Contemporarily Ever After: Top Picks for the Week of October 27th

Contemporarily Ever After: Top Picks for the Week of October 27th

❤ Indicates the books that I have read and recommend.

The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan (Oct. 27). Not a standalone.


Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition.

In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.

My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I’m determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and will do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.

And neither will I.

Hold on to Hope by A.L. Jackson (Oct. 27)


Evan Bryant wasn’t your typical hero. 
But he was mine. 
Broken by the worlds’ standards, he was still the strongest boy I would ever know. 
My best friend. The boy I’d given everything to. My heart, my body, and the promise of forever.
The day I’d needed him most, he walked away. 
He left me shattered and questioning the love I’d thought we’d shared. 

Three years later, I wasn’t prepared for him to return to Gingham Lakes.
It wouldn’t have mattered if he wasn’t the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. 
My fingers still would have ached to caress his skin. 
My body still would have begged to get lost in his touch. 
And my heart . . . it would have always sung his name. 
But time changes things. With it, secrets that could ruin everything. 
Can we find a way to love again, or have the fears of our past stolen the hope of our forever . . .

The Italian by T.L. Swan (Oct. 28)


They say there are three things you should do at least once in your life:

Dance like nobody’s watching.
Travel the world.
And fall hopelessly in love.

I aimed to do all three.

I went to Italy to find myself.
But he found me.

It was like a story book, our eyes met across a crowded room.
He asked me if I needed help reading the menu.
We ate, we laughed, we danced, and I fell.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go to plan, and we parted ways.

Two years later, our eyes meet across a room again.
Only this time I was on a date with another man.
He went crazy in a jealous fit.

But the man I met then is different now.
He’s colder, harder, and officially one of the most powerful men in Italy.
Dare I say it, even more enticing.

But if you dance with the devil, you get burnt.

And the fires in Italy are scalding hot. 

No Vacancy by Stephanie Rose (Oct. 28)


Can a summer fling become the love of a lifetime? 

Perpetual good girl Caterina Longo is dependable to a fault. At 33, she’s never called in sick. Never had a one-night stand. Never taken a chance in her entire life. When she walks in on a cheating ex and sees everything wrong with her life, she takes off on a solo vacation, busting out of her comfort zone and into the arms of a guy she never saw coming.

Joe Hunter has no room for distractions. Making his restaurant a success and proving his worth to his family—and himself—is his sole focus. At least it is until a beautiful stranger, in search of fried food and a shoulder, wanders in one night.
Is two weeks of unexpected, life-altering passion all they’re meant to share? What happens when vacation ends and real life takes over? 

Stud Muffin by Jiffy Kate (Oct. 29)

This is my first time reading Jiffy Kate, and I already can’t wait to read more from this talented author duo. Stud Muffin is a standalone, but it is also part of Penny Reid’s Smartypants collaboration and set in the world of the Winston Brothers series. So, if you’re a fan of that series, you’ll love seeing your favorite characters and returning to Green Valley, Tennessee.

Stud Muffin is a smart, sexy, funny and tender love story that will leave you with a big smile on your face. Tempest was devastated when she caught her husband cheating on her, but she’s determined to heal and grow stronger than ever. Sometimes, her turbulent emotions get the best of her, and she finds herself acting out in unexpected and hilarious ways, like driving her ex’s truck into the lake and starting a bonfire with his belongings. But everything happens for a reason, because she meets Cage while on one of her escapades to the local strip club where he is a bouncer. The sexy former fighter is new to town and also at a crossroads in his life, and their meeting feels like fate. Cage falls fast and hard for Tempest, but he is aware that she needs time to heal and find herself. He is patient and sweet in his pursuit, and I predict he will be on many book boyfriend lists. Don’t miss this humorous and heartwarming romance.

Shadows by Kristen Proby (Oct. 29)


I am never alone. Not even when I am alone. 
I see the unquiet dead, the souls that wander through the French Quarter. 
They can’t move on, and I can’t stop seeing them. 
I wear malachite for protection, and I control what I let in. It’s the only way to stay sane. Everything changes the day Cassian Winslow joins my ghost walking tour and knocks my world off its axis with green eyes the color of the stone around my neck. 
An unspeakable evil is loose in New Orleans, taking young women and leaving a bloodbath in his wake. More shadows lurking for me. More unhappy dead. There might be a way to stop it.
Open myself up to Cassian. 
If I do, it could spell his death.
But if I don’t, it’s mine.

The Devil in the Saddle by Julia London (Oct. 29)


A devil in her path…

No one cheats on a Prince and gets away with it. And Hallie—Texas socialite, would-be ballerina, and the only daughter of the renowned Prince family—is ready to give her two-timing fiancé a piece of her mind. But fate plants hot, sexy ranch hand and ex-Army Ranger Rafael Fontana quite literally in her way. Her childhood friend is all grown up. He’s sexy, he’s handsome, and suddenly, after all these years, Hallie is taking notice. 

A princess in his heart…

Rafe has been in love with Hallie since they were kids, but he was always the help—and she was glamorous and popular, seemingly off-limits to a lowly cowboy. But now he’s back at Three Rivers Ranch to help his family and Hallie is there too—and she needs his support. Soon long-buried feelings boil to the surface, and the desire between them is hot and palpable and undeniable. Rafe realizes he wants Hallie—and her adorable puppy—for keeps… he just has to convince her to give true love another shot.

Too Good at Goodbyes by R.C. Boldt (Oct. 29)

I adore a bodyguard romance, and R.C. Boldt has delivered a seriously sexy and swoon-worthy one that you do not want to miss. Simone is a mega-famous pop star who struggles with the invasiveness of fame and the public’s thirst for more. She keeps her guard up and doesn’t let people close to her, so she’s hesitant when she has to open her tight-knit circle to an interim head of security, Kane. He’s broody, quiet and ex-military but also gorgeous and kind, and she quickly finds herself drawn to him. Kane has his own reasons for protecting his heart and being closed off, so he’s troubled when he feels himself attracted to his new boss. The sexual tension escalates with every mile of Simone’s tour until they come together in a fiery union that leaves them both reeling. But their emotional wounds make them cautious to trust someone again and could prevent their connection from becoming something more. You cannot help but root for Simone and Kane, and Too Good at Goodbyes is an irresistible, feel-good and smoking hot love story.

Finding Home Again by Brenda Jackson (Oct. 29)


First love. Second chances. In Catalina Cove, anything can happen…

Bryce Witherspoon’s heart races every time she sees Kaegan Chambray. Everyone in town knows they can’t stand each other, but the truth is, even though the man broke her heart ten years ago, she still feels that irresistible, oh-so-familiar jolt of desire.

When Kaegan returned to Catalina Cove to run the family business, he knew there’d be no avoiding Bryce. The woman he thought he’d one day marry was instead the biggest heartbreak of his life. But when Bryce lets slip a devastating secret, he discovers just how wrong he was to let her go all those years ago.

He knows they both still feel the spark between them, but it’ll take more than attraction to convince her. Kaegan will pull out all the stops to show Bryce he’s the man who can give her the future they once dreamed of—if only they give love a second chance.

Ruin (Slay Quartet #2) by Laurelin Paige (Oct. 29). Not a standalone.


With her heart literally in his hands, Celia will have to try and bargain with a devil. 

Edward Fasbender is my captor.

Trapped on this island he owns everything on–including, it seems, me.

He told me he would break me, but I thought he meant in the bedroom. It turns out Edward is playing a completely different game.

And he won’t stop until he’s ruined me. 

Audition (True North #1) by Skye Warren (Oct. 29). Not a standalone.


Blood and sweat. Bethany Lewis danced her way out of poverty. She’s a world class athlete… with a debt to pay.

Joshua North always gets what he wants. And the mercenary wants Bethany in his bed. He wants her beautiful little body bent to his will.

She doesn’t surrender to his kiss.

He doesn’t back down from a challenge. 

It’s going to be a sensual fight… to the death. 

Tangled Up in Christmas by Lisa Renee Jones (Oct. 29)

Lisa Renee Jones infuses holiday magic into this sexy and emotional second-chance romance, Tangled Up in Christmas. Roarke and Hannah were good friends growing up and then became lovers on the brink of marriage, until Roarke broke her heart and decimated their relationship. She fled their small Texas town for Los Angeles, California, but she’s returned years later and starting a new career. She’s still angry and hurt, so when she’s compelled to work with Roarke, it’s a messy and complicated situation, especially because neither stopped loving each other. Their feelings and passion leap off the page as they reunite and face their painful past, but Roarke has secrets that he must reveal for him to convince Hannah to open her heart again. You cannot help but adore these two and their heartfelt, feel-good romance.

Gypsy King by Devney Perry (Oct. 29)

Gypsy King is the first book in Devney Perry’s Tin Gypsy series, and I can’t stop thinking about this story or these characters. It’s a captivating blend of small-town charm and motorcycle club grittiness with a sexy enemies-to-lovers dynamic and an addictive and wholly unpredictable central mystery. It’s unputdownable.

Bryce is an investigative reporter in Clifton Forge, and she’s determined to solve a brutal murder because she’s confident she knows who is responsible — someone affiliated with the recently disbanded motorcycle club Tin Gypsies. Her investigation puts her on a path to collide with the club’s former leader, Dash, and they come together in an explosion of sexual chemistry, strong personality and iron will. But Dash wants answers just as desperately as Bryce does, if not more, and is willing to do anything to get them. You’ll be on the edge of your seat to find out how these two resolve their differences while also falling hard for one another and trying to solve a murder. While Gypsy King is a standalone love story with a happily ever after, the mystery ends in a semi-cliffhanger and continues in the next book, Riven Knight, which releases January 2020.

Rough Sketch by Kate Canterbary (Oct. 29) 


Smart, successful, and sitting pretty at the top of her game, Neera Malik has it all figured out.
Save for the small issue of Gustavo Guillmand.

The artist with a cult—and Instagram—following has a problem and it’s not his preference for shirtless selfies. 
No, he has an attitude problem, a minding his own business problem, an infuriatingly sexy problem. 

They can’t stand each other and they can’t stay away from each other. 

Overnight Service by Lauren Blakely (Oct. 30)


One week together. Two enemies who used to be red-hot lovers. Three chances to avoid falling into bed again. 
Here’s why sleeping with the enemy is a bad idea…

1. She’s my fiercest rival.
2. She’s also my fiery ex.
3. We’re going up against each other in a stiff competition to win the hottest new client on the market.

And yet, I’d like to be up against the wall in a stiff competition to get her to call out my name.
Time to double down on my resistance to her tough-as-nails, take-no-prisoners, sexy-as-sin attitude. The same attitude I find irresistible.
That’s a big problem, because in this race to nab the client, I run into Haven in the hotel, on the beach, in the guest quarters late at night.
Hate s-e-x would be a terrible idea.
Except, it’s the complete opposite, and now we can’t keep our hands off each other.
Trouble is, I’m not so sure it’s hate I’m feeling anymore.
And that’s the biggest reason sleeping with the enemy you’re falling for is a bad idea — my job literally depends on never letting her into my heart.

Landon and Shay (L&S duet #1) by Brittainy C. Cherry (Oct. 30). Not a standalone.


Shay Gable hated my guts, and I hated hers, too.

We went out of our way to avoid one another at all times. When she came my direction, I went the other. When we locked eyes, she’d turn and walk away.

All of that changed the day I was presented with a challenge. It started out as a stupid bet: make Shay fall in love with me before I fell in love with her first.

That was an easy bet for me to win.
I didn’t love, I hardly liked.

Yet slowly the game started to shift. Shay made me crave things I never knew I wanted.

The closer we grew, the more she challenged my darkness, and the parts I kept locked away.
The hurts.
The pains.
The truth.

The game between us became too real, our feelings intermixed, and the risks of hurting one another grew higher.

But you know what they say…
All’s fair in the game of love and war—especially the heartbreaks.

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