• Best Historical Romance Books

    MacFarland’s Lass by Glynnis Campbell

    A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. 

    He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

    When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.

    The author on why she bases her books in Scotland:

    “I’ve always been excited by medieval tales of noble knights and sweeping adventure. When I met my husband, we were both in high school, and once I found out he had Scottish roots, I became fascinated with that location. When I first visited Scotland, I fell in love with the rugged but beautiful landscape, the fierce but kindly people, and I was fascinated by the idea that women could wield power over clans.”

    Glynnis Campbell

  • Best Romantic Suspense Books

    To Die For by Linda Howard

    She was a dead ringer. Now she’s just dead. . . .

    Blair Mallory lives the good life. She’s pretty, confident, and the owner of a thriving up-scale fitness center. But in the shadow of success, a troubled member of the club develops a strange fixation on Blair, imitating her style and dress. Matters take a darker turn when the look-alike is shot dead—and Blair witnesses the horror.

    As the media speculates on the tawdry details of the homicide and pushes Blair into the harsh spotlight, she locks horns with police lieutenant Wyatt Bloodsworth. He wants to lead an investigation without interference, while Blair is determined to probe the dead woman’s life on her own. But when someone begins to menace Blair with mounting threats, Wyatt takes notice: Was this murder indeed a lethal case of mistaken identity–and was Blair the intended victim?

    Writing the main character, Blair:

    “Blair was fun, period. I was never a cheerleader, and my friends call me “the queen of logic.” That’s when they aren’t saying that I think like a man. So Blair is nothing like me, and if I didn’t channel a cheerleader I’d like to know what the heck that voice is chattering away inside my head??? Her family never underestimated her, but men did. And she had fun with it. She was so cheerfully ruthless, and so intelligent and sharp, that she used her personna as a means of getting her way. If someone underestimated her, she blithely rolled over them. When I was writing To Die For I spent a lot of my time sitting in front of the computer laughing like an idiot.”

    Linda Howard

  • Best Historical Romance Books

    The Duke of Seduction by Darcy Burke

    Lady Lavinia Gillingham prefers rocks and dirt to marriage…

    Her passion is science, and she’s determined to marry if—and only if—she finds a man who supports her interests and intellect. So far, she’s managed to avoid attention on the Marriage Mart, but when the Duke of Seduction pens anonymous letters singing her praises, she suddenly becomes the toast of the ton and matrimony seems imminent.

    William Beckett, Marquess of Northam possesses the reputation of a rake but is secretly a romantic. Spurned at sixteen and knowing his sister was victimized by Society, he uses music and poetry to fill the void in his soul. As the Duke of Seduction, he uses his skill to help Lavinia, never anticipating she has no desire for assistance or that she could be the balm he needs. But when she’s on the verge of becoming engaged, can Beck beat back the shadows of the past and open his heart again?

    The author’s background in writing:

    “I’ve considered myself a writer most of my adult life. I’ve done technical writing for banks and software companies, written marketing creative, and written and edited for a variety of non-profit publications. I started writing romance with a goal of publication about six years ago.”

    Darcy Burke

  • Best Clean and Wholesome Romance,  Christmas Cheer

    The Christmas Compromise by Susan Hatler

    Will Morgan’s sadness and fear pull them apart, or make her realize Dallas has always been her heart’s true safe harbor?

    Morgan Reed is excited to return to her hometown of Christmas Mountain, Montana and open her beauty salon, but when she arrives to her rented business space she’s shocked to find it already occupied by Dallas Parker—her brother’s best friend, the guy she had a childhood crush on, and the one her mom blames for their family’s greatest tragedy.

    With their landlord out of the country and unreachable, Morgan and Dallas must open their businesses together. As they work together, Morgan tries to keep her emotional distance but time and off-the-charts chemistry soon turn a childhood friendship into a blossoming romance. Unfortunately, just when their relationship develops into something deeper, an unexpected crisis reopens her family’s old wounds and the blame is on Dallas once again.

    The author’s view on writing:

    “I once read that a writer has something to say to the world.  I think it’s my characters that have something to say and I’m the conduit who gets that info to readers.  A writer is a major part of who I am, so that’s what I do and I love it.”

    Susan Hatler

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    Plain Jayne by Laura Drewry

    Twenty-five years was a long time to be stuck in the Friend Zone.

    For the last dozen of those years, Jayne has lived half way across the country, and even though she and Nick have stayed in contact, she hasn’t actually seen him since he kicked her out of his wife’s funeral almost four years ago.

    Does she still have feelings for Nick? Possibly. . .maybe. . .okay, yes, but the Jayne who left town all those years ago is not the same Jayne who’s moving back. This Jayne is smarter, more experienced, and determined to build herself a better life, the kind of life she wants and deserves. She’s a grown-ass woman with a plan for crying out loud, and she’s not about to let these feelings for Nick slow her down another second. But from the second she hits town, she knows it’s only a matter of time before this freight train of disaster derails in spectacular fashion, and when it does, she’s not only going to lose her best friend, but the only family she’s ever known.

    The author’s inspiration for writing this book:

    “I’ve always enjoyed books set in small towns, and once Jayne presented herself to me, I knew her story had to take place in one, and what better thing to do in a small town than to own a bookstore? As for the best-friends theme, I’ve always loved those type of stories, so when Nick presented himself as her protector, it only made sense that these two would be best friends.”

    Laura Drewry

  • Best Historical Romance Books

    Seduced by a Prince by Tanya Anne Crosby

    Merrick Welbourne never anticipated discovering a long-lost twin—particularly one who’d rob him and leave him for dead on the road. 

    Now living his brother’s aristocratic life, he has new trials, tribulations… and temptations, not the least being Chloe Simon, a woman of rare mettle, proud heart, and unprecedented beauty. But she’s no easy mark for a perceived highwayman.

    Chloe Simon knew Lord Lindale was definitely not himself. After encountering the masked highwayman Hawk left for dead, he seemed… somehow different. Maybe more approachable? Infinitely more… desirable. Entirely too irresistible. In a stolen moment of startling intimacy, he makes her feel like titled nobility. But she was only ever a doctor’s daughter, with every reason to steer clear of his very kissable lips.

    The author on why she is republishing this book and the series:

    “Some readers also prefer not to read explicit love scenes, which are a signature of the period in which my legacy books were written. Also, keeping in mind that I didn’t want my own daughter to read my books until she turned 18, I remain sensitive to readers who wanted to experience my historical romances without compromising their personal values.”

    Tanya anne Crosby

  • Best Historical Romance Books

    Captain of My Heart by Danelle Harmon

    He wanted no woman, except one made of sails and wood and wind… She wanted no man — but him.

    Handsome, wily Irish privateer Captain Brendan Jay Merrick is running from a painful past — and fighting for a new nation’s future when he arrives in the colonial town of Newburyport, Massachusetts, with plans for shipwright Ephraim Ashton to build his magnificent new schooner. Brendan’s daring sea battles against His Majesty’s fleet have made him a legend in his adopted country — but one look at the dashing stranger and Ashton’s daughter Mira starts making plans of her own. . .

    Brash, hot-tempered, and born at sea in a raging gale, Mira Ashton is more than most men can manage. Disguising herself as a crew member and sneaking aboard Brendan’s newly-built Kestrel, she becomes the schooner’s finest gunner . . . and the captain’s most outrageous distraction. As desire ignites between them, Mira finds herself competing against Kestrel for Brendan’s love. But when tragedy strikes, Mira must join forces with her mighty rival in a daring adventure that turns the tide of battle and brings glorious victory to the colonists, the captain . . . and the lady who has captured his heart.

    Th author on the main character of this book:

    “Half-Irishman Brendan Merrick from Captain of My Heart was a fun character, always in a good mood, and clever as a fox; definitely an easy man to spend time with!”

    Danelle Harmon

  • Best Historical Romance Books

    The Wild One by Danelle Harmon

    England, 1776: Lord Gareth de Montforte is known as an irresponsible rake with a heart of gold.  

    When he takes a bullet for boldly thwarting a stagecoach robbery, he is stunned to discover that the beautiful young woman he has heroically rescued, Juliet Paige, is his deceased brother’s American fiancée, accompanied by her infant daughter. Despite his brother the duke’s refusal to acknowledge Juliet, Gareth is determined to do right by the courageous woman who crossed an ocean to give her baby her rightful name.

    But Juliet is wary of marrying this black sheep aristocrat, even while she is hopelessly charmed by the dashing devil. Never has she met anyone who embraces life so thoroughly, who makes her laugh, who loves her so well. And, even when it seems the odds are against them, Juliet has absolute faith that Gareth will go beyond the call of duty, risking his life itself to give her and her daughter a home — and a love that will last a lifetime.

    A little background on this book:

    “I got the idea for the de Montforte brothers while my husband and I were still living in England. We were married in, and lived, in a little town named Abingdon-on-Thames, and it figured into the setting for The Wild One.”

    Danelle Harmon

  • 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