Someone to Care by Mary BaloghWhat it's about: Two years after the death of her husband, 40-something former countess Viola Kingsley throws caution to the wind when she runs away with Marcel Lamarr, a womanizer whose reputation is well-known to the Regency ton.
Is it for you? If you like unexpected heroines, you'll root for this mature and endearing widow as she pursues a second chance at love.
Series alert: This is the 4th book in the Westcott series, following Someone to Wed.
The Bride Takes a Groom by Lisa BerneWhat it’s about: Wealthy heiress Katherine Brooke needs a title; aristocratic Captain Hugo Penhallow needs cash. This could be the perfect marriage of convenience, but it could also be the start of something much more meaningful.
Series alert: Fans of Lisa Berne’s Penhallow Dynasty will enjoy cameos by characters from earlier books in this series, You May Kiss the Bride and The Laird Takes a Bride.
Reviewers say: “An elegant, poignant, and joyful romance and a must-read for Regency fans” (Kirkus Reviews).
Fearless in Texas by Kari Lynn DellStarring: Texan-born former rodeo roper turned marketing executive Melanie Brookman, whose broken heart needs mending; rodeo bullfighter and bar owner Wyatt Darrington, who offers Melanie work promoting his bar.
Why you should read it: Melanie and Wyatt find common ground as they overcome different backgrounds -- she’s a true cowgirl while Wyatt is the product of an upper-class, privileged family.
Series alert: This is the 4th book in the Texas Rodeo series, after Tougher in Texas.
The Bride Next Door by Hope RamsayWhat it’s about: Wedding planner Courtney Wallace has just about given up on ever finding Mr. Right in her picturesque Virginia town -- until she overhears local lawyer Matthew Lyndon making a bet that he can seduce her in two nights. Now what’s a girl to do when she stumbles upon information like that?
Is it for you? If you like contemporary romances set in small towns with friendly, familiar faces, don’t miss this 4th book in the Chapel of Love series (after A Small-Town Bride).
A Scandalous Deal by Joanna ShupeStarring: Aspiring young architect Lady Eva Hyde, who has had the misfortune of not one but three dead fiancés; Phillip Mansfield, a hotel magnate in New York City who reluctantly agrees to let Eva oversee a construction project.
Why you might like it: You'll root for ambitious Eva as she goes after her dream to be a successful career woman in Gilded Age society.
Series alert: This is the 2nd entry in the Four Hundred series, following A Daring Arrangement.
The Importance of Being Wicked by Victoria AlexanderWhat it’s about: Winfield Elliott, Viscount Stillwell, has hired an architectural firm to repair his fire-damaged ancestral home. Much to his surprise -- and later his delight -- attractive widow Miranda Garrett shows up to manage the project.
Series alert: This 19th-century romance is the 2nd book in the Millworth Manor series, following What Happens at Christmas.
You might also like: The Mistress’ House by Leigh Michaels, another historical romance set at a country house.
The Seduction of Elliot McBride by Jennifer AshleyWhat it’s about: Abandoned by her fiancé at the altar, Juliana St. John instead marries her childhood sweetheart Elliot McBride, who has just survived brutal years abroad. The two immediately depart for the Scottish Highlands, where they begin to restore Elliot’s run-down castle -- and where Juliana helps to heal his wounded heart.
Reviewers say: “A richly emotional treat for fans of tortured heroes” (Booklist).
Series alert: This is the emotionally intense 5th installment of the Highland Pleasure series, which begins with The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie.
Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa JamesWhat it’s about: Thorn Dautry has three weeks to transform his ramshackle country estate into the showpiece that he hopes will help him woo his future bride, Laetitia Rainsford. Instead, he's surprised by a steadily escalating flirtation with the feisty interior designer, Lady Xenobia India.
Series alert: This Georgian romance is loosely tied to author Eloisa James’ Desperate Duchesses series and is the 1st in the Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers series (followed by Four Nights with a Duke).
Somebody to Love by Kristan HigginsStarring: Parker Welles, a down-on-her-luck heiress (and single mom) who heads to Gideon’s Cove, Maine, to renovate and flip a property she inherits; James Cahill, the lawyer who helps Parker with the construction in more ways than she expected.
Reviewers say: “A near pitch-perfect blend of comedy and touching emotion” (Kirkus Reviews).
You might also like: Some Like it Hot by Susan Andersen, another contemporary romance set in a small town with a charming cast.
The Next Always by Nora RobertsWhat it’s about: In Boonsboro, Maryland, architect Beckett Montgomery has set about restoring a historic inn to its former glory -- which might just give him a chance with bookstore manager Clare Brewster, the young widow on whom he’s had a crush since high school.
Read it for: an idyllic small-town setting, charming characters, and a heartwarming tale of second chances.
Series info: This contemporary romance is the 1st in a trilogy; the 2nd is The Last Boyfriend, followed by The Perfect Hope.
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