Romance: Utterly moonstruck
Shifters find love on the run in Jennifer Ashley’s Midnight Wolf. The Shifter Bureau—a government entity charged with identifying and controlling the Shifter population—forces black wolf Angus Murray to track the fugitive Tamsin Calloway by threatening the safety of his son. When he locates her, however, he finds himself wildly attracted to the mysterious woman and not at all convinced he should turn her in. As the independent Tamsin learns to work with Angus and his friends, she soon wins his trust and that of his young son, and they embark on an adventure to stay one step ahead of the authorities. Characters with murky motives up the sense of jeopardy for the hero, heroine and their “fated mate” status. Paranormal romance requires authentic world building, and Ashley paints an interesting alternate reality for readers without unloading all its structure and tenets in one big rush. This is a fast-paced and fun romantic ride.
MURDER, MY SWEET
An estranged couple reunites and solves a mystery in A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman. General Mark Grimaldi must prove he is a family man before he can win an important political appointment. His mentor wants him to marry—but he secretly already has a wife living in France. Ambition overcomes pride, and he travels to his estranged wife, Nicole, to convince her to take on the role of temporary spouse, but she has a condition that might change everything. This historical romance has all the traditional delicious beats—a hero with a secret, a clever heroine who wants more freedom than societal expectations—but with the added bonus of a murder to solve. To ascertain the culprit, they put their heads together and begin to appreciate each other’s qualities, in and outside the bedroom. Chock-full of charm and witty dialogue, A Duke Like No Other is a tender, satisfying love story of second chances.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
Romantic suspense doesn’t come more lethal than I Am Justice by Diana Muñoz Stewart. Justice Parish, her mother and her sisters have a mission—to save vulnerable women from evil men. Using her adopted family’s enormous wealth, Justice works to stop sex traffickers all over the world. To that end, she meets up with ex-Special Forces soldier Sandesh Ross, who runs a humanitarian group that will be a useful cover for Justice’s latest mission. Conflict arises when Sandesh—who’s done with fighting—clashes with the sometimes impulsive and always aggressive Justice. But their blazing attraction keeps them together, and Sandesh can’t argue with the righteousness of her cause. The action bounces from Philadelphia to Mexico to Jordan and back again, and readers’ pulses will race alongside those of Justice and Sandesh as they face gunfights and rescue Syrian refugees and young girls from slavery. An intriguing premise, a cast of strong characters unwilling to back down and black-hearted, deserve-to-die villains make I Am Justice a winning start to an exciting new series.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read our Q&A with Diana Muñoz Stewart about I Am Justice.
This article was originally published in the May 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.