• 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 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

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    Substitute Bride by Noelle Adams

    For more than two years, Rose has been the nanny for James Harwood’s daughters.

    For more than two years, Rose has been the nanny for James Harwood’s daughters…

    She adores the girls, but she tries to maintain a professional distance with James—no matter how attractive she finds him. However, when his engagement falls apart and he starts to look at her differently, Rose no longer sees him only as her boss.

    James isn’t the kind of man to fall for his nanny, so he doesn’t know why he can’t stop thinking about her in very wrong ways. He’s determined to resist, to keep his life simple and to find an appropriate substitute for his wife who died. But with a manipulative ex-fiancée, two precocious daughters, Rose’s interfering Southern grandmother, a short-lived fake engagement, and feelings that won’t be denied, nothing remains simple for long.

    Noelle Adams on one thing she enjoys about writing:

    I always say that breaking down the traditional alpha hero into a genuine, vulnerable human being (which is my modus operandi) is one of my great joys in life.

    Noelle Adams

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    Summer at the Lake by Linda Barrett

    Flying Solo — single parents, second chances and the power of love…

    Veteran NY cop, Rick Cooper, heads to his family’s lake house after losing a hostage negotiation, resulting in the death a child. He brings only his dog and his saxophone for company. Single mom, Kristin McCarthy hears the sound of the saxophone gliding through the night air…a healing sound for her daughter.

     An attractive widow with a damaged kid are the last people Rick needs in his life, and he tries hard to remain aloof. The ladies, however, knock down his barriers simply by being themselves. Fearful but brave, smart but silly. Before long, warm feelings grow between him and Kristin. Feelings that spark potential for a future together. However, before Kristin allows herself to dream, Rick must prove he’s a man she and her daughter can trust. Can they count on him forever? 

    Awards Linda Barrett has received for this book:

    Award of Excellence, Wisconsin Romance Writers of America
    Write Touch Readers’ Award, Colorado Romance Writers of America
    Award of Merit–Holt Medallion, Virginia Romance Writers

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    Meant to Be by Melody Grace

    A gorgeously romantic feel-good beach read about a runaway bride searching for true love on Cape Cod…

    Poppy Somerville believes in happily-ever-after. It’s the reason her romance novels have won devoted readers all over the world – and why she’s broken off her engagement just weeks before the wedding instead of settling for less than true love. Escaping to her aunt’s beach cottage in Sweetbriar Cove, Poppy is looking for inspiration to end her writer’s block and finish her new book.


    Cooper Nicholson doesn’t believe in soul-mates. He thought he’d found his forever once, and the world proved him wrong, so when the cute brunette comes storming over and demands he keep the noise down, romance is the last thing on his mind. As they grow closer, will Cooper find a way to let go of the past and risk his heart again? And can Poppy find her happy ending – on and off the page?

    Melody Grace writes in her novel:


    “Sharing something real, revealing your heart . . . that always matters, whether it’s for a week or a year.” 

    Melody Grace, Meant to Be

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis

    A moving story of heart, loss, betrayal, and friendship.

    Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife. 


    Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff…

    In Jill Shalvis’ words, in an excerpt from the book:


    Sometimes the best thing in life is finding that one person who knows all your mistakes and weaknesses and still thinks you’re completely amazing.

    Jill Shalvis

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    Maid for Love by Marie Force

    She’s a single mom with no patience for a playboy until he proves he’s playing for keeps.


    The Gansett Island Series: Book 1 (Free)

    Maddie Chester is determined to leave her hometown of Gansett Island, a place that has brought her only bad memories and ugly rumors. Then she’s knocked off her bike on the way to her housekeeping job at McCarthy’s Resort Hotel by Gansett’s “favorite son,” Mac McCarthy.

    He’s back in town to help his father with preparations to sell the family resort and has no intention of staying long. When Mac accidentally sends Maddie flying over the handlebars, badly injuring her, he moves in to nurse her back to health and help care for her young son. He soon realizes his plans for a hit-and-run visit to the island are in serious jeopardy, and he just may be “maid” for love. 

    With over 2,300 reviews on Amazon, this book, and this series, is a reader favorite. The Romance Reviews gives this contemporary romance Five Stars. 🙂 

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    Trails of Love by Melissa Foster

    In a recent interview at the Under the Covers Book Blog, Melissa Foster describes Trails of Love as:


    the ultimate feel-good romance.

    Melissa Foster

    When Graham Braden travels to Oak Falls, Virginia to attend the wedding of his buddy Reed Cross to Grace Montgomery, he sticks around to help with renovations to Reed’s new theater. The last thing he expects is to be asked to assess and possibly invest in Grace’s sister Morgyn’s business endeavor. Graham is a careful, keen businessman, and Morgyn is impulsive, disorganized, and more interested in the energy flow in her eclectic retail shop than in the accuracy of her records. While Graham isn’t ready to open his pockets to the sassy, sexy business owner, he may be ready to open his heart.