✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION
Opposites attract, sure. But when Manhattan glitz collides with Texas grit, will love be enough?
Manhattan is my heart and soul. In the cutthroat world of elite public relations, I’m one of the princes. I manage global superstars, predict the up-and-coming trends, easy. And social media? That’s my specialty. I can make you, hon, and launch you straight to the stratosphere. My life is champagne glitter and starlight, and everything around me is gold. But then, my own wedding bells turn into alarm bells, and suddenly, I’m off to Cancun—alone. Alone with a first-class ticket to a honeymoon for one. All that gold? Tarnished tin. Everything I thought I knew? Gone.
Cancun is supposed to be where I obliterate myself on margaritas and tropical waves. Forget the past, shake off the pain, and look ahead. It’s my strategy, always has been. But beneath it all, I long for someone to see the real me, the Noël I’ve hidden away for years. I’m so damn lonely.
And then I meet Wyatt.
He’s nothing like me. He’s a rancher from Texas, he can’t tell me whether high waist jeans are in or out, and he’d rather work his fields than rub elbows with celebs. Velvet rope lines and VIP access are meaningless to him. He’s also kinder than me, and altruistic in a way I haven’t seen since cargo pants died as a trend in the early 2000s. He’s the best man I’ve ever met.
And that’s a problem, because all of his big-hearted warmth and Texas gentleness is drawing me in. I’m desperate to surrender, but I can’t. Good things aren’t meant for me. I’m no good for Wyatt. In fact, I’m his looming heartbreak.
So why am I kissing him?
I’m a man of the land, made from the Texas soil I work on, strengthened by the vineyard I tend to. It’s a world I’ve carefully nurtured, a balm for the wounds of my past. This life hasn’t been easy, but it’s mine. I’m fiercely protective of the world I’ve built for me, my brother, his fiancée, and my nephew. The four of us are everything that matters to me, and my life and my cares extend to my cross fences and the edges of my range. Everything else out there? It’s all just dust in the wind.
And then Noël blows into my life.
I’m gone. Captivated, spun around, tipped upside down and torn apart. I can’t breathe; being around Noël makes me feel like I’m sixteen again and hiding all my secret fantasies and unspoken desires. I’m down in Cancun with my family, and this isn’t the time to be falling for a guy, but how can you not fall head over heels when the man of your dreams walks into your world?
Noël’s many multi-hued layers fascinate me and perplex me, and I want to spend every minute unraveling him. Noël’s life is glittering gold, and mine is Texas soil, but I can learn to understand Manhattan, pop culture, and celebrities if that means I get to be Noël’s man.
But does Noël feel the same? What is this between us? Is it just a week that we both need, a Pause on life, out here in this place so far removed from our real lives? Or is this the start of something new and huge and life-changing for the two of us? What am I seeing in Noël’s eyes when he looks at me?
And what’s going to happen when this week ends?
This is a standalone novel.
Do take long walks on the sand.
Do put an umbrella in every cocktail.
Do NOT run into your first love.
Sam’s life is on track. She has the perfect doctor fiancé, Jack (his strict routines are a good thing, really), a great job in Manhattan (unless they fire her), and is about to tour a wedding venue near her family’s Long Island beach house. Everything should go to plan, yet the minute she arrives, Sam senses something is off. Wyatt is here. Her Wyatt. But there’s no reason for a thirty-year-old engaged woman to feel panicked around the guy who broke her heart when she was seventeen. Right?
Yet being back at this beach, hearing notes from Wyatt’s guitar float across the night air from next door as if no time has passed—Sam’s memories come flooding back: the feel of Wyatt’s skin on hers, their nights in the treehouse, and the truth behind their split. Sam remembers who she used to be, and as Wyatt reenters her life their connection is as undeniable as it always was. She will have to make a choice.
This is a standalone novel.
FRIENDS TO LOVERS + HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Nick Russo has worked his way from a rough Brooklyn neighborhood to a reporting job at one of the city’s biggest newspapers. But the late 1950s are a hostile time for gay men, and Nick knows that he can’t let anyone into his life. He just never counted on meeting someone as impossible to say no to as Andy.
Andy Fleming’s newspaper-tycoon father wants him to take over the family business. Andy, though, has no intention of running the paper. He’s barely able to run his life—he’s never paid a bill on time, routinely gets lost on the way to work, and would rather gouge out his own eyes than deal with office politics. Andy agrees to work for a year in the newsroom, knowing he’ll make an ass of himself and hate every second of it.
Except, Nick Russo keeps rescuing Andy: showing him the ropes, tracking down his keys, freeing his tie when it gets stuck in the ancient filing cabinets. Their unlikely friendship soon sharpens into feelings they can’t deny. But what feels possible in secret—this fragile, tender thing between them—seems doomed in the light of day. Now Nick and Andy have to decide if, for the first time, they’re willing to fight.
This is a standalone novel.
“One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands and 7 seas, and I had the privilege of meeting you.” ~Unknown
When Tessa Talman first meets Simon Fremont, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded. She’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they meet in places around the world, while continuing to live in different countries.
Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.
Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways she never imagined.
To move forward, she must let go of the past and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.
This is a standalone novel.
FORCED PROXIMITY + FORBIDDEN + BODYGUARD | REGENCY ROMANCE
Exiled from his country long ago, Theo St. George forged a new life in London’s dark and seedy underworld. As a coldhearted mercenary, he’s willing to do anything for a price. But when he accepts a position as bodyguard to a duke in danger, he finds his true opponent in the nobleman’s prim and icy sister.
Pamela, Lady Deering, has been forced to accept her brother’s generosity after the death of her husband. One of society’s irreproachable pillars, the last thing she needs is to dally with a sinfully handsome bodyguard called Beast. Neither her battered heart nor her good reputation can survive yet another rogue. So why can’t she resist him?
Living beneath the same roof, Theo and Pamela are destined to clash. And kiss. And clash some more. But surrendering to their fiery passion has greater consequences than either of them realize. Because when desire turns to love, two hearts and a kingdom are at risk.
This is a standalone novel in the Rogue’s Guild series.
Series recommended reading order: Her Ruthless Duke | Her Dangerous Beast | Her Wicked Rogue (28 Sep 2023)
Morgan Shaw is my soulmate. She has no idea how much I desire her to fill the needs I crave. I’ve dedicated the last four years to learning everything I could about her. If my desire for her ever came to light before she realized how much she loved me, I would be labeled a stalker.
Some might find it a little creepy how I watch her every move. I find it exhilarating. I’ve even uprooted my entire life for her. Now this man has come into the picture and is not part of my plan. I see the girl’s heads turn as he walks by, but Ryan Marshall has nothing on me and my love for Morgan. My obsession with her goes to my soul’s deepest, darkest depths. If I can’t have her, then no one else can.
It’s almost time, Morgan, to be together forever.
This is a standalone novel in the Love in Montana series, a spin-off from the Meet Me in Montana series.
Series recommended reading order: Fearless Enough | Cherished Enough | Brave Enough (Aug 2023)
MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE + ENEMIES TO LOVERS
After losing her job and her fiancé in one fell swoop, Natalie Vos returned home to lick her wounds. A few months later, she’s sufficiently drowned her sorrows in cabernet and she’s ready to get back on her feet. She just needs her trust fund to finance her new business venture. Unfortunately, the terms require she marry before she can have the money. And well, dumped, remember?
But Natalie is desperate enough to propose to a man who makes her want to kill him—and kiss him, in equal measure.
August Cates may own a vineyard, but he doesn’t know jack about making wine. He’s determined to do his late best friend proud, no matter what it takes. Except his tasting room is empty, his wine is disgusting (seriously, he once saw someone gag), and his buddy’s legacy is circling the drain. No bank will give him the loan he needs to turn the business around… and then the gorgeous, feisty heiress knocks on his door.
Natalie has haunted August’s dreams since the moment they met, but their sizzling chemistry immediately morphed into simmering insults. Now, a quickie marriage could help them both. A sham wedding, a few weeks living under the same roof, and then they can go their separate ways—assuming they make it out alive. How hard could it be?
There’s just one thing they didn’t account for: their unfortunate, unbearable, undeniable attraction.
This is a standalone novel in the Vine Mess duet.
Series recommended reading order: Secretly Yours | Unfortunately Yours
GRUMPY/SUNSHINE + SINGLE MOM + SECRET BABY + ONE NIGHT STAND + SMALL TOWN
Theo Silva. Rowdy bull rider. Notorious ladies’ man. Scorching hot trouble wrapped up in a drool-worthy package.
And he’s looking at me like I might be his next meal.
But I’m almost free of my toxic marriage and have sworn off men entirely. So all I see when I look back is temptation served up with a heaping side of heartbreak.
The man is hard to trust—and even harder to resist.
Make that impossible. Because Theo is persistent. And no matter how hard I try to freeze him out, he melts my icy exterior and pulls apart all my defenses.
Over a drink in a small town bar, I blurt out my deepest, darkest secrets. Then I spend the singular hottest night of my life with him.
He worships my body. He makes me blush. I come alive beneath his hands.
Then I tell him to forget it ever happened. I want simple, and with him it all feels complicated.
It was supposed to be a one-time thing.
But that little plus sign is going to make this secret impossible to keep.
This is a standalone novel in the Chestnut Springs series.
MOTORCYCLE CLUB ROMANCE
Escaping the men who would traffic me to a stranger was meant to be the end.
Until I fall into the arms of Saint, the man who would become my saviour.
I can’t think about justice, not while I feel so broken.
But as Saint glues the pieces of me back together, I realise all we truly have between us is lies.
Lies threatening to detonate to all we love.
I no longer recognise myself.
Am I Ryker? The man who has no place in a criminal organisation?
Or am I Saint? The proud preacher of the Iron Outlaws MC?
I thought I knew who the bad guys were until I became one of them.
Now I only know two things for sure. The moment Briar fell into my arms, my world tilted. And the only way out of this mess is to reveal who I really am and pray we survive the vengeance the club will seek for the lies we’ve told.
This is a standalone novel in the Iron Outlaws MC series.
SINGLE DAD + NANNY + GRUMPY/SUNSHINE
First rule of being a nanny? Don’t fall for the single dad, even if he is smoking hot.
But that’s exactly what happens when grumpy small-town sheriff Asher Whitlock reluctantly hires me to take care of his daughter for the summer. Neither of us is thrilled with the arrangement, but he’s desperate for help, and I need the money for grad school this fall.
All we need to do is keep our distance and remain professional . . . turns out, that’s easier said than done.
Instead of focusing on my future, all I see is the strong jawline, crystal-blue eyes, and rock-hard body right in front of me. We try to resist each other, but we end up crossing every line until I’m in his bed.
I tell myself it’s just this once.
All right, every night.
But it’s got to end–he’s fourteen years older than me, with a kid and a stressful job. Have I mentioned my dad is his boss? Then there’s the past I’m trying to forget. Secrets aren’t easy to keep and mine are getting too big to hide.
Walking away is never simple but when I do, I can’t look back.
Even if it means leaving behind the man I was never meant to love.
This is a standalone novel in the all-new Whitlock Family series.
Hendrix Bateman is one of The Lucky Three, a trio of players who were not on the Titan’s team plane the night it crashed. Feeling as if he’s been given a second chance, Hendrix is determined to make the most out of his life, but that doesn’t mean he’s not suffering from scars that can’t be seen.
When I lost my Titan brothers in the crash, it was a mixed bag of emotions. I was devastated and grief stricken, but I was also grateful to be alive. Yeah, that might cause a little—okay, a lot of—guilt, but now I’m determined to live each day as if it’s my last.
A night out with friends puts me in the crosshairs of Stevie Kisner—the devastatingly beautiful bar owner with a sharp tongue and a fire in her eyes that lets me know she has zero tolerance for guys like me. I’ve never been one to back away from a challenge, so I’m not dissuaded by Stevie’s tough as nails attitude or her big biker dad who looks like he wants to kill me. Fueled by too many shots and the raucous urging of my teammates, I set out to show Stevie I’ve got game both on and off the ice.
While I shouldn’t be looking for anything more than a good time, I can’t help but be captivated by Stevie. She’s cool as hell and we burn hot together. But the more I get to know her, the more I can tell she’s holding something in reserve, and let’s just say I’ve got some trust issues after my last disastrous attempt at a relationship. Now I need to decide if I’m going to let my past dictate my future or if I am willing to put my heart on the line to find out if Stevie is exactly what I think she is—my everything.
This is the seventh book in the Pittsburgh Titans series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Baden | Stone | Gage | Coen | Drake | Cannon | Hendrix | Camden (Aug 2023) | Bain (Nov 2023) | Boone (Mar 2024)
SINGLE DAD + MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE | ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
When love is the only play that matters…
Agents Bishop and Marshall know:
The clock is ticking.
They control the most dangerous pieces on the board.
Sacrifices will be required to win the game.
Levi and Marsh need to:
Get home to each other and their son.
Fall asleep in each other’s arms again.
Start living the happily ever after the rings on their fingers promise.
What began as a marriage of convenience is now the rock Marsh and Levi cling to as they enter the endgame.
But defeating two kings is no easy feat.
They’ll have to make all the right moves and lure their enemies to their side of the board, where they have the advantage.
But winning may cost them everything—their careers, their lives, and the love that’s become the center of their world.
This is the third and final book in the Perfect Play trilogy and it is not a standalone novel.
Series reading order: Dead Draw | Bad Bishop | King Hunt
A kid walks into your bookstore and… Guess what? He’s your son. The one you put up for adoption eighteen years ago. The one you never told anyone about. Surprise!
And a huge surprise it is.
It’s a huge surprise to his adoptive mother, Monica, who thought she had a close relationship with Matthew, her nearly adult son. But apparently, he felt the need to secretly arrange a vacation to Cape Cod for the summer so he could meet his birth mother…without a word to either her or his dad.
It’s also a surprise— to say the least—to Harlow, the woman who secretly placed her baby for adoption so many years ago. She’s spent the years since then building a quiet life. She runs a bookstore with her grandfather, hangs out with her four younger siblings and is more or less happily single, though she can’t help gravitating toward Grady Byrne, her old friend from high school. He’s moved back to town, three-year-old daughter in tow, no wife in the picture. But she’s always figured her life had to be child-free, so that complicates things.
When Matthew walks into Harlow’s store, she faints. Monica panics. And all their assumptions—about what being a parent really means—explode. This summer will be full of more surprises as both their families are redefined…and as both women learn that for them, there’s no limit to a mother’s love.
This is a standalone novel.
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There’s nothing that makes me believe in happily-ever-after more than the idea of an estranged couple finding their way back to one another after years apart, and Kristen Ashley’s new novel is an absolute masterclass in character-driven storytelling, and in its nuanced portrait of two people fighting for what they should have never stopped being—perfect together. But nothing in this novel is easy or cheaply sentimental. Familial tensions, complex human bonds, and long-hidden truths transform the story into a powerful pressure-cooker of emotions that never loses its distinctive Kristen Ashley flavour and depth. There are passages I wanted inked on my skin for the rest of my life, there are scenes I would never want to relive, and there is so much beauty in the most unexpected of moments, all coming together to tell a story of love, forgiveness, and second chances in life, but also of breaking the cycle that is holding us down and setting the example for those we love the most.
What I can only describe as the love child of every soap opera I have every watched, this wonderful, slow-paced, drama-rich, age-gap romance kept me in its claws beginning to end. It’s the story of Indiana, a young girl who gets adopted by a wealthy Texan family with questionable influence and several unsavoury characters in its fold, to find out that her birth mother actually sold her to them for one million dollars. Her childhood is one big rollercoaster of emotions—from being deeply loved by a woman she loses at too young an age to then being made to feel unwelcome and worthless within the only family she knows—but her one constant in life remains Milo, a cowboy living in a barn on her family’s ranch. Indiana and Milo slowly become each other’s emotional anchors in life, sometimes the only bright light in an otherwise dark and oppressive circumstance, and over the years, that friendship blossoms into something more. But Indiana’s father, the family’s ruthless patriarch, is a man set on not only keeping them apart, but also on dispersing misery with his every command. And his latest wish is for Milo to marry a woman that is not Indiana.
Spanning many years and several jaw-dropping plot twists along the way, Indiana and Milo’s love story is as twisted as it is beautiful. Jewel E. Ann throws endless roadblocks on their path to happiness, yet through it all, their young love endures. Exquisitely written, well thought out and put together, and so emotionally addictive, I never wanted it to end.
One of my favourite books of the year so far, this delightful friends-to-lovers romance has everything I’ve always loved about Abby Jimenez’s writing—wit, heart, SO much emotion, and a cinnamon roll hero you’d slay dragons for. It’s the story of two emergency room doctors, both trying to get over complicated breakups, who meet as potential rivals, become best of friends while faking to date one another, and end up falling in love while desperately trying to ignore the sizzling sexual tension between them. This is the kind of book you wish you could read for the first time over and over again, every time falling a little more in love with Jacob Maddox.
Christopher Rice takes us back to Sapphire Cove, the luxury beachfront resort on the sparkling Southern California coast, with a love story that filled me with so much emotion, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Before travelling the world and working his way to becoming the head pastry chef at an exclusive resort, 40-something Ethan Blake spent his youth supporting himself any way he could—something only a few people in his life know. At first glance, he has very little in common with Roman Walker, a 20-something ‘fitfluencer’ who seems to be trapped in a situation where no part of his life is under his own control. But from the moment their paths cross on the page, we discover that these two men’s fates have been intertwined for a very long time. And while revenge might have brought them into each other’s lives, love is what sets them both free in the end. Christopher Rice writes with such command and feeling for his characters that you can’t help but become invested in their story, delivering a sexy, soapy age-gap romance bursting with secrets, scandal, blackmail, and high drama of the best kind.
Riley Hart has revealed the cover of the third and final novel in her Inevitable small town romance series, out on Jul 6. This is Charles and Brian’s story.
An emotional new duet is coming in July 2023 from Claudia Burgoa, part of her larger Decker Family series, and we have the gorgeous covers.
Originally written as a short story, now thoroughly revised with significant changes to the content and extended into a full-length novel, Jewel E. Ann’s August 2023 release is a friends-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy, and we have the cover.
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