Contemporarily Ever After: Top Picks for the Week of September 22nd

Contemporarily Ever After: Top Picks for the Week of September 22nd
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Wow. This week is even more epic than normal with 21 top picks. I almost feel guilty for overwhelming your to-be-read pile. Almost.

❤ Indicates the books that I have read and recommend.

Park Avenue Player by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward (Sep. 23)

Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward deliver another singular romance with Park Avenue Player, and I cannot recommend it enough. The story is unique and unexpected, the chemistry is scorching-hot, the rapid-fire banter is delicious, and the romance is emotional and utterly sigh-worthy. Hollis has recently taken custody of his pre-teen niece and is looking for a nanny. He meets his next candidate, Elodie, under less-than-ideal circumstances when they have a contentious fender-bender minutes before her interview, and he opts not to hire her. But she’s sure that she’s the perfect fit for the job and convinces him to give her a shot. As Elodie proves herself, the dynamic between her and Hollis heats up with potent sexual tension, but he’s cynical about love and she’s not the type to have a fling. These two have a lot to work out before they get their happily ever after, and it’s an utterly riveting journey. There’s much more to this story, but you want to go in blind and I’m not saying another word. Trust me: Pick up Park Avenue Player today.

Team Player 2 anthology with Charleigh Rose, Ella Fox, Emma Scott, Ilsa Madden-Mills, Kate Stewart, Kennedy Ryan, Mandi Beck, Meghan Quinn, Rochelle Paige, Sara Ney, and Teagan Hunter. (Sep. 23)

The Team Player 2 anthology includes original, never-before-seen stories from eleven authors, and I’ve already read Dear Ava by Ilsa Madden-Mills and The Guy in the Middle by Kate Stewart. Both were phenomenal, and I can’t wait to read more from this epic anthology.

(Blurb)

Our love of hot jocks is never-ending.

Muscular football players. Passionate tennis pros. Sexy soccer stars. All sorts of alpha hotties, on the field and off.

Have no fear! The team is back again, and this time…it’s thicker. You’ll get your sports romance fix with brand-new stories from eleven bestselling authors.

Need one last summer fix? Dive into this anthology.

Arctic Heat by Annabeth Albert (Sep. 23)

(Blurb)

A lasting connection needs more than simply surviving a winter together—they’ll have to outsmart danger, let down their defenses and open their hearts.

Owen Han has a fresh lease on life—he’s kicked cancer’s ass and is roaring through his bucket list. The former investment banker hopes to find his next challenge in Alaska, volunteering alongside park rangers and fulfilling his childhood dreams of snowy winters and rustic life. Of course, those dreams did tend to feature big strapping mountain men in vivid detail…

Ranger Quilleran Ramsey would like to be anywhere other than dealing with newbie volunteers. And really, the only thing he needs less than a green volunteer “partner” is the flirty attentions of a buff city boy who doesn’t look ready to last a week, let alone an Alaskan winter. They’re all wrong for each other, even if Quill’s traitorous body enjoys the flirting more than it should.

As the weeks pass, the two snowbound men give in to temptation. But can their seasonal romance last until spring? For them to have a future together, each will have to trust the other…while hoping that the harsh elements and omnipresent dangers don’t destroy what happiness they’ve found in the moment.

All the Way by Kendall Ryan (Sep. 23)

All the Way is the second, standalone sports romance in Kendall Ryan’s Hot Jocks series, and it’s a fun and sexy friends-to-lovers story with a ton of heart. Owen and Becca are great friends, but their relationship begins to shift when Becca asks him to help her get back in the dating game. She was assaulted in college and hasn’t felt comfortable in a romantic relationship since then, and he’s an unrepentant playboy, who she trusts explicitly, so she knows he will be the perfect tutor. But Owen soon realizes that he’s not sure he wants Becca to date anyone but himself. Owen is absolutely swoon-worthy as he grapples with his new feelings and patiently and thoughtfully helps Becca to be intimate again. Ryan tackles tough subject matter with compassion and grace, and All the Way is steamy, entertaining romance with a powerful message. It may be my favorite book of hers yet.

Kiss Me Tonight by Emma Hart (Sep. 24)

 I can never resist a romantic comedy from Emma Hart, and Kiss Me Tonight is another endearing, hilarious and swoony page-turner that is an absolute pleasure to read. Noah and Reagan meet when he accidentally sexts the wrong number — hers — but these two strangers are soon laughing at his mishap and bantering via texts. Unexpectedly, they come face-to-face when Noah, a firefighter, saves Reagan from her burning apartment, and there is no denying that fate is pushing them together. They evolve from text buddies to friends to lovers, and they’re adorable every step of the way. Don’t miss another feel-good romance by the uber-talented Emma Hart.

Ruined with You by J. Kenner (Sep. 24)

(Blurb)

When her high maintenance boss is assaulted, manager Xena Morgan contacts the only person who can help—the sexy, arrogant, incredibly capable Stark Security agent Liam Foster. The former vigilante takes every case personally, and he’s determined to find answers—particularly since he thought he’d cleared this threat already.

Xena had been thrilled when Liam completed his assignment, because he affected her in ways she didn’t want to contemplate, awakening yearnings that threatened her deepest secrets. 

But now she needs him, and her body won’t let her forget it.

As their attraction heats to a feverish degree, the web of lies, danger, and passion they find themselves in tangles further. Liam will stop at nothing to protect his client, even if it means sacrificing everything he holds dear … and exposing the secrets that may destroy him—and Xena—forever.

Reveal (Wicked Ways #2) by K. Bromberg (Sep. 24). Not a Standalone.

Reveal is the second book in the addictive Wicked Ways duet, and it is the perfect finale to Vaughn and Ryker’s epic romance. These two strong-willed, perfectly-matched lovers sort through their differences while dealing with outside influences that want to tear them apart. It’s an uber-sexy, emotional journey with jaw-dropping plot twists that keep you on the edge of your seat. Don’t miss the Wicked Ways duet.

Closer by Kylie Scott (Sep. 24)

(Blurb)

When a stalker gets too close to plus-size model Mae Cooper, it’s time to hire some muscle.

Enter former military man turned executive protection officer Ziggy Thayer. Having spent years guarding billionaires, royalty, and rock n roll greats, he’s seen it all. From lavish parties through to every kind of excess.

There’s no reason some Instagram stylista should throw him off his game. Even if she does have the most dangerous curves he’s ever seen…

Tempted at Midnight by Cheris Hodges (Sep. 24)

(Blurb)

For hopeless romantic Sylvie Gates, there’s nothing quite as magical as a New Year’s Eve kiss. So as the clock nears midnight at her best friend’s party, Sylvie makes a beeline for the sexiest guy in the room. A happily-ever-after would be nice of course, but Sylvie’s trying to live in the moment. Plus, she’s about to begin the biggest project of her interior design career, so she better just enjoy her last night of freedom . . .

Newly appointed CEO of troubled Jordan Industries, Erik Jordan expects New Year’s Eve is the last night off he’ll have all year—and the billionaire plans to make the most of it. Locking lips with gorgeous Sylvie is just the beginning of an unforgettably steamy night together. But the fact that she steals his signature move and slips away in the morning is only the first surprise. The second is running into her again—at her job remodeling his company. Is it coincidence—or the power of a perfectly-timed kiss? With the electricity still crackling between them, and some major challenges ahead of them, they’ll find out before the year is through . . .

Claiming Sarah by Susan Stoker (Sep. 24)

(Blurb)

Sarah Butler isn’t flattered. She’s angry and unnerved. She’s been getting intimate gifts from a man she barely knows. Nothing threatening yet, but there’s just a weird vibe she can’t ignore. Her recourse is Ace Security. Their solution: self-defense lessons at Rock Hard Gym with a personal, hands-on instructor. One look at the bearded, tattooed, green-eyed alpha is enough to take Sarah’s breath away.

Cole Johnson is definitely the man for the job. He’s eager to train her. Eager to get closer. And when it comes to Sarah’s instincts, Cole knows she’s not imagining things. He’s also not imagining the intense attraction between them—and his desire to protect her is growing. But so are Sarah’s fears, the worst of which come true when she disappears.

Enlisting the help of Ace Security, Cole will stop at nothing to find the love of his life…before she vanishes forever.

Cocky Player by Stacey Lynn
Cocky Player by Stacey Lynn (Sep. 24)

Stacey Lynn’s Rough Riders series is smoking-hot sports romance, and the fourth, standalone book, Cocky Player, is a seriously sexy, must-read love story. Brenna goes to a club in an effort to ditch her virginity, and she runs into hunky professional football player, Connor. Their chemistry is explosive and intense, and he soon becomes her mentor in the bedroom. They quickly find themselves wanting more, but there are a few unexpected twists that may prevent them from deepening their relationship. You’ll adore Connor and Brenna and will not want to put Cocky Player down.

Wrapped Up in You by Jill Shalvis (Sep. 24)

(Blurb)

It’s love. Trust me.

After a lifetime on the move, Ivy Snow is an expert in all things temporary—schools, friends, and way too many Mr. Wrongs. Now that she owns a successful taco truck in San Francisco and an apartment to call home, Ivy’s reinvented life is on solid ground. And she’s guarded against anything that can rock it. Like the realities of a past she’s worked hard to cover up. And especially Kel O’Donnell. Too hot not to set off alarms, he screams temporary. If only his whispers weren’t so delightfully naughty and irresistible.

Kel, an Idaho sheriff and ranch owner, is on vacay, but Ivy’s a spicy reason to give his short-term plans a second thought. Best of all, she’s a tonic for his untrusting heart, burned once and still in repair. But when Ivy’s past intrudes on a perfect romance, Kel fears that everything she’s told him has been a perfect lie. Now, if only Ivy’s willing to share, Kel will fight for a true love story.

Say It Again by Catherine Bybee (Sep. 24)

(Blurb)

Protector-for-hire Sasha Budanov is accustomed to life as a loner. Always on the move, she’s now reached a crossroad. Looking for answers about her shadowy youth, she’s returned to the strict boarding school in Germany where she was raised. It’s also where she was trained in the stealthy, militarized art of survival. But behind its gleaming gates, Richter is a fortress of secrets, including those buried in Sasha’s mysterious past. To uncover them, she’s clinging to her first rule of defense: stay guarded.

If anyone can challenge Sasha’s rules, it’s devilishly sexy stranger AJ Hofmann. He wants answers, too. And he needs Sasha’s help. The recent deaths of several of Richter’s former students—including AJ’s own sister—have aroused his suspicions. He’s arousing something more in Sasha. Never one to surrender to her emotions, she senses something tempting in AJ. She trusts him. He’s fearless. And he kisses like a demon. Sasha’s found her match.

But treading Richter’s dark halls—and following their hearts—has its risks. As the decades-old secrets of the past are mined, Sasha and AJ are falling deeper in love…and into danger.

Enchanting Sebastian by Kristen Proby (Sep. 24)

Enchanting Sebastian is Kristen Proby’s first royal romance and the first, standalone book in the Big Sky Royal series, and I am smitten and cannot wait for more. Sebastian is the Crown Prince of England, who doesn’t want to be King. He’s about to be forced into an arranged marriage, unless he finds his own bride, and he discovers the perfect candidate while visiting Montana — Nina. She’s sassy, smart, beautiful and an American, which will ensure he’ll be able to abdicate. When he proposes a marriage-of-convenience, Nina agrees, and they begin a whirlwind engagement and romance. Enchanting Sebastian is a charming, sexy and lighthearted romance that will likely make you swoon.

The Trouble with Christmas by Amy Andrews (Sep. 24)

(Blurb)

All Suzanne St. Michelle wants is an over-the-top, eggnog-induced holiday with her best friend in Credence, Colorado. But when her hoity-toity parents insist she come home for Christmas in New York, she blurts out that her sexy landlord is actually her boyfriend and she can’t leave him—Joshy loves Christmas. The more twinkle lights the better.

Rancher Joshua Grady does not love Christmas. Or company, or chatty women. Unfortunately for him, the chattiest woman ever has rented the cottage on his ranch, invited her rich, art-scene parents, and now insists he play “fake rancher boyfriend” in a production of the Hokiest Christmas Ever. And somehow…she gets him to agree.

Apparently, he’ll do anything to get his quiet life back. At least there’s mistletoe every two feet—and kissing Suzy is surprisingly easy. But in the midst of acres of tinsel, far too many tacky Christmas sweaters, and a tree that can be seen from space, he’s starting to want what he lost when he was a kid—a family. Too bad it’s with a woman heading back to New York before the ball drops…

The Scene Stealer by Renee Harless (Sep. 26)

(Blurb) 

Scene Stealer (noun): an actor who attracts attention when another is intended to be the center of attention.

The glow of fame only casts shadows. The name Devyn Dane was once lit up amongst the stars. Everyone worshiped me. But now, I’m on the edge of darkness. No one warned me about the fall. My crash was lethal. These days I’m nothing more than a forgotten child-star with a tainted reputation. 

Redemption is what I need. When a chance is handed to me, I vow not to blow it—I can’t. This could launch me back to stardom. But nothing is given freely in Hollywood. Everything comes with a price. This time, mine is a bombshell waitress battling insecurities deep enough to rival even my own.

The resilient Larsen is a mystery I can’t wait to unravel. Her brokenness makes me feel not so alone. But together, we are a complete mess that should never work. I know it, Hollywood knows it, and someone is Hell-bent on making sure we don’t beat the odds.

I truly believed she was my ally. An added boost on my rise back to fame. But the shine of Hollywood masks many things. She broke my focus, pulling me away from the most important goal.

That’s the thing with a scene stealer – you never see them coming.

The Plus Ones by Kayley Loring (Sep. 26)

(Blurb)

Love changes people.
I’m the first to admit that I, Keaton Bridges, used to be an immature, entitled ass.
Okay, maybe I’m the second to admit it—after Roxy Carter. 
That loudmouth.
But I’ve seen what true love has done for my friends, and I want it for myself.

Somehow, I’m the only single guy left.
Somehow, she’s the only single girl.
The only time Foxy Roxy hasn’t been a loudmouth? 
That time we were making out at our best friends’ wedding. 
And every time we’ve seen each other in the five years since then, 
because she refuses to talk about it.

Well, she’s going to have to talk to me now.
It’s the dead of winter, and our six best friends were planning a getaway 
at a Caribbean couples-only resort.
One of the couples had to drop out, and I refuse to be left out in the cold.
All Roxy and I have to do is pretend to be in love for one week so we can 
spend some much-needed time with our favorite people.
And all I have to do is pretend I’m not dying to kiss her again.

Love Me Tomorrow by Maria Luis

(Blurb)

They call her America’s Sweetheart.
And me? I’m the so-called “inked god” she dumped on TV.

I’ve tried to forget her. I’ve tried to move on. 

Until I discover that her family is opening a new restaurant next to my tattoo parlor.

If I were a gentleman, I’d offer my congratulations and go my own way.
If I were a gentleman, I’d let her be… but I’m not.

Savannah Rose may claim I’m nothing more than a friend, but that slight hitch in her breath whenever I get too close says that America’s sweetheart is nothing but a liar.

All it takes is one scorching kiss, and I vow in her ear: “You’re going to beg. Beg me to touch you, beg me to give you more, and if you’re real good, maybe I’ll do it all over again before you have to beg for that too.” 

I’m no gentleman.
But Savannah Rose? She’s no one’s sweetheart but mine.

The Stopover by T.L. Swan (Sep. 26)

(Blurb) 

A memorable night of passion refuses to stay just a memory in this sizzling and scandalous romance from bestselling author T L Swan.

I was upgraded to first class on a flight from London to New York.

The food, champagne, and service were impeccable. 

The blue-eyed man sitting next to me, even better. 

He was suave and intelligent. 

We talked and laughed, and something clicked. 

Fate took over and the plane was grounded, and we had an unexpected stopover for the night.

With no plans, we made our own. 

We danced and laughed our way around Boston and had a night of crazy passion that no woman would ever forget. 

That was twelve months ago, and I haven’t heard from him—until today. 

I started a new job and met the CEO. You can imagine my surprise to see those naughty blue eyes dance with delight when he saw me across the mahogany desk. 

But I’m not that carefree girl anymore. My life has changed, I have responsibilities. 

I just got an email. 

He wants to see me in his office for a private meeting at 8:00 a.m. 

Naughty blue eyes have no place in the workplace. 

What kind of private meeting does he have in mind?

Serenading Heartbreak by Ella Fields (Sep. 27)

(Blurb)

My first love was my brother’s best friend. 
A lead singer in their band.
A picture of rugged perfection. 
And a drunk soul mate who couldn’t commit.

My second love was an arrogant baseball player.
A player in every sense of the word.
A smooth-talking, reliable best friend. 
And a chance at something beautiful and true.

The problem with having a first and second love? 
That would be loving them at the same time. 
My story isn’t some sexy triangle. 
It’s exquisite agony.
Fate gave me two men to love, 
but none of us knew which one I could keep.

The Price of Scandal by Lucy Score (Sep. 27)

Prepare to meet your next book-boyfriend: Derek Price in Lucy Score’s The Price of Scandal. Oh. My. Swoon. He’s a gorgeous, sexy and talented rogue, who sweeps billionaire Emily Stanton off her feet — reluctantly. She’s a genius and high-profile CEO, who was caught in a public relations nightmare, and Derek is hired by her board of directors to help fix her image. She’s fiercely independent and bristles at the heavy hand, but she soon discovers how competent and charming Derek is. Their love story is unique, laugh-out-loud funny, steamy and romantic to its core. Don’t miss The Price of Scandal and the Bluewater Billionaires series.

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