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Romance: Dangerous to love
In Sara Humphreys’ Trouble Walks In, the second in her McGuire Brothers series, childhood acquaintances Ronan McGuire—now a New York City K-9 cop—and Maddy Morgan enjoy their weekly runs. Ronan knows Maddy needs a friend after the death of her longtime boyfriend. But it’s getting harder and harder to see her as a buddy, and he cautiously attempts to get them out of the friend zone. Their chemistry cannot be denied, but Maddy isn’t sure she’s ready for another relationship—especially with a man whose job is so dangerous. To make that point sharper, the two of them stumble upon a body that’s part of a string of serial murders—and it’s a woman Maddy knows. There’s a reprieve for the pair when they return to their small hometown for a wedding, and it’s there that the two admit their feelings. But a murderer still lurks in New York City, and when Maddy returns, she finds him lying in wait. Suspense, romance and a heroic dog make this a standout, feel-good story.
HER FAVORITE MISTAKE
Kelly Harms tells the story of an artist in her early 30s facing up to real life and old mistakes in The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay. After 10 years of eking out a living with her painting, Lily Stewart finds herself evicted from her Chicago apartment. As she’s packing, she finds decade-old papers she forgot to sign—the ones that would annul her impulsive Vegas wedding to a stranger. On another whim, Lily decides to track down Ben Hutchinson and take care of the problem in person. But the tech genius’ small town of Minnow Bay, Wisconsin, is a winter wonderland that’s surprisingly hard to leave—as is Ben. As Lily learns more about Ben, she learns more about herself as well—and finds a newfound confidence in her art and the possibilities that lie ahead. Harms has penned a fanciful and amusing book, with a likable heroine who will have readers cheering for her happy ending.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
A husband-hunting Regency miss catches the wrong man in A Season of Ruin, part of Anna Bradley’s Sutherland Scandals series. After the death of her parents, Lily Somerset is under the Sutherland family’s care, and during the London season, she sets out to find the man of her—very practical—dreams. He’ll be staid and worthy. Nowhere on her list is “heart-stopping” or “worldly.” That’s why she hasn’t romantically considered the second Sutherland son, Robyn. Everybody knows his slick reputation, and being seen getting close to him could ruin her own reputation. Which is exactly what occurs one night. When gossip spreads that Lily and Robyn were alone behind closed doors, their families concoct a plan to save the situation. Robyn will stick by Lily, almost as if he’s a real suitor. That closeness allows a surprising passion to catch fire, even as both Robyn and Lily know he’s not the type to be tied down. But the temptation to kiss becomes too much, and soon they are truly entangled. This one’s a sizzling charmer!