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

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

This week in romance is an exciting one, because some of my favorite authors — Kennedy Ryan, L.J. Shen, Karina Halle, Jana Aston, Piper Rayne, Kristen Callihan and Samantha Young — have new releases, and I also read some amazing romances from new-to-me authors — Rebecca Jenshak and Alison G. Bailey. It’s the type of week that reminds me that I’ll probably never be able to clear my to-be-read pile, and that’s more than okay with me.

❤ Indicates the books that I have read and recommend.

The Rebel King (All the King’s Men duet #2) by Kennedy Ryan (Nov. 17). Not a standalone.


Ambition. Revenge. Love.

Rita Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan delivers the gripping conclusion to the All the King’s Men Duet.

Raised to resist. Bred to fight. Survival is in my blood and surrender is never an option.

Though surrender is what Maxim Cade demanded of my body and heart, I had other plans. We were fast-burning fascination and combustible chemistry, but the man I trusted with everything was a trickster. A thief who stole my love. If what we had was a lie, why did it feel so real? The man I swore to hate will have it all, and wants me at his side. But power is a game, and we’re the pawns and players.

Facing insurmountable odds, will we win the world, or will we lose it all?

Seduced by the Soldier by Melia Alexander (Nov. 18)


Zandra York just got her big break, photographing a major project for a travel magazine. So what if she’s never traveled out of the country before? Or that she’s more adept at deciphering fraudulent financial statements than reading German train schedules? Her brother Jackson is on his way to act as her guide, and she can’t wait to experience Europe with him.

But when Jackson’s overprotective best friend gets off the plane instead, Zandra knows this will not end well. 

There isn’t a damned thing Special Forces instructor Blake Monroe wouldn’t do for his best friend, but babysit Zandra when Jackson is unexpectedly called away on a mission? Nope. Not on the list. Especially not when she proves to be more trouble than he can handle—and far too tempting.

Between accidentally hiring a hearse as their rideshare, an unprovoked goat attack, and photographing erotic-shaped chocolates, Blake and Zandra can’t keep their hands off each other. But Zandra’s new career is about to send her all over the world and Blake is finally ready to settle down after his next deployment.

He’ll never ask her to give up her dreams. And she’ll never ask him to give up his.

In the Unlikely Event by L.J. Shen (Nov. 18) 

In the Unlikely Event held me absolutely captivated from the moment I started reading it, and I was up most of the night devouring this passionate, heart-wrenching and thoroughly satisfying second-chance romance. Rory and Mal had a whirlwind, unforgettable romance when she was visiting Ireland, and they signed a napkin agreement to marry one another should fate ever bring them together again. Years later, Mal barrels back into Rory’s life with their contract in hand, but they’re different people, and she’s not sure she wants to uphold her end of their impulsive bargain. But Mal isn’t going to make it easy for her to refuse, and he’s a sexy, unstoppable force fighting to win her heart and not above getting dirty to do it. They clash, kiss and bleed their way to a reconciliation, and their push-and-pull relationship is intense, gritty and undeniably real. Shen’s characters are compelling and nuanced, and her storytelling is masterful as she seamlessly interweaves jaw-dropping plot twists with gut-wrenching angst, swoon-worthy romance and humorous and lighthearted moments. In the Unlikely Event is the best kind of emotional roller coaster and one of my favorite books of 2019.

Demise of a Self-Centered Playboy by Piper Rayne (Nov. 19) 


You might be wondering how you’ll know when your playboy ways are coming to an end. For some it might be an unexpected pregnancy (ahem… you know who), for others it might be finally landing the one woman you’ve always wanted (cough… I won’t mention any names). For me, it was the death of my mentor and the subsequent reading of his will.

The signs were there, they always are. But I didn’t notice them until it was too late, and my demise was complete.

Demise Sign #1 – You find yourself thrust into the land of responsibility and you don’t immediately hightail it out of town.

Demise Sign #2 – Despite being stuck with the world’s biggest Jekyll & Hyde, some sadistic part of you actually enjoys spending time with her.

Demise Sign #3 – Your family suddenly stops wanting to weigh in on every decision in your life.

Demise Sign #4 – Somehow you end up being the voice of reason in your tumultuous partnership.

Demise Sign #5 – You start thinking of other people before yourself.

Demise Sign #6 – You agree to put yourself in the middle of an Alaskan reality TV show that has both of you sleeping in the same tent.

Demise Complete.

London Soul (London Royal #2) by Nana Malone. Not a standalone


Before her, I was: 

A possessive pain in the ass. 

Who am I kidding? I still am.

Love wasn’t for me. 
I’d come to terms with that a long time ago.

And then I met her. I was this close to freedom. But one look at her and I was caught in a web I could’t escape. One I didn’t want to escape.

But then someone took her from me. Now they’ll find out just how far I’m willing to go to get her back.

To save the woman I love, all I need to do is expose my secrets. Secrets that will have consequences for her and my crown

Disarm by Karina Halle (Nov. 19) 

Karina Halle’s Disarm is the second book in her must-read series, The Dumonts, and I can’t get enough of these sexy, swoony love stories with their delicious, soap-opera-worthy family drama. While Disarm can undoubtedly be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the first book in the series, Discretion, in order to have the best reading experience.

Seraphine and Blaise have a complicated relationship. They are cousins through adoption with an intense connection, who have been attracted to one another for years. They’re also coworkers at their families’ fashion empire and often pitted against one another as their families battle for control and dominance of the iconic brand. When Seraphine begins to suspect her father’s recent death may have been the result of foul play, she searches for answers, and Blaise is forced to decide where his loyalties reside. They’re a compelling mix of friends, enemies and lovers, and you’ll be on the edge of your seat as they hunt for the truth while also falling in love. Romance, intrigue and drama blend together to concoct a unique and decadent love story that you won’t soon forget.

Outmatched by Kristen Callihan & Samantha Young (Nov. 19)

Kristen Callihan and Samantha Young’s first collaboration, Outmatched, is an absolute must-read — a refreshing, real and wonderfully entertaining opposites-attract romance. Parker hires a date to escort her to work functions, but the man who shows up to play the role isn’t the one she expected. Rather than a recent college grad and young professional, he’s a rough-around-the-edges former boxer, Rhys, and he doesn’t act like he wants to be there. She and Rhys clash and banter in the most delicious ways as he inserts himself into her life, and both are surprised by the attraction that burns hot between them. Rhys shows there is much more to him than being a gruff and broody gym owner, and he’s absolutely swoon-worthy and the perfect book-boyfriend. I hope we get more from Callihan and Young soon, because they’re magic together.

Dangerous Games (Dangerous Beauty #3) by J.T. Geissinger (Nov. 19). Not a standalone.


The game isn’t over until somebody dies.

Eva knows what it’s like to be imprisoned by a man’s twisted obsessions. But after running, hiding, and finding refuge in a rescuer’s arms, she’s suddenly pulled back into the black hole of her past. Kidnapped by her sadistic ex, Dimitri, and with the love of her life left for dead, Eva is facing down the worst of her demons alone.

If Dimitri wants to play sick games, Eva’s ready. She already knows how dark they can get. But despite her fears, she hasn’t been abandoned. Naz is in hot pursuit. And the last thing Dimitri expects is for a dead man to come calling. For Eva and Naz, worlds apart yet bound by fierce and unbreakable passion, it’s time to beat the devil.

To do it they’ll have to be just as ruthless, seductive, and cunning. With every pulse of the heart, they must risk it all to play Dimitri’s final game to its harrowing end—and win.

Shelf Awareness by Katie Ashley (Nov. 19)


After catching her husband in a compromising position, Finley Granger finds herself in a new hell: reentering the dating world. When she moves in with her grandmother, her great-aunt, and their best friend, Finley finds herself surrounded by a trio of well-meaning yet bumbling matchmakers.

In spite of their efforts, Finley only has eyes for one person, and that’s Zeke Masters—the 6’4”, impossibly built, and ridiculously good-looking new man in town. Along with her nether regions, Finley’s journalistic spidey-senses tingle as to why he’s on sabbatical from Seattle. Is he on the lam or escaping a bad breakup? What’s his story?!?!

As Finley finds herself reluctantly drawn to the gorgeous IT guy, she can’t help but wonder: should she indulge in a rebound tryst with the mysterious Zeke, or has she finally met her match?

The imPERFECT Guy by Leddy Harper (Nov. 21)


I never set out to be famous. It sort of fell into my lap. 
Just like Finn.

He was exactly what I needed in an assistant, and the exact opposite of everything I looked for in a guy, which made hiring him an easy decision. 

It was perfect. 
Then it wasn’t. 

One by one, I started to fall for all of Finn’s imperfections, leaving me to question…

Was I simply looking for all the wrong things in a man? Or was Finn perfect because he was imperfect? 

The One Night Stand Before Christmas by Jana Aston (Nov. 21)

The One Night Stand Before Christmas is the third and final standalone novella in Jana Aston’s holiday series, Reindeer Falls, and it’s just as hilarious, sexy and festive as the first two installments. Only Aston can make a one-night stand with Santa seem smoking-hot and perfectly normal, so get ready to be seriously entertained with this swoon-worthy happily ever after. Reindeer Falls is pure feel-good Christmas fun, and these holiday romances are at the top of my favorites list.

Lip Smacker by Alison G. Bailey (Nov. 21)

Lip Smacker is my first time reading Alison G. Bailey, and I thoroughly enjoyed this witty and heartfelt romance. Bailey opened a cupcake shop with her grandmother, but she never expected it would lead her to a battle of wills with her former high school crush, Logan. He’s back in town and working with a developer who wants her shop’s real estate, but she’s not selling. As she and Logan face-off, it’s evident he’s noticing her now and may be crushing on her, but she doesn’t trust his intentions when he turns on the charm. This sweet and entertaining romance packs an emotional punch and delivers all the feels.

Blindsided by Amy Daws (Nov. 21)


What happens when an almost thirty-year-old virgin agrees to let her Scottish footballer best friend give her some lessons in seduction? 

Lots of banter, awkwardness, jealousy, and heat. 

Midfielder Maclay “Mac” Logan is a loud-mouthed, tattooed ginger content with focusing on football. But when an adorable, freckled seamstress comes barreling into his life, he finds Netflix-And-Bickering with her to be his new favorite pastime. 

Freya Cook is used to being the invisible woman with a needle and thread, offering cheeky punchlines as she helps dress London’s finest. She’s plus-sized in body and spirit, and other than her friendship with Mac, talking to the opposite sex is one skill she never mastered. 

However, after one innocent game of Never Have I Ever, Mac offers to play Love Coach for Freya. 

What neither of them see coming are the feelings that develop when the clothes come off. 

Now they’re both about to learn the biggest lesson of all: Don’t fall in love with your best friend.

Roxy’s Recovery by Kim Breyon (Nov. 21)


As the newest veterinarian in the small town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Vaughn Winters doesn’t have time for relationships. He is too busy healing injuries and establishing his reputation as a trustworthy vet. But when a strange man waves him down on a stormy night seeking help for his injured dog, Vaughn simply can’t refuse.

Obviously homeless and with no means to pay for Roxy’s medical care, Vaughn throws caution to the wind and strikes a deal with the hesitant stranger that would allow Roxy the time to heal and provide some much needed TLC to his property as well. As the days pass, Vaughn’s curiosity grows. Alex’s dedication to the job is as surprising as the sexy tats hidden beneath his rugged clothes. What could have pushed this kind, hardworking man to the streets, or cast such dark shadows in his otherwise bright blue eyes?

Will six weeks be enough time to earn Alex’s trust? Or will asking questions cause him to tuck tail and run as soon as Roxy is able?

The Fake by Rebecca Jenshak (Nov. 21)

The Fake is my first time reading Rebecca Jenshak, and this Young Adult sports romance captivated my attention with its witty, sexy and poignant love story.


I’ve made a lot of dumb mistakes but none dumber than losing her. 

Senior year. I should be partying and living it up with my friends before graduation, but one more mistake and I’m off the team.

Enter Chloe. She comes into my life at a low point, but she becomes the bright spot I reach for every day. She’s the kind of girl who makes a guy want to be a better man. And for a while, I even start to believe I’ve changed enough to deserve her.

I’ve got my eye on the future, and I’m letting my past stay where it belongs.
But the thing about the past… it always comes back to bite you when you least expect it.

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