There once was a girl with fireflies in her eyes and music in her soul.
(Remember her… she’s important.)
She’s the reason I panic-bought the little brick house on Maple Street; the one I lived next door to for eight magical years. Now that I’m back digging up floorboards and lost journals, I can’t stop thinking about the two people who grew up here.
You see, that girl was my best friend, and this house was once hers. She also had a big brother who was my everything before circumstance turned us into nothing more than memories.
That’s why I applied for a job at his auto shop—unprepared to discover that my new boss, Cal Bishop, is now gruff, built, and covered in tattoos.
I’m the sun to his overcast sky. The smile to his surly solitude.
A reminder of everything he longs to forget.
But my heart has a secret, and we’re running out of time to fix our torn pages.
Maybe… the same girl who used to be the glue still holds the key to putting our pieces back together.
(See? I told you she was important.)
This is the first book in a duet.
Series reading order: An Optimist’s Guide to Love | A Pessimist’s Guide to Love (25 Jan 2023)
✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | POLYAMOROUS/MMF ROMANCE
O’Neal Lory has been taught that one mistake can undo an entire life of right decisions. That it doesn’t matter if a person has been good ninety-nine percent of the time. One misstep, one snap judgment, can derail everything. So, she’s taken a lot of right steps on the straight and narrow path. Eighteen years of them, in fact. Perfect grades. No rules broken. And definitely no boys.
Until she kisses him.
Auden Blake knows he shouldn’t touch his little sister’s best friend, knows that innocent girls like her should stay far, far away from him and his roommate Lennox—especially when she could reveal their behind-closed-doors activities to his family. But when sheltered O’Neal goes rogue, ditching her scholarship to a conservative all-girls college and showing up at Bennette State—his school—instead, it’s going to take everything Auden has to keep his and Lennox’s hands off the curious good girl whose teach me vibes could unravel them both.
This is a standalone novel.
It started out like any other Tuesday.
I spent twelve hours writing algorithms for one of the largest companies in the world and then came home to work on a pet project of mine—feeding facts about the men I knew into a formula to find my perfect match before my twenties came barreling to a close.
But then a man knocked on my door and handed me some papers that turned my life upside down.
Apparently, a father I never knew existed had left me something in his will. That something turned out to be part ownership in a professional football team.
Next thing I knew, I was learning a sport I knew nothing about by spending time with the team’s quarterback who was out with an injury, a man who my formula would definitely determine was all wrong for me.
Christian Knox was too handsome and confident for his own good and could have any woman he wanted. Only lately the only woman he seemed to want was me.
But there was no way I was getting involved when I was now his boss, even if he was insanely gorgeous and had the dirtiest mouth I’d ever come across.
It would be wrong, wouldn’t it?
Probably. But you know what they say about things that are wrong…sometimes they feel so right.
This is a standalone novel.
He wasn’t just a rock star to her, and she wasn’t just any woman to him.
JACK HOWARD is a gorgeous rock star with a tragic past. He’s a nice guy. Since that terrible day, he has strived to do the right thing. Only with his disastrous marriage finally ending, he’s decided it’s time to take a walk on the wilder side of nice while on this tour.
LORELEI LANE is a working girl with no future. She’s a beauty in disguise, a woman broken by circumstances trying her best to turn her life around. She’s hungry, homeless, and needs someone to believe in her. Her furry traveling companion Prince loves her, but his faith can only take her so far.
JACK is the handsome drummer and backup vocalist in Rush’s group. He has impressive rhythm and sexy moves, but the world seems to have forgotten that he was once a teen idol in New Horizon, the most popular boy band in music history.
LORELEI is a woman who hides her heart, denies her talent, and does what she must to survive. She never allows herself to think about the boy who betrayed her, or the time she got so close, only to fall short of making her dream come true.
When chance brings Jack and Lorelei together backstage, will one night lead to a new beginning for both of them or will dangerous secrets and past mistakes capsize any hope they have for happiness?
This is a standalone novel in the Once Upon A Rockstar series. It’s a modern-day retelling of The Little Mermaid.
FRIENDS TO LOVERS
Hailey Sharp has a one-track mind. Get By the Cup salad shop off the ground. Do literally everything possible to make it a success. Repeat. With a head full of entrepreneurial ideas and a bad ex in her rearview, her one and only focus is living life the way she wants to. No distractions.
Wes Jansen never did understand the fuss about relationships. With a string of lackluster first dates and the pain from his parents’ angry divorce following him around, he’d much rather find someone who he likes, but won’t love. Companionship, not passion, is the name of the game.
When Hailey and Wes find each other in a disastrous meet cute that wasn’t even intended for them, they embarrassingly go their separate ways. But when Wes finds Hailey to apologize for his behavior, they strike up a friendship. Because that’s all this can be. Hailey doesn’t want any distractions. Wes doesn’t want to fall in love.
What could possibly go wrong?
This is the third book in the Jansen Brothers series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
GRUMPY/SUNSHINE + FAKE RELATIONSHIP + SPORTS ROMANCE
I, Dallas Colter, need a good girl to save my bad reputation.
With too much on my plate, the very last thing on my mind was a relationship—the football draft was looming and dating got in the way. I never understood why my teammates bothered with girlfriends. None of us had the time.
When my sports agent suggested that being seen in public with a respectable girl would be good for my bad reputation, I couldn’t think of a single person to help me out. The only girls I knew weren’t wifey material, and the ones who were? Might catch feelings.
Except Ryann Winters.
Responsible. Sarcastic. Smart. Ryann is perfect but there was one clincher: she was my teammates ex-girlfriend and I had recently been paid by him to dump her.
Not the best start to a fake relationship…
This is a standalone novel in the all-new Campus Legends series.
This is the year of Cecily Chang.
San Francisco attorney Cecily Chang is ready to tackle the New Year head on, so she creates a list of resolutions guaranteed to reboot her life—right after her dutiful visit home to Sunset Park, Brooklyn, for the Lunar New Year. Cecily prepares to face her critical, meddling mother, nosy relatives, and the chaos and drama family togetherness brings. At least the food will be delicious. This holiday, Cecily vows to remain calm—as long as she doesn’t see him.
Jeffrey Lee deeply regrets how he ended things with Cecily ten years ago, but he felt it was best for her at the time. When he runs into her again during the New Year, he sees it as a sign. Now a successful screenwriter, Jeffrey is determined to win back Cecily’s heart.
But Cecily doesn’t believe in signs or second chances and embraces her new resolutions. This time, Jeffrey won’t give up—and he’s convinced he can write them a new Hollywood happy ending.
This is a standalone novel in the all-new From Sunset Park, With Love series.
Series recommended reading order: The Year of Cecily | The Rachel Experiment (16 May 2023)
BROTHER’S BEST FRIEND
Ash Talmadge is everything I shouldn’t want.
My brother’s best friend. A too charismatic, too attractive Southern gentleman. And obsessed with someone else.
But she’s finally out of the picture. I put two years between their break up just to be sure. This is finally my chance.
His focus is all on me. Exactly where I wanted it to be since high school when he saved me from humiliation. And after college when he finally realized I was more than just his best friend’s little sister.
There’s only one person who could ruin this for me.
I’ve waited this long.
I’m willing to wait for always.
This is a standalone novel in the Coastal Chronicles series about a group of friends in Savannah.
BROTHER’S BEST FRIEND + FORBIDDEN LOVE + FORCED PROXIMITY + MAFIA ROMANCE
Lenora De Luca
I’ve always been a good girl.
The perfect daughter.
The perfect sister.
And, in two weeks, I’m supposed to become the perfect wife.
I don’t know or like the man my father chose to marry me off to but I have no say in the matter.
That’s why when I see Rocco Marchetti, the man I’ve had a crush on my entire life, I decide he’ll be my first.
When he looks at me it’s electric and I know he wants me.
We keep stealing glances and hiding smiles, but I want more.
I want one night with him.
So what if I’m the daughter of the most feared man in organized crime?
So what if he’s my overprotective brother’s best friend?
It’s just one night.
Lenora De Luca is as forbidden as they get.
She’s also kind, and thoughtful, and makes my d . . . makes it hard to think.
It starts off innocent enough, just flirting, but then she kisses me and tells me she wants to spend one night with me.
It’s wrong on so many levels, but I don’t even try to deny that I want her.
I tell myself that it’ll be her wedding present (I know I’m sick, get over it).
I’ve had plenty one nightstands that end amicably.
Lenora can’t possibly be any different.
As long as her brother doesn’t find out, things will be fine.
I usually strategize and think through every decision, but something about her makes me walk right into the fire.
This is a standalone novel in the Sins & Deceit series.
Series recommended reading order: Because You’re Mine | Because I Need You | Because I Want You | Because I’m Yours | Because I Found You (May 2023)
You couldn’t design a better hero than the very eligible and extremely charming Earl Grantham. Unless, of course, you are Margaret Gault, who wants nothing to do with the man who broke her youthful heart.
Widowed and determined, Margaret Gault has returned to Athena’s Retreat and the welcoming arms of her fellow secret scientists with an ambitious plan in mind: to establish England’s first woman-owned engineering firm. But from the moment she sets foot in London her plans are threatened by greedy investors and—at literally every turn—the irritatingly attractive Earl Grantham, a man she can never forgive.
George Willis, the Earl Grantham, is thrilled that the woman he has loved since childhood has returned to London. Not as thrilling, however, is her decision to undertake an engineering commission from his political archnemesis. When Margaret’s future and Grantham’s parliamentary reforms come into conflict, Grantham must use every ounce of charm he possesses—along with his stunning good looks and flawless physique, of course—to win Margaret over to his cause.
Facing obstacles seemingly too large to dismantle, will Grantham and Margaret remain forever disconnected or can they find a way to bridge their differences, rekindle the passion of their youth, and construct a love built to last?
This is a standalone novel in The Secret Scientists of London series.
Series recommended reading order: A Lady’s Formula for Love | A Perfect Equation | A Love by Design
SECOND CHANCES + BILLIONAIRE ROMANCE
Two lost souls. A past that collides with the present. And secrets. So many secrets…
Unlike his two half brothers, Chance Bridger was raised on the family ranch with the father who left them billions. Still, he hated the man. He’s tried to escape his past, but that’s impossible, especially when it comes back to haunt him in the form of his first and only love.
Special Agent Avery Marsh left Bayfield at eighteen and never looked back, until a field assignment lands her back in her hometown fifteen years later. She’s taken care not to look into Chance Bridger, or even think about him. It would only lead to more heartache, and she’s had enough of that for one lifetime.
When the two former lovers cross paths, time melts away and their passion is still as intense as ever. But one is a murder suspect, and the other has a secret that could change everything.
This is the third and final book in The Billion Heirs series about three half brother who’ve never met who inherit billions from their father, but to receive the inheritance, they must all live on their father’s Montana ranch for a year.
Series reading order: Scarred | Flawed | Broken
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The intensity and grit of every one of Kristen Ashley’s Motorcycle Club Romances might always be a given, but every time she returns to this alpha world of bikes and brotherhood, you never know what you’re going to find. Her latest novel takes us into the heart of Resurrection MC, formerly known as Bounty, with a somewhat less action-driven story of two people hell-bent on not repeating the sins of their fathers, but every bit as compelling for the raw emotion and sheer badassery that it offers. It’s a story about love and the power of family—both those we are born into as well as those we choose—just as much as it is a subtle challenging of traditional gender roles and stereotypes where a woman can be both a devoted life partner and remain the architect of her own life, while a man is no less of a ‘man’ just because he is willing to tailor his life to meet his partner’s career demands. Kristen Ashley’s love stories continue to celebrate relationships that buoy women emotionally without breaking their spirit, and when she throws a protective alpha biker into the mix, you’ve got pure magic.
Riley Hart is one of my must-read authors for a reason—her romances never fail to captivate and make me feel all the feels, but her latest novel downright broke my heart. This emotionally charged story takes us to small town North Carolina, and into the lives of two young men, Sutton and Jasper, who’ve been best friends all their lives. Their bond has always been strong and special, but over time and countless little moments shared together, their attraction and feelings for each other begin to change. They both begin to realise that they feel more for their best friend than they think they should, and have felt that way for quite some time, but admitting it might prove to be the easiest part. Filled with first times and new beginnings, their story is one of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and sexual awakening in the midst of prejudice and fear of being different. We watch them turn to each other for support and strength as their relationship comes under scrutiny from those closest to them, but trying to break their own preconceived notions about themselves could be the hardest part. Riley Hart takes your breath away with the way she captures the effervesce, the confusion, the intensity, and the raw emotion of a love that can’t be denied, but she amazes, as always, with her compassion and insight.
C. Travis Rice, Christopher Rice’s writing alter ego, transports us again to Sapphire Cove, the luxury beachfront resort on the sparkling Southern California coast, with another steamy yet super emotional love story. Naser Kazemi is the best friend of Connor Harcourt from Sapphire Sunset, Sapphire Cove’s owner and manager, while Mason Worther is the former jock who used to bully Naser in high school. When they meet again a decade later, Naser’s wounds are as raw as ever, his traumatic high school experience having shaped him in more ways than one, but what he doesn’t expect is for Mason to be desperately looking for forgiveness from the very classmate he’d both abused and desired more than any other—Naser. And to be ready to do the hard work to deserve his forgiveness. Tackling addiction, abuse, homophobia, and bullying with both sensitivity and brutal honesty, this was one of the most authentic redemption stories I have ever read.
If I had to point to one book to be my single most anticipated of the year, it might be this one, and that’s saying something, given that this is only this author’s second novel. It’s a redemption story that I was both excited and nervous to read, and with so many preconceived notions and biases stacked up against it before we even turn the first page, I honestly thought this book was impossible to write. Yet Alison Rhymes somehow manages to not only make us love a ‘villain’ in the end—she makes us connect with her to the point of wanting to scorch the earth beneath the feet of anyone who ever dared to hurt her. Rhymes continues to prove she is a new author to watch, her sharp writing perfectly complemented by the explosive quality of the stories she tells, and this latest offering might just earn her a cult following.
We have the cover of the third book in Kristen Proby‘s Huckleberry Bay series, an enemies to lovers, small town romance that comes out in May.
Ella Frank’s Confessions series continues with an all-new MMF romance sub-series—featuring Chloé Thornton-Priestley, the wild-child daughter of the three Ps—out on Feb 21.
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