✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | FORCED PROXIMITY + SMALL TOWN
He’s a cynical, world-weary Londoner. She’s a shy Scot. They might seem like opposites, but a few weeks in the Highlands will bring them together in ways they can’t imagine…
Theo Cavendish is the second son of a British viscount, and he’s spent years running from the aristocratic world he grew up in. Betrayal and loss taught him lessons he’s not quick to forget. As an award-winning screenwriter and creator, Theo prefers to throw himself into the world of film and television. He moves from one project to another, never really letting anyone truly know him.
As a housekeeper at the exclusive Ardnoch Estate, shy Sarah McCulloch feels invisible most days. No one really knows her, and they definitely don’t know she’s a bestselling crime writer. She dreams of seeing her series on screen and believes only one person can develop it for television. On the day she quits the estate for good, she shares her secret with club member, Theo, and asks him to consider her books.
Sarah never expected him to say yes or to show up on her doorstep ready to write with her. Or that weeks spent locked up in her cottage would lead them to form an intense but undeniable connection. A bond that Theo is not sure he’s ready to accept, even though he can’t bear to be without her.
However, when they finally venture out of their bubble, Theo finds he’ll have to battle more than his own demons to protect Sarah from hurt. For he has another fan, one intent on bringing the darkest elements of his most famous script to life. And unless he can figure out this real-life antagonist’s next move, Theo could be in danger of losing Sarah forever.
This is a standalone novel in The Highlands series, a spin-off from the Adair Family series.
Series recommended reading order: Beyond the Thistles | Among the Heather | Through the Glen | Skies Over Caledonia (May 2024) | Northern Twilight (Aug 2024)
✭ NBJ TOP RECOMMENDATION | FRIENDS TO LOVERS + SINGLE DAD
Once upon a time teenage Aurora Evans met a hockey player at the Mall of America. He was from Canada. And soon, he was the perfect fake boyfriend, a get-out-of-jail-free card for all kinds of sticky situations. I can’t go to prom. I’m going to be visiting my boyfriend in Canada. He was just what she needed to cover her social awkwardness. He never had to know. It wasn’t like she was ever going to see him again…
Years later, Aurora is teaching kids’ dance classes and battling panic and eating disorders—souvenirs from her failed ballet career—when pro hockey player Mike Martin walks in with his daughter. Mike’s honesty about his struggles with widowhood helps Aurora confront some of her own demons, and the two forge an unlikely friendship. There’s just one problem: Mike is the boy she spent years pretending was her “Canadian boyfriend.”
The longer she keeps her secret, the more she knows it will shatter the trust between them. But to have the life she wants, she needs to tackle the most important thing of all—believing in herself.
This is a standalone novel.
BEST FRIEND’S SISTER + SMALL TOWN
Up until a year ago, I had everything going for me.
A husband, children . . . the best apartment in SOHO.
Everything was great until a business deal went wrong and I was no longer useful.
I lost everything, including custody of my kids.
My father disowned me, just like my sister before me.
Fortunately, one of my brothers took me into his home.
I’m picking up the pieces, learning to handle my grandmother’s bakery…
And dealing with my brother’s best friend.
Henrik Tremblay is grumpy, infuriating, and too handsome for my broken heart.
It’s impossible to avoid him in this small town.
And when my grandmother pushes us to organize the annual love festival. . . I get the feeling only one of us will come out of this alive.
Let the mind games begin.
This is a standalone novella in the Kentbury Taless series.
Series recommended reading order: Christmas in Kentbury | Fall in Kentbury | Love in Kentbury | Summer in Kentbury (Jul 2024)
Bryce Quinlan never expected to see a world other than Midgard, but now that she has, all she wants is to get back. Everything she loves is in Midgard: her family, her friends, her mate. Stranded in a strange new world, she’s going to need all her wits about her to get home again. And that’s no easy feat when she has no idea who to trust.
Hunt Athalar has found himself in some deep holes in his life, but this one might be the deepest of all. After a few brief months with everything he ever wanted, he’s in the Asteri’s dungeons again, stripped of his freedom and without a clue as to Bryce’s fate. He’s desperate to help her, but until he can escape the Asteri’s leash, his hands are quite literally tied.
This is the third book in the Crescent City series.
Series reading order: House of Earth and Blood | House of Sky and Breath | House of Flame and Shadow
BROTHER’S BEST FRIEND + FORCED PROXIMITY + SECOND CHANCES + SMALL TOWN
I’m her brother’s best friend, and for the past ten years, I’ve also been Addison McKenzie’s dirty little secret.
My pro-hockey player lifestyle kept me from her, but I thought we had a good thing going. Burning up the sheets whenever I visited home worked well for us.
Or so I thought.
When a season-ending injury sends me back to Starlight Cove, I find out she thinks of me as nothing more than a mistake.
She’s trying her hardest to ignore my presence, but being snowed in together is making that difficult.
So is sharing a bed.
Old habits die hard, and it’s no surprise we fall right back into each other. Undeniable chemistry was never our problem, though. Making it last in the real world was.
But I’ve been in love with Addison for years. And I have no intention of giving up on us now.
This is the fifth book in the Starlight Cove series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Rylan Keller is dreading the start of spring semester. After choosing a college across the country and spending the past fall abroad, she’ll be a Holt University student. Worse than starting over at a new school? Starting over at a new school where your dad is the head coach of the men’s hockey team. And reluctantly agreeing to tutor a player, then coming face-to-face with the guy you thought you’d never see again.
Aidan Phillips has a reputation on campus. One he’s carefully curated to include limited reliability or responsibility. Outside of hockey, he spends his free time drinking, partying, and flirting. Often all three.
He’s a player off the ice as well as on it. Gorgeous, carefree, reckless. His one goal is to finally win Holt a championship, which he can only do if he keeps up his end of the tutoring arrangement. Hooking up with his tutor would be stupider than failing in the first place, even if the tutor in question wasn’t his coach’s daughter.
Rylan is determined to excel at Holt and make her fresh start a success. To finally have some fun, and not with a hockey player. Except, the more time they spend together, the harder it is to hold back.
But no matter how tempting giving in might be…the odds are stacked against them.
This is the second book in the Holt Hockey series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.
Series recommended reading order: Famous Last Words | Against All Odds
GRUMPY/SUNSHINE + AGE GAP
Gabriella Davenport is a gorgeous, twenty-two-year-old virgin with a trust fund, vacationing in the Hamptons for the summer and running from family pressure to marry someone she doesn’t like, let alone love.
Maddox James is a sexy bar manager, older than Gabby by a decade. Though he made his fortune on Wall Street, he has returned to his working-class roots with a healthy distrust of wealthy women.
This is a standalone novella in the Dirty Dare series, a spin-off from the Kingston Family series.
With the lead role in a huge action film up for grabs, actor Jake Newman has ninety days to get in shape. How does a man grow abs without the tabloids watching his every move? By sneaking off to a high-end health resort in his Arizona hometown to supersize his biceps…Thor style. Oh, and hope no one discovers the real reason he bailed from Los Angeles—or the teeny little health issue he’s hoping to keep from everyone.
Especially his cute, sunshiny, and absolute hard-ass new trainer.
Former gymnast Rayah Summers has poured everything she has into her desert dream: a full-service resort that helps people transform their bodies and lifestyles. But a run of bad luck has her on the brink of bankruptcy —and the Hollywood hunk with insanely sexy dimples is all that’s standing between her and disaster.
Now everything depends on her success: her future, her roof over her head, and especially her trainers—who are more family than employees. Rayah can’t afford for anything to go wrong… and no one’s able to explain why Jake Newman keeps collapsing during even the lightest workouts.
Now it’s a balance beam nightmare, with Rayah trying to keep her business afloat—all while managing her staff’s drama, keeping her celebrity client a secret, and not falling for him or his devilishly sexy grin. And it’s just a matter of time before Jake’s secrets threaten not only her dreams, but the chosen family she’s found…
This is a standalone novel.
AGE GAP + SINGLE DAD/NANNY + GRUMPY/SUNSHINE + SMALL TOWN
Remington Wild is a single dad of two adorable kids, and as the oldest son of the Wild family, has recently taken over the Wild River Ranch from his father. Life is crazy, and he’s finally willing to admit that he needs help, and the sooner the better. He has no idea that the beautiful woman he sees every day at Bitterroot Valley Coffee Co. is the woman who would show up for the job.
Erin Montgomery couldn’t get out of Seattle fast enough. It’s not that she doesn’t love her big, loud family, but living in the big city just wasn’t for her. The minute she stepped foot in Bitterroot Valley, she knew she was home. She loves the slower pace, the friendly people, and her job at the coffee shop. Even the smoking hot grumpy guy who stops in every afternoon can’t put a damper on how much she loves small town life!
Thanks to car trouble, and her stubbornness when it comes to using her trust fund, Erin needs a second job and applies for the position of a part-time nanny. She’s surprised to find that it’s Grumpy himself who answers the door at the ranch, but Erin quickly learns that she loves his kids and the ranch, and it’s a no-brainer to take the job. She just has to remind herself to resist the sexy rancher and keep it strictly professional.
Remington is attracted to his younger nanny, and finds himself falling headfirst in love with her. He and his kids have never been happier, and he knows she is the perfect addition to their family for as long as she’s willing to stay. Hopefully forever.
But when secrets are exposed, one of which endangers his children, will their love survive? Or will it tear them apart?
This is a standalone novel in the all-new The Wilds of Montana series.
Series recommended reading order: Wild for You | Chasing Wild (May 2024)
When a young lady is ruined, her friends vow none of them will ever be ensnared by a scoundrel again. They will resist every gentleman’s charms even—and especially—if it means gaining a reputation for being impossible to woo. It will take extraordinary rogues to break their rules…
Incorrigible flirt Acton Loxley, Duke of Wellesbourne is in need of a duchess. En route to greet a potential bride, he encounters a most intriguing and captivating widow who completely distracts him from his task. However, she disappears before he can deepen their acquaintance. Acton begrudgingly goes to meet his bride, unaware she and the widow are one and the same.
When Persephone Barclay’s younger sister is compromised, Persephone must wed before the scandal spreads. Her parents scramble to present her to the Duke of Wellesbourne; except he’s precisely the kind of rogue she has now vowed to avoid. Taking flight to avoid a match, Persephone runs straight into her would-be betrothed and pretends to be someone else. But dash it all, the duke proves to be irresistibly charming! If she remains in his company, she’ll end up in the wicked scoundrel’s clutches.
Even worse, her second attempt at escape lands her in increasingly poor circumstances. With nowhere to turn and her safety at risk, she may have to accept help from the one man who threatens her resolve—and her reputation.
This is a standalone novel in the all-new Rogue Rules series.
Series recommended reading order: If the Duke Dares | Because the Baron Broods (Apr 2024)
Meet the Davenport family! Six brothers and sisters who call picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea home. Successful, brilliant, and passionate, the only thing they all still need is the perfect partner in love and life.
Hotshot movie star Archer Davenport has never met a stunt he couldn’t ace, a challenge he couldn’t overcome, or a woman he couldn’t have. When he breaks his leg during a dangerous stunt, the production company insists on hiring a live-in caretaker for him. He refuses the help…until he meets Tessa Taylor. She’s not only caring and beautiful, she’s also as tough on him as a drill sergeant.
Tessa knows all about confident men. She used to be married to one and that didn’t go well. Her only solace is her painting, even if she has no talent, as her late husband always claimed. Her biggest problem on this job, however, is that sexy, magnetic Archer makes her toes curl with desire every time he’s near. She does everything she can to try to remain professional. But it gets harder and harder every day as she starts to fall for him—and for his amazing family—even though she knows she’ll have to leave him for her next client as soon as he’s fully recovered.
Arch, however, has no plans to let Tessa disappear once his leg is fully recovered. In fact, as the sparks between them grow hotter and hotter, he’s determined to show Tessa that she’s not only the most incredible and loving woman he’s ever known, she’s also the most talented.
This is a standalone novel in the all-new The Davenports series.
Series recommended reading order: California Dreaming | California Waves (May 2024) | California Sunsets (Nov 2024)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
An all-new age gap, slow burning, enemies to friends to lovers romance—featuring a grumpy British widower and the American surrogate carrying his baby—is coming in on Feb 26 from Penelope Ward, and we have the gorgeous cover.
Author Scarlett Cole (writing as S. Cole) continues her electrifying Iron Outlaws MC series on Mar 7 with a second chance, secret baby romance, and we have the cover.
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