If you’re looking for great contemporary romance, you’re in the right place!
Marriage and Murder by Penny Reid
Cletus Byron Winston wishes to marry Jennifer Anne Donner-Sylvester (aka The Banana Cake Queen) posthaste! He’s spent the last year wanting nothing more than for the celebrations to be brief, libations flowing, and BYOB (bring your own blueberries). His future mother-in-law has other plans, plans his intended has been willing to indulge, much to Cletus’s chagrin. Therefore, so must he. To a point. But truth be told, he wouldn’t mind if the meddlesome matriarch disappeared, at least until the nuptials are over.
On the night of Cletus and Jenn’s long-awaited engagement party, just when the surly schemer is of a mind to take matters into his own hands, a shocking event upends everyone’s best laid plans and sends the small hamlet of Green Valley into complete disarray. The final months leading up to Cletus and Jenn’s matrimonial bliss are plagued with chaos and uncertainty. Will Cletus and Jenn finally make it to the altar? Or will murder and mayhem derail their happily-ever-after?
And most importantly, who done it?
This is the second in the Solving for Pie series and should be read in order. I love a good murder mystery and this certainly takes the pie. There’s a mystery to solve and Cletus will stop at nothing to clear Jennifer’s name. If you love the Winston brothers, you cannot miss as there’s cameos from all of the brothers. I also loved the development of Jenn and Cletus’ relationship. Where they struggled with their sexual timing in the last book, they really hit it off in this one. I liked how we also see the development of a relationship instead of just ending at the HEA.
Cowboy by LB Dunbar
Harland Bull Eaton has lost many things—his first wife, his beloved mother, those three women he proposed to . . . Oh, and there was that time he almost lost the family dairy farm due to a scandal. He’s losing faith in just about everything, especially love.
But one night, his friends give him a dare. No commitments. No heartbreak. Just buy that gorgeous redhead a drink. The big-city bombshell he’s set his eyes on swirls him into a tailspin that lands them in bed for a one-night stand he’s pretty sure he’ll never forget. But this time he won’t let his heart ride herd on his common sense.
Recently separated and newly unemployed, Scarlett Russell is at a crossroads. With no other plan than visiting a friend in Vermont, the last thing she expects is a hunky, silver fox offering to buy her a drink. Even less expected is when she raises that offer to “take me to bed, cowboy.” She just wants one night to forget everything gone wrong.
Turns out once won’t be nearly enough. Won’t ever be enough, feeling the way she does. But secrets and an unexpected surprise are a lot to handle . . . unless these two can break a trail to an unexpected happily ever after.
This is a one night stand that ends with very much life changing consequences. I really enjoyed that the heroine is older than the average romance heroine and is on the verge of reinventing herself. Scarlot and Bull couldn’t be more opposites if they tried, a city girl and a dairy farmer, and are bound by a one night stand turned forever. Their journey is filled with a lot of uncertainty but, the more they fight their bond, the more they turn to each other.
Return to Us by Corinne Michaels
At eighteen, I walked away from Willow Creek Valley for good.
I was young, scared, and stupid, and it cost me the love of my life—Grayson Parkerson.
Fourteen years later, a crash sends me back home to recover.
Back to where we met, fell in love, and planned a future.
The one he’s now living as a single dad to his daughter.
Working at The Park Inn together gives us a chance to reconnect, and seeing him with his little girl makes me long for the days when he was mine. One look in his gorgeous blue-green eyes, and it’s like I never left. One kiss, and my world is upside down. One night together, and I know without a doubt, in his arms is where I belong.
I’m not the girl I was—intimidated by his wealthy family and desperate to escape our small town. I can imagine a new life for us here.
But he’s learned to guard his heart, and trust won’t come easily.
How can I convince him to give first love a second chance?
I love a good second chance story (add in a single dad) that hits all the heart stopping troupe hits. The right kind of groveling, with real attempts at communication and even help from a therapist. Don’t worry, still plenty of family drama that I need to know more of too. These two fill my book loving heart with so much joy. Every win was hard fought but after surviving a plane crash, Jessica (love that name) is ready to fight for what she wants.
Heartscape by Garrett Leigh
I’m not the obvious choice to run Burlington’s coolest wine bar—quiet, brooding, clueless about tannin content, and always one wrong turn away from another downward spiral.
But no one seems to mind that I’m a wreck. Besides me. I just focus on getting through each shift until the night a beautiful stranger appears, looking as lost and damaged as I feel.
When a mutual friend calls in a favor, the sexy newcomer winds up crashing on my couch. I don’t know if it’s his melodic Cornish accent, or his ocean blue eyes, or the rock-hard body with the mysterious scars, but I get the feeling whatever happened to him runs far deeper than those wounds.
Having Jax in my home makes my chest warm. Makes me shiver. Makes me want more. But I’ve got a pile of baggage and I don’t want to be a burden on anyone let alone a man who seems to have enough demons of his own.
Our chemistry is off the charts. His arms feel like home. The last thing I want is to screw this up. Is it wrong to hope we can heal each other? Or will one of us die trying?
First, I love wine and books and now you set a romance at a wine bar! This is a M/M romance with a very grumpy wine manager and a Cornish couch and real life surfer. There is a lot of growth and exploration in this story as we learn and pull back many of the layers between Tanner and Jax. There’s also great chemistry and a real development of the romance.
Forever Never by Lucy Score
Under Brick Callan’s mile-wide chest beats a loyal heart with a few cracks in it. He’s the steadfast, overprotective type. Especially when it comes to the one woman he can never have. It’s a long, complicated history punctuated by fights, friendship, family, and an attraction that strains his iron willpower.
When Remi Ford returns to Mackinac Island in the dead of winter with a secret, Brick makes it his mission to find out what put the shadows in those green eyes. Even if it means breaking down the walls he’s built between them. Even if it means falling for the one girl he’ll never get over.
The free-spirited artist just needs to lay low for a few weeks so she can figure a way out of this nightmare. She’s definitely not staying. Not when the man who broke her teenage heart into splinters keeps showing up at her parents’ dinner table. Remi doesn’t need broody, bearded Brick riding to her rescue…again. Not when it will put them both in danger, costing them much more than their hearts.
Lucy Score does small town shenanigans like no others. There’s not much more of a complicated heroine than your boss’ daughter, ex-wife’s best friend and your brother’s high school sweetheart LOL. Suffice to say, Brick and Remi had a long road to an HEA. However, it was filled with hilarious antics, angsty longing and a combustible chemistry between the two.
What are you reading this month?