• Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    The Rancher by Julia Justiss

    When he sets out to regain his family’s heritage, he never expects to fall in love.

    Cowboy Duncan McAllister has worked tirelessly to make the family ranch profitable enough to buy back the section of land hard times forced them to sell a decade ago. When the owner of that land unexpectedly dies, leaving the ranch to his city-based daughter, Duncan finally sees his opportunity. After her business partner boyfriend runs off with an intern—and all their clients—CPA Harrison Scott retreats to her Daddy’s Hill Country ranch to decide her next move. 

    Her father’s sudden death leaves her floundering—does she rebuild her professional career or carry on the ranch he loved? After rebuffing Duncan’s offer to buy her out, Harrison is forced to turn to her handsome neighbor to learn the ropes of ranching.Duncan tells himself he’s just being neighborly, but their immediate attraction soon deepens. How can he convince her that he wants her even more than his beloved land when she’s already been betrayed once before?

    A 5 star review from Goodreads:

    “An engrossing novel, this story kept my interest from the opening chapter.”

    Margaret Watkins – Goodreads 

  • Best Historical Romance Books

    Rogue Countess by Amy Sandas

    Betrayed and forced into marriage, the Countess of Blackbourne will never forgive the husband who abandoned her.

    After eight long years away, the Earl of Blackbourne, Jude Sinclair returns to England with one purpose; to find his wife and end his farce of a marriage. Hardened and cynical from his self-imposed exile, he is shocked to experience a fierce attraction to the woman his wife has become. But even that will not alter his plan to finally be free of her.

    Clever and determined, Anna Locke is the successful owner of the finest Thoroughbred stables in Britain. Threatened by a blackmailer desperate to ensure Jude never learns the true circumstances of their marriage, Anna must choose between fighting against her husband or fighting for him.

    With a past tangled in lies, Anna and Jude’s marriage becomes a battleground as passionate anger slides too easily into bold desire. Can they overcome mutual distrust to destroy a long-held secret before it destroys them?

    Review from Coffee Time Romance:

    “This book has left me speechless. What I feel about the characters, I cannot find the correct words to define. You will have to read for yourselves to find out. What I can say is–this book will make you laugh and cry. It will make you feel as if you are not reading it but actually watching the emotions play between the characters. ”

    Mav – Coffee Time Romance

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    When We’re Thirty by Casey Dembowski

    Two friends. One pact. The performance of their lives.

    Hannah Abbott is stuck in a dead-end relationship and at a job she loves but that barely pays the bills. The four walls of her tiny New York City apartment have never seemed so small. She’s barely toasted her thirtieth birthday when her old college friend Will knocks on her door with an unexpected proposal.

    Will Thorne never forgot the marriage pact he made with Hannah, but he also never imagined he’d be the one to initiate it. One ex-fiancée and an almost-career-ending mistake later, however, he finds himself outside Hannah’s door, on bended knee, to collect on their graduation-night pinky promise.

    With both of their futures at stake, Hannah and Will take a leap of faith. Now, all they have to do is convince their friends and family that they’re madly in love. As long as they follow the list of rules they’ve drafted, everything should go smoothly. Except Will has never been good with rules, and Hannah can’t stop overthinking the sleeping arrangements. Turning thirty has never been so promising.

    The author on the character Will:

    “The biggest surprise was Will. I started When We’re Thirty not knowing he would have a POV, and then a few chapters in, he just appeared. I love that first chapter with him, because while we see him through Hannah and how she perceives him, when we get into his head he’s even more of that spontaneous and loveable person. It grants him a depth that we would miss if we only saw him through Hannah’s eyes.”

    Casey Dembowski 

  • Best Historical Romance Books

    The Lost Lord of Castle Black by Chasity Bowlin

    A long lost son and heir to Castle Black, a grieving mother, an orphaned ward, and a mystery.

    Graham, Lord Blakemore, was believed to be lost at sea as a boy. While his mother, Lady Agatha, has never given up hope of finding her son again, others—eager for the title and the wealth that accompanies it—have been conspiring to have him declared dead against Lady Agatha’s wishes. Her only ally in the house is her late husband’s ward, Miss Beatrice Marlowe.
    But when a dark-haired stranger arrives on their doorstep claiming to be the lost heir to Castle Black, the plots and schemes of those who would have the castle for themselves take a dark and even more sinister turn.

    An orphan when she came into the care of the late Lord Blakemore, Castle Black is the only home Beatrice has ever known. Its occupants are her family. This stranger, who claims to have lost his memory of his life there, threatens the order of all that she knows and holds dear. And yet, she is both drawn to him and strangely compelled to believe his claim. Beatrice finds herself torn between her desire for him and her belief that, if he is the lost lord of Castle Black, he is far above her reach.

    Graham is no ordinary gentleman, bound by the rules of a society he has spent his life far removed from. He’s willing to face not just the danger that lurks within the walls of Castle Black, but anyone who stands between him and what he wants. He has returned to claim his destiny and, for him, Beatrice is part of that. While all else has been forgotten, he knows her to the depths of his soul. More than the castle itself, more than the strangely familiar and rugged land it sits upon, she is his home and he means to claim her.

    A five star review on Goodreads

    “This was such a wonderful and entertaining story that captured my interest throughout. The chemistry between Graham and Beatrice was felt from their very first meeting and I enjoyed their conversations and found myself smiling inwardly at their banter. The mystery of the villain had me immersed in the story and anxiously awaiting the outcome. It didn’t disappoint. This is definitely a keeper for me and one that I highly recommend.”

    Joan Osborne – Good reads

  • Best Romantic Suspense Books

    Desperate Choices by Tracy Brody

    When a killer wants her dead, her brother’s best friend comes to her rescue. Will their suppressed passion turn to love?

    Eight months ago, Stephanie Anderson’s idyllic life shattered when her husband was killed. Now she’s doing the best she can to support herself and her little girl. She never anticipates the danger they face after witnessing activity that may tie her husband’s unsolved murder to a drug smuggling operation.

    On leave following a deployment, Ray Lundgren answers a new call to duty when his best friend’s older sister turns to him for help. Stephanie’s brother may have ordered him to steer clear of his sister when they were younger, but protecting her reignites the attraction they both denied years ago.

    The police push Stephanie to gather the evidence needed to crack her husband’s murder case and ensure her and her daughter’s safety. Ray objects, but with his leave time running out and her options limited, Stephanie agrees to help the authorities with their plan. When imminent danger emerges from an unexpected source, Ray disobeys orders from the police, and he must race to get to Stephanie when not only their shot at love but her life is in jeopardy.

    A five star review on Goodreads

    “Wow, what an excellent debut for Bad Karma Special Ops series. A well written storyline that is fast paced, action packed with danger, suspense, romance and all around good feels. The characters are captivating and easy to fall in love with. Read this in one sitting, I couldn’t put it down. Looking forward to reading more in this new series.”

    Maggie – Good reads

  • Best Christian Romance Books,  Best Historical Romance Books

    Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

    Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But happily-ever-after isn’t as simple like in one of her books…

    The life she’s planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend, Gordon, breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real world. Then to top it off, Alice loses her beloved job at the library because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression.

    Fleeing small-town gossip, Alice heads to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the library in the tiny coal-mining village of Acorn. Dropped off by her relatives, Alice volunteers to stay for two weeks to help the librarian, Leslie McDougal.

    But the librarian turns out to be far different than she anticipated–not to mention the four lady librarians who travel to the remote homes to deliver the much-desired books. While Alice is trapped in Acorn against her will, she soon finds that real-life adventure and mystery–and especially romance–are far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.

    One of the author’s inspirations:

    “One of the things I love to do while these ideas and images are simmering is to go outside in the gorgeous spring sunshine and sample God’s creative handiwork. I want the theme of His redemption to flow through all of my novels—how he takes what is broken and cold and dying and fills it with renewed life. And seeing the beauty of rebirth in nature as the snow melts and the new grass and spring leaves began to peek through,inspires me to tell of His goodness and grace all over again”

    Lynn Austin

  • Best Clean and Wholesome Romance

    Hopeful Cowboy by Elana Johnson

    He’s struggling to step into his new role as a single dad. She’s trying to keep her ranch operational and her heart intact. Can Nate and Ginger build forever out of heartache?

    Nathaniel Mulbury is released early from his six-year term in prison to care for his brother’s four-year-old son. Dealing with grief over his brother’s death and continued guilt for his role in the embezzlement scheme that landed him in jail, Nate has one more problem. He’s never been a father and has no idea how to take care of Connor. Make that two problems: He’s released, but only to the care of Hope Eternal Ranch, a work-parole ranch run by the beautiful and smart Ginger Talbot.

    He’s never been a cowboy, and he’s got no room in his life for a woman. Ginger has dealt with plenty of men like Nate, even if the sparks between them don’t just come from his background. She’s not falling for a handsome face and a nice pair of biceps again. After all, most prisoners have plenty of time to work out. But there’s something different about Nate that calls to her softer side, if only she’d let him in. If only she knew how to let anyone in… But Ginger is jaded for good reason, and she’s not going to risk losing Hope Eternal Ranch—or her heart—again.

    A review of the novel:

    “Although the story relies on tropes like miscommunication and secrets to move the conflict, and Nate and Ginger tend to stay surface characters, the story is engrossing to the point that lovers of contemporary cowboy romance will quickly find themselves progressing from this book to the next in the series with little-to-no break between!”

    InD’tale Magazine

  • Best Historical Romance Books

    How to Live Happily Ever After by Bree Wolf

    A handsome earl, and an old spinster make for an enticingly happily-ever-after.

    Miss Agnes Bottombrook accepted long ago that she would never marry. Not even when she was still young did gentlemen see anything in her that would appeal to them. Now, at nine-and-twenty years of age, all hope is lost and Agnes is on the shelf for good.

    Out of nowhere, the rakishly handsome—and young, mind you!—Lord Wentford asks Agnes for a dance, shocking not only Agnes but all of London society, most of all, his own mother. Certain that his intentions are far from honorable, Agnes tries her utmost to rebuff the young lord and reveal him as a scoundrel, only seeking her attention to win a bet or wager of some kind.

    Unfortunately, Lord Wentford cannot be rebuffed, no matter how hard Agnes tries, forcing her to contemplate the possibility—remote as it might be—that he might truly…care for her. Without her consent, Agnes finds herself swept off her feet by her most unexpected suitor, doubting her own sanity when desires she thought she had long since abandoned resurface. But will she dare believe him?

    The author’s writing inspiration:

    “Inspiration is another tricky thing, at least tricky to put into words. It’s usually small things, a picture, a song or even a seemingly meaningless sound, a glimpse out the window, a line in a magazine that sets off a flood of ideas invading my mind, screaming at me to pay attention. Most of the time I am intrigued by these thoughts while sometimes I feel like a conquered country unable to keep hostile invaders from…well, invading.”

    Bree Wolf

  • Best Historical Romance Books

    A Highwayman’s Mail Order Bride by Blythe Carver

    The last thing a mail order bride needs is a highwayman’s intervention in the form of a stagecoach robbery.

    When Melissa married John Carter because her family couldn’t afford to feed her, she had no idea of the cruelty of the man. John Carter beats her mercilessly and makes her life a living hell. After seeing an ad in the paper for paid passage westward, she answers the ad in the hopes to use the ticket to escape John Carter, not just for herself, but for the baby she’s carrying. Time is of the essence if she is to marry in time to convince her new husband that the baby she’ll give birth to is his.

    When robbers learn her husband is a wealthy rancher, she’s taken hostage, costing her precious time in a plan that hinges on timeliness. She hates the leader of the highwaymen with a passion and is beyond angry that the time is ticking while he negotiates her ransom.

    Jed Cunningham’s a highwayman, certainly, but one with honor. And a heart, it seems. He can’t stand the idea of sending the stunning feisty Melissa Carter to marry a rich rancher. She’s precisely the kind of woman who needs to be loved.
    But she doesn’t seem to see that.

    A review of the novel:

    “This book was intriguing from the get-go, with seamless writing and detailed descriptions that kept me turning page after page. I really enjoyed this! It definitely won’t be my last from this author.”

    Sydney Winward

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    Like a Winter Snow by Lindsay Harrel

    Cozy up with this charming romance all about unexpected love, true friendship, and family loyalty.

    Women’s counselor Joy Beckman has always been a friend and helper to all. That’s why she’s given up everything to be with her parents as her mother suffers through Alzheimer’s. She may not have a thriving career or a love life at the moment, but she’s doing what she does best—taking care of others. And even though it’s difficult, she knows it’s where she is supposed to be.

    But life throws a curveball when she has to leave her parents temporarily to travel to England for the December wedding of her best friend. While there, Joy helps Sophia tackle her last-minute to-do list, and in the process, finally meets a man who turns her head—and her heart. The only problem? He lives in snowy London, and her life is with her parents back in sunny Florida. She tries to resist Oliver Lincoln’s charms, but it’s harder than it should be. With her heart torn in two, Joy is forced to choose between a life she knows she’s meant for and the one she didn’t see coming.

    A review of the novella:

    “This novella has just the right amount of sparkle, humor, and poignancy for the season, and a sweet friendship-to-romance.”

    Courtney C.