Contemporarily Ever After: Top Picks for the Week of July 14th

Contemporarily Ever After: Top Picks for the Week of July 14th

I’ve been on a roll lately in that it seems like every book I pick up is a must-read. Of course, I’m not complaining about this as it’s a bookworm’s dream scenario. Here’s hoping you’re on a roll, too!

❤ Indicates the books that I have read and recommend.

Back for More by Kayley Loring (July 14)


When I was a kid, my dad was the gardener for the richest man in town. His daughter, Lily Barnes, told me she could never like a guy like me. Then she kissed me and told me it would never happen again. When it happened again, she told me she could never love me because she was going to leave this place, and I would never leave my dad. 

We were never quite friends, not exactly enemies, and we could never quite stop secretly kissing each other.

She never said goodbye before running off to try to make it as an actress. That was her dream, and I wanted her to chase it. Okay, maybe I hated her for it, just a little.

Now she’s back, with no money and even more sass. 

A lot has changed around here…except for my hidden feelings about Lily Barnes.

So, it turns out I’m a terrible actress and now I’m back!

When my father offers me a job at his company, I actually think he’s finally decided I’m worthy of one day taking over the family business. Imagine my surprise when I find out that the gardener’s son is the one who’s being groomed to take over, and I’ve been assigned to work for him.

Wes Carver has always been rich in confidence and abs, but now he’s rich in everything, including disdain for yours truly.

If he thinks I’m not built to work, he’s wrong.

If he thinks he can boss me around just because he’s my boss, he’s delusional.

If he thinks I’m still the girl who could never love him…I may be a better actress than anyone thought. 

The Kissing Contract by Amy Andrews (July 15)


Marshall Dyson wants one thing and one thing only: to raze his grandfather’s island to the ground. Everything is ready to go—except for the freakin’ bunnies! Hundreds of the furry critters hopping about and multiplying before his eyes. And then there’s the American Bunny League, along with one distractingly beautiful veterinarian, taking him to court to save them…

Dr. Augusta “Gus” North can’t believe the grumpy—and annoyingly hot—builder she’s facing in court cares more about demo-ing some cabin than the lives of 200 bunnies. But when the judge orders Marshall to stay on the island and help her rehome the rabbits—the entire month—she knows they’re going to need to lay some ground rules.

Like, for example, absolutely no kissing. Might as well go ahead and get that in writing. Sure it’s on a napkin, but that still counts. 

How hard could it be to keep their hands off each other amidst all the fighting? Surprisingly, harder than wrangling 200 bunnies…

Man Feast by Krista Sandor (July 15)


Denver’s hottest CEO is about to meet his match.

 Billionaire workaholic Jasper Bergen calls the shots—and that’s just the way he likes it. Period.

As CEO of Bergen Enterprises, he’s dedicated his life to keeping his family’s mountain sports empire profitable. But sales have plateaued, and the company needs a jumpstart.

Enter Elle Reynolds.

She’s a bestselling travel writer whose celebrity adventurer status makes her the perfect choice to boost the company’s public image.

The perfect choice to everyone but Jasper.

Hired by the company’s founders, he has no choice but to work with the free-spirited author.

And while they clash at every turn, Elle can’t quit. Her accountant has swindled her out of millions, and she needs this job to get back on her feet.

But Jasper and Elle may have more in common than they think.

Thanks to their busy schedules, neither’s dated in ages.

Each is experiencing a sexual famine that can only be remedied by a feast— a MAN FEAST.

When they agree to a no-strings night of passion, their sexual chemistry is off the charts.

And these two opposites soon realize there’s a fine line between love and hate.

Trashed by Mia Hopkins (July 16)

The first book in Mia Hopkins’ Eastside Brewery series, Thirsty, was one of my favorite books of 2018, and she has once again blown me away with the second book, Trashed. Her writing is eloquent, her characterization is nuanced, and her storytelling is emotional, raw and powerful.

Eddie is recently out of prison and attempting to rebuild his life while distancing himself from clutches of his gang, but it is almost impossible, especially because he needs them to help unravel the mystery of what happened to his father. He connects with Carmen, who had a crush on him growing up in the neighborhood, and their chemistry is electrifying. They begin a seriously smoking-hot sexual relationship, but Eddie finds himself captivated by her compassion, intelligence, work ethic and integrity. He wants more with her but struggles to feel like he’s good enough. But Carmen’s belief in him gives him the confidence he needs to want and dream of more.

I read Trashed with my heart in my throat and holding my breath as Eddie revealed his most vulnerable and unvarnished self while dealing with seemingly insurmountable struggles. Trashed will entertain you, make you think, have you swooning and move you to tears, and it’s already on my Best of 2019 list.

Victor by Brenda Rothert (July 16)


Victor is the third, standalone book in Brenda Rothert’s Chicago Blaze Hockey series, and this sports romance is deeply romantic and intensely moving. Lindy is an adorably awkward and inexperienced woman, who loves hockey. She works the concessions at Chicago Blaze’s arena in order to be close to the game and her longtime crush, Victor. He’s a gorgeous, successful athlete, who has struggled to play well recently. When he and Lindy serendipitously cross paths, they strike up an endearing friendship. As their connection deepens and they grow to trust each other more, they’re able to be their truest selves. It’s both sweet and sexy as their relationship evolves into a passionate, poignant romance, and I loved seeing these two find their happily ever after.

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory (July 16)


Maddie and Theo have two things in common:

1. Alexa is their best friend
2. They hate each other

After an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it’s suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can’t possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right?

But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Iris Morland (July 16)

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not is the second, standalone book in Iris Morland’s The Flower Shop Sisters series, and it is another hilarious, sexy and heartwarming romantic comedy. Mari is a “good girl” and not much of a risk taker, so when she finds herself married to stranger — hot Irishman Liam — after a night of drinking in Vegas, she’s definitely in uncharted territory. She thinks they’ll quickly annul their hasty union, but Liam has reasons to ask her to stay temporarily married and pretend to be a real couple. As they spend more time with one another, both Liam and Mari find themselves attracted to and enamored with each other, and you do not want to miss this fun, feel-good romance.

Cupids Anonymous by Lila Monroe (July 16)

Lila Monroe’s latest romantic comedy, Cupids Anonymous, is a laugh-out-loud funny and thoroughly entertaining love story with character’s you’ll adore. Poppy has a growing business assisting people find the right words to romance someone in their lives, and Dylan is her most loyal and frequent customer. He’s a playboy, who drifts in an out of no-strings relationships, until he reconnects with his high school crush, Jasmine, and wants to woo her for more than just a fling. He goes to extreme measures, including taking Poppy out of town with him to romance Jasmine, but he finds himself increasingly attracted to his personal matchmaker and not Jasmine. He and Poppy have an adorable repartee and chemistry in spades as they slowly realize their feelings, and Cupids Anonymous is bursting at the seams with humor, passion and romance. 

Making Up by Helena Hunting (July 16)

Making Up is another irresistible installment in Helena Hunting’s Shacking Up series, and I couldn’t get enough of Cosy and Griffin. She’s a sassy, driven, travel-loving college student, who finds herself courted by the older, buttoned-up, successful mogul after their hilarious meet-cute at the sex toy shop where Cosy works. While they could be considered opposites by some, they’re actually unequivocally perfect for one another, and I loved every minute of their sweet, sexy and laugh-out-loud romance. If you’re not reading this series, you’re missing out on one of the steamiest, funniest and swoon-iest series around.

Falling with You by Carrie Ann Ryan (July 16)


The day I lost my best friend was the day I realized that I’d been living in the past. I’ve tried to find a way to heal, to mend that break. Somehow, I came through it partially whole. But I know I couldn’t have done that without Aiden Connolly.

The problem is, he once loved my best friend. And now she’s gone, and I refuse to be in that shadow, or worse, a replacement for someone we both loved.

I left them all behind.

My brother.

My family.

My best friend.

And her.

Only Sienna Knight doesn’t realize what she means to me. But before I can make sure she knows, I need to figure out exactly what that is.

Home Field Advantage by Liz Lincoln (July 16)


Is the Dragons’ new wide receiver: A) a fallen NFL star looking for a comeback, B) the sexy player your boss wants you to write an exposé on, or C) the former love of your life?

For Milwaukee Dragons beat reporter Natalie Griffith, he’s clearly D) all of the above. Three years ago, Natalie’s bombshell report on her ex-boyfriend’s off-the-field scandals landed her the job she loves, but she still feels guilty about destroying his career. Now Quinn Lowry’s back, and he’s taking over her locker room, flashing his charming smile and reminding her exactly how hot they were together.

After two years out of the league, Quinn is sober and on the field again. He’s worked his ass off and he’s not going to blow his second chance, not even for the woman who broke his heart—twice. Having Natalie around is the last thing Quinn needs while he’s trying to prove he deserves to stay on the team.

Maybe one final night together will give them both some much-needed closure. But with Natalie’s boss pressuring her for another headline-grabbing scoop, can she admit to herself that she’s falling for Quinn all over again?

Dirty Flirty Enemy by Piper Rayne (July 16) 

Don’t miss Piper Rayne’s latest uber-sexy, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, Dirty Flirty Enemy. It’s the second, standalone book in their White Collar Brothers series, and it’s enemies-to-lovers perfection. Bella and Carm have a flirtatiously antagonistic relationship because they are competitive realtors in the cut-throat world of New York real estate, but they’re also extremely attracted to one another. While both are hesitant to get involved, they cannot deny their chemistry and find themselves alternating between fighting and kissing. Carm is the ultimate book-boyfriend — gorgeous, rakish but honorable, protective, intuitive and charming — and while he has been commitment-phobic in the past, the sassy and smart Bella makes him yearn for something more. While the laughs are plentiful and the romance is sigh-worthy, Dirty Flirty Enemy also packs an emotional punch and delivers all the feels.

Royal Gentleman by Christy Pastore (July 17)


My crown was plastic.

His was the real deal–jewels and all.

I, Kerris Von Roy, lived among royalty

Until I didn’t.

Crown Prince of Sardones, Ander Nicholas Gabriel Camran was my childhood best friend.

Until he wasn’t.

Ten years later, I have the opportunity of a lifetime. To photograph and chronicle the Royal Family of Sardones’ reinstallation.

To capture history.

Nicholas was the boy who played hide-and-seek with me inside the palace walls. The pre-teen who taught me how to play the piano. The teen who snuck me into the kitchen at midnight for ice cream sundaes.

My first crush. My first kiss.

Now, he’s about to become king. Instead of childhood games, he wants me kneeling, submitting myself to his rule in and out of the bedroom. Nicholas rules a kingdom–my body and soul.

But I can never be fully his. Let alone his Queen.

My Brother’s Billionaire Best Friend by Max Monroe (July 18)


Mabel “Maybe” Willis died a virgin at the very young age of twenty-four. She leaves behind her parents, Betty and Bruce, her brother, Evan, a laptop filled with one too many Jason Momoa memes, and a Kindle library with more books than one human being could ever finish in a lifetime.
Cause of death: a text message.

Okay. So, I didn’t die.
But I may as well have.

One minute, I’m a woman trying to find her way in the world, and the next, I’m the sender of six of the most embarrassing text messages that have ever been sent in the history of time—or the cell phone. Whatever.

We’re talking code red, send a flipping mayday, the apocalypse is coming kind of texts.

And I didn’t just send them to some random person I’ll never see again.
No. That would be too easy.

I sent them to Milo Ives.

The man who played a starring role in all of my teenage fantasies—and my brother’s lifelong best friend.
And, boy oh boy, has he grown up.
He’s hard-bodied, blue-eyed, jawline-of-stone handsome, crazy successful, and has more money in his bank account than my brain can fathom.

Deflower me, please? I said.

Yeah. Send help.

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