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CATEGORIES: Weekly Recap
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Latest Top Recommendations

As the romantic trials and tribulations of the twenty-somethings have begun to feel to me more and more like science fiction than a distant memory I can draw from, it takes a lot for me these days to connect with a college romance, especially one with a sports-related storyline. Yet Elle Kennedy’s stories always manage to not only pull me in almost instantly, but also to leave me craving for more. It’s only right that we should kick off a next generation Off-Campus spin-off series with the story of the daughter of one of Elle’s most beloved couples—Garrett Graham and Hannah Wells from The Deal. Gigi Graham is desperate to step out of her famous father’s shadow, and she knows that nothing would help her achieve that goal more than winning Olympic gold, something her father never did. To help her increase her chances of being called to join the women’s national hockey team, she enlists the help of her ex boyfriend’s nemesis and new teammate—Luke Ryder—to give her pointers on her game. But the more time Gigi and Ryder spend together, the more the chemistry between them begins to sizzle. They begin to date in secret, knowing all too well that every stolen moment they have together puts at risk friendships old and new. But their bond and commitment to one another only grow, and when their secret is finally revealed, it had me SCREAMING. A spicy, engaging, passionate love story that packs a punch where you least expect it.

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I haven’t read a book that has touched my soul, like this one, in a very long time, but then again, Abby Jimenez continues to prove she can do no wrong. Set in the same world as Part of Your World, this is the story of two emergency room doctors who, after a bevy of wrong first impressions, become each other’s safe place at a time in their lives when they’re both feeling adrift and alone. Jimenez just knows how to create characters that make you feel like you’d step in front of a moving train for them, characters that embody a certain type of strong that is selfless and kind, characters that linger in our minds long after the book ends. Equal parts heart and heartbreak, yet every romantic’s dream come true, this is Abby Jimenez at her best—making us want to live in her stories forever.

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Rosie Danan proves once again to have a real knack for crafting intriguing storylines with deeply complex characters that feel both wonderous and real, and in her latest novel, she pairs a tenacious expert in the occult with a wary archaeologist in need of professional redemption. Add a cursed Scottish castle to the mix, an ancient magic with its own cryptic agenda, and the result is downright spellbinding. I loved this book before I even read it, but I never expected it to become one of my favourite reads of the year.

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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.

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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.

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Bookish News

One of my favourite books just got a little makeover. Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy‘s Top Secret is the story of two rival fraternity brothers who find themselves sexting over a hookup app without knowing they are chatting with each other.

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Scarlett Peckham’s Society of Sirens are coming back in Jun 2024 with the story of a notorious courtesan who becomes a ‘limited-time-only’ mistress to a starchy earl who is attempting to achieve perfection in “the arts of the bedchamber” before he marries.

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A.L. Jackson has an all-new small town romance coming next month—about a single dad sheriff who catches a gorgeous stranger trespassing on private property, but instead of giving her a ticket, he invites her to stay at his guest house—and we have the cover.

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NBJ WEEKLY RECAP

New & Upcoming Releases; Bookish News; Latest Top Recommendations

23 January, 2024

NEW RELEASES

FRIENDS TO ENEMIES TO LOVERS

Underneath the goody two-shoes persona is damaged goods…but can the bad boy across the street save her?

Bailey Followhill is the perfect daughter. Sweet. Charitable. Pretty. Control freak. Not a hair out of place, not an inch out of line, she is everything her troublemaking sister Daria isn’t. But when her A game turns out to be a lukewarm C- at Juilliard, Bailey’s picture-ready life starts fraying faster than the worn satin ribbons of her pointe shoes. She’s becoming a piece of gossip. The Troubled Child. A drug abuser. No longer the girl her best friend once knew.

Lev Cole is so golden, he’s got the Midas Touch. Prized quarterback. Football captain. Hottest guy in SoCal. A textbook cliché. But with a girlfriend he doesn’t love and a career path he doesn’t value, Lev is coasting.
The only two things he cares about, Bailey and becoming a pilot, are out of reach.

But Lev is done being satisfied with the life others have chosen for him. He wants to pick his own cards. To demolish the seamless kingdom of lies his family stitched together on the ruins his mother left behind.

The question is, can he save his best friend and his dream before too much damage is done?

This is a standalone novel in the All Saints High series.

Series recommended reading order: Pretty Reckless | Broken Knight | Angry God | Damaged Goods

Click to Read An Excerpt


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✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | SECOND CHANCES + ALPHA HERO

In high school, Malia Clark found the man of her dreams.

Darius Tucker.

But life hits them full in the face way before it ever should. Darius makes a drastic decision to keep his family safe and Malia leaves town with a secret.

When Malia returns, she seeks Darius to share all, but Darius finds out before she can tell him. At the same time, she finds out just how much Darius has changed in the years she’s been away.

She just refuses to give up on him.

Until he forces her hand.

Secrets come between Malia and Darius, at the same time Malia has to worry about weird things going on at the law firm where she works, her kid wants a car and she’s stuck in slow-cooker hell. Luckily, her ride or dies have her back.

And in the meantime, she might just learn she never should have lost hope in Darius Tucker.

This is a standalone novella in the Rock Chick series.

Series recommended reading order: Rock Chick Reawakening (novella) | Rock Chick | Rock Chick Rescue | Rock Chick Redemption | Rock Chick Renegade | Rock Chick Revenge | Rock Chick Reckoning | Rock Chick Regret | Rock Chick Revolution | Rock Chick Reborn (novella) | Rock Chick Rematch (novella)

Click to Read An Excerpt


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ROOMMATES TO LOVERS + SMALL TOWN + ALPHA HERO

Kate

I tore out of rehab to win my husband back. It’ll work, too. He just needs to see that I’m clean, that I’m on my feet again.

Until that happens, though, I’ve only got one guy in my corner—Beck, my husband’s best friend, who takes me in against his will and keeps me sane.

Living with Beck is easier than I expected. And fun. Except I’ve got a long history of wanting things I’m not supposed to want.

And Beck may be the most dangerous of them all.

Beck

Kate had nowhere else to go—helping her out is the right thing to do. Though if she thinks the fact that she’s still married to my best friend means she’s safe walking around my house in nothing but a t-shirt…well, I’m somewhat less sure.

Because maybe Caleb could overlook her. Maybe Caleb could fail to notice her.

But from the moment we met, Kate’s been the only thing I could see. And no matter what she’s telling herself, she wants me just as badly as I want her.

This is a standalone novel in The Summer series.

Series recommended reading order: The Summer We Fell | The Summer I Saved You | The Summer You Found Me | The Summer I Destroyed You (22 May 2024)

Click to Read An Excerpt


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ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

A small and easily concealed weapon wreaks havoc, and the killer is just a face in the crowd…

Jenna’s parents had finally given in, and there she was, at a New York club with her best friends, watching the legendary band Avenue A, carrying her demo in hopes of slipping it to the guitarist, Jake Kincade. Then, from the stage, Jake catches her eye, and smiles. It’s the best night of her life.
It’s the last night of her life.

Minutes later, Jake’s in the alley getting some fresh air, and the girl from the dance floor comes stumbling out, sick and confused and deathly pale. He tries to help, but it’s no use. He doesn’t know that someone in the crowd has jabbed her with a needle—and when his girlfriend Nadine arrives, she knows the only thing left to do for the girl is call her friend, Lieutenant Eve Dallas.

After everyone on the scene is interviewed, lab results show a toxic mix of substances in the victim’s body—and for an extra touch of viciousness, the needle was teeming with infectious agents. Dallas searches for a pattern: Had any boys been harassing Jenna? Was she engaging in risky behavior or caught up in something shady? But there are no obvious clues why this levelheaded sixteen-year-old, passionate about her music, would be targeted.

And that worries Dallas. Because if Jenna wasn’t targeted, if she was just the random, unlucky victim of a madman consumed by hatred, there are likely more deaths to come.

This is the 58th instalment in Nora Roberts’ (writing as J.D. Robb) incredible In Death series. Each book is a separate story/case, but the background story of these characters flows from one instalment to another. 


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✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | SMALL TOWN

One feels he’s not worthy of love. The other fears he doesn’t know how. But the sizzling chemistry between them has both tempted to explore the unknown.

Cyrus

I was intrigued by Crow at first glance. Who wouldn’t be? He’s a mountain of a man, who was raised in a cult and now lives secluded in the wilderness. But the draw I feel to him goes beyond mild interest. When his intense gaze falls my way, it feels like he can see into my soul, to my deepest yearnings and desires.

I took a bold chance venturing to his mountain uninvited. But I can’t help myself. Despite Crow’s dangerous facade, I feel at home when I’m near him. I’ve never felt wanted or needed…until the mountain man took me in his arms.

Crow

The mountain is my home, the only place that truly suits me. I reveled in my solitude…until Cyrus showed up looking as lonely as I felt. The warmth in his gaze made me welcome someone into my home and my heart when I never have before.

The way he smells. The way he feels. I come apart with his every touch. The past haunts us both. Yet when we’re together, the weight of it is manageable. Cyrus is mine, and I don’t ever want to let him go. Still, I fear that eventually he’ll want to leave the mountain, and for the first time in my life, I don’t want to be alone.

This is a standalone novel.

Click to Read An Excerpt


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Print

BILLIONAIRES + BODYGUARDS

Sci-fi writer, heiress, weirdo, and oldest daughter of the beloved and infamous Hale family, 21-year-old Luna Hale has been known by many names. But the title she’s coveted these days has been elusive…until now.

She can see it. It’s in reach. She’s more than ready to be his girlfriend.

Luna wants to go on an exploration of Paul Donnelly. Top to bottom. Inside out. To discover all there is to know about her human hero. But he’s afraid some skeletons are better left in the darkness.

As a death in the family unsteadies multiple futures, Luna and Donnelly see turbulence ahead, but they’re determined to steer their ship through the rubble and finally make a landing. This time, together.

This is the thirteenth and final book in the Like Us series and it is not a standalone novel. This series has one continuous timeline that follows a family of wealthy celebrities and the people that protect them.

Series reading order: Damaged Like Us (Maximoff & Farrow) | Lovers Like Us (Maximoff & Farrow) | Alphas Like Us (Maximoff & Farrow) | Tangled Like Us (Jane & Thatcher) | Sinful Like Us (Jane & Thatcher) | Headstrong Like Us (Maximoff & Farrow) | Charming Like Us (Oscar & Jack) | Wild Like Us (Akara & Sulli & Banks) | Fearless Like Us (Akara & Sulli & Banks) | Infamous Like Us (Akara & Sulli & Banks) | Misfits Like Us (Luna & Donnelly) | Unlucky Like Us (Luna & Donnelly) | Nobody Like Us (Luna & Donnelly)


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PARANORMAL ROMANCE + SHIFTERS

Lydia knows time is running out. Daniel’s terminal diagnosis has doomed her to grief, and she just wants to spend as much time as she can with him. When his doctor goes missing, however, their secret lab’s location is compromised and suddenly she is at war with an enemy she doesn’t understand.

As a former black ops soldier, Daniel is very familiar with the danger they’re in, and he’s determined to keep his beautiful wolven safe. This means he must turn to his former boss – and relying on a symphath for anything is a worst-case scenario on a good day. But what choice does he have?

With Daniel’s sixth sense telling him there’s more to the kidnapping, he and Lydia must work with their allies to defend the underground facility. Little do they know that the symphath has something even more valuable to offer them . . . but at what cost?

This is the third and final book in the Lair of the Wolven series, set in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world. It concludes Lydia Susi and Daniel Joseph’s story.

Series reading order: Claimed | Forever | Mine


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POP STAR + SECOND CHANCES

A rising-star musician has a second chance at love with an old flame she remembers all too well…

Riley Wynn went from a promising singer-songwriter to a superstar overnight, thanks to her breakup song concept album and its unforgettable lead single. When Riley’s ex-husband claims the hit song is about him, she does something she hasn’t in ten years and calls Max Harcourt, her college boyfriend and the real inspiration for the song of the summer.

Max hasn’t spoken to Riley since their relationship ended. He’s content with managing the retirement home his family owns, but it’s not the life filled with music he dreamed of. When Riley asks him to go public as her songwriting muse, he agrees on one condition: he’ll join her band on tour.

As they perform across the country, Max and Riley start to realize that while they hit some wrong notes in the past, their future could hold incredible things.And their rekindled relationship will either last forever or go down in flames.

This is a standalone novel.


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SECOND CHANCES + SMALL TOWN

Love wasn’t part of the blueprint when high school sweethearts reunite in their small town. But this former military man never forgot the girl he left behind and he’s more determined than ever for a second chance to rebuild their relationship brick by brick and heart by heart.

Getting locked in the men’s restroom during my mother’s funeral wasn’t exactly how I expected to run into my high school sweetheart. The one who got away. The one who broke my heart.

I could toss the busted doorknob in my hand at him, but I’d prefer to get the heck away. Because twenty years later, Knox Sylver isn’t a teenage boy anymore but a broad-shouldered, thick scruff man with eyes that still look at me like I’m the only person in the room.

As a newly divorced mother of two teenagers, it’s been a long time since anyone sees me. And Knox is definitely watching.

Unfortunately, he made choices in the past and I wasn’t one of them.

According to him, that is ancient history.

Also, according to him, it’s never too late for a second chance. He’s out to prove he’s solid and stable, having returned to our small hometown, in a better place after a career in the military. He’s a local hero as a fireman and he wants to rekindle the flame between us.

I’m the one with decisions this round.

Do I stay where memories hurt? Or do I leave my past, and Knox, behind me again?

This is a standalone novel in the Sterling Falls series.

Series recommended reading order: Sterling Heat | Sterling Brick | Sterling Streak (Jun 2024)


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On February 14, an accidental email to a stranger opens the door to an unexpected relationship…

One typo, and a boy and girl connect by chance. Wishing each other a happy Valentine’s Day isn’t the end.

In fact, it becomes a friendly annual tradition—with rules: no pics, no real names, nothing too personal.

As years pass, the rules for their email “dates” are breaking, and they’re sharing more than they imagined—including the urge to ask…what if we actually met?

This is a standalone short story, part of The Improbable Meet-Cute collection of stories about finding love when and where you least expect it. Each story in the collection is written by a different author.


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They’re falling in love, yet they’ve never met. Maybe fate can intervene…

Holly is dealing with the impending death of her grandmother and still reeling from a bad breakup. One bright spot: a Valentine’s Day card on Holly’s windshield—even if it wasn’t meant for her.

An amusing mistake soon turns into a lovely exchange of anonymous notes, little acts of kindness, and a growing affection between two strangers.

What happens when one of them has to say goodbye?

This is a standalone short story, part of The Improbable Meet-Cute collection of stories about finding love when and where you least expect it. Each story in the collection is written by a different author.


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For a hopeful and hopeless romantic, it’s love at first sight—with a little twist…

Rosie Whittaker and her sister are up for some Galentine’s pampering at a day spa. Getting locked inside a flotation tank is so Rosie.

Enter a firefighter hero determined to pry this luckless pearl out of her high-tech shell.

All Rosie has to go on is a dreamy voice and a flirty sense of humor. Remain calm, Rosie. This could be what you’ve been waiting for.

Is this the man she’s waited for her whole life?

This is a standalone short story, part of The Improbable Meet-Cute collection of stories about finding love when and where you least expect it. Each story in the collection is written by a different author.


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It takes nothing less than a fateful natural disaster to throw two opposites together…

This Valentine’s Day, Daisy Murray has her heart set on binge-watching rom-coms.

Instead, an earthquake traps her inside a bakery with its impossibly rude and insufferably handsome owner and head baker.

They already have a history: she’s always smiled, he’s always scowled. Where better to finally get to know each other than amid the disaster? Then again, they have no choice.

Besides, it could have its sweet, undeniable, and unpredictable perks.

This is a standalone short story, part of The Improbable Meet-Cute collection of stories about finding love when and where you least expect it. Each story in the collection is written by a different author.


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Every person she kisses finds their true love, and it’s never her—until now…

Audrey Love is cursed to be the person before you find your soulmate, the girl you dump for your true love.

So when her best friend disappears hours before his Valentine’s Day wedding, Audrey fears that she did the unthinkable and kissed him at last night’s bachelor party.

With help from the best man, she retraces her steps to find the missing groom and, with any luck, a true love of her own.

This is a standalone short story, part of The Improbable Meet-Cute collection of stories about finding love when and where you least expect it. Each story in the collection is written by a different author.


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Audio

Valentine’s Day becomes a Roman holiday for a princess in disguise in a dizzyingly romantic short story about making wishes come true…

Princess Ilaria has had it up to her tiara with the paparazzi, her own wild reputation, and the public eye.

Trading places with her assistant, Ilaria wants just one blissfully ordinary weekend.

Then a handsome photographer with a sexy Scottish burr offers to be her guide.

Sparks fly, but how long can they last? Ilaria’s secret has to come out—and it could ruin a perfectly serendipitous romance.

This is a standalone short story, part of The Improbable Meet-Cute collection of stories about finding love when and where you least expect it. Each story in the collection is written by a different author.


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ONE NIGHT STAND + AGE GAP + SMALL TOWN

After my divorce, I decide to move across the country away from family and friends for a new start.

What I don’t expect is him.

He’s only supposed to be a one-night stand, but fate has other plans.

The next time I see him it’s because I’m on a date with his dad.

I’ve always believed in wishing on elevens, but this time I get a little more than I bargained for by falling for a guy eleven years younger than me.

Reid is everything I shouldn’t want and everything I need.

The question is, am I willing to open my heart up to him? Or am I doomed to let my past hold me back?

This is a standalone novel.


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Print

SMALL TOWN

There’s only one course of action when your dad wants you to marry a clammy-handed wimp to make one of his board members happy—you get yourself stuck in an elevator with a hot stranger and have the steamiest make-out session of your life. Years of etiquette lessons went out the window thanks to Cameron Wilder, who managed to unleash my hidden bad girl with naught but his talented mouth and deliciously rough hands.

Afterwards, he went back to his small-town life, and I marched home to inform my dad there would be no business-centric nuptials. As punishment, he shipped me off to Sisters, Oregon and demanded I turn a healthy profit on a not-so-healthy property.

You see where I’m going with this—the buttoned-up city girl stuck in a small town hires a local builder to help her … and he’s the hot stranger from the elevator. Turns out, I have a weakness for the broad-shouldered nice guy who’s not so nice behind closed doors. Keeping things professional gets harder the longer I’m in town, until the only lesson I have left to learn is how to keep both our hearts from getting broken.

This is the second book in the Wilder Family series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.

Series recommended reading order: One and Only | Head Over Heels | Promise Me This (May 2024)


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BDSM

Once you fully submit, your darkest cravings will…Blossom

The ultra-luxe Black Rose Underground Club used to be Mary Sandusky’s favorite place to play. She was happy to slip into her role as seasoned submissive Blossom and relinquish control to an expert Dom. But when a scene gets out of hand, she can no longer trust her own dark appetites. She’s ready to walk away from Black Rose for good…until she meets a hot Highlander who pushes all the right buttons.

Nothing makes Ronan O’Connor’s blood heat more than commanding a submissive in a scene, but forming a relationship outside the club was an urge lost long ago. The closer people get, the more damage they can do. But when he meets the alluring Mary, her beauty—and her obedience—captivate him, and he’s determined to make her his.

Every Dom has firm rules, and Ronan is no exception. So he’ll make her an offer—one that will push her boundaries of pleasure and submission even as it challenges the line that separates Mary and Blossom. But neither of them is prepared for where his plans take them…

This is a standalone novel in the Black Rose series.

Series recommended reading order: Blush | Bloom | Blossom


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Apple Books | Print | Audio

SINGLE DAD + SMALL TOWN + ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

What if the future is already written?

Gage

When Rory Marlowe Bishop walks out of my past and into my bar, I realize she’s not just a kid anymore. Now she’s hell on wheels and a special kind of temptation. But I can’t afford the distraction, not with the responsibility I’ve inherited. I’m raising my two young siblings who have inherited the unexplainable family “gift” of premonitions that always seem to come true.

It’s safer to keep my distance from the enigmatic private investigator. Rory doesn’t need to be tangled up in my family drama. At least that’s what I tell myself until my brother goes missing…

Rory

Gage Palmer was the hero of my childhood, entering my life when I needed him most. A decade later and I’m instantly reminded of the teenage crush I never quite got over. But neither one of us can act on our growing feelings once he hires me to find his brother. I won’t stop until I help him uncover the truth. Not when I have the chance to reunite a family instead of breaking one.

Even if it means revealing secrets that could destroy us.

Even if it means our future is already written in the wreckage.

This is a standalone novel.


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HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Six friends, one house party, and a whole lot of scandal…

Lady Clementine Hammond may be polite society’s most notorious matchmaker, but she’s perfectly happy remaining unattached herself. A series of unfortunate missteps at a country house party, however, leaves her with no choice but to feign an engagement to the last man in all England she’d ever want to marry—the annoyingly handsome Marquess of Dorset.

Dorset needs a wife with a sizable dowry to save his estate, but thanks to Lady Clementine’s machinations, the woman he intended to wed became someone else’s wife. Much to his dismay, when fate inconveniently throws Lady Clementine into his arms, he’s forced to claim she’s his future bride.

The bitter enemies strike a reluctant understanding. One fortnight of false smiles and pretending to be head over heels for each other, followed by a return to London and the quiet ending of their betrothal. It should be quite simple.

Except, the more time Clementine and Dorset spend together, the more real their engagement feels. And when their mutual enmity heats into a surprising passion, Clementine is shocked to realize she wants far more from Dorset than two weeks. She wants his forever.

This is a standalone novella in the Dukes Most Wanted series.

Series recommended reading order: Forever Her Duke | Forever Her Marquess | Forever Her Rake (Feb 2024)


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Latest Top Recommendations

As the romantic trials and tribulations of the twenty-somethings have begun to feel to me more and more like science fiction than a distant memory I can draw from, it takes a lot for me these days to connect with a college romance, especially one with a sports-related storyline. Yet Elle Kennedy’s stories always manage to not only pull me in almost instantly, but also to leave me craving for more. It’s only right that we should kick off a next generation Off-Campus spin-off series with the story of the daughter of one of Elle’s most beloved couples—Garrett Graham and Hannah Wells from The Deal. Gigi Graham is desperate to step out of her famous father’s shadow, and she knows that nothing would help her achieve that goal more than winning Olympic gold, something her father never did. To help her increase her chances of being called to join the women’s national hockey team, she enlists the help of her ex boyfriend’s nemesis and new teammate—Luke Ryder—to give her pointers on her game. But the more time Gigi and Ryder spend together, the more the chemistry between them begins to sizzle. They begin to date in secret, knowing all too well that every stolen moment they have together puts at risk friendships old and new. But their bond and commitment to one another only grow, and when their secret is finally revealed, it had me SCREAMING. A spicy, engaging, passionate love story that packs a punch where you least expect it.

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I haven’t read a book that has touched my soul, like this one, in a very long time, but then again, Abby Jimenez continues to prove she can do no wrong. Set in the same world as Part of Your World, this is the story of two emergency room doctors who, after a bevy of wrong first impressions, become each other’s safe place at a time in their lives when they’re both feeling adrift and alone. Jimenez just knows how to create characters that make you feel like you’d step in front of a moving train for them, characters that embody a certain type of strong that is selfless and kind, characters that linger in our minds long after the book ends. Equal parts heart and heartbreak, yet every romantic’s dream come true, this is Abby Jimenez at her best—making us want to live in her stories forever.

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Rosie Danan proves once again to have a real knack for crafting intriguing storylines with deeply complex characters that feel both wonderous and real, and in her latest novel, she pairs a tenacious expert in the occult with a wary archaeologist in need of professional redemption. Add a cursed Scottish castle to the mix, an ancient magic with its own cryptic agenda, and the result is downright spellbinding. I loved this book before I even read it, but I never expected it to become one of my favourite reads of the year.

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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.

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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.

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Bookish News

One of my favourite books just got a little makeover. Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy‘s Top Secret is the story of two rival fraternity brothers who find themselves sexting over a hookup app without knowing they are chatting with each other.

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Scarlett Peckham’s Society of Sirens are coming back in Jun 2024 with the story of a notorious courtesan who becomes a ‘limited-time-only’ mistress to a starchy earl who is attempting to achieve perfection in “the arts of the bedchamber” before he marries.

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A.L. Jackson has an all-new small town romance coming next month—about a single dad sheriff who catches a gorgeous stranger trespassing on private property, but instead of giving her a ticket, he invites her to stay at his guest house—and we have the cover.

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