✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | ROMANTIC MYSTERY
Heiress Daphne Ryan is uncertain about spending a week at the sprawling country estate of the family of her sister’s boyfriend. For starters, she doesn’t get along with her sister. Then there’s the fact his family is old, wealthy aristocracy, and Daphne’s from brash, new American money.
Mostly, it’s that everyone knows Duncroft House is haunted by the ghost of a 1920s film star who died there. Deemed an accident, for nearly a century, people are sure it was murder.
Daphne doesn’t like scary things, say…haunted houses. She likes it less when strange things start happening to her when she arrives.
But she finds she has a surprising ally.
Ian Alcott, the heir to the earldom, is rich, gorgeous and just as concerned about the frightening things that keep befalling Daphne at his ancestral family home. As he moves to protect her, Daphne finds he’s also funny, kind and sexy as hell.
Indeed, he just might be too good to be true.
This is a standalone novel.
The only thing that can save the realms now is the one thing more powerful than the Fates.
After a startling betrayal ends with both Sera and the dangerously seductive ruler of the Shadowlands she has fallen madly in love with being held captive by the false King of the Gods, there is only one thing that can free Nyktos and prevent the forces of the Shadowlands from invading Dalos and igniting a War of Primals.
Convincing Kolis won’t be easy, though – not even with a lifetime of training. While his most favored Revenant is insistent that she is nothing more than a lie, Kolis’s erratic nature and twisted sense of honor leave her shaken to the core, and nothing could’ve prepared her for the cruelty of his Court or the shocking truths revealed. The revelations not only upend what she has understood about her duty and the very creation of the realms but also draw into question exactly what the true threat is. However, surviving Kolis is only one part of the battle. The Ascension is upon her, and Sera is out of time.
But Nyktos will do anything to keep Sera alive and give her the life she deserves. He’ll even risk the utter destruction of the realms, and that’s exactly what will happen if he doesn’t Ascend as the Primal of Life. Yet despite his desperate determination, their destinies may be out of their hands.
But there is that foreseen unexpected thread—the unpredictable, unknown, and unwritten. The only thing more powerful than the Fates…
This is the third book in the Flesh and Fire series, set in the Blood and Ash world but taking place many years before the events in that series.
ENEMIES TO LOVERS + SPORTS ROMANCE
Gigi Graham has exactly three goals: qualify for the women’s national hockey team, win Olympic gold, and step out of her famous father’s shadow. So far, so good, except for two little things. Fine–a little thing and a big, grumpy thing. She needs to improve her game behind the net, and she needs help from Luke Ryder.
Ryder is six-foot five, built, opinionated, rude…and sexy as hell. But he’s still the enemy.
Briar’s new hockey co-captain has his reasons, though. The men’s team just merged with a rival program, leaving Ryder with an angry roster where everyone hates one another’s guts. To make matters worse, the summer coaching spot he’s angling for with the legendary Garrett Graham is out of reach after he makes the worst possible first impression on his hero. So, really, this compromise with Gigi is win-win. He helps her make the national team, she puts in a good word
with her dad.
The only potential snag? This bone-deep, body-numbing, mind-spinning chemistry they’re trying to ignore. It’s a dangerous game they’re playing, but the risks just might be worth it.
This is a standalone novel in the all-new Campus Diaries series, a next-generation spin-off from the Off-Campus series.
Series recommended reading order: The Graham Effect | The Dixon Rule (14 May 2024)
SINGLE DAD + BEST FRIENDS TO LOVERS + SMALL TOWN
I spent all my life being in love with Landon Miller.
I’m tired of pretending to be immune to that wide jaw, taut body, and woodsy scent.
Am I in love with him?
Sure, but he’s happy being a single dad and treating me like one of the guys.
Me on the other hand…
I’m getting ready to leave Kentbury for a new life.
A fresh start: it’s my Christmas present to myself.
That is until my best friend and his adorable daughter decide that they can’t let me go…
Now I have to choose between a new promising life and the two people I’ve been yearning for my entire life.
This is a standalone novella in the Kentbury Tales series. It was previously released in 2018 but it has been re-edited, and some names have changed.
Series recommended reading order: Christmas in Kentbury | Fall in Kentbury (10 Nov 2023)
How in the world does a grumpy rancher end up falling for a rich dilettante?
Richard Dunning has it all: private school education, an exquisite designer wardrobe, a last name that ensures he’s invited to all the best parties, and a skincare regimen that’s to die for.
The only thing he doesn’t have is… well, a job. Or a home. Or money in the bank. Not since his dad cut him off.
So when his best frenemy approaches him with a bet—spend a month working as a cowhand on some godforsaken Wyoming ranch in exchange for his dream job—he’s a little too proud and a lot too desperate to say no.
But from the moment Richard and his rhinestone cowboy hat show up at the Silver Fork Ranch, nothing is as expected.
Not the beautiful vistas, not the terrifying horses, not the friendly people, not the epic quantities of cow manure, and definitely not Boone Hammond, the rugged rancher whose eyes are a little too intense, whose expectations are a little too high, and whose kisses are… a lot too tempting.
But when his month on the ranch comes to a close, Richard must choose: return to the safe, luxurious life he thought he wanted… or risk everything for the love he’s been IN SEARCH OF all along.
This is a standalone novel in the After Oscar series.
Series recommended reading order: IRL: In Real Life | LOL: Laugh Out Loud | BTW: By The Way | ISO: In Search Of
BEST FRIENDS TO LOVERS + FAKE MARRIAGE + FORCED PROXIMITY + SMALL TOWN
When your best friend asks you for the biggest favor of her life…
Things were finally looking up for me.
I was my own boss; I owned my own house—
and I recently was contacted by an older sister I didn’t know I had.
Everything was perfect…until tragedy struck.
All the things that had come into my life were suddenly gone—except for one thing: my niece.
I was a confirmed bachelor.
I was married to my work and committed to nothing more.
No woman was going to change that.
Eva is my best friend and needed a life-changing favor:
Marry her so she could gain custody of her niece.
A marriage of convenience that would only last a year, tops.
But there were stipulations we hadn’t planned on.
Things got blurry—lines got crossed.
I would honor my commitment…I just hope I can walk away.
This is a standalone novel set in the Southern Wedding series.
Series recommended reading order: Mine To Have | Mine To Hold | Mine To Cherish | Mine To Love | Mine To Take | Mine To Promise | Mine To Honor | Mine To Keep (Jan 2024)
“If sin weren’t pretty, it wouldn’t be so tempting.”
I was an accomplished music professor.
Now, I’m unemployed.
Pining for a dark, brooding guy named Jack who lives in a garage with a piano.
And I’m plotting to seduce a married man because his daughter is responsible for my nephew committing suicide.
I don’t know why teenage girls are so mean.
I don’t know why rich men cheat on their wives.
And I don’t know why Jack has serial killer vibes, even though he leaves me speechless every time he speaks.
All I know for sure is that I feel safe in a stranger’s arms and understood by someone I don’t understand.
“You should be a little scared of everyone because humans are unpredictable.”
How far will I go for revenge? More than that …
How far will he go to save me?
This is a standalone novel set in the Jack & Jill world.
GRUMPY/SUNSHINE + FAKE DATING + SMALL TOWN
Did you hear the one about the woman who gets fired, then busted for speeding on a country road and falls for the cop who pulled her over?
Sergeant Jude Davis barely has enough hours in the day to protect and serve the small town of Kelly Lakes and take care of his ailing father. After his bitter divorce, he learned the hard way that he doesn’t have time for romantic relationships.
If only he could get everyone to stop trying to set him up on blind dates…
When the grouchy officer pulled over a speeding driver, he wasn’t prepared for Claudia. The sunshiney beauty is only in town long enough to nurse her professional wounds before heading back to Brooklyn. She’s gorgeous, fiery, and everything he doesn’t have time to enjoy.
Jude can’t afford to get close to her, so no one is more shocked than he is when he finds himself asking her for a favor. A few fake public cuddles and longing looks should be enough to put off his determined matchmakers, right?
For the first time in years, this grumpy cop has something to smile about as the friendship develops certain “benefits.” But when Claudia’s temporary stay takes a turn for the permanent, Jude has to face facts. He can’t be the man she deserves…but he’s definitely not willing to watch her end up with someone else.
This is a standalone novel, set in the same world as An Unexpected Turn.
MARRIAGE IN TROUBLE + SECOND CHANCES + BILLIONAIRE ROMANCE
He had her, he lost her…and he’ll do anything to win her back.
Powerful, brilliant, and ambitious, Dominic Davenport clawed his way up from nothing to become the King of Wall Street.
He has everything—a beautiful home, a beautiful wife, and more money than he could spend in a lifetime. But no matter how much he accumulates, he’s never satisfied.
In his endless quest for more, he drives away the only person who saw him as enough.
It isn’t until she’s gone that he realizes there may be more to life than riches and glory…but by then, it may be too late.
* * *
Kind, intelligent, and thoughtful, Alessandra Davenport has played the role of trophy wife for years.
She stood by her husband while he built an empire, but now that they’ve reached the top, she realizes he’s no longer the man she fell for.
When it becomes clear that she’ll always come second to his work, she finally takes charge of her life and puts herself first—even if it means leaving the only man she’s ever loved.
But what she didn’t count on was his refusal to let her go…or for him to fight for their marriage, no matter what it takes.
This is a standalone novel in the Kings of Sin series.
Series recommended reading order: King of Wrath | King of Pride | King of Greed | King of Sloth (30 Apr 2024)
Katherine, an ambitious NYC attorney, gets diagnosed with a concussion and must be monitored for 48 hours to make sure it doesn’t get worse.
Unfortunately, she forgot to update her emergency contact so the person they call is her ex-husband, Tom.
Unable to be left alone, Katherine reluctantly agrees to travel to Chicago with Tom for the holidays.
But thanks to a blizzard, what should have been a quick plane ride turns into an antagonistic overnight misadventure that stirs up old feelings even as Tom prepares to propose to his girlfriend on Christmas Eve.
This is a standalone novel.
ENEMIES TO LOVERS
Dear Sneaky Santa,
I’d like to have a word about your sense of humor. Was it really necessary to stick me, a professional hockey player nursing an injury and avoiding the media, in an isolated cabin with a bratty, boot-designing princess who seems to have made it her mission to despise me? I mean, come on, what did I ever do to you?
And let’s talk about our first encounter. Was it your intention for her to barge in on me while I was enjoying a soak in the tub? It wasn’t exactly my finest moment, and I’m sure she didn’t appreciate the view of my massive body floundering around as I tried to grab a towel.
Now, I’m stuck with her, thanks to a mutual acquaintance, in the middle of a snow blizzard, navigating through bear attacks, sketchy neighbors, and whole lot of tension. I had plans, Santa, plans to escape to Cabo and forget about the world, not to be trapped with a woman who thinks I’m unworthy of her time just because she can’t stand hockey players.
Oh, and speaking of our delightful Iris, she’s stingier with her food than Scrooge was with his pennies! I’m not asking for a feast, but a guy’s got to eat! And could you possibly turn her yippy dog into a reindeer or something? It would certainly add to the Christmas spirit and save my eardrums.
I’m trying to rediscover the meaning of Christmas, and you throw me into this chaos? Is this some kind of test, or are you just having a jolly laugh up there in the North Pole?
So here’s my Christmas wish, Santa: sprinkle a bit of your magic and either get me out of here or be a Cupid and ignite a fiery, undeniable passion between us, because right now, this scenario is frostier than a snowman.
Slapshotting Through the Snow, Kyler Blanchette
This is a standalone novella.
The Manor—the heartbeat of hedonism and pleasure, the place where Jesse Ward lost himself for years in women and alcohol, escaping his past—was his life. His everything. Until the day Ava O’Shea walked through the doors and Jesse discovered something else to live for.
Their love affair was passionate, intense, and all-consuming. She became his heaven. His escape. And eventually, his downfall. When Ava walked away from him, he was destroyed, even more broken than before.
But she’s come back, and Jesse vows never to lose her again.
Except Ava’s only scratched the surface of his broken soul, and as their relationship intensifies and their love deepens, Jesse’s pushed to the brink of insanity when his past creeps into his present and risks destroying everything.
They will never survive his truths, and Jesse will never survive losing Ava again.
So he’ll do anything to shield her from his dark, soul-destroying past.
This is the fifth book in the This Man series, a re-telling of This Man from Jesse Ward’s point of view.
Adored by all, Britta is an ambitious waitress working at Sluggers. The popular bar holds a special place in her heart and is a regular hangout for the Bridgeport Bandits, the local hockey club. With a half brother on the team, Britta has a strict no-dating policy for hockey boys. But she does have a soft spot for one particular player.
A beast on the ice, Sumner Mayfield is on the brink of breaking into the NHL. But time’s running out. With his work visa about to expire, Sumner’s only chance to stay in Bridgeport is to marry an American—and get a green card. Otherwise, it’s back to Canada for the defenseman.
On New Year’s Eve, the team begs Britta to marry Sumner that very night. Sum is embarrassed yet hopeful—he’s desperately in love. But Britta balks at first. Until something about Sumner’s soulful brown eyes and ripped physique makes her reconsider…
This is a standalone novella.
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Kristen Ashley returns with the fantastically atmospheric tale of American heiress Daphne Ryan who finds herself summoned to Duncroft House—her younger sister’s new boyfriend’s ancestral family home—to meet his parents and brother. However, as Daphne soon realises, Duncroft House appears to be haunted by all the women who died there under mysterious circumstances, and they all seem to be currently targeting Daphne. Enter Ian Alcott, the very alpha, very bossy heir to the earldom, who steps in to protect Daphne, while also doing his best to solve the mystery of Duncroft House. Ashley masterfully weaves in elements of the supernatural to draw a gripping tale of love, suspense, and things that go bump in the night. I read this book in a single sitting.
I have been devouring Cherise Sinclair romances for over a decade now, and the Mountain Masters series was one of my first forays into her writing, so returning to this world felt like coming home. Newly divorced Erin Lockwood has been left penniless by her criminal ex-husband who, after emptying all their bank accounts, fled the country to escape arrest. In a desperate attempt to restart her life away from the bad memories that continue to haunt her, she retreats to the small mountain town of Bear Flat and the house gifted to her by her late mother, only to realise that the legacy of her husband’s crimes still reverberates through the lives of everyone in town. The last thing Erin needs right now is to get involved with anyone, but when she meets wilderness guide Wyatt Masterson, she can’t help but feel noticed, valued, protected—all the things her ex-husband never made her feel. But as Erin and Wyatt begin to explore each other, in and out of the bedroom, Erin’s past continues to draw closer and closer, threatening to destroy the happiness she has finally found with Wyatt. With the perfect mix of suspense, romance and kink, Cherise Sinclair’s stories continue to be comfort reads for me.
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.
Kristen Ashley‘s Rock Chick series continues in April 2024 with the long-awaited spinoff that takes Mace and Stella from LA to Phoenix, and we have the cover of the first book in the series.
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