Contemporarily Ever After: Top Picks for the Week of April 28th

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We are ending April on a high note with a ton of incredible new releases. I don’t think I’ve ever featured so many books in one week, so I hope you have the time to say goodbye to this month while reading one of these swoon-worthy new romances.

❤ Indicates the books that I have read and recommend.

Pretty Reckless by L.J. Shen (April 27)

(Blurb) Penn
They say revenge is a dish best served cold
I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart was completely iced.
I took her first kiss. 
She took the only thing I loved.
I was poor.
She was rich.
The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.
Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project. 
Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.
Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother. 
There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.
Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.

Daria
Everyone loves a good old unapologetic punk.
But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.
The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.
In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day. 
Four years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him.
Now he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last everything.
His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.
Now? Now he is making me pay.

International Player by Louise Bay (April 30)

Louise Bay’s latest sexy contemporary romance has all the witty banter, searing sexual chemistry, compelling characters and sigh-worthy romance that you’d expect from her, and I loved every page of this friends-to-lovers story. Noah is a drop-dead gorgeous playboy with a heart of gold, and he’s moved back to London to start the next chapter of his life after selling his business. He reunites with his good friend, Truly, after not keeping in touch with her during the three years that he was away. He doesn’t realize she had romantic feelings for him back then and was hurt by his sudden departure from her life. When they begin working together, it’s the perfect opportunity for Noah to finally see her in a different light.

Rockstar by Lauren Rowe (April 29)

(Blurb)

It was lyrics at first sight when I saw Violet Rhodes across that crowded party. She was lights and darks, swirled together. Music in motion. And all of it while looking like a hitwoman at an Elvis convention. 

I had nothing to offer the intriguing girl but a one-night stand. I figured I’d revel in my last night of anonymity before my first tour and shoot her a quick “We’ll always have L.A.!” goodbye the next morning.

But nothing went according to plan. 

In one night, Violet crawled under my skin and into my bloodstream. She tattooed her name across my chest and between my legs. She became my muse. And then she was gone.

Now, months later, here she is again. And in a twist I never saw coming, it turns out Violet is ultra-violet radiation. Beautiful, ethereal light bringing with her the promise of damage and destruction. 

My brain tells me to walk away from this girl, but my heart can’t stop feeling like she might be one of a kind . . . the sort of girl who comes along once in a violet moon.

Too Dangerous by Bethany Lopez (April 29)

I love Bethany Lopez’s The Lewis Cousins and was excited to read the fifth, standalone book, Too Dangerous, which features one of my favorite romance tropes – the marriage of convenience. Shane is from Australia and has always had a crush on Jasmine, but she’s never allowed herself to look at the sexy playboy as anything but a friend. When she suggests they get married in order for her to buy a house and for him to be able to legally stay in the States, he jumps at the opportunity. But Shane wants more than a fake relationship, and he’s determined to prove to Jasmine that she can trust him and that their easy connection and sizzling attraction could be the basis for an epic love story. You’ll smile, laugh and sigh as these two fall for one another while calling each other husband and wife. Don’t miss this book or this fantastic, family-centric series. 

A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole (April 30) 

(Blurb)

Nya Jerami fled Thesolo for the glitz and glamour of NYC but discovered that her Prince Charming only exists in her virtual dating games. When Nya returns home for a royal wedding, she accidentally finds herself up close and personal—in bed—with the real-life celebrity prince who she loves to hate.

For Johan von Braustein, the red-headed step-prince of Liechtienbourg, acting as paparazzi bait is a ruse that protects his brother—the heir to the throne—and his own heart. When a royal referendum threatens his brother’s future, a fake engagement is the perfect way to keep the cameras on him.

Nya and Johan both have good reasons to avoid love, but as desires are laid bare behind palace doors, they must decide if their fake romance will lead to a happily-ever-after.

Nothing But Trouble by Amy Andrews (April 30)

Amy Andrews has combined a sexy sports romance with a swoony cowboy romance with Nothing But Trouble, and I can’t think of anything better! Wade is a retired legend of the NFL, and he’s taken his reliable personal assistant, CC, for granted for years. She’s ready to start the next chapter in her life and not be at Wade’s beck and call, but she agrees to stay in her position while he returns home to his family’s ranch in small town, rural Colorado in order to help his family. The change of environment shakes up their relationship and pushes both of them to see each other differently, and they realize they have a strong friendship and potent chemistry. Their love story is laugh-out-loud funny, completely entertaining and downright endearing, and Nothing But Trouble is the ultimate feel-good romance. 

Slow Burn by Kristen Ashley (April 30)

(Blurb)

Tobias Gamble knew from a young age precisely the kind of woman he was going to make his. She was not going to be like his mother. She was going to be like the mother he claimed. 

In other words, she was going to be just right.

And when Toby returns to his hometown of Matlock, Kentucky and claps eyes on Adeline Forrester, he knows she’s the one.

The problem is, his brother Johnny has a new girlfriend. And Addie is her sister. Last, Toby would do nothing to hurt Johnny’s chance at happiness.

Toby hangs around town to get to know the woman Johnny fell in love with. He also hangs around to get to know Addie.

But he’s fallen hard, and he knows the best thing for him—and Addie—is for him to leave.

Addie Forrester is thrilled her sister Eliza found a good, solid man. Johnny Gamble is the salt of the earth. The best guy in the world.

The best except for his brother, Toby.

Toby doesn’t know it, but Addie’s fallen hard too. He’s perfect, except for the fact that he’s hands off and it’s torture, being friends with Toby when she wants so much more.

Addie also has a lot on her mind. She’s got bills to pay, her young son needs food, Christmas is coming and her job at the grocery store just isn’t cutting it.

Toby is steering clear of Addie. Addie is steering clear of Toby. But everyone around them knows this is the slow burn.

Because just like Eliza and Johnny, Addie and Toby were made for each other.

More Than Tempt You by Shayla Black (April 30)

(Blurb)

I romanced her for revenge…but what if she’s not the enemy after all?


I’m Clint Holmes. I was an ambitious guy with a busy life and a growing business. Sure North Dakota wasn’t a tropical paradise, but I was happy enough—until tragedy struck. Now the only thing that matters is finding the person responsible and making her pay. But Bethany Banks is a Harvard-educated shark used to swallowing her enemies whole while playing dangerous corporate games. How can a blue-collar oil man like me possibly beat her?

The moment I lay eyes on my beautiful nemesis, the answer is obvious. I seduce her.

On Maui, where she’s fled, I get to know the man-eater who caused my family so much pain…only to find she’s not the brazen ballbuster I assumed. She’s skittish, secretive, vulnerable. For some reason, my instinct is to protect her. I can’t abandon my plan…but I can’t stop wanting her. Night after night, I pry her open with my touch until I’m drowning in our passion. Soon, I’m questioning everything, especially the fine line between love and hate. But when the past comes back to wreak vengeance and the truth explodes, can I prove that I’m more than tempted to love her forever?

Beautiful March by Christy Pastore (April 30)

(Blurb)

Getting dumped sucks. Getting dumped by your boyfriend days before your best friend’s wedding? It doesn’t get much worse.

Did I mention that the guy who cut me loose was country music’s number one rising star?

And my client.

I thought I was walking into a proposal. Instead, I crashed right into humiliation—dumped and fired.

The silver lining? In a restaurant, there’s plenty of wine to drown my feelings.

In strolls Tyler Nichols, the restaurant owner. He’s charming, handsome and does a good job of trying to make me feel better. 

A really good job. Sharing my heartbreak with a beautiful stranger is the last thing that I expected.
Turns out, Tyler Nichols is my ex’s best friend. And according to the local gossips—mainly my cousin—he’s got a mysterious past.

No worries, I’m the gal with everything going for her—great job, fabulous apartment and a glamorous life half way across the country in sunny Los Angeles—far away from my hometown and my family’s bourbon empire. I’ll be leaving after the weekend wedding festivities.

That is until my best friend, Sage, finds herself in a jam and needs my help before jetting off on her honeymoon.

So, I’m staying in Mayfield a little longer than anticipated. In just a few short weeks, I’ll march my happy ass back to the West Coast, far away from Tyler’s smoldering gaze and his panty-melting smile. And the chemistry between us that burns hotter than a hickory stump.

But the longer I’m in town, the harder it is to stay away from him. And maybe I don’t want to.

Fluffy by Julia Kent (April 30)

Fluffy is a light-hearted, steamy and charming romantic comedy that makes for the perfect feel-good escapism. Mallory finds herself in a very awkward and hilarious situation after answering a help-wanted ad for a ‘fluffer’, but it also leads her to a reunion with her high school crush, Will, who she hasn’t seen in ten years. Although he didn’t share her affection back in the day, he’s instantly smitten with her now and wants to continue rekindling their relationship. They’re absolutely adorable as they laugh, kiss and stumble their way into their happily ever after, and you’ll love every step in the journey.

Return of the Prince (The Prince Duet #1) by Nana Malone (April 30). Not a Standalone.

(Blurb)

I’ve been a prince in exile, but I’m finally going home, tarnished crown and all. This time, I won’t let anyone keep me away…Not Ariel, the woman I left behind. Not the killer on my tail. Hell, not even my cousin–the king–can stop me.

Unlike my conniving brother, I have no designs on the throne. Let better men rule. 

But I do have a score to settle. 

Everything was going just fine until Ariel is assigned to my protection detail. Little Miss Hates My Guts will ruin everything.

One look at her and I know it’s not over between us. All I have to do is convince her I never forgot her…and not get dead in the process.

Debase by Rachel Van Dyken (April 30)

(Blurb) 

With blood on my hands, I held her. 
With death in my soul, I took from her. 
With the devil in my heart, I coveted her. 
There’re many definitions of Hell. 
My list was exhaustive, my definitions tragic. 
Tonight I was adding something new to the very top. 
Girl number six thirty-two. 
She arrived on my birthday, the same day, every year, I play Russian Roulette and pull the trigger.
She was my omen. 
My end game. 
She made it personal. 
And for the first time in my life, I gave in. 
A virgin mob boss with no soul. 
My name is Andrei Petrov. 
They call me the devil. 
All I want is for the pain to end. 
All she wants is for me to share it. 
I am the last remaining heir to a dynasty that should burn in Hell. 
And my last wish remains for it to die with me.

In Other Words by Jennifer Woodhull (April 30)

 (Blurb)

When a gorgeous cheerleader came sashaying into the undergraduate coding class he was teaching, Dexter assumed she was just another pretty face. He found a lot more than he bargained for in Sinclair. Over the years they became inseparable. He never dared to tell her his true feelings. After all, what could a guy like him offer a girl as perfect as her?

After two years in New York, Sinclair returns to her hometown of Dallas, excited to be reunited with her best friend. The nerdy PhD student she became friends with so many years ago has turned into a hot, successful entrepreneur. The crush she’s always had on Dex smolders hotter than ever. When he introduces her to his buddy, Cole, a star ballplayer who happens to also be Dallas’ hottest bachelor, she realizes nothing has changed. The secret feelings she’s harbored for years have to stay buried if she wants to keep her friend. 

When Cole begs Dexter to use the new technology he’s just developed to help him on his date with Sinclair, he pushes his feelings aside so the woman he loves can have a shot at happiness. Doing the wrong thing for the right reason, though, just might cost him the one person on earth he can’t live without. 

Promise You by Fabiola Francisco (May 1)

(Blurb)

She wants to be friends. I want more.

I’ve had my eyes set on her for months. The gorgeous brunette captured my attention when I first saw her and stole my heart when I met her. 

Making it in the music industry has taken its toll on me, chipping away at my confidence and patience. The one thing that keeps me going is having Reese by my side. I’m determined to show her how good we can be together, even if she continues to pretend there’s nothing between us. 

One night changes everything, giving me the only thing I’d want more than a career in country music—her. 

Birth of a Baby Daddy by Piper Rayne (May 2)

Another series that I am absolutely loving right now is The Baileys by Piper Rayne, and the third, standalone-ish book, Birth of a Baby Daddy, is another fabulous installment. We return to small town Alaska as the nine Bailey siblings discover that one of the family’s twins – Denver or Rome – is the father to an adorable little girl after a one-night stand. When the mom arrives in town, she and the new daddy begin to get to know one another as a family. Their attraction still burns hot, but they also find they connect on a level that makes both of them wonder if they could be more than just co-parents. It’s tender, steamy and moving to see these likeable characters come together and snag their happily every after, and you don’t want to miss this series or this book.

Guarded Dreams by L.J. Evans (May 2)

(Blurb)

Once upon a summer, a boy unexpectedly meets a girl at the beach. Their bodies and souls know what their brains do not. They are meant to be one. But…

Eli dreams about being a US Coast Guard.

Ava dreams about being a country music star.

Those dreams send them careening in different directions, and their summer love story is left as a wish that never came true.

Four years later, Eli’s Coast Guard career is threatened, and Ava’s dreams are shadowed by her past, just as fate brings them together once more in New York City. 

As their lives start to crumble, they find the possibility of a second chance in each other. If they’ll only listen to what their souls are whispering and realize that, sometimes, the best dream to come true is simply to have loved.

Well Suited by Staci Hart (May 2)

 Oh, how I love Staci Hart’s Red Lipstick Coalition series! The four friends that are the heart of these four books have come to feel like MY friends, and I will miss them sorely. Each character has experienced tremendous growth to find their epic happily ever afters and discovered the joy of being happy in their own skin. Although I am sad to see the series end, it is ending spectacularly with a fourth, standalone book, Well Suited.

Katherine and Theo have a blazing one-night stand that results in a surprise pregnancy. She’s pragmatic, serious and needs structure in order to feel in control, so an unplanned baby with a near-stranger is a bit daunting for her to handle, but luckily that stranger is Theo. Sigh. Oh, how I love Theo. He is without a doubt one of the hottest, most swoon-worthy book-boyfriends, and he’s irresistible as he carefully and patiently sweeps Katherine (and me!) off her feet. Their dynamic is tender, emotional and feels completely genuine, and I loved seeing them come together and grow individually and as a couple. If you want to feel absolutely everything while you’re reading and want to feel downright euphoric after you’re finished with a book, you need to read Well Suited as soon as possible.

That Kind of Guy by Talia Hibbert (May 2)

(Blurb)

She wants a fake relationship. He needs something real.

If there’s one thing Rae can’t stand, it’s pity. She’s forty, frazzled, and fed up—so attending an awards ceremony alone while her ex swans about with his new wife? Not an option. To avoid total humiliation, Rae needs a date of her own. And her young, hot-as-hell new best friend is the perfect candidate…

Zach Davis, king of casual hookups, has a secret: the notorious womaniser craves emotional connection, and anonymous encounters leave him feeling hollow. After years of performance, Zach’s desperate to be himself. So why does he agree to play Rae’s fake boyfriend? And why does it feel so easy?

When the line between pretence and desire blurs, Zach’s forced to face an unexpected truth: there’s nothing phoney about his need for Rae. But the jaded divorcée’s been hurt by playboy men before. Can a weekend of faking it prove that Zach’s for real?

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