Contemporarily Ever After: Top Picks for the Week of February 17th


There are a lot of extraordinary and varied contemporary romances hitting shelves and eReaders this week, so prepare yourself to carve out as much reading time as possible. I don’t think you will regret it!

Indicates the books that I have read and recommend.

Tomboy by Avery Flynn (Feb. 18)

Tomboy is the third, standalone book in Avery Flynn’s fantastic The Hartigans series, and it’s a delicious blend of light-hearted humor, subtle social observation, feel-good entertainment and seriously sexy romance. It’s an enemies-to-lovers tale in which a feisty, independent nurse charms the grumpy bad boy of professional hockey, surprising them both. Like many of Flynn’s heroines, Fallon is confident and comfortable in her own skin, and she doesn’t always try to conform to some of society’s standards. And although they bicker and begin their relationship rolling their eyes at one another, Zach never has a moment of wanting Fallon to be different than who she is. Their banter is fiery, their chemistry sizzles, and their fall into love will make you smile. I can’t recommend Tomboy enough.

The Risk by Elle Kennedy (Feb. 18)

Oh, how I love all things Elle Kennedy, including her latest New Adult, sports romance, The Risk! It’s an enemies-to-lovers story in which the captain of Harvard’s hockey team, Jake, falls for the rival team’s coach’s sassy daughter, Brenna. He and Brenna travel in the same social circles, and they’ve always had a playfully antagonistic, loaded-with-sexual-tension dynamic. When Brenna needs Jake to pretend to be in a relationship with her in order to secure an internship, he agrees but with a few adorable strings attached. Their competitiveness soon takes a back seat to their blistering chemistry and easy connection, and they are absolutely captivating to watch during each step of their evolving relationship. The Risk has it all – compelling leads, fan-yourself-worthy sexual tension, page-after-page of witty and perceptive banter, the thrill of college hockey and plenty of emotional, swoon-worthy romance.

Crashing into Her by Mia Sosa (Feb. 19)

I love the first two books in Mia Sosa’s Love on Cue series – Acting on Impulse and Pretending He’s Mine ­– so I have no doubt that I’ll relish the third, standalone installment, Crashing into Her. When Anthony and Eva agree to a no-strings, steamy one-night stand, they do so thinking that they’ll never run into each other again, but fate throws them for a loop and ensures they not only see each other again but are also working closely together. How can you argue with fate?

Overture (North Security #1) by Skye Warren (Feb. 19). Not a standalone.

Skye Warren’s Overture is a sensual, suspenseful and forbidden tale that held me enthralled from the very first page. Samantha Brooks is a violin prodigy, who was orphaned and taken in by Liam North. He’s ex-military, stoic, hard and mysterious, and on the cusp of her eighteenth birthday and emancipation, she realizes she’s very attracted to him. Liam also finds himself desiring Samantha, although he’s absolutely tormented by his feelings and refuses to act on them while she’s underage. Their longing for one another is palpable and the sexual tension reaches a fever pitch that threatens to burn them both, but their love story isn’t going to be easy. Not only is it complicated due to its taboo nature, but their very lives are threatened by Liam’s dangerous past and closely-held secrets. This cliffhanger is a doozy, but the second book, Concerto, releases May 14, although I’m considering bribing begging Skye Warren for an early copy.

Misadventures of a Curvy Girl by Sierra Simone (Feb. 19)


Sierra Simone is known for her thought-provoking, evocative and fan-yourself-worthy romances, and Misadventures of a Curvy Girl looks like it will be all that and more. It’s a menage, body positive love story in which a woman finds love when and where she least expects it – after her car breaks down in rural Kansas. 

Breaking the Billionaire’s Rules by Annika Martin (Feb. 19)

No one makes me laugh quite like Annika Martin, and I devour her romantic comedies with a zeal. Breaking the Billionaire’s Rules had me simultaneously smiling, blushing and giggling from the very beginning until the end, and I loved every minute of it. Mia and Max were bitter enemies throughout high school, and although it’s been ten years, they’ve never let go of their anger or grudges. Mia is a struggling actress, while Max has already achieved fame and fortune by building a lifestyle brand based on his persona. When she’s compelled to deliver his lunch to him in a cat suit, she’s determined to fight through her self-doubt and embarrassment and not let Max “win.” Their reunion and subsequent encounters are electrifying and hilarious as they fight and taunt each other while also trying to ignore the unrelenting sexual pull between them. They bicker their way towards a climactic and steamy unraveling, and they come together in a fiery union. As they begin to open up and reevaluate their past and their resentments, they fall into love. Breaking the Billionaire’s Rules is romantic comedy at its most entertaining, sexiest and all-around best.

The Half Truth by Leddy Harper (Feb. 19)


I can’t wait to dive into Leddy Harper’s The Half Truth, because it looks like the perfect fun, light-hearted and heartfelt romance. A broken-hearted sous chef tells a little white lie in order to save face in front of her ex-fiancé – that she’s in a relationship with her best friend’s cousin. Although her fib ends up complicating things, it does bring these two people together, who both need a second chance at love.

The Wrong Gentleman by Louise Bay (Feb. 19)

Louise Bay is known for sophisticated and sexy heroes, and she’s dialed it up a notch and added a few rough edges to her latest, Landon James, in The Wrong Gentleman. He’s ex-Special Forces, who has just sold his private security firm and is now doing an undercover assignment as a favor to a friend. He’s working as a deck hand on a super yacht and is tasked to observe and report on the charter’s guest, but things become more problematic when he finds himself intensely attracted to his co-worker, Skylar. She’s determined, hard working and not interested in a relationship with anyone – much less someone she works with. They both try to fight the pull between them, and they’re adorable as they attempt to ignore each other. When they do snap and indulge in their attraction, they quickly realize that they’re developing feelings for one another, and Landon struggles to juggle his new relationship with an increasingly complicated and dangerous mission. This dash of intrigue and suspense combined with the alluring setting of the Mediterranean Sea, the intelligent, strong leads, and swoon-worthy romance makes The Wrong Gentleman truly unputtdownable.

Boyfriend for Hire by Kendall Ryan (Feb. 19)


Kendall Ryan always delivers seriously sexy romance, and she’s on my auto-buy list. In Boyfriend for Hire, the heroine’s date to a wedding is actually a male escort hired unbeknownst to her by a friend. I can’t wait to find out what happens when this fake relationship turns very real. 

Tinsel by Devney Perry (Feb. 19)

Devney Perry has quickly become one of my favorite authors, and Tinsel is the latest addition to my keeper shelf. It is a sexy, memorable and complex love story brimming with thought-provoking poignancy. Sofia has spent her entire life plagued with self-doubt and has compensated by attempting to embrace the lifestyle that was expected of her – that of a frivolous and wealthy socialite. But she’s never been particularly happy with this version of herself, and she’s forced to confront her choices when a newspaper article stripes her bare. She escapes to her older brother’s home in a small town in Montana and begins a difficult but necessary journey of self-realization. She never expected to also find love with a man, who is her opposite in many ways. Dakota is extremely hard working and definitely not wealthy, but he is also questioning his place in the world as he wrestles with his family and tribe’s expectations as member of the Blackfoot people and after growing up on a reservation. He and Sofia come together quickly with a consuming passion but also slowly develop a quiet and supportive understanding, and this beautifully-written, nuanced romance makes you think as much as it much as it entertains you.

What He Never Knew by Kandi Steiner (Feb. 21)


I’ve been anxiously awaiting What He Never Knew after reading the first two books in this series – What He Doesn’t Know and What He Always Knew – so it’s an understatement to say that I am excited it’s finally here. While you do not have to read the prior two books, I definitely recommend them. They’re angsty, unique and unforgettable. The hero and heroine in What He Never Knew are both broken souls with aching hearts, who are all wrong for each other but so right together. I know Kandi Steiner is going to make this a highly emotional and deeply affecting love story that I won’t soon forget.

Finding the Fight by Brittney Sahin (Feb. 21)


Brittney Sahin writes top-notch romantic suspense, so there is no doubt I will be reading Finding the Fight, which is the third, standalone book in the Stealth Ops series. A Navy Seal and former CIA officer are on a mission that threatens their lives and tests their love. I have a feeling I won’t be able to put this one down!

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