Contemporarily Ever After: Top Picks for the Week of August 4th

Contemporarily Ever After: Top Picks for the Week of August 4th
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I’m grateful for the generosity of authors and publishers for providing me with advanced reader copies of their books, because it means I’m able to read their work weeks before they release. So, if you are curious as to how I am able to read so many books in one week like this current one and still have time to brush my hair, now you know that my reading timeline is much longer than seven days. But this also doesn’t mean I have time or necessarily brush my hair.

❤ Indicates the books that I have read and recommend.

Discretion by Karina Halle (Aug. 6)

Discretion is the first book in Karina Halle’s new series, The Dumonts, and, I am in love with everything about this lush, compelling family-centric saga and cannot wait for more. In Discretion, you’ll meet my new book-husband, Olivier Dumont, who is a gorgeous, international playboy and hotel mogul with a cynical and slightly tortured soul. He meets Sadie, a young American traveling in Europe (who may or may not remind me of myself at that age), and he finds himself captivated by her. They have a whirlwind romance, but Olivier’s past and his powerful extended family will put their newfound relationship to the test. Prepare yourself to be enthralled with this potent blend of sexy, swoon-worthy romance and intense, intriguing family drama, but don’t forget that Olivier is mine.

I’d Rather Not by Lani Lynn Vale (Aug. 6)

(Blurb)

Oakley Spurlock is dying. 

She only has weeks to live thanks to a freak infection that totally and completely destroyed her kidneys.

Despite her family’s desperation, not a single one of them is a match. 

In a last-ditch attempt, Oakley’s father takes to social media to beg for help to save his daughter’s life. 

***

Pace Vineyard is lost. So lost, in fact, that he’s not sure he wants to be found. 

But then a beautiful woman’s face is splashed across social media, and Pace finds a spark in his soul for the first time since a bomb went off beside him. 

He’s already missing two legs. What’s one more kidney? 

At least, that’s what he tells himself. 

What he doesn’t expect is to give his heart to the woman, too. Or for the woman to run away with it and force him to follow.

Lovestrung by Karen Ferry (Aug. 6)

Lovestrung is my first time reading Karen Ferry, and I thoroughly enjoyed this witty, heartwarming and seriously steamy friends-to-lovers romance. Pippa and Ethan have a long and loyal friendship but explosive attraction and romantic feelings have complicated their comfortable dynamic. They find themselves gravitating to one another but also resisting the pull between them as they struggle to decide whether or not their relationship should evolve. Pippa has a thirst for adventure that will take her abroad for a year, and Ethan is haunted by a secret. Their path to happily ever after is a beautiful, feel-good journey that will steal your heart.

One Year Home by Marie Force (Aug. 6). Sort of not a standalone.

After I read Marie Force’s phenomenal Five Years Gone, I couldn’t wait to read One Year Home, and it is all I hoped and wanted it to be — a truly memorable, poignant and beautiful romance. I don’t want to say anything else about it, in case you haven’t read Five Years Gone, and you WANT to read Five Years Gone. You technically don’t need to read it in order to love One Year Home, but it makes the experience so much more meaningful if you do. These two books have a permanent spot on my keeper shelf and will be read again and again for years to come.

Sonata (North Security #3) by Skye Warren (Aug. 6). Not a standalone.

(Blurb)

Who is Samantha Brooks without her violin? Fear lives in the silent spaces. Love does, too. There’s a battle being waged in her heart, and Liam North is determined to win. He’ll use every weapon in his arsenal. His body. His heart. Except the spotlight puts her in the crosshairs of dangerous men.

Samantha fights to compose her own ending, even as the final notes rise to a heartbreaking crescendo.

Sonata is the third and final book in the explosive trilogy with Samantha Brooks and Liam North.

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker (Aug. 6)

(Blurb)

Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counselors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is still alive and strong, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai (Aug. 6)

(Blurb) 

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules: 

– Nude pics are by invitation only 

– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice 

– Protect your heart 

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears. 

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

Dare Me Tonight by Carly Phillips (Aug. 6)

Dare Me Tonight is the third standalone book in the The Knight Brothers series from the uber-talented Carly Phillips, and it is a quick, sexy and romantic read featuring two of my favorite tropes — age-gap and surprise pregnancy. Sienna and Ethan have scorching-hot chemistry when they meet, but they are all wrong for each other. They live in different states; she’s eight years younger; and he’s in business with her older, protective brother. But their attraction doesn’t care about any of that, and they share a steamy, unforgettable night together. Neither can stop thinking about the other, so when they’re reunited and discover there’s a baby on the way, it’s not unwelcome news. Sienna and Ethan are absolutely irresistible as they discover their differences are what make them absolutely perfect for one another.

UnLucky in Love by Cary Hart (Aug. 7)

Cary Hart is a new-to-me author, and I loved every moment of UnLucky in Love. It’s a super fun, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy in which two best friends discover there’s a lot more than platonic feelings between them. Clover’s perfectly structured world has turned upside down when her boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her for another woman. She moves in with her supportive best friend, Austin, who is a successful and hunky talk radio host. When her romantic woes are accidentally broadcast to his massive audience, he’s suddenly playing matchmaker to Clover in a very public setting. You’ll fall head over heels for these two extremely likeable characters as they find love when where they least expect it in this charming and lighthearted story.

The Truth about Us by R.C. Stephens (Aug. 7)

(Blurb)

 Jolie
Griffin Campbell was the typical bad boy. My father warned me not to get too close. But he’s handsome as hell with eyes the color of the ocean, and he’s fiercely loyal and loves unconditionally. I couldn’t stay away when he was the only boy to ever claim my heart. I gave him all my firsts . . . and he left me behind.
Ten years later, he’s returned home offering answers as to why he left because he wants me back—only I’m not the broken-hearted teenager he once fell for. His pretty eyes and killer muscles aren’t enough to mend the hurt that rages inside me. 

Griffin
Jolie Bryant was my best friend’s little sister. She’s sexy as hell, sweet as sin, and very forbidden—my favorite memory and my biggest regret. 
I should stay away. I’m harboring secrets that will shatter her world. 
The thing about secrets is that they always find a way to come out. I just hope that when mine do, she won’t turn away from me . . . 
I want my second chance with the only girl I’ve ever loved, but it seems that fate has other plans.

Zero Apologies (Zero and Lilly #3) by Autumn Jones Lake (Aug. 8). Not a standalone.

(Blur)

One by one, the lies have been unraveled.

I’ve shed blood to protect Lilly. To protect our family.

I’d do it again and again as long as it means she’s safe.

It’s time to marry her, cherish her, and spend the rest of our lives together.

We were so close to our happy ending.

Then chaos swept it away.

The road ahead remains unknown.

Loyalty, honor, brotherhood.

Kings forever, forever Kings.

I’ll never betray my club.

Even if it means losing everything.

Staying for You by Jennifer Van Wyk (Aug. 8) 

Staying for You is the third, standalone book in Jennifer Van Wyk’s All for You series, and it is a thoroughly entertaining, sweet and sexy romance with endearing characters, a beautifully rugged setting and a splash of intrigue and suspense. Cami is a romance author, who escapes to a remote resort in order to refresh, write and heal from her recent divorce and devastating revelations about her ex-husband. When she meets the charming and good-natured owner, Owen, attraction sizzles between them and a friendship blossoms. Neither is looking for a relationship but they also cannot resist the pull between them, so they agree to a no-strings fling during Cami’s extended stay. It quickly becomes obvious that this is much more than a sexual relationship, and it will not be so easy to end when they go their separate ways. You’ll be furiously turning the pages and cheering for these two likeable leads to seize their much-deserved happily ever after, and you’ll sport a deeply satisfied grin when they do. 

Love at First Sight by Kelly Elliott (Aug. 9)

Kelly Elliott’s Love at First Sight is a friends-to-lovers romance that will give you ALL the feels. Rip and Chloe have been best friends since kindergarten, but Chloe realizes she has romantic feelings for him when they are teenagers and tells Rip as they are just starting college. Rip says he doesn’t feel the same, and their relationship becomes strained during the subsequent years. But when Chloe gets engaged to another man, Rip has to face the daunting realization that he may have made the biggest mistake of his life. There’s something intensely compelling about Chloe and Rip as they navigate this bittersweet, heart-tugging journey, and this swoon-worthy romance owned my heart from cover to cover.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
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