✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | CELEBRITY ROMANCE
A one-night stand between two old childhood friends turns into something more, but when a scandal threatens to tear them apart, they must decide how hard to fight for love…
Exhausted and on deadline with a story that could make or break her career, investigative journalist Georgia Ross is on the verge of a meltdown when a cancelled flight leaves her stuck in the airport overnight. But when a familiar face appears—the older brother of her childhood friend—and offers help, Gigi seems to have caught a break.
Alec Kim is handsome, humble, and kind—exactly the sort of man that Gigi has forgotten existed after her own painful heartbreaks. An evening of reconnection followed by a night of no-strings-attached passion with Alec feels like a gift—that is, until Gigi finally realizes that their childhood connection isn’t the only reason he seems so familiar to her.
Alec is determined to prove to Gigi that he is truly the man she thinks he is, even if it means coming clean about his fame—and his family’s connection to the story Gigi’s been working so hard to break. But as their feelings for each other grow deeper, Gigi and Alec must navigate a new reality…one where both of their hard-won careers are put directly in the path of an international scandal.
This is a standalone novel.
The day I showed up to Dax Moody’s sprawling home, I had no idea what was coming.
As a traveling massage therapist, I was used to entering the houses of strangers.
But this assignment was different from any before it.
From the outside, I’d correctly assumed the owner was rich. What I didn’t realize was that he would be younger than I’d imagined, single, stunningly gorgeous, and mysterious.
Despite the fact that Dax had booked a massage, it never actually happened, since our first appointment was unexpectedly cut short by a comedy of errors.
Certain I’d never see him again after that day, I’d done nothing but think about the captivating man.
To my surprise, he called a second time. That appointment, we talked a lot, developing a stronger connection. But once again, there was no actual massage.
The man I now affectionately called “Moody” kept calling me to come back.
It took three times before I finally gave him the massage he’d ordered. Let’s just say it was challenging to keep things professional. I was extremely attracted to Dax, and by that time, I was falling hard.
Eventually, I’d find out why he’d been so aloof, the reason why he and I could never be together.
Our story was supposed to end there, but it didn’t.
Instead, I was left perpetually longing for a forbidden man.
This is a standalone novel.
AGE GAP + FIREFIGHTER ROMANCE
Former model and B-list actor (B meaning really bad) Isaac Seidel is now a NYC firefighter on special assignment in the one-horse town of Serenity, Pa. But all work and no play makes Isaac a dull boy, and when he hooks up with the most explosive one-night stand he’s ever had, it looks like country life might not be so boring after all.
Especially when the guy he thought he’d never see again turns out to be one of the volunteer firefighters he’s expected to train.
Levi Everett is a master at pleasing everyone—except himself. He’s spent his whole life hiding who he is and what he wants. It’s a lot more complicated now that he’s going to be seeing gorgeous Isaac Seidel every day. How is he supposed to pretend he’s straight when he and Isaac can’t keep their hands off each other?
Isaac has made it clear he’s only interested in friends with benefits, so when he returns home to NYC, Levi knows he’s gone forever.
Until he isn’t.
Trust doesn’t come easily to Isaac—he’s been hurt and used before. But Isaac is unable to forget the man he left behind, and in a shocking move, he makes Levi an offer that could change their lives forever. Now it’s up to Levi to put himself first, risking the love of his family, to go after his dreams—dreams that were unimaginable before Isaac but are now within his reach.
Because love is wherever Isaac is, and it’s the only place Levi wants to be.
This is a standalone novel.
A Tempting Thief
Raised among London’s most notorious criminals, a twist of fate landed Adelaide Frampton in the bright ballrooms of Mayfair, where she masquerades as a quiet wallflower—so plain and unassuming that no one realizes she’s the Matchbreaker…using her superior skills as a thief to help unwilling brides avoid the altar, all while hiding her own scandalous past.
A Powerful Duke
Henry Carrington, Duke of Clayborn, has spent a lifetime living in perfection and has no time for the scandals that arise every time Adelaide ends another groom. His own reputation is impeccable—and the last thing he needs is a frustrating, fascinating woman discovering the truth of his past, or the secrets he holds close.
A Perfect Match
When the two find themselves on a breakneck journey across Britain to stop a wedding, the duke has no choice but to follow her across Britain on a trip filled with bad weather, bad luck, and a surprising lack of beds. Adelaide soon realizes that this perfect duke kisses like a proper scoundrel, and is turning out to be a thief in his own right…one who won’t stop until he’s stolen her well-guarded heart.
This is the second book in the Hell’s Belles series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Bombshell | Heartbreaker
BROTHER’S BEST FRIEND + STEPBROTHER ROMANCE
Not all love stories have happy endings. Some are destined to crash and burn.
As the youngest, I’ve been sheltered and protected by my older brother and . . . him. The one man I’ve always loved but could never have. Cooper Sinclair. A Navy SEAL who owns my heart and has since the day we met.
But he’s never really seen me.
Just when I’ve finally accepted we can never be more, he storms back into my life, commanding my attention with a single, forbidden touch. Loving him is easy. But time is never on our side, and stolen moments only last so long.
I always thought we were worth the risk. But now, I’m terrified we’ll go down in flames.
This is the first book in The Risks We Take duet.
Series reading order: Worth The Risk | Worth The Fight (7 Sep 2022)
Lying and cheating may be sins to some people, but for Raven Moreaux, it is a way of life. She comes from a long line of grifters and couldn’t be prouder…Until she’s forced to help the government.
A former Confederate official is suspected of stealing the Declaration of Independence, and Raven, posing as his housekeeper, is tasked with getting it back. Her partner is the too handsome Braxton Steel. Masquerading as a valet/driver, Brax is also supposed to be her “husband.” He has his own reasons for doing this job, but when their pretend marriage ignites into fiery passion, they’ll have to put everything—including their hearts—on the line.
This is the third standalone novel in the Women Who Dare series, and it follows a fearless grifter who goes undercover to reclaim the stolen Declaration of Independence.
When Donovan St. James’ precocious charge asks him—no questions asked—to tail the doctor who keeps their ragtag team patched up, he wants to refuse. Not because the saucy teen is getting too big for her britches, ordering him around like a mob boss, but because the woman stirs feelings in him he would rather not explore. However, when evil threatens the doc’s life, he realizes he has no choice. Sia saved his life once. He will try to return the favor. He just prays he can do it without losing his heart.
Running from the supernatural entity that has destroyed entire worlds to have her, Sia thought she’d found a haven on Earth with a motley team of warriors protecting the girl destined to save humanity. But when Sia’s found, she realizes something on this plane is more scrumptious than her: that very teen. So, she runs—and Donovan St. James follows. Nothing is more alluring than a scruffy biker with a lacerating gaze. And she vows to tell him that…if they survive.
This is a novella in the Charley Davidson series.
ENEMIES TO LOVERS
Tyson Langley thinks the king in Franklin University Kings is in reference to him. Star lacrosse player and God’s gift to the female and male population, there’s nothing the spoiled jock can’t have.
It’s impossible for us to be in the same room without talking crap to each other. But I also have a secret… As much as I despise Ty, I want him too. I revel in our banter and in never knowing what he’ll say next.
I’ve spent too much time on the wrong side of the law for someone like Ty, though, and if I want to make it through college and escape my past, he’s a distraction I don’t need.
Braxton Walker needs to learn to lighten up. If you search brooding online, his name pops up. He’s the bad boy with a leather jacket and a scowl. We couldn’t be more different.
Finding ways to annoy him is like the longest foreplay session of my life. And when we end up working together, it gets harder to deny how hot he makes me.
What’s a little hooking up between enemies?
We weren’t supposed to become friends or share secrets. We weren’t supposed to understand each other and all the complicated stuff we’re going through.
I’m used to playing games, only the more time I spend with Brax, the less it feels like playing around and the more it becomes something real.
This is a standalone novel in the all-new Franklin U series, written by different authors but all set in a shared world.
The four McBride brothers have their worlds turned upside down when their precocious younger sister secretly places an advertisement for a mail-order bride.
Kit McBride knows that Buck’s Creek, Montana, is no place to find a wife. Between him and his three brothers—plus little Junebug—they manage all right on their own, thank you very much. But unbeknownst to Kit, his sister is sick to death of cleaning, cooking, and mending for her big brothers, so she places an ad in The Matrimonial News to get them hitched.
After Maddy Mooney emigrated from Ireland, she found employment with an eccentric but poor widow. When her mistress decides to answer an ad for a mail-order bride, Maddy is dragged along for the ride to Montana. But en route to the West, Maddy is suddenly abandoned and left to assume the widow’s name, position, and matrimonial prospects….
With no other recourse in the wilderness, Maddy must convince Kit she’s the wife he never knew he needed.
This is a standalone novel in the all-new The McBrides of Montana series.
AGE GAP + SMALL TOWN
A sexy firefighter. A much younger Nanny. The heat between them could burn down a small country. He doesn’t believe in forever. And she won’t settle for anything less.
Jace King is a smoking hot firefighter, a single dad and my new boss.
He’s also the most beautiful man I’ve ever laid eyes on.
It’s totally fine to secretly crush on the guy you Nanny for, right?
Did I mention that he’s also a decade older than me, works with my dad
and he’s a close family friend?
If you looked up OFF LIMITS in the dictionary, you’d find an eight by ten photo of my sexy boss.
But something happens every time we’re in a room together.
The attraction is almost overpowering.
Jace is insistent that we can’t act on it.
And I’ve always been a rule follower…
but maybe sometimes rules are meant to be broken.
This is the third book in the Honey Mountain series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Always Mine | Ever Mine | Make You Mine | Simply Mine (Oct 2022) | Only Mine (Dec 2022)
ENEMIES TO LOVERS
Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project—a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia—Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.
Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school—archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.
Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas…devouring her with those eyes. And the possibilities have all her neurons firing. But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?
This is a standalone novel.
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In my ongoing mission to discover as many remarkable new voices in Romance as possible, I came across this glorious, sparkling gem of a book that you’ll want to push into the hands of everyone you know. Whether the idea of a celebrity falling for an everyday person is your tropetonite, or you’re just a sucker for the ‘famous life’, there is something about this story that is both wonderfully fanciful, and also completely relatable. What begins as a one-night stand between two old childhood friends—one of them a hugely successful actor, and the other an ambitious investigative journalist on the verge of a career-making scoop—quickly deepens and evolves into something more for them both. But fame and anonymity don’t go hand in hand, and soon, both their lives are thrown into precarious waters as scandal hits home. I rarely read a book cover to cover, twice in the same week, but this one I did.
I’m on a mission to discover as many new voices in Romance as possible this year, and my latest find was simply BREATHTAKING. It’s actually really hard to believe this is a debut novel. We meet Percy Fraser just as she receives a call that sends her racing back to a small town in Ontario’s cottage country—a place that holds both her fondest childhood memories and her greatest heartbreak, and to Sam Florek, her childhood best friend and the boy she never stopped loving. Half of the story unfolds through flashbacks into Percy and Sam’s teenage years, and the six summers spent falling in love with one another. And the other half is told in the present day, where we meet the characters almost two decades later, one consumed by grief and loss, and the other by guilt and heartache. Their past and present intertwine to tell a story that is both charged with the guileless naïveté of childhood, and the heart-on-your-sleeve intensity of second chances. Nostalgic, evocative, heart-wrenching at times, hopeful, uplifting, and romantic in every sense of the word, this is the kind of book that transports you in time and place, and reminds you of all-consuming young crushes and all those summers spent running wild without a care in the world. The audiobook version narrated by the amazing Aj Bridel is especially transporting. A true gem!
I can’t remember the last time a book shook me so deeply and so personally from the very first page, let alone for it to take days, even weeks, to fully process all the emotions coursing through me, yet this book did just that. Tackling one of the most challenging tropes in Romance—cheating—this is the kind of story that pushes the rosy-coloured glasses right off your nose and forces you to truly understand the characters’ perspectives, while silencing your own preconceived notions and judgements. It’s a story of forgiveness and redemption as much as it is a story of self-discovery and growth, and every bit of it is done just right. Without glorifying or trivialising cheating in any way, Alison Rhymes shows that she is not afraid to get her hands dirty when it comes to exploring sensitive or complex topics in relationships, doing so carefully and thoughtfully. She will twist you up and wring you out, make you question everything you hold to be true about life, love, and happily-ever-afters, which is made all the more impressive by the fact that this is a debut novel.
An astonishing tale of family ties, loss, and forbidden love comes alive through Jennifer Hartmann’s sublime writing and deeply human characters in a novel that is so beautifully written and thought out, you’ll want to reread it almost as soon as you reach the end. Hartmann compels with her every sentence, capturing the essence of growing up and the warmth of enduring love ever so perfectly, and even with a steady onslaught of tragedies that the characters must face over the years, she weaves a triumphant tapestry of their lives, thread by painstaking thread.
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