Contemporarily Ever After: Top Picks for the Week of November 10th

Contemporarily Ever After: Top Picks for the Week of November 10th
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I read quite a few books this week, but there are so many more that I want to read. Sometimes, I wish we could figure out a way in which sleep becomes unnecessary.

❤ Indicates the books that I have read and recommend.

Insatiable by Melanie Harlow (Nov. 10) 

Insatiable is the third, standalone book in Melanie Harlow’s Cloverleigh Farms series, and it’s a friends-to-lovers romance with all the feels. Noah and Meg have been best friends for years, but their relationship changes when Meg returns home for her sister’s wedding after doing some soul-searching since breaking up with her boyfriend. She and Noah acknowledge and give in to their long-held attraction, but they now have to figure out if they’re friends with benefits or something so much more. This swoony romance checks every box on my must-read list and shouldn’t be missed.

Undone by Mia Kayla (Nov. 10)

(Blurb)

Calculated, clear, and concise.
That is how I like my life.
As head of Armstrong Realty, I acquire, conquer, and secure deals in the boardroom—and bedroom.
No strings attached is how I like my relationships.

But then Jordan—Mr. Hollywood A-list actor—shows up.
He has more strings than the 1000 thread count sheets I sleep on.
We both have reasons we’re unwilling to open up again.
And I can’t live through another heartbreak.

So I make a decision—a one-and-done to get Jordan out of my system.
Casual. Hot. Naked. Simple.

But when the clothes come off, beds get broken.
And everything changes.

Because underneath that California tan and perfect six pack is a heart of gold, a heart I want, a heart I’m falling for…deep, fast, and completely.

And suddenly, all my rules become UNDONE.

Open House by Ruby Lang (Nov. 11)

(Blurb) 

Tyson Yang never imagined that one day he’d be the de facto spokesperson for an illegal community garden. But when the once-rat-infested-but-now-thriving Harlem lot goes up for sale, Ty can’t just let all their hard work get plowed under.

Even if he is irresistibly drawn to the lovely but infuriatingly stubborn real estate associate.

Magda Ferrer’s family is already convinced this new job will be yet another flop in her small but growing list of career path failures. But her student debt isn’t going anywhere, and selling her uncle’s historic town house and the lot nearby means a chance to get some breathing room.

Ty is her charming rival, her incorrigible nemesis, the handsome roadblock to her success.

Until one hot Harlem night blurs the hard line drawn between them, and the seeds of possibility in this rocky garden blossom into love…

Special Delivery by Lauren Blakely (Nov. 11)

Lauren Blakely delivers an adorable and sexy holiday romance with Special Delivery, and its swoon-worthy, festive storyline is sure to get you in the spirit to celebrate the season.

(Blurb)

All I want for the holidays is the willpower to resist my brother’s sexy, charming, easy-on-the-eyes new business partner. 


Instead, I’m stuck planning all the holiday parties with the one guy who makes me want to break my dating diet.
Who thought that was a good idea?

Oh, me. Yep, brilliant, strategic me who raised her hand and said yes I’d love to hang mistletoe with that hot former sports star. (Note to self: Mistletoe leads to toe-curling, knee-weakening kisses.)
And I’d love to get snowed in with the one guy I shouldn’t fall for. (Addendum to the note to self: You know exactly where eight inches of snow leads to. Ahem, eight inches.)

As long as I can make it through the holidays I’ll be on my merry way, fa la la la la. But the holidays have a surprise for me.

Not the Girl You Marry by Andie Christopher (Nov. 12)

Andie Christopher’s Not the Girl You Marry is a smart, sexy, sassy and laugh-out-loud funny romance that will leave you with a huge smile on your face. Jack and Hannah are utterly adorable as they argue, flirt and banter their way into love. He is the ultimate nice guy, who makes an epically poor decision while romancing Hannah, but he’s aware enough to realize and acknowledge his mistakes. While their romance is fun and lighthearted, it is also complex and emotional as Christopher presents Hannah’s experience of being biracial, and I truly enjoyed everything about Not the Girl You Marry.

My Bare Lady by Piper Sheldon (Nov. 12)

(Blurb)

Suzie Samuels is the only thing standing between Clifford and his life’s work. All he has to do is change everything about her. Perception creates reality and Clifford Rutledge needs the irascible stripper to prove it.

Suzie Samuels is set to prove once and for all she’s more than Short Fuse Suze, stripper for the Black Demons and renowned motorcycle arsonist. If all it takes is hard work, then Suzie knows how to work it hard.

But Suzie’s scandalous spirit tests Clifford’s resolve. And Clifford’s buttoned-up bullying is driving Suzie bonkers.

Can Clifford move past their differences long enough to pull off the impossible task of changing the bare lady into a fair lady?

More importantly, as perceptions shift and priorities change, will he want to?

Violent Triumphs (White Monarch #3) by Jessica Hawkins (Nov. 12). Not a standalone.

(Blurb)

I’ve become a queen to the forsaken, a leader to thieves, and the wife of a man who instills fear in all who cross his path. He was the husband I didn’t want. Now, I can’t fathom life without my king.

I should’ve been ready for anything. Like the caterpillar that feeds on poison during metamorphosis, I was raised in the dangerous world of cartel crime. But nothing could’ve prepared me for Cristiano de la Rosa, his brother’s poison, or the Calavera cartel.

This is still a story about a love strong enough to topple households, unite enemies, and divide brothers. Resilient enough to bring down those who would try to destroy it . . . and selfless enough to make the ultimate sacrifice.

But I was warned, and so were you. Death’s day always comes.
This time, it will find what was once a caterpillar is now a butterfly—and hell hath no fury like the White Monarch.

The Fall of Legend (Legend trilogy #1) by Meghan March (Nov. 12). Not a standalone.

The Fall of Legend is the first book in Meghan March’s Legend trilogy, and it is a seriously sexy and captivating opposites-attract romance. Legend and Scarlett have chemistry for days, and their love story is going to be one heck of an intriguing wild ride. I can’t wait for more.

(Blurb)

We come from two different worlds.
I’m from the streets. She might as well live in an ivory tower.
I made my living with my fists. I doubt she could even throw a punch.
Our paths never should have crossed.
We never should have met.
That doesn’t change the facts.
I would sell my soul to taste those red lips.
Fight the devil himself to hear her laugh.
Burn in hell to have a single night.
Scarlett Priest shouldn’t even know men like me exist, but sometimes temptation is stronger than will.
If this is how I go down, it’ll be worth every second of the fall.

Anyone but Cade by Penelope Bloom (Nov. 12)

(Blurb)

After Cade King cost me everything, I vowed I’d never fall for him again—even if he became rich and megafamous.

Now he’s back, and he’s still the embodiment of a big, shiny red button. Everybody knows you shouldn’t touch red buttons, but it’s so, so hard to resist.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it a little when I arrested him for disorderly conduct. Unfortunately, I think Cade liked it a little too. So when he asks for my help raising the son he just found out about, I know exactly what to say: “No, you stupidly sexy red button. I won’t touch you, even to help a cute little kid.” You’re damn right that’s what I said. Mostly.

Still, Cade doesn’t know the first thing about commitment. He lives completely in the moment. I’d need to have a recurring case of amnesia to believe he could change, even for his son. Or me.

Beauty and the Badge by Ella Fox (Nov. 12)

(Blurb)

After being held up at gunpoint, Ashley Colton realizes that life in the big city isn’t for her. She decides to take the biggest risk of her life and move to Charlotte’s Cove, the small seaside sanctuary where she’s vacationed every summer since childhood.

Everything falls perfectly into place until her first day of work, where she meets her new boss Tyler Jameson, the chief of police. The chemistry between Ashley and Tyler is instant and powerful, but for reasons of their own, both are cautious about jumping in.

When a woman from Tyler’s past surfaces, Ashley retreats, making Tyler realize that if he’s going to show Ashley she’s the only one who has his attention, then he needs to stop being hesitant and put everything on the line.

Is the badge powerful enough to win the beauty who holds his heart?

No Whisk No Reward by Ellie Kay (Nov. 12) 

(Blurb)

How do you know if a risk is worth taking? If you knew, there wouldn’t be any risk.

Following a disastrous appearance on a televised baking show, Sophie Copeland is certain things can’t get any worse. Several calamities later, Sophie finds herself in Green Valley, Tennessee with no plan, no place to stay, and no prospects. But at least she has a temporary seasonal arrangement with the famed Donner Bakery. And that’s something, right?

It’s not permanent, and it’s not a home, but it’s still something.

Enter Joel Barnes, a Green Valley mystery, wrapped in rumors, and a whispered connection to the local notorious biker gang. Joel’s got a name for being bad news, but he also has an apartment for rent.

Intrigued by the dichotomy of Joel’s reputation and sexy southern pull, Sophie can’t help but be tempted, even though she knows—given her (bad) luck—she should stay far, far away. . .

Yet as everyone knows, without risk, there’s no reward.

Trying to Score by Kendall Ryan (Nov. 12) 

Trying to Score is the third, standalone book in Kendall Ryan’s fan-yourself-worthy Hot Jocks series, and you do not want to miss this sigh-worthy friends-to-lovers romance.

(Blurb)

Teddy King excels at many things. Playing hockey. Check. Scoring on and off the ice. Check. Being stupidly attractive … Double check.

I knew him way back when. Before he was the guy everyone wanted a piece of, he was just a rebellious college co-ed and one of my more energetic study partners.

But secrets have a way of getting out, and a steamy encounter from our college days (that we probably shouldn’t have filmed) is about to cause a major scandal. Unless we can work together to stop it.

Teddy’s no stranger to hard work … but the thing he wants most?

Is me.

Roping Your Heart by Fabiola Francisco (Nov. 14) 

(Blurb)

Lia Montgomery has been my best friend since we were kids, but when she moves back to our hometown, we can’t ignore the chemistry between us. And I’ve come up with a plan to make her mine.

First on the list? Make her my roommate.

It seems like a great idea at the time, but one look at her in those little pajama shorts and a thin tee shirt, and all I want to do is throw her over my shoulder, caveman style.

Screw the plan.

A simple dare changes everything between us. But when I’m challenged to do the one thing that could tear us apart forever, I realize there’s more at risk than just my heart.

If You Give a Jerk a Gingerbread by Jana Aston (Nov. 14)

Jana Aston continues to inject holiday cheer into our lives with the second book in the Reindeer Falls series, If You Give a Jerk a Gingerbread. In this hilarious and sexy romance, a master gingerbread-maker, Ginger, is vying to win a reality television show’s baking contest, but she risks it all when she falls for her biggest competition, Keller. Their chemistry is hotter than a professional convection oven as they kiss and bake their way into love, and you’ll adore every festive, entertaining and laugh-out-loud minute. The third and final book in this must-read Christmas series, The One Night Stand Before Christmas, releases next week.

Conheartists by K. Webster & J.D. Hollyfield (Nov. 14)

Webster’s and J.D. Hollyfield’s over-the-top romantic comedy, Conheartists, will have you laughing and smiling from the first zany page to the last. How can you not when a professional conman’s attempt to kidnap an adorable, sheltered woman turns into a cross-country, shenanigan-filled adventure to happily ever after? Oh, there’s also an irresistible and hilarious Chihuahua along for the ride. Don’t miss this madcap, fun and feel-good romance.

Daddy Issues by Liv Morris (Nov. 14)

(Blurb)

A single billionaire, a young nanny, and a surprise baby.

My life was ordered. Smooth and neat like my scotch. I had arranged relationships with a beginning and end. No romantic attachments was my motto.

Then I met Maggie. A beautiful, young woman trying to find her place in the gritty world of Manhattan. She deserved more than a jaded man like me, so I let her walk away.

But fate stepped in and an ex-lover surprised me with a baby she claimed was mine. Desperate I hired a well-recommended nanny sight unseen. When she knocked at the door of my penthouse, I opened it to find Maggie standing on the other side.

I watched Maggie lovingly care for my child and wanted to learn to be a father to my daughter. But having Maggie so close was dangerous. She was a terrifying ray of sunshine that threatened to thaw my frozen heart.

I needed her for my child

At least that’s what I told myself.

Until it was too late.

His Royal Highness by R.S. Grey (Nov. 14)

(Blurb)

I’ve spent eight years wishing I’d fall out of love with Derek Knightley. Blowing out birthday candles, chasing after shooting stars, making it rain spare change into mall fountains—every time it’s the same wish: forget about Derek. 

But the day he walks back into my life, I realize there are two things time has yet to soften: my feelings for him and his chiseled jawline.

It’s infuriating that my heart still races when he walks into a room. I refuse to fall prey to old unrequited love, so I decide the less I’m around him, the better. Avoidance is key.

Unfortunately, Derek isn’t going to make it easy. As a teenager, I would have crawled on my hands and knees to attract his attention. Now I can’t seem to escape it.

I’m not sure why he’s bothering. He’s not just out of my league—he’s out of my tax bracket. As the sole heir to the Knightley Company, he’s as close to American royalty as you can get. As for me, I’m just a part-time princess at Knightley’s flagship magical theme park.

I spend my days playing make-believe, but Derek has no use for fairytales. His unwavering confidence makes it clear he thinks I’ll surrender in the end. 

He’s just biding his time.
Making me sweat. 

His Royal Highness always gets what he wants.
And he wants me. 

I’m Yours by Jennifer Van Wyk (Nov. 14)

(Blurb)

I left Lakeside, Montana heartbroken and lost with no desire to ever return.
But life had other plans.
Moving back wasn’t what I wanted to do, but I’d do anything for my daughter Emmy. Including put myself right in the path of Sadie Jones.
My daughter’s new dance teacher.
The reason my heart was never fully opened to anyone else was because it’s always belonged to her.

When I watched Reed Sanders drive away from Lakeside, I knew my heart would never recover.
He was meant for more than what this town could offer him.
Than what I could offer him.
I tried to warn him to stay away from me but he refused to listen.
If only he would have, maybe then I wouldn’t feel so broken.

The heart is mysterious. It can be closed off and open at the same time.
Unfortunately, sometimes it takes danger lurking around the corner to make it choose a side.
All I can hope is that one day I can finally hear the words… I’m Yours. 

Kiss Me by Harlow Layne (Nov. 15)

(Blurb)

Get swept up in this insta-love holiday romance that will make you believe in the magic of New Year’s.

Jax is the modern-day equivalent of a Prince Charming, but he views himself as a beast. He rescues a beauty from the side of the road and never expected one night would change his life forever.

Gabi needed an escape from her world in LA. When her rescuer found her and her wrecked vehicle, she thought he was an angel. She quickly discovers she can rescue him back in a different way.

A holiday power outage still manages to shine light upon what matters most to Gabi and Jax—the people and the moments that define us.

One accident.
A one-night stand.
Two hearts.
And…some mistletoe. 
What happens when the ball drops on New Year’s?

Love You Now (Love Hurts #2) by M. Robinson (Nov. 12). Not a standalone.

I just started Love You Now, the final book in the Love Hurts duet, and it is a sexy, angst-filled roller coaster. If you haven’t read the first book, Hated You Then, plan now to binge-read this epic enemies-to-lovers romance.

(Blurb)

I should have told her everything.

How much I loved her. 
How much I’ve always loved her. 
But I didn’t. 
I couldn’t. 
I just wasn’t made that way.

Instead… I claimed her. 
Teased her.
Taunted her.
Worshipped her.
Until… I broke her.

My best friend. 
My savior. 
My girl.

From my mind to my heart, to every single bone in my body. 
She owned me. 
I was hers.

Every look. 
Every kiss. 
Every touch. 
Every tear.

It was always her.

The only thing I feared more than losing her was forgetting her.
I hated how much I needed her.

She was mine. 
Always and forever.

I hated her then.

But Harley Jameson was about to find out how much…

I LOVED her now.

Iron Crowne by C.D. Reiss (Nov. 15)

No one does enemies-to-lovers romance like C.D. Reiss, and Iron Crowne showcases her storytelling at its best. This fast-paced, smart and scorching-hot love story held me enthralled from the beginning to end, and I couldn’t get enough of Olivia and Bryon. Their chemistry leaps off the page from the moment they meet and attraction explodes between them. They are fierce competitors with opposing agendas, and both want to win. They challenge each other at every turn through sharp, rapid-fire verbal exchanges and intense negotiations, pausing only when passion consumes them. They fight and kiss, fight and kiss, and fight and kiss again, and I loved every minute of this thoroughly engrossing, emotionally charged and deliciously wicked romance.

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