✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | SPORTS ROMANCE
The furniture district is my personal hell. I don’t know my ass from an ottoman. But when a hot designer comes to my rescue, I realize my problems are bigger than the house I’m trying to furnish.
A scorching kiss over fabric samples makes me question all my choices. But is it too late to change my entire life to get more of them?
I need this gig, but my cocky new client leaves out a couple crucial details:
He doesn’t mention that he’s a famous hockey player. And he doesn’t own up to the way he’s always trying to undress me with his dark, broody eyes.
The man throws out more mixed signals than a broken traffic light. I’ve never been more sexually frustrated in my entire life. I need to back away before I do something stupid, like lose my heart.
Oops. Too late.
This is the second book in the Hockey Guys series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Thea Rogers’ life is nothing like her romantic, elegant pastries. It’s more like a dull, dry rice cake.
Since spending that magical year in Paris in a work-study program at Nanine Laurent’s restaurant ten years ago, she’s been determined to create a delicious life for herself. But without that certain je ne sais quoi of the City of Lights and the support of her five Paris roommates, Thea’s lost sight of her dream of opening her own boulangerie. Worst yet, she’s lost sight of herself. Still, she puts on her sunshine persona, sticks another batch of croissants in the oven, and gets through each day—an overworked, underpaid baker living life through Netflix.
Then she gets the call that everyone dreads: her beloved Nanine has fallen ill.
Thea knows what she needs to do: go back to Paris. With the help of her roommates, they can get Nanine and her troubled restaurant back on their feet.
What she doesn’t realize: her former roommates can see she needs help too. They might be the unlikeliest of friends, totally different from her and from each other, but they see her—more than her own flesh and blood. They always have her back, and while they assist their host mother with her restaurant, they cluster around plain Jane Thea to give her the makeover of her life. New clothes and hair are definitely on the menu, particularly after Thea meets “Mr. Pinstripes,” Nanine’s gorgeous lawyer.
Only real-life intrudes on her fairy tale when Thea’s finally offered her dream: ownership of a bakery back in Small Town, USA. She would have to leave her found family and the man she’s fallen in love with. Will she choose the security of what she knows? Or dare to dream even bigger than she has before?
Reinvention, rediscovery, and romance… Meet THE PARIS ROOMMATES.
The good-girl baker Thea Rogers.
The restless dreamer Dean Harris.
The driven fashion writer Brooke Adams.
The charismatic professor Dr. Sawyer Jackson.
The rebel Chef Madison Garcia.
The disillusioned golden boy restaurateur Kyle Taylor.
This is the first book in the all-new The Paris Roommates series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
AGE GAP + FORCED PROXIMITY + FAKE RELATIONSHIP + SMALL TOWN
Beau Eaton is the town prince, a handsome military hero with a tortured past.
I’m the outcast bartender, a shy girl from the wrong side of the tracks.
He’s thirty-five and all man, and I’m twenty-two and all . . . virgin.
He’s also my fiancé. Correction: my fake fiancé.
We start out as a bet. He doesn’t believe that anyone holds my last name against me. So he offers me his to prove a point.
It’s win-win. He gets a break from his concerned family’s prying, and I get a chance to shed my family’s reputation while I save up to ditch this small town.
He says all I have to do is wear his ring, follow his lead, and pretend I can’t keep my hands off of him in public.
But it’s what happens between us in private that blurs all those carefully drawn lines.
It’s what transpires behind closed doors that doesn’t feel like pretending at all.
This engagement was supposed to be for show. This agreement? It has an end date.
He once told me he’d never fall in love.
And yet here I am, head over heels for my fake fiancé.
This is a standalone novel in the Chestnut Springs series.
My daughter was kidnapped.
My sanctuary violated.
My best friend murdered.
My empire is crumbling before my very eyes.
There’s no retirement plan for the boogeyman.
I never cared about that before.
Now that I have a family, everything is different.
I can never put my daughter at risk again.
I don’t want this life for her.
But I can’t undo the things that I’ve done.
I can’t bring back the lives I’ve taken.
Everyone knows Lachlan Mount doesn’t deserve a second chance.
But maybe—just maybe—a man like me can still find redemption.
This is a standalone novel set in the Mount Saga world.
I see everything. I feel everything.
I watch people fall in love. I watch them burn with hate, anger, rage, and I see the cycle repeat over and over again. I take it on every night I work at Timber, aka Anubis’s bar in downtown Seattle, and then I help the rest of the immortals keep the very intense balance between Heaven and Earth.
I see everyone’s future but mine, and when I try to look, all I see is darkness, despair, need…
Until she walks into my bar with bruises on her face, getting pulled by one of the lesser demons. I do what any good bartender would do… I beat him within an inch of his life and turn my eyes to her.
By then, it’s too late.
She already has me in her grasp.
A succubus that has no other plan than to suck me clean of every inch of power that’s been bestowed on me by the Heavens.
I never thought my future involved getting kidnapped and tied up or that I’d die by way of sex—then again, maybe that’s for the best. Dying at the hands of my enemy rather than being one more burden to my already mated friends.
After all, giving into one last need before death, while selfish, may be exactly what my darkness means.
My need is great.
And she’s about to find out just how much.
This is a standalone novella in the Dark Ones paranormal romance series. Each book in the series follows a different couple.
GRUMPY/SUNSHINE + ROMANTIC SUSPENSE + SMALL TOWN
He’ll risk it all to protect her.
Someone is stalking Audrey Young. And she has no idea why.
It’s bad enough that she’s back in Tilikum. But Audrey’s good at making the best of things and her new job at the small-town newspaper is just a way to get back on her feet.
Complicating matters is her landlord and new neighbor, Josiah Haven.
She doesn’t usually go for the big, surly lumberjack type. But there’s something about that broody man. He intimidates her a little, but she kind of likes it.
She could totally handle the mess that is her life, except the strange feeling of being watched is just the beginning. Next thing Audrey knows, she’s a target, and she doesn’t know who’s behind it, or why.
For Josiah Haven, none of that makes her his problem.
She’s just the girl next door. Fine, the frustratingly hot girl next door. But Audrey is all sunshine and her goofy dog isn’t any better. Josiah is too stoic. Too solitary. Too guarded. He doesn’t need a woman in his life, especially one who threatens to crack his heart wide open.
But Josiah is a protector and he can’t let Audrey’s troubles go unanswered, even if he has to risk everything—his life and his heart—to keep her safe.
This is a standalone novel in the all-new Haven Brothers series.
FAKE DATING + GRUMPY/SUNSHINE + ENEMIES TO LOVERS + SMALL TOWN
If I had to choose a person to hate, Alex Ramírez would’ve been first on the list…
Welcome to Honey Creek, Illinois, where life was as sweet as the town’s name suggested. That was, until Mr. Fine Dining himself, Alex Ramírez, rolled into town with a permanent scowl. Even worse, he decided to park his snooty five-star restaurant across from my cozy dog daycare. He was tall, dark, and about as warm as a frozen entrée.
After one too many unpleasant interactions, I was determined to stay out of his way and to keep him out of mine.
But fate had a quirky sense of humor. When Alex inherited his great-aunt’s cranky canine, he had no choice but to come to me, the local dog whisperer, for help. As for me? I needed a fake boyfriend to ward off my ex-husband, who was determined to win me back.
So, we struck a deal: I’d turn his dog into the town’s best-behaved pet, and in return, he’d be my arm candy for a few family events and social gatherings. Simple, uncomplicated, and absolutely not romantic—at least, that was what we told ourselves.
As we played house, I couldn’t help but notice that underneath Alex’s prickly shell was a dash of charm that wasn’t listed in the ingredients. Our pretend dates started to feel a little too real. And our feigned kisses? They were getting laughably close to crossing the line. Suddenly, our interactions felt less like a food fight and more like foreplay.
With every playful touch and lingering glance, I couldn’t help but wonder: Was this fake relationship with Alex secretly penning its own authentic ending? Or was I risking it all for someone who was nothing more than make-believe?
This is a standalone novel.
CHILDHOOD ENEMIES TO LOVERS
Katerina Wilmot and Christopher Petruchio shared backyards as kids, but as adults they won’t even share the same hemisphere. That is, until Kate makes a rare visit home, and their fiery animosity rekindles into a raging inferno.
Despite their friends’ and families’ pleas for peace, Christopher is unconvinced Kate would willingly douse the flames of their enmity. But when a drunken Kate confesses she’s only been hostile because she thought he hated her, Christopher vows to make peace with Kate once and for all. Tempting as it is to be swept away by her nemesis-turned-gentleman, Kate isn’t sure she can trust his charming good-guy act.
When Christopher’s persistence and Kate’s curiosity lead to an impassioned kiss, they realize “peace” is the last thing that will ever be possible between them. As desire gives way to deeper feelings, Kate and Christopher must decide if it’s truly better to hate than to never risk their hearts—or if they already gave them away long ago.
This is the second book in The Wilmot Sisters series of standalone novels with interconnected characters. It’s a modern reimagining of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.
Series recommended reading order: Two Wrongs Make a Right | Better Hate than Never
HOLIDAY ROMANTIC COMEDY + SECOND CHANCES
An actress and a perpetually single former boy-band member are reunited as costars on a steamy holiday film…
Kallum Liebermanis the funny one™. As the arguably lesser of the three former members of the boy band INK, he enjoyed his fifteen minutes of fame and then moved home where he opened a regional pizza chain called Slice, Slice, Baby! He’s living his best dad bod life, hooking up with bridesmaids at all his friends’ weddings. But after an old one-off sex tape is leaked and quickly goes viral, Kallum decides he’s ready to step into the spotlight again, starring in a sexy Santa biopic for the Hope Channel.
Winnie Baker did everything right. She married her childhood sweetheart, avoided the downfalls of adolescent stardom, and transitioned into a stable adult acting career. Hell, she even waited until marriage to have sex. But after her perfect life falls apart, Winnie is ready to redefine herself—and what better way than a steamier-than-a-steaming-hot-mug-of-cider Christmas movie?
With decade old Hollywood history between them, Winnie and Kallum are both feeling hesitant about their new situation as costars…especially Winnie who can’t seem to fake on screen pleasure she’s never experienced in real life. She’s willing to do the pleasure research—for science and artistic authenticity, of course. And there’s no better research partner than her bridesmaid sex tape hall of fame costar, Kallum. But suddenly, Kallum’s teenage crush on Winnie is bubbling to the surface and Winnie might be catching feelings herself.
They say opposites attract, but is this holly jolly ever after really ready for its close-up?
This is a standalone novel in the A Christmas Notch series.
Series recommended reading order: A Merry Little Meet Cute | Snow Place Like LA (novella) | A Holly Jolly Ever After
Two outcasts find themselves caught in a web of forbidden love, dangerous magic, and dark secrets that could change the world forever…
In the vibrant city-state of Castellane, the richest of nobles and the most debauched of criminals have one thing in common: the constant search for wealth, power, and the next hedonistic thrill.
Kel is an orphan, stolen from the life he knew to become the Sword Catcher—the body double of a royal heir, Prince Conor Aurelian. He has been raised alongside the prince, trained in every aspect of combat and statecraft. He and Conor are as close as brothers, but Kel knows that his destiny is to die for Conor. No other future is possible.
Lin Caster is one of the Ashkar, a small community whose members still possess magical abilities. By law, they must live behind walls within the city, but Lin, a physician, ventures out to tend to the sick and dying of Castellane. Despite her skills, she cannot heal her best friend without access to forbidden knowledge.
After a failed assassination attempt brings Lin and Kel together, they are drawn into the web of the mysterious Ragpicker King, the criminal ruler of Castellane’s underworld. He offers them each what they want most; but as they descend into his world of intrigue and shadow, they discover a conspiracy of corruption that reaches from the darkest gutters of Castellane to the highest tower of its palaces. As long-kept secrets begin to unravel, they must ask themselves: Is knowledge worth the price of betrayal? Can forbidden love bring down a kingdom? And will their discoveries plunge their nation into war—and the world into chaos?
This is the first book in a brand new series.
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One of my most anticipated reads of the summer was the latest instalment in Kristen Ashley’s River Rain saga, and it had everything to do with the fact that it was Hale and Elsa’s story. When Corey Szabo took his own life at the start of this series, he left his friends and family broken and confused, desperate to put together the pieces of a life that was as exceptional as it was tragic. But no one lost more on that fated day than his estranged son and only heir, Hale Wheeler. In this book, we get to see how the enormous fortune that his father left him and the newfound fame that inevitably followed changed Hale’s life. But we also get to watch him fight and lose the pull of falling in love, something he’s vowed never to do. Because when he meets Elsa Cohen, the celebrity news journalist who’s been reporting on his famous family, they might go head-to-head every time they cross paths, but their connection only grows. Kristen Ashley delivers a story that is both emotional and beautifully heartbreaking at the same time, and I cherished every moment spent with these characters.
A new Kate Canterbary novel automatically goes on top of my reading pile, no matter what, and I absolutely loved returning to her quirky town of Friendship, Rhode Island. As the eldest son of two well-intentioned but absent-minded parents, Beckett Loew knows a thing or two about how to deal with other people’s problems quickly and efficiently. So, when his parents find themselves embroiled in an embezzlement scam, he returns to their small town to help save the family’s oyster bar, as well as take care of his teenage brother. But things get even more complicated when he realises that the owner of the new café next door to the oyster bar is none other than Sunny duJardin, his best friend’s little sister. And she seems to hate him on sight. They’re complete opposite in every possible way—he’s broody and grumpy, she’s cheery and light—yet the more they bicker, the more they can’t keep their hands off each other. But what happens once all the little fires are out and Beckett has to go back to his old life? I walked away from this book smiling ear to ear.
Two high school rivals find themselves on a two-week honeymoon road trip that their grandparents never went on in one of the most enjoyable romances I read this year. While browsing through her late grandmother’s belongings, Noelle Shepard finds a dusty old envelope containing photos and a letter from a secret lover who clearly loved her grandmother deeply but never got to marry her. Through a social media video that ends up going viral, she tracks down the man in question, only to realise that his grandson is her high school arch-nemesis Theo. Desperate to hold on to her beloved grandmother’s memory any way she can, Noelle agrees to go on a road trip with them both, following the sixty-year-old honeymoon that never happened. But two weeks on the road with a man who drives her crazy in every possible way can only spell trouble…of the best kind. Jessica Joyce paints the characters with vibrant brush strokes, delivering a timeless love story that is equal parts sexy, sweet, and aching in its telling of two young people desperate to be loved by someone who wants them exactly as they are.
This was my first book from Tal Bauer and it’ll be my first of many. I’m not sure what I fell in love with more—Tal’s exquisite prose or his ability to rip my heart out of my chest with just a few words, but Wyatt and Noël’s slow-burning love story owned me beginning to end. In this opposites-attract romance, two men meet on their way to a romantic resort in Mexico; one of them is going there for his brother’s destination wedding, and the other is on the honeymoon of a wedding that never happened—his own. They start off as friends, as two lonely men looking for an emotional connection with someone who makes them feel safe, but their bond grows fast and deeply, until the mere idea of parting ways hurts them both. When real life forces them in two very different directions, they must decide whether what they found in Mexico is worth fighting for. I get shivers just thinking about this story.
We have the cover the second book in Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine‘s Park Avenue Prince series, a series set in the rich, luxurious, opulent playground that is New York.
An angsty new surprise baby, second chance, hockey romance is coming in November 2023 from Alison Rhymes, and we have all the details.
We are getting a very special edition of Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros in November, featuring a revamped cover, new endpapers, black sprayed edges, and two bonus chapters from Xaden’s point of view.
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