The books that I read this week have some of my favorite tropes — small town settings, opposites-attract, surprise pregnancies, enemies-to-lovers and Alaska. I’m actually not sure Alaska is a trope, but I definitely think it should be. Is there somewhere to vote on that?
❤ Indicates the books that I have read and recommend.
❤Awk-Weird by Avery Flynn (Oct. 14)
The second, standalone book in Avery Flynn’s Ice Knights, Awk-Weird, is a charming, sexy romance. Tess is a socially awkward florist who has a steamy one night stand with a tightly-wound professional hockey player, Cole. Their unforgettable night ends with a surprise pregnancy, but it also launches an entertaining journey to happily ever after. Tess and Cole are adorable as they navigate their soon-to-be-parents status while also getting to know each other and dealing with their rapidly escalating feelings for one another. They both have to step out of their comfort zones as they fall head over heels in love, and it’s both romantic and endearing when they do. You’ll giggle, smile and sigh as you read this heartwarming love story with characters you won’t forget.
Lush Money by Angelina M. Lopez (Oct. 14)
A marriage of convenience and three nights a month.
That’s all the sultry, self-made billionaire wants from the impoverished prince.
And at the end of the year, she’ll grant him his divorce…with a settlement large enough to save his beloved kingdom.
As a Latinx woman, Roxanne Medina has conquered small-town bullies, Ivy League snobs and boardrooms full of men. She’s earned the right to mother a princess and feel a little less lonely at the top. The offer she’s made is more than generous, and when the contract’s fulfilled, they’ll both walk away with everything they’ve ever wanted.
Príncipe Mateo Ferdinand Juan Carlos de Esperanza y Santos is one of the top winegrowers in the world, and he’s not marrying and having a baby with a stranger. Even if the millions she’s offering could save his once-legendary wine-producing principality.
But the successful, single-minded beauty uses a weapon prince Mateo hadn’t counted on: his own desire.
The Only Man by Rochelle Alers (Oct. 14)
At one time, Jeremy Blackstone and Tricia Parker were inseparable. He lived for their passion-filled encounters even though they were from such different worlds. Then ugly accusations of her betrayal ripped them apart….
Years later Tricia had come home to help her grandfather, not to rekindle her affair with Blackstone. But Jeremy was injured and needed her nursing skills. Staying by Jeremy’s bedside and seeing to his most intimate needs stirred a sensuous yearning in Tricia she couldn’t control. Like deja vu, the magnetic closeness they once shared ignited an irresistible attraction that inexorably pulled them together…again.
Enamored by J.S. Scott (Oct. 15)
Like his brothers and sisters, Seth Sinclair went from blue-collar to billionaire overnight, and he’s decided to invest in what he knows best: construction. There’s only one thing in his way—the endangered birds nesting on a piece of prime beachfront real estate. And fighting for the birds is Riley Montgomery, a stubborn, pain-in-the-ass, drop-dead-gorgeous environmental lawyer. The worst part? Seth will do anything to keep her around—even if it means hiring her to be his fake girlfriend.
With a cause to fight for, Riley agrees to Seth’s scheme. If she keeps the superficial women away from Seth, then he’ll leave the wildlife sanctuary alone. But pretending to be his girlfriend comes with ground rules: No ass grabbing. And absolutely no sex. Ever. The problem? The sexual tension sizzles when they’re together.
Seth isn’t so keen on Riley’s rules, but he’ll keep his word, at least until she decides otherwise. But bringing Riley into his circle has brought her past back to haunt her in ways that neither of them expected. Now it’s less about broken rules and more about broken hearts, and Seth will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he loves.
Code of Conduct by April White (Oct. 15)
There are three things you need to know about Shane P.I. 1) P.I. is not her last name, it’s her job title, 2) Her specialty is catching cheaters, and 3) she’s a superhuman – kind of.
Gabriel is a security expert for Cipher Security, and a former UN Peacekeeper with a fierce protective streak that finds its focus on the beautiful P.I.
Their attraction is like an elephant in a room full of breakable things, and figuring out how to trust each other with their hearts, and maybe their lives, is the most fragile thing of all.
Weight Expectations by M.E. Carter (Oct. 15)
Rian Thompson thought she joined the gym to get healthy. Little did she know she was about to add hundred and ninety pounds of swoonworthy abdominal muscles and arrogance to her life.
Every day in Rians’s life follows a predictable pattern, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s got a nice job, a nice place to live, and a nice family—even if they are a little wedding-zilla-ish at the moment.
She doesn’t need anything spectacular to be happy. She just needs to get healthy—mentally, physically. . . and maybe spiritually if that happens. But she’ll settle for two out of three until her sister finally gets hitched.
Carlos Davies thought his life was perfect. Little did he know it was about to be turned upside down by a woman who is not his type.
In Carlos’s mind, his life is damn near perfect. He’s got a great job, a great place to live, and a great stash of pick up lines that always work. It has occurred to him that maybe no one actually takes him all that seriously. But with these bulging biceps and thick, dark hair, does that even matter since he’s never sleeping alone?
Welcome to Weight Expectations, where great—and unexpected—things happen.
Sticking to the Script by Stella Weaver (Oct. 15)
Steven Thompson had a bad year. A string of mean, kinky (the alarming kind, not the good kind), and crazy dating debacles combined with a boss who appears to be experiencing male-prenatal-psychosis means Steven’s stress levels are high. They’re so high, he’s decided to quit dating and focus instead solely on his job.
Until he meets Dr. Ken Miles.
Doctor Ken Miles is having a fantastic year. His hard work is paying off in a big way . . . professionally. But his social life? Not so much.
Until he meets Steven Thompson.
Steven isn’t so sure about Dr. Miles, but Ken is one hundred percent certain about Mr. Thompson. And even though both men know full well that the key to getting what you want out of life is hard work, they can’t seem to make them—together—work.
Will they ever get on the same page? Or just keep sticking to the same old script?
Absolute Pleasure by Erika Wilde (Oct. 15)
What would you sacrifice to save your family’s legacy?
Meet Hunter Wilder, a man that is terrified of happily ever after.
Hunter is used to dominating, taking control of situations and bending them to his will. He may live in a New York castle, but he’s no prince. Cursed by loss, Hunter is a closed book with an emptiness that he can’t escape.
Until he meets her.
Gabriella Darien may be gorgeous and driven, but her Cinderella story is more than it appears. The death of her father left her with a wicked stepmother intent on sabotaging the business her parents worked so hard to create.
One enchanted night of all-consuming and absolute pleasure brings two broken souls together. With a new version of their future finally in sight, a promise kept might cost them everything.
Will this Cinderella find her prince, or will they watch their happily ever after disappear at the stroke of midnight?
❤ A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting (Oct. 15)
A Lie for a Lie launches Helena Hunting’s new series, All In, and after reading this sexy, emotional, humorous, and utterly swoon-worthy sports romance, I couldn’t be more excited to get my hands on the next standalone book. Rook and Lainey met while they were both staying on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and they shared a few steamy, romantic weeks together until their time was suddenly cut short. They both return to their lives in different states, but neither can forget the other or their time together. Unfortunate circumstances and Rook’s lack of truthfulness make it impossible for them to find each other again. It seems their love story is destined to be a short but potent memory, until a couple twists of fate have them living in the same city and serendipitously running into one another. But their reunion isn’t simple or easy, because Lainey is devastated to discover Rook lied while also needing to share her own revelation. A Lie for a Lie is one of those books that you don’t want to end from the moment you begin reading it, and you can’t wait to read it again as soon as you finish it.
Fast Lane by Kristen Ashley (Oct. 15)
“Once he met her, it was and always would be Lyla.”
They were the gentlemen bad boys of rock. Forming in a garage in a small town in Indiana. Taking their licks on the road. Going balls to the wall until they made their big break.
And then Preacher McCade and the Roadmasters redefined rock and roll.
Guided by their tortured lead singer and songwriter, the Roadmasters changed the face of music in the 80s and 90s. And on their journey to becoming one of the most enduring bands in history—dogged by rumors and myth and fueled by drugs and booze—the Roadmasters had one touchstone.
Preacher’s muse, the love of his life, and the band’s moral compass, from the beginning, Lyla is along for the ride.
But with fame and acclaim in their grasp, they’ve entered the fast lane.
And they didn’t know it, but they were headed for a crash.
❤Falling for my Brother’s Best Friend by Piper Rayne (Oct. 15)
Piper Rayne has quickly become one of my favorite author duos, and I am addicted to their small town, family-centric series, The Baileys. Falling for my Brother’s Best Friend is the fourth, standalone-ish installment, and it’s an opposites-attract, friends-to-lovers romance that will leave you with a huge grin on your face. Liam is a quietly charming tattoo artist and Savannah’s brothers’ best friend, and he has been an honorary member of her large, loveable family for years. Their attraction to one another has grown throughout the years, but both resist the pull between them, although for different reasons. But Liam is tired of trying to deny he wants more from Savannah and is willing to risk the ire of her brothers, and he sets out to woo the tightly-wound, brilliant business woman. He does a phenomenal, swoon-worthy job of it, and I have a feeling Liam will be on quite a few book-boyfriend lists. Falling for my Brother’s Best Friend is another hilarious, feel-good, steamy romance from one of my favorite series.
Sexy Dare by Carly Phillips (Oct. 15)
One protective alpha male …
Plus one hot curvy blonde …
Equals an insta-love they can’t deny.
Billionaire nightclub owner Jason Dare doesn’t stand a chance. From the moment he lays eyes on the luscious blonde stuck on the side of the road and realizes she’s in danger, he goes from playboy to bodyguard.
Faith Lancaster’s sweet body won’t come to any harm on his watch. And watch Faith he does. He can’t take his eyes off her. Jason will stop at nothing to keep Faith safe. Even if it means moving her into his apartment and letting her into his once private life.
Hiding from her past, Faith has spent the last year building her candy business into a profitable company while keeping to herself and staying under the radar … until she meets the delicious Mr. Dare. Alpha and irresistible, he awakens desires she has long denied. It doesn’t take her long to succumb to his charms and fall hard for the man.
They both have their reasons for keeping things casual but when Faith’s past catches up with her, can Jason finally claim the woman meant to be his?
❤ The Matchmaker’s Mistletoe Mission by Jaci Burton (Oct. 15)
The Matchmaker’s Mistletoe Mission is a quick, fun and sexy holiday romance that you don’t want to miss. Alice is a Los Angeles based professional matchmaker, and Clay is a cynical cowboy who calls Oklahoma home. They’re opposites who definitely attract as their chemistry sizzles from the moment they meet. They agree to a smoking-hot but temporary fling, but as the holidays approach and their time together draws to an end, neither is ready to say goodbye. Can these two find a way to meet in the middle and seize their happily ever after? You’ll feel all the warm fuzzies as they do.
Holidate by Monica Murphy (Oct. 15)
Candice Gaines loves Christmas. Not only does she bask in the twinkling lights, sing Christmas carols and go crazy with the decorations, she’s also in the giving spirit, donating much of her time and wealth to various charities in the local area.
Charlie Sullivan despises Christmas. Though it keeps his family afloat, considering they own Sullivan Family Christmas Tree Farm, the main provider for Christmas trees on the Monterey peninsula. He’d much rather work among the trees versus have to deal with people.
But Charlie’s parents are taking on more philanthropic projects—and as their oldest child, they want him to be their official public representative. He just has to play nice and convince everyone he’s not a total holiday hater.
When Charlie’s mom asks Candice to accompany him to a variety of holiday parties and events, she reluctantly agrees. She thinks Charlie is a big ol’ Grinch, but is determined to change his mindset and help him spread Christmas cheer. Charlie finds Candice is too chatty, too sweet, too much. Do people like her really exist?
Why yes, yes they do. The more time they spend together—along with a few kisses under the mistletoe—the more they start to like each other. Hopefully Charlie can convince Candice he doesn’t have a heart that’s two sizes too small before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
Downfall by Willow Aster (Oct. 17)
I was naïve to think my marriage to Luka Catano might work. I was infatuated with him from afar…Until I met him. He loved the challenge of his next conquest, anyone would do…Except me. A wife was never something he wanted. Torturous was not a strong enough word to describe how I felt when I was in a room with Luka. Besides hating nearly every word that came out of his mouth, I also drowned with lust every time I looked at him. At times I thought he might feel the same. But nothing prepared me for what his family would make me become.
I Knead You Tonight by Teagan Hunter (Oct. 17)
I hate Drew Woods, and she hates me.
Even so, I’m not the cold jerk most make me out to be, and I have no problem moving the single mom and her baby into my home. I do, however, draw a line when it comes to acting on the way her loose lips make me feel.
She’s too mouthy, too prying, and her curves are way too distracting.
I might have lost my way after a nearly fatal car accident, but I’m not stupid. Giving in to Drew would be a short-lived fix for this pain I’m saddled with, and I knead something permanent.
I’d be insane to think what we have could be anything other than temporary…right?
The Wallace Girl (The Feud Series #1) by Eliot Scott (Oct. 17). Not a Standalone.
A feud that spans generations. A love doomed from its very beginning.
I fell in love with Alex Sinclair when we were kids. Our love was innocent and it was real. It was also dangerous.
We didn’t know our families were like oil and water, that the Wallaces and the Sinclairs hid dark secrets that involved us. We also didn’t understand how deep the poison ran. When I found out the truth—when Alex forced me to leave town—I was devastated. Destroyed. But that was all part of the plan. The Sinclair lust for pain and torture at a Wallace’s expense made it impossible for me to stay…impossible to save Alex.
Mr. Sinclair is dead now, and Alex is the new heir. I’ve been waiting for this. It’s why I’ve come back. I’ve got secrets too, and if Mr. Sinclair’s gone, Alex’s heart and soul are up for grabs. He and I can end this feud. Because Alex? He’s not one of them. Never has been. He’s mine. He loves me.
I only need to remind him of that.
The Royal Rogue by Karina Halle
Every family has a black sheep – even the royal ones.
In the royal family of Denmark, that black sheep is me. To the public I’m known as Princess Stella, but I feel anything but royal. As a single mom, divorcee, social outcast, and forever forgotten about under the magnetism and power of my older brother, King Aksel, I’m used to being an outlier. Though it doesn’t matter when my whip-smart nine-year old daughter, Anya, is my whole world anyway.
Then that world of mine gets turned upside down.
I meet Prince Orlando of Monaco, whom the media has dubbed “The Royal Rogue” for many good reasons. I can’t stand that arrogant smirk on his face, the lewd words that leave his lips – pretty much everything about him. I especially can’t stand how infuriatingly sexy he is and how he manages to get under my skin like no one else.
It’s been a long time since a man could make me feel that way, so you can’t really blame me for throwing my willpower out the window and succumbing to a brief but torrid affair with him, full of hot, dirty sex and nothing else.
Until that nothing else turns into something more, in the form of a big surprise.
I thought I got that wicked royal rogue out of my system but there’s a link between us now that neither of us can ignore.
❤ The Second We Met by Maya Hughes (Oct. 17)
Maya Hughes returns to her New Adult, sports romance series, Fulton U, with the second, standalone installment, The Second We Met. It’s an enemies-to-lovers romance that will have you feeling everything from the first page until the last. Elle and Nix are neighbors whose relationship got off on the wrong foot when they first meet, and they’ve been frenemies ever since. He’s the star quarterback of their football-obsessed college, and she’s not a fan of self-entitled athletes. They antagonize each other every chance they get, but Elle realizes her assumptions about Nix could be all wrong when they begin volunteering together. They form a tenuous friendship that quickly turns flirtatious, and you cannot help but root for these two likable, relatable characters to find their happily ever after. The Second We Met is sweet, steamy, funny and seriously romantic, and it shouldn’t be missed.