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Romance: Fire up Valentine's Day with a romantic read
No Valentine? No worries. Whether you’re looking for a cowboy or an aristocrat, these great novels feature swoon-worthy heroes who won’t let you down!
Pure Western pleasure can be found in The Marriage Charm , a continuation of Linda Lael Miller’s Brides of Bliss County series. Jewelry designer Melody Nolan has carried a torch for lawman Spence Hogan since she was 6—and even had a brief summer fling with him when she was 20. But he refused her impulsive marriage proposal then, so it’s hard to think he might change his mind about forever with her now that they’re older. However, Spence still makes her blood run hot, and since the wedding of their best friends, he seems to be abandoning his playboy ways.
Spence has a few reasons to distrust women and matrimony. Sure, he enjoys the fairer sex, but the idea of settling down has never appealed to him. But it’s beginning to sound kind of perfect—if only he could find the right woman. He was right to say no to Melody’s youthful proposal before, but can he make her believe he sees a future for them? The path to happiness for these two wary lovers is made more difficult by a string of robberies, but there’s no doubt this enjoyable, easygoing story will have a satisfying ending.
Thwarting scandal has wide implications in the latest in Lily Dalton’s One Scandalous Season series, Never Surrender to a Scoundrel. Clarissa Bevington believes that she has found love just before her debut ball. However, she soon learns that her intended has married someone else. Heartbreak is complicated by the fact that she’s pregnant, and her grandfather immediately enlists the help of Lord Donovan Blackmer, who has been on an undercover assignment to protect the old man. Pressured by his superiors in the spy business, Donovan is forced into an “I do.” As sorry as Clarissa is for her foolishness and the terrible position she has placed her new husband in, she can’t help but be attracted to the man. At his family home, she helps him navigate a difficult reunion with his parents and brother, and Donovan comes to appreciate Clarissa’s spirit—both in and out of the bedroom. But just as love takes root, ghosts from his dangerous past arrive and put both of their lives in danger. Dalton has delivered a tender story spiced with thrilling suspense.
Readers will smile their way through the cute and quirky Love Me Sweet by Tracy Brogan. In the third installment of Brogan’s Bell Harbor series, celebrity stylist and reality-TV star Delaney Masterson is on the lam, hiding out from the press after the release of an embarrassing sex tape. She touches down in Bell Harbor, Michigan, unprepared for the snow—or for Grant Connelly, the sexy man with whom she is suddenly sharing an apartment.
When her new roommate’s flighty mother takes off with Delaney’s belongings, Delaney and Grant set off on a road trip to recover her lost things. During the journey, they meet a charming cast of characters and fall in love. But Delaney has yet to tell Grant that she is part of a Kardashian-style family entertainment business and wonders if these feelings will survive the shock. When Grant learns the truth, he feels betrayed and makes assumptions about Delaney that lead to a painful separation. However, this parting gives Delaney time to learn to stand up for herself and her dreams, and Grant must do some soul-searching as well to give their romance its happy ending.
If you are looking for a romantic adventure, you will find it in the latest in Sabrina Jeffries’ The Duke’s Men series, If the Viscount Falls. Dominick Manton forced his fiancée, Jane Vernon, to break their engagement 12 years prior, when his evil older brother destroyed his bright prospects. But now that sibling is dead, and Dominick is the presumptive heir to a viscountcy. As he’s trying to sort out this new state of affairs, Jane sweeps into his life and demands he help her find her missing cousin, who is also his brother’s widow. Though older and wiser, Jane and Dom still have feelings for each other—passionate feelings that arise as they seek the missing woman using Dom’s experience as an investigator. Besides solving the mystery at hand, the pair must struggle with reconciling their past choices. Only as they share more about what passed between them do they begin to see how they can make a happy future together. Action, passion and two very likable people whose love has survived years make this a memorable love story.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
A misguided miss makes a wrong turn to the altar in Julia London’s The Devil Takes a Bride, the second book in The Cabot Stepsisters series. When her stepfather’s death and her mother’s illness threaten the future marital prospects of her three sisters, Grace Cabot plots to save them by instigating her own quick wedding. To do so, she plans to compromise herself with an affable aristocrat, but instead she gets caught in a passionate embrace with his taciturn brother, Jeffrey, the Earl of Merryton. So while a marriage does occur, Grace doesn’t know what to make of her controlled and moody groom. Jeffrey has always tried to inhibit his passions, but his spirited wife goads him at every turn. She ignites him in all ways, and soon, order is upended in his household. With Grace’s help, however, Jeffrey learns to accept and embrace the glorious mess that is a sensual life. London’s elegant writing perfectly conveys this passionate and poignant story of two strangers finding understanding and love.