Someone to Trust by Mary BaloghIntroducing: Lady Elizabeth Overfield, widow and survivor of an abusive marriage; Colin Handrich, the newly titled Lord Hodges.
What happens: Although they're well-suited and wish to wed, Elizabeth and Colin agree that they cannot marry each other. Why not? She's 35 and he's 26. (Just think of the scandal!)
Why you might like it: Featuring an older woman/younger man pairing, this 5th Westcott novel is also a moving friends-to-lovers romance that unfolds against a Yuletide backdrop.
A Duke Changes Everything by Christy CarlyleWhat it's about: Unbeknownst to many, London casino owner Nicholas Lyon is also the second son of a duke. When he unexpectedly inherits the title and estate he never wanted, Nicholas meets his steward, Mina Thorne, and begins to reconsider.
Series alert: This steamy and engaging Victorian romance is the 1st book in the Duke's Den series.
For fans of: cardsharps and casino owners who gamble on love and play for keeps, such as those found in Sarah MacLean's Rules of Scoundrels series or Caroline Linden's Wagers of Sin novels.
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina LaurenWhat happens: After criminology professor Millie Morris enjoys a "half-night stand" with friend Reid Campbell, they agree it's better to remain friends. But when Millie stumbles into an online flirtation with Reid (under a different name), things heat up quickly.
Author alert: Christina Lauren has won fans with witty looks at modern love in Dating You/Hating You and Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating.
Reviewers say: My Favorite Half-Night Stand is "a messy and sexy look at digital dating that feels fresh and exciting" (Publishers Weekly).
Their Perfect Melody by Priscilla OliverasWhat it's about: Summoned to a client's home during a domestic violence incident, victim's advocate Lilí Fernandez clashes with sexy Officer Diego Reyes. Although she chafes at his overprotective manner, she admires his commitment to familia and community.
Series alert: Their Perfect Melody concludes the Matched to Perfection series, which begins with His Perfect Partner and Her Perfect Affair.
For fans of: Alexis Daria's Dance Off series; Sabrina Sol's Delicious Desires novels.
Pleasured by You by Elle WrightStarring: Bryson Wells, who returns to Wellspring, Michigan, to say goodbye to his (estranged) dying father; Jordan Clark, who has put her educational plans on hold to care for her ailing grandfather.
What happens: Back in town for the first time since he left for college, Bryson hooks up with his high school crush Jordan. Neither wants a serious relationship, but then Jordan learns she's pregnant.
Series alert: Pleasured by You is the 3rd book in the Wellspring series. Bryson's siblings find their happily-ever-afters in Touched by You and Enticed by You.
The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline HunterWhat it's about: Adam Penrose, Duke of Stratton, has sworn revenge against the family of his late father's enemy, the recently deceased Earl of Marwood. Then he meets Marwood's daughter Clara, who sees right through his ardent suitor act.
Why you might like it: This 1st book in the Decadent Dukes series subverts the "revenge by seduction" trope by introducing a fiercely independent heroine with no desire to wed.
Reviewers say: this Georgian romance is "chock-full of sensuality and spiced with mystery" (Publishers Weekly).
Wolf's Mate: A Shifter Rogues Novel by Celia KyleIntroducing: accountant (and secret cougar shifter) Abby Carter; wolf shifter Declan Reed, a member of the Shifter Operations Command (SHOC) Team One.
What happens: When Abby finds herself in the crosshairs of an extremist anti-shifter organization, Declan steps in to protect her.
You might also like: Paige Tyler's X-OPS series, another fast-paced, action-packed paranormal romantic suspense series featuring shapeshifting special forces operatives.
Hate to Want You by Alisha RaiWhat it's about: Once a year, Nicholas Chandler and Olivia Kane meet up for a night of passion. Obviously their feuding families can never find out about their annual "sex marathon." Obviously they will.
Why you might like it: Angsty and erotic, this opening installment of the Forbidden Hearts series boasts a diverse cast and a sensitive depiction of its heroine's struggles with depression.
Want a taste? "Love rarely conquered all, the true villains almost always went unpunished, and happily ever afters? Ha."
Hope Blooms by Jamie PopeIt's complicated: Years ago, Cassandra fell in love with Wylie James, but married their mutual friend (and Wylie's foster brother) Terrance.
What happens: After losing Terrance and their unborn child in a school shooting, grief-stricken Cassandra takes her first steps towards healing as she renews her friendship with Wylie. But is she ready to love again?
Is it for you? At once heartbreaking and heartwarming, this emotionally intense 1st book in the Love and Hope series deals with some tough topics.
It Takes Two to Tumble by Cat SebastianWhat it's about: Country vicar Benedict "Ben" Sedgwick looks after the three children of widowed naval officer Phillip Dacre while he's at sea. When Phillip returns, he's dismayed to discover that the kids are running wild and that the vicar is very, very attractive.
Why you might like it: This opening installment of the Seducing the Sedgwicks series offers an upbeat Sound of Music-inspired plot, a slow-burn romance, and a well-deserved happily-ever-after.
You might also like: the historical LGBTQIA romances of K.J. Charles.
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