You’ll never get anywhere by sitting down and giving up.”
New life was born from hopeless despair.”
You’ll never get anywhere by sitting down and giving up.”
New life was born from hopeless despair.”
He returned to New York with more muscles, more money, and a taste for revenge…
Robert Donovan left New York as a broken-hearted boy. To avoid scandal ruining his older brother’s engagement, Robert was packed up and sent out West to live with his uncle. He spent his time there wisely, growing into his good looks and gathering money at the card tables. His plan was to return to New York a most desirable man, to catch the eye of the woman he had loved all his life and who hadn’t returned the feelings. Then he could turn the tables on her and make her feel the kind of loss he suffered.
Becca O’Hare had grown up with all three of the Donovan brothers, but it was the middle son Brandon who stole her heart. He left shortly after announcing their engagement, to pursue a lead for the family business, and never returned. Now, five years later, her family is pressuring her to move on and find another suitable husband. She can’t help but notice how much Robert has changed. From his muscled body in a suit to his fancy hotel business, he has become the type of man any woman would want.
Can Becca let go of her guilt and let her heart fall for the new man Robert has become? Will Robert go through with his plans for revenge if she does? Or can the two of them find a new future together?
Out on April 25. Amazon preorder link: Dancing-Devil/B0BZTMPKG7
Emma Brady is an author who resides in Kansas. She went to school to be a librarian but now works for a company that sells fine art online. She has two nephews and two dogs, with whom she enjoys spending time. Her long-time interest in Victorian love stories led to her becoming an author.
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My favorite small-town Texas series is back in the form of a spin-off trilogy. This first book Sweet Comfort lives up to its title with its familiar (from Comfort Stories) and newly-introduced characters welcoming readers with warmth, charm, romance, cozy mystery, and best of all, gourmet chocolates.
It always feels like a homecoming whenever I read a Comfort story by Kimberly Fish. She writes a smooth-flowing, slow-burning story featuring fully fleshed-out characters set in a place that makes me want to visit and revisit often.
This latest installment delighted me especially because Gloria Bachman is the main protagonist. I was intrigued with her in Comfort Foods and I’m happy she gets not just one but three stories that are focused on her life and relationships in the Comfort and Joy series. Now that I’m a Golden Girl myself, I love reading stories centered around people of the same generation proving we still have a lot to contribute to society despite our advancing years. Gloria, with her new venture into business ownership and her deepening involvement in the Comfort community, proves that and more.
It was entertaining to read her vacillate between openness and reluctance in dealing with her neighbors, business associates, and potential love interest in Mason Lassiter. I loved that Ms. Fish infused her with kindness, smarts, and savvy as well as lingering baggage from her past, a healthy suspicion about strangers, and occasional self-doubt that made her a well-developed person.
Truly, all the named characters in this story are multifaceted, from Drue to Wanda to Joynella and even the hapless Ted Bodine. The only character that needs more fleshing out is Mason. I guess we’ll know more about him in book two Finding Comfort, which I’m really looking forward to reading.
I enjoyed this story immensely. I do consider it more contemporary women’s fiction than a cozy mystery though. The murder mystery aspect lacks suspense, a sense of urgency to find out the identity of the killer, and a direct threat to Gloria’s well-being that would have created more tension.
A solid start to a new craveable series.
Kimberly Fish has been a professional writer in marketing and media for over thirty years, with regular contributions to area newspapers and magazines. As an accidental historian, she wrote two novels, The Big Inch and Harmon General, both based on factual events in Longview, Texas that changed world history. Kimberly also offers a set of contemporary women’s fiction novels and novellas, based in the Texas Hill Country, that reveal her fascination with characters discovering their grit and sweet, second chances; all four of the novels have won distinguished awards. Sweet Comfort is her latest novel, the first book in the Comfort and Joy Trilogy.
How do you choose between the career you thought you lived for and the love you can’t live without?
For Dr. Liam Jacobs, becoming the chair of a prestigious university opera program is one step closer to his dream of having his own opera company. Getting involved with a student could cost him everything he’s ever worked for. But once he hears Melynda sing, he knows he’ll never want anyone else.
Melynda Taylor’s dedication to becoming an opera singer takes her directly to Liam, her professor, and the one man with the power to make her come undone and risk everything. But in her experience, men don’t give, they take – sometimes without permission. And they definitely don’t fall in love with women like her.
When a dark shadow from Melynda’s past makes their entanglement even more complicated, they are each forced to decide how much they are willing to sacrifice for love. Now the music that drove them both forward and bound them together, could also be the thing to tear them apart.
Indiscreet is a standalone, high-heat, forbidden romance with a guaranteed HEA, and the first book in the Love Song series.
Buy Link: amazon.com/dp/B0BMHYKHPP
Cara has always had an overactive imagination. Her aunt tells the story of 4-year-old Cara demanding that she pretend to “be a doctor who’s really a wolf who’s pretending to be bad but is really good.” Now she knows, she was just a romance reader at heart!
She has been an English teacher, professional musician, and nonprofit administrator. When she’s not reading or writing romance, Cara loves cooking, Broadway musicals, and all things Disney.
She lives in a small town in New England with her family and two cats (who want all the attention).
From New York Times bestseller Eloisa James, a new Regency-set novel in which a heiress with the goal of being a wallflower engages a rugged American in a scorchingly sensual, witty wager that tests whether clothing does indeed make the man—or the wallflower!
Miss Cleopatra Lewis is about to be launched in society by her aristocratic grandfather. But since she has no intention of marrying, she visits a costume emporium specifically to order unflattering dresses guaranteed to put off any prospective suitors.
Powerful and charismatic Jacob Astor Addison is in London, acquiring businesses to add to his theatrical holdings in America—as well as buying an opal for a young lady back in Boston. He’s furious when a she-devil masquerading as an English lady steals Quimby’s Costume Emporium from under his nose.
Jake strikes a devil’s bargain, offering to design her “wallflower wardrobe” and giving Cleo the chance to design his. Cleo can’t resist the fun of clothing the rough-hewn American in feathers and flowers. And somehow in the middle of their lively competition, Jake becomes her closest friend.
It isn’t until Cleo becomes the toast of all society that Jake realizes she’s stolen his fiercely guarded heart. But unlike the noblemen at her feet, he doesn’t belong in her refined and cultured world.
Caught between the demands of honor and desire, Jake would give up everything to be with the woman he loves—if she’ll have him!
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Eloisa James is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance novels who has published over 30 books, translated in 26 languages, with sales worldwide of 7 million. Eloisa’s “double life” fascinates people, since as Mary Bly, she’s a Shakespeare scholar and Chair of the English Department at Fordham University. An example: Eloisa wrote the New York Times bestselling memoir, Paris in Love, about the year her family spent in France, and Mary wrote Lizzie and Dante, a contemporary novel about a Shakespeare professor. She lives in New York City and Florence, Italy.
Eloisa James’ Lindow Castle
With its atypical characters, zany humor, low conflict, and modern sensibility, How to Be a Wallflower would suit readers looking for light and fluffy books to escape to during these fraught times.
The book’s main characters are two of the quirkiest leads in historical romance I’ve ever read. Cleo owns a company that makes commodes while Jake is an American businessman who renounced his illustrious family name in protest of his uncle’s engagement in the opium trade. Their clash over the ownership of a costume emporium was absurdly funny.
As per usual with Ms. James, expect plenty of Shakespeare and cheeky servants.
A mistake she will regret for a lifetime…
Lady Annalise was a wide-eyed debutante when she fell in love and married Blake, the Earl of Payne. But their time together was ill-fated and brief. After being treated poorly by her new husband, soon Annalise’s love for Blake is shattered. When he disappears entirely, their marriage seems to have ended as soon as it began.
A terrible betrayal…
Blake, the Earl of Payne, had it all: a hefty inheritance, a respectable title, and a beautiful wife. But it all crumbles when he is abducted, tortured and almost killed three months after his wedding. Now that he’s back he is determined to win back his wife and take revenge on whoever is responsible for his abduction. Neither task is going as planned, especially since his wife has moved on and his abductors have a plan of their own.
A love that is stronger than hate…
As suspicions flare, dark secrets emerge, and old passions are rekindled, Blake and Annalise must decide if they can trust each other again… or let go of one another forever.
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Entrepreneur Ryan Michaels never loses. Well, except that time, a few years ago when he lost a promotion to spoiled rich girl, Charlotte “Charlie” Ray. Now he’s forced to hire his nemesis to secure funding to develop a string of luxury boutique hotels. Not only does she not fit his corporate vision, but she’s too damn attractive for her own good. And his.
Working as VP of Sales and Marketing for a luxury hotel is Charlie’s dream job. Too bad her boss is Ryan Michaels, the same pompous stick-in-the-mud that she remembers. If he tells her that this project is his legacy one more time, she might scream. Or maybe kissing him will get him to shut up?
Because that’s the other thing. The sizzling attraction between Ryan and Charlie is impossible to ignore. But everyone knows not to mix business and pleasure. Don’t they?
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Did his player little brother want to date her? Could he blame Austin?
He surged to his feet and stalked around the room. Charlie was gorgeous, brilliant, and full of creative, progressive ideas. Hell, he couldn’t lie to himself that she intrigued him. Which was funny because at their old job, he truly hadn’t noticed her. He’d never had this strange and annoying inability to stop watching her. What had seemed obnoxious and strident before now appeared more friendly and vivacious.
And since when could he not control his behavior? He didn’t want to be attracted to her, damn it. His complicated new fascination with his former nemesis needed to stop. Simple dislike had been a lot easier.
On a personal level, it was a terrible idea––they were opposites after all. On a professional level, it was suicide. He couldn’t blur the lines.
Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.
Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga.
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From romance author Tif Marcelo comes a heartwarming story about taking a second chance on love at a family-owned couples resort.
Heart Resort, a private resort in the Outer Banks, is a romantic getaway for couples but a hotbed of family drama for its proprietors, the Puso family. Brandon Puso, the youngest of the four siblings, prefers life on his own as a licensed contractor in DC after a falling-out with his eldest brother.
After a hurricane plows through the Outer Banks, Brandon has a change of heart. He returns to the resort to help with the grand reopening but encounters his big sister’s best friend, designer Geneva Harris, who’s there to do the same thing. But Geneva and Brandon have a secret. Years ago, they had a secret romance that ended in heartbreak.
With the resort’s future at stake, Brandon and Geneva decide to put the past aside and to keep peace with the family. But as their mutual attraction heats up, they have to decide if history will repeat itself—or if this time, love gets a second chance.
Tif Marcelo is a veteran US Army nurse and holds a BS in Nursing and a Master’s in public administration. She believes and writes about the strength of families, the endurance of friendship, heartfelt romances, and is inspired daily by her own military hero husband and four children. She hosts The Stories to Love Podcast, and is the USA Today bestselling author of In a Book Club Far Away, Once Upon a Sunset, The Key to Happily Ever After, and the Journey to the Heart series.
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Katherine Vareck is in for the shock of her life when she learns upon her husband Meri’s accidental death that he had married two other women. Her entire business, along with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a royal supplier, is everything she’s been working for and now could be destroyed if word leaks about the three wives.
Meri’s far more upstanding brother, Christian, Duke of Randford has no earthly clue how to be of assistance. He spent the better part of his adult years avoiding Meri and the rest of his good-for-nothing family, so to be dragged back into the fold is…problematic. Even more so is the intrepid and beautiful Katherine, whom he cannot be falling for because she’s Meri’s widow. Or can he?
With a textile business to run and a strong friendship forming with Meri’s two other wives, Katherine doesn’t have time for much else. But there’s something about the warm, but compellingly taciturn Christian that draws her to him. When an opportunity to partner in a business venture brings them even closer, they’ll have to face their pasts if they want to share each other’s hearts and futures.
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With its wild premise, easy-to-root for main characters, fascinating set of secondary characters, easy pace that kept the story moving, and low-angst conflict, A Duke In Time gives Janna MacGregor’s new The Widow Rules series a promising start.
Janna has always written strong and resolute female leads and Katherine is a remarkable example of them. Her occupation and hidden background provide for a refreshing change from the previous heroines who were born into nobility. Her backstory allows for a better understanding of her decisions and actions throughout the story.
Christian, the titular duke, is himself an admirable character with his care for war veterans and his taking up the responsibility for his brother Meri’s three widows and the menagerie that kept on coming. His kind treatment of the people under his employ and his resolve not to follow his father’s debauched ways make him immensely likable.
I like that Kat and Christian formed tight friendships with each other and with others. I like that while there was an instant attraction between them, they didn’t act on it until they established a bond. I appreciate the absence of excessive push and pull. They satisfied their physical desire with agreement on both parties without coy protestations.
While there are some aspects of the story that could have been better fleshed out (I’m still unclear how Katherine managed to start a business on her own with two hundred pounds to her name) and the lack of flaws in Christian’s characterization, I recommend this light and easy read to fans of “modern” historical romance.
Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and splits her time between Kansas City and Minneapolis with her very own dashing rogue, and one smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pug. She loves to hear from readers.
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An intriguing proposal mixes romance and finance…
His friend needs a fiancé to claim a fortune.
But they both know it’s about more than money…
Ezekiel Holloway’s proposition could save his friend Reagan Sinclair’s inheritance and give her the freedom she craves. But when family scandals force Ezekiel to end their fake engagement, the heiress comes up with a counterproposal—and they elope to Vegas after all! Is there something more than mere convenience at stake here?
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Ezekiel stared at Regan, struck speechless. Dozens of questions bombarded him, and he mentally waded through them, finally settling on the most important one. “What?”
“Marry me,” she repeated, closing the short distance between them, not stopping until her hands fisted the lapels of his suit jacket, her thighs braced against his and that honeysuckle scent embraced him like a long-lost lover.
He swallowed a groan at her nearness, at the feel of her body pressed to his. Lust, hot and hungry, punched him in the gut, then streamed through him in a swollen flood. Desperate to place distance between them so he could f*cking think, he gripped her hips to set her away from him. But touching her backfired. Instead of pushing her back, he held her close, his body rebelling and taking control. Two weeks. It’d been two long weeks.
“Reagan,” he rumbled.
“No, Zeke. Don’t give me all the reasons why we shouldn’t. I don’t care. Do you know where I just came from?” she asked, switching topics with a lightning speed that left him floundering. Between that and his *ick finding cushion against her stomach, he couldn’t keep up. “I just left a restaurant where my father arranged for me to have lunch with Justin McCoy.”
“The hell?” His grip on her tightened. Douglas had set her up with that a**hole?
“Yes.” Reagan nodded as if reading his mind. “Apparently my father considered him a more suitable match than you. A man who uses and throws away women for his own gain rather than you, a man who has been nothing but honorable and unfailingly kind and respectful. I had enough. I walked away from him and his machinations. I’m through allowing him to run my life, to make choices for me out of guilt and loyalty.”
Guilt? What the hell did that mean?
Shoving the questions aside for the moment, he refocused on her. “I understand your anger, believe me, I do, but take a moment and think this through before you make a mistake you can’t take back. This decision will cost you your inheritance. It could damage your relationship with your parents. Is this rebellion worth that? Because you’re not in…” He couldn’t finish that sentence. Couldn’t fathom it.
“No, Zeke, I’m not in love with you,” she assured him, and he exhaled a heavy breath. Even as an unidentifiable emotion twisted in his chest. “And maybe this is a little bit of rebellion on my part, but it’s so much more. I’m taking control—of my choices, my mind, my life. I respect you, Zeke. But this isn’t about you. It’s about me. About finally becoming the woman I’ve been too afraid to own. So, from now on, I’m making my own decisions,” she continued. “And that includes you. I choose you, Zeke. And I want you to marry me.”
Jesus, did she know what a delicious temptation she was? How he’d fought following after her that evening he’d let her walk out of his house? That had required strength he hadn’t realized he possessed. Doing it a second time…
No, she might feel certain here in this office, but she was still upset. Could feel very differently in the morning, hell, hours from now. Maybe after they talked this out, she would see—
She rose on her toes and crushed her mouth to his.
His control snapped.
Like a flash fire, the press of her lips to his poured gasoline over the lust that had been steadily simmering. He took possession of that sweet siren’s mouth, claiming it with a thrust of his tongue. Possessing it with a long, wet lick. Corrupting it with an erotic tangle and suck that left little to the imagination about what he wanted from her.
And he wanted it all. In this moment where the lines between platonic friendship and desire incinerated beneath his greedy mouth and her needy whimpers, he wanted everything she had to give him.
Signed, print copy of Trust Fund Fiance
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Published since 2009, USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone loves writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. Her books have been featured in The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and described as balancing “crackling, electric love scenes with exquisitely rendered characters caught in emotional turmoil.” She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
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An angsty, seriously steamy read that’s in keeping with what I expect from Naima Simone’s books.
Marriage-of-convenience and friends-to-lovers are two of my favorite tropes in romance and Reagan and Zeke’s story brings them to life in an emotional and sexy way.
At first, it’s easy to dismiss the premise of their coming together as rich people problems. Reagan wants access to the millions in the trust fund her grandmother left her. Zeke needs to help out a friend to feel useful amidst his family’s rapidly escalating financial scandal. Reading further along, one could see that the causes of their internal turmoil are real and relatable. Reagan chafes from living under the control of her parents as a decade-long penance for a teenage mistake. Zeke has closed off his heart after the death of a beloved. Their union, however temporary, changes their lives for the better.
I especially liked Reagan’s growth arc in this book. She takes control of her life even if it means losing the people she loves. Zeke’s turnabout could have been less sudden. Same with Reagan’s father’s change of heart.
While Trust Fund Fiancé can be read as a stand alone, I’d recommend starting the series from the first book in order to fully appreciate the dramatic saga of the Wingate family.
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