My One and Only Duke by Grace BurrowesWhat it's about: If London banker Quinn Wentworth is going to hang for a crime he didn't commit, he can at least do some good before he dies by marrying pregnant widow Jane Winston and bequeathing her his fortune.
But then: Quinn receives a last-minute reprieve once it's discovered that he's the long-lost heir to a dukedom. Now Quinn is faced with a dilemma: embrace his new life as a married man or seek revenge against the man who set him up.
Crossover alert: This 1st book in the Rogues to Riches series is loosely linked to the author's True Gentlemen novels.
The Proposal by Jasmine GuilloryIntroducing: Journalist Nikole Paterson, who politely declines a very public marriage proposal (via the Dodger Stadium JumboTron!) and must cope with the fallout when the whole thing goes viral.
To the rescue: pediatrician Carlos Ibarra, who saves her from the paparazzi.
Why you might like it: In addition to its diverse cast and upbeat love story, this follow-up to The Wedding Date depicts strong and supportive female friendships.
Wild on My Mind by Laurel KerrWhat it's about: A trio of orphaned cougar cubs reunite Katie Underwood with her high school crush-turned-nemesis, zookeeper and single dad Bowie Wilson.
Why you might like it: Katie's revenge goes from sweet to steamy in this lively enemies-to-lovers story.
Don't miss: Matchmaking honey badger Fluffy, who schemes to bring the leads together so that they will produce babies (who will, in turn, ensure a steady supply of treats for Fluffy).
Mostly Sunny by Jamie PopeStarring: Manhattan social worker Sunshine "Sunny" Gibson and high-profile attorney Julian King.
What happens: Sunny seeks Julian's help in fighting a legal challenge to a foster child's pending adoption. In the process, they discover that they have more in common than they thought.
Is it for you? This emotionally intense series opener deals with issues of mental illness, child abuse, and abandonment. Although sensitively addressed, the subject matter may not be for all readers.
Barbarous by Minerva SpencerWhat it's about: Twenty years after his disappearance at sea, Hugh Redvers (a.k.a. One-Eyed Standish) has returned to England. Not to reclaim his inheritance, but to protect his late uncle's widow, Lady Daphne Davenport, and her young children as only a pirate can.
Reviewers say: This 2nd book in the Outcasts series (after Dangerous) is "exuberantly crafted, exhilaratingly plotted, and erotically charged" (Booklist).
For fans of: new spins on old-school romance tropes, à la Kerrigan Byrne's The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo.
Christmas On My Mind by Janet DaileyIntroducing: Jessica Ramsey, who travels to Branding Iron, Texas, seeking a fresh start...and hoping to meet her birth mother.
What happens: When Jess joins the planning committee for the town's annual Cowboy Christmas Ball, Sheriff Ben Marsden thinks he might attend after all.
Series alert: This sweet, mostly chaste Western contemporary kicks off the Cowboy Christmas series, which continues with Just a Little Christmas.
Best Laid Plans by Brenda JacksonThe setup: Matchmaking Madaris matriarch Mama Laverne is up to her old tricks. This time, she's determined to pair her great-grandson Nolan with cybersecurity analyst Ivy Chapman.
The twist: Ladies' man Nolan is skeptical but intrigued when Ivy suggests a fake relationship to satisfy their respective families. Will it work or will it work too well?
Series alert: Best Laid Plans is the latest in Brenda Jackson's long-running Madaris Family series, which began with Tonight and Forever in 1995 and is still going strong.
By Winter's Light: A Cynster Novel by Stephanie LaurensWhat it's about: With the entire extended Cynster family gathered at Casphairn Manor in Scotland for a Yuletide celebration, tutor Daniel Crosbie hopes to finally declare himself to governess Claire Meadows.
Includes: a dramatis personae for keeping track of all those Cynsters.
Should you start here? This 1st book in the Cynsters: Next Generation spin-off series offers a good starting point for newcomers while pleasing fans of the previous 20 Cynster novels (beginning with Devil's Bride).
Twelve Days of Christmas: A Novel by Debbie MacomberWhat happens: When her sexy, grumpy neighbor Cain Maddox rebuffs her attempts to spread holiday cheer, Julia Padden blogs about her interactions with the man she dubs "Ebenezer" (as in Scrooge) and her attempts to "kill him with kindness."
Media buzz: If you enjoy Debbie Macomber's unique brand of heartwarming, uplifting holiday romance, rejoice! Several of her annual Christmas novels have been made into Hallmark movies (starting with Mr. Miracle).
The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Mary Jo Putney et al.What it's about: Lady Holly's Christmas ball is legendary for turning single ladies into blushing brides, and 1815, which marks the 50th anniversary of the event, is sure to be the best one yet.
Why you might like it: A top-notch roster of historical romance writers combine their talents to present this collection of holiday-themed Regency romances. While each is a stand-alone story, all connect to create a seamless and sparkling whole.
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