and Helen Hoang astonishes with the strength of her storytelling and the powerful emotional resonance of her searing new novel. This marvellous, eye-opening, and at times, confronting read explores so poignantly a young woman’s battle to find herself and her own strength within a demanding, traditional Chinese-American family, whilst also learning to embrace the love of a man who accepts her as she is. Every character Helen Hoang writes is vivid and beautiful, but she has truly gone above and beyond with the two leads in this intimately written wonder of a novel.
As we bid farewell to Clifton Forge, Montana, we are reminded once again what a tremendous storyteller Devney Perry truly is. With an emotionally charged tale that grips you by the throat from the very first page, Perry serves up the perfect storm to bring together two people who were destined to hate one another. And it should come as no surprise that, in a series that never lacked in twists and turns, she’s saved the best for last.
We return to the Scottish Highlands as another member of the Adair family finds their happily ever after in Samantha Young’s electric new romance. We met Thane Adair in Here With Me as Lachlan’s younger brother and single dad of two, and we now find him in need of a nanny for his children. Enter Regan Penhaligon, an American visiting her sister while also hiding from someone who has grown dangerously obsessed with her. As Thane’s children grow fonder and fonder of their new nanny, the young widower also struggles with his growing attraction to her, but as both their pasts threaten to take everything away from them, only trusting one another will give them a fighting chance at happiness. What it lacks in twists and turns compared to the fist book in the series, this story makes up in angst, and the hero is a bossy alpha in the bedroom, so that alone was enough to have my heart racing.
Delightfully quirky Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall is getting a sequel, out in Aug 2022, and we have the cover.
A sexy new standalone romance is coming in October from the powerhouse writing duo Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, and we have the gorgeous cover.
Kristen Ashley has revealed the cover of the third book in her River Rain series, out in Feb 2022.
An all-new sports Romantic Comedy is coming on Sep 21 from Meghan Quinn, and we have the cover.
Helena Hunting had an all-new standalone contemporary romance, heavy on the feels and with loads of her trademark humour and steam, out in May 2022.
Jane Harvey-Berrick has revealed the cover of her upcoming novel, The Lilac Cadillac, an epic love story at a time of war, out on Oct 19.
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