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Publisher: Tantor Audio$83.99
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Small-town Icicle Falls is in almost as much trouble as its generations-old candy factory, Sweet Dreams, in Better Than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts. Just weeks away from losing her family’s chocolate business to the bank, Samantha Sterling struggles to raise funds, and appealing to hunky bank manager Blake Preston doesn’t change a thing. So what if he’s sexy—he’s clearly cold-hearted. With the help of her two sisters and her newly widowed mother, Samantha conceives of a chocolate festival, an idea the whole town gets behind. But can they pull off the event? While Samantha prepares for the weekend, her mother must learn to forge a new life for herself. At times poignant and also just fun, the story will have readers rooting for Sweet Dreams and the Sterling family. The romance comes with kisses only, but the very sweetest kind.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
Young Rose Balfour is determined to get a shot at happily ever after in How to Capture a Countess by Karen Hawkins. However, the outcome looks uncertain after she meets Lord Alton Sinclair—“Lord Sin”—and determines he’s the man to deliver her first kiss. While their embrace is as delicious as a girl could dream, the heated moment leads her to shove the handsome earl away . . . and into a nearby fountain. Lord Sin gains the nickname “Lord Fin,” and six years later he still dreams of wreaking revenge on the unknown young lady who impugned his reputation. Now 22, Rose re-meets Lord Sin at a house party. He tells her his intention: to seduce her then walk away. But instead his interest only grows. Rose is just as smitten, though she’s sure it cannot last—unless the two can get past their pride and make it through the challenges they set up for each other. Amusing side characters, including a passel of pugs and a matchmaking duchess, round out a fast-paced, passionate romp.