• Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    When You Got a Good Thing by Kait Nolan

    She thought she could never go home again. He can never know the truth about why she really left. 

    Kennedy Reynolds has spent the past decade traveling the world as a free spirit. She never looks back at the past, the place, or the love she left behind—until her adopted mother’s unexpected death forces her home to Eden’s Ridge, Tennessee.

    Deputy Xander Kincaid has never forgotten his first love. He’s spent ten long years waiting for the chance to make up for one bone-headed mistake that sent her running. Now that she’s finally home, he wants to give her so much more than just an apology.

    Kennedy finds an unexpected ally in Xander, as she struggles to mend fences with her sisters and to care for the foster child her mother left behind. Falling back into his arms is beyond tempting, but accepting his support is dangerous. Will Kennedy be able to bury the past and carve out her place in the Ridge, or will her secret destroy her second chance?

    The author on this series:

    “The Misfit Inn quartet is intended to highlight everything that I love about living in the small town South–all the quirks, foibles, and dreams that provide a fabulous backdrop to contemporary romances about stubborn, independent women and the men who love them.”

    Kait Nolan

  • Best Romantic Suspense Books

    The Outpost by Devney Perry

    Trapped in his tiny mountain cabin, she didn’t expect to fall for his big heart.

    Exposing a prominent criminal family with an investigative news report didn’t exactly work out the way Sabrina had hoped. Instead of basking in the glory of her article’s success, she’s on the run from a powerful man who wants her dead. To stay safe, she’s forced to trade one bad situation for another. Stuck in the Montana wilderness, she’s secluded from anything resembling civilization or the modern-day world. The only good thing about her situation is the gorgeous mountain man assigned to protect her. Too bad he isn’t the slightest bit interested in a city girl like her.

    Beau likes his life quiet and simple. Give him a peaceful day hiking in the woods with his dog, and he’s a happy man. He has no use for large crowds, noisy cities or dramatic women. So when a hotshot reporter rolls into town, dragging her big-time problems with her, he should have run for the hills. Instead, he volunteered to keep her safe. Bringing her into his world won’t be easy, but if he can convince her that Montana isn’t as terrifying as she believes, they might just be the perfect match.

    The author on her connection with the main heroine:

    “There are a lot of small pieces to her that we have in common, but our biggest similarity is how writing gave us each a purpose when we were feeling lost.”

    Devney Perry

  • Science Fiction Romance

    Ice Master (Ice Chronicles Book 2) by Jennette Green

    Rogue code. A double agent. He’s the commander of Tarim Territory’s air defense. She’s the daughter of an empire bent on destroying them. Can love unite these star-crossed lovers, and save their world?

    Lee is haunted by nightmares and guilt. As a brilliant young teen, her father manipulated her to create an invasive new computer virus. She hadn’t known his monstrous plan. …Not until he launched a thermonuclear attack against their enemies. Now her uncle wants her to finish the job. Lee would rather die than be used as a pawn again by her bloodthirsty family. 

    Michael’s top-secret project is almost ready for launch, and the only one he trusts with it is Lee, his new research assistant. Lee is brilliant; a mystery wrapped up inside an enigma. Pain lies behind her lovely eyes, and he wonders what secrets she is hiding. When a saboteur strikes, his gut tells him Lee is innocent. But is his heart blinding him to the truth? 

    A quote from the author:

    “I hope this book speaks to your heart about forgiveness, love, redemption and second chances, just as it has to mine.”

    Jennette Green

  • Best Clean and Wholesome Romance,  Best Historical Romance Books

    The Secret Admirer of an Extraordinary Lady by Bridget Barton

    Who will be the one to claim Lydia’s heart when all the cards are on the table?

    Lydia Gibbs is much more interested in drawing beautiful dresses than settling for something less than a fairytale love. But when she unexpectedly starts receiving anonymous letters from a secret admirer, she begins to dream of a love she never knew she could have. The situation becomes further complicated when she starts to see a different side of her childhood friend, someone she used to despise as a young girl. Will she dare to fall for someone she has never even met, or will she realise that someone else entirely is worth her attention?

    Anthony Boyle has always found pleasure in teasing his best friend’s little sister. When one day he takes it too far and she walks off leaving him standing with everyone looking at him, he starts plotting his revenge. But the lesson he’s planning to teach her is one he will be taught himself when he starts realising that he has fallen in love with her. How will he be able to resolve the situation he created without losing the only woman he has ever loved?

    A review from Goodreads:

    I enjoyed The Secret Admirer of an Extraordinary Lady. I have read several of Bridget Barton’s books and I think this might be my favorite. It was well paced, had an intriguing story line, great characters and a lot of heart. I would recommend this novel and thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Rachel, Goodreads review

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    Bayside Desires by Melissa Foster

    Fall in love at Bayside, where sandy beaches, good friends, and true love come together in the sweet small towns of Cape Cod.

    As the co-owner of Bayside Resorts, Rick Savage has a fabulous job working with his best friends and brother, and a thriving business in Washington, DC, which he’ll be returning to at the end of the summer. Spending time with his family is great, but being back on Cape Cod has unearthed painful memories. When sweet, smart, and overly cautious Desiree Cleary moves in next door, Rick is drawn to the sexy preschool teacher, and she just might prove to be the perfect distraction.

    Running an art gallery was not in preschool teacher Desiree Cleary’s plans, but after being tricked into coming to her impetuous, unreliable mother’s aid, she’s stuck spending the summer with the badass half sister she barely knows and a misbehaving dog. If that’s not frustrating enough, she can’t escape the sparks igniting with her strikingly handsome and pushy neighbor, Rick, who makes all her warning bells go off.

    Passion ignites as Desiree and Rick spend long summer nights sharing heartfelt confessions and steamy kisses. For the first time in years Rick is enjoying life again instead of hiding behind mounds of work miles away from his family. Desiree has touched him in a way that makes him want to slow down. Only slowing down means dealing with his demons, and he isn’t sure who he’ll be when he comes out the other side.

    A few words on writing:

    The easiest part of writing—and the part that I find the most exciting—is the meeting and creating of the characters, and figuring out the storyline. It never fails to amaze me how much joy writing brings to my life. I look forward to finding out what happens next with my stories, probably just as much as my readers do. 

    Melissa Fostre

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    A Promise to Keep by Susan Gable

    Loving her wasn’t what he’d promised…

    Hayden Hawkins made a deathbed promise to his brother Ian: Hayden would watch over Ian’s son Nick, and the boy’s mother, Ronni. Despite Hayden’s initial feelings for Ronni, everything changed when she captured—then broke—Ian’s heart. Hayden’s avoided her since.

    Now Nick’s in trouble and needs Hayden’s guidance. It’s time to keep his promise. But getting close to Ronni stirs up old emotions, not all of them good. Then there’s the new chemistry they’re both feeling.

    The last thing Ronni needs is to get involved with former Marine Hayden, notoriously known as the love ‘em and leave ‘em member of the Hawkins family. Not that he’d want her anyway. Her own husband hadn’t wanted her…the cheating husband she’d intended to divorce before an IED in the Middle East blew up her entire life, trapping her in a prison of the vows he’d broken. Hayden can’t help but feel for her. She’s not the woman he thought she was. She deserves happiness. But neither of them can see how that’s possible.

    A few words on the power of books and writing:

    Books have always been one of my favorite places to seek refuge when life gets painful. I can do that by reading…or writing. And that may be the best way to make lemonade (or, you know, books) out of lemons.

    Susan Gable

  • Best Clean and Wholesome Romance,  Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    Full Circle by Mona Ingram

    Single and pregnant, Bella is given a choice. Give up her child for adoption or leave town.

    The choice was never in doubt. Bella moves across the country, settling in Santa Monica. Determined to make a life for herself and her child, she and her new friend Sophia sell children’s clothing at the Venice Beach market. 

    When their creative designs are featured on television, their business takes off and they accept an offer from Rafael Vargas to expand their business. Bella fights her attraction to the handsome entrepreneur, but deep in her heart all she really wants is love.

    Mona Ingram on Full Circle‘s Rafael:

    The other hero who gets my heart started is Rafael, in Full Circle.
    Rafa is (of course) handsome, but he’s driven to succeed in business while being restrained in his personal life. I could go for him in a big way.

    Mona Ingram

  • Best Romantic Suspense Books

    Cold Secrets by Toni Anderson

    Computer expert Ashley Chen joined the FBI to fight against evil in the world—evil she experienced firsthand. She has mad skills and deadly secrets, and once she starts working with straight-shooting FBI agent, Lucas Randall, she also has big trouble. After years of pushing people away, she’s finally falling for someone. 

    An FBI agent risks her heart and closely guarded secrets in the 7th book of this pulse-pounding Romantic Thriller series: Cold Justice.

    The feeling is entirely mutual, but as Ashley intensifies her online pursuit of an international trafficking ring, her traumatic past collides with her present and suddenly Lucas can’t tell which side she’s on. As the case escalates into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, it turns out Ashley isn’t the only one with something to hide. If neither can trust the other with their secrets, how can they trust each other with their hearts?

    Awards for this title:

    Winner of the Book Buyers Best for Romantic Suspense.

    Finalist in the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards

    Booksellers’ Best Award for Romantic Suspense.

    New York bestselling author Toni Anderson

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    The Littlest Cowboy by Maggie Shayne

    What’s a sheriff to do when he finds a baby on his doorstep?

    Sheriff Garrett Brand has raised his entire brood of siblings single-handedly, and he’s done his best to teach them some values, to mold them into honorable, responsible, and trustworthy human beings. So when a baby lands on the doorstep of the Texas Brand, his first question is which younger brother is in for a butt-kicking? But the little fellow isn’t named after Ben, or Wes, or Adam, or Elliot. The little feller is named after him–Garrett Ethan Brand–according to the note his mama left behind.

    He’s still racking his brain to figure it all out, when a woman shows up at the ranch in the dead of night, spitting, fighting mad, and accusing Garrett of murdering her sister and stealing the baby! Chelsea is confused, heartbroken, and too mad to think straight, and the same trouble that found her poor sister is right on her tail. But of all the places she and the baby could’ve wound up, Garrett thinks this ranch is the best one.

    Advice for aspiring writers from Maggie Shayne:

    Write. Just write, and write for the sheer love of it. Write with the same excitement you feel when you’re reading a real page turner. Write a story you cannot put down. Write with passion. Don’t write for anyone else but yourself. Love what you write. And just keep going and going and going.

    Maggie Shayne

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    Saying I Do by Tracey Alvarez

    A jilted small-town doctor. An allergic-to-white bridal boutique owner. Can these two gun-shy cynics ever say ‘I Do’?

    Dr. Joe Whelan lost his taste for love when he was left at the altar–thanks to a woman who should’ve kept her focus on his fiancée’s bridal gown and out of his business. Moving to the remote Stewart Island wasn’t far enough to get away from those humiliating memories. Luckily Joe’s got a plan to both get even with the sharp-tongued firecracker who ruined his life, and to ensure his sister doesn’t marry the biggest mistake of hers.

    MacKenna Jones loves a good wedding so long as she’s not the one walking down the aisle. Now she’s temporarily back on Stewart Island and face-to-face with the good doctor who boils her blood one moment and weakens her knees the next. A seven day road trip with him to sabotage his sister’s wedding in the Marriage Capital of the World wasn’t her idea, nor was falling for his sexy bedside manner–so why are wedding bells ringing in her ears?

    Some writing advice from the author:

    Learn the craft first, help other writers along the way, keep reading good books, don’t compare yourself to anyone else, refuse to stop writing even if you never earn enough for an espresso, remember the sage advice that this journey is a marathon, not a race.

    Tracey Alvarez