• Best Historical Romance Books

    A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

    A courtship of convenience… A last chance for love

    Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion–or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

    But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.

    The author on her writing inspiration:

    “Anything and everything. However, the biggest source of inspiration for me come from my research. It’s while researching for my non-fiction history projects that I discover interesting tidbits about things that happened in the Victoria era, many of which find their way into my stories.”

    Mimi Matthews

  • Best Romantic Suspense Books

    Make You Feel My Love by Kait Nolan

    Will danger catapult these lifelong friends to lovers?

    Autumn Buchanan has loved Judd all her life. Best friends since they were children, he’s been fulfilling her rescue fantasies for years. But years ago, her dreams of more ended in blood and a nightmare that nearly cost them both their lives.

    Now she’s ready to take the leap and profess all to the friend who’s stood by her through thick and thin. But before she can make her confession, their nightmare returns and secrets are revealed that threaten the very fabric of their lifelong friendship.

    The author on the greatest joy of writing:

    “The world is often a terrible, dark place. I get the glorious job of proving that that isn’t the ONLY thing the world is. I get to put out little beacons of light and hope, escape pods for readers to get an infusion of positive. I can’t think of a better job than that.”

    Kait Nolan

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    Beautifully Broken Pieces (The Sutter Lake Series Book 1) by Catherine Cowles

    A woman who’s lost everything. A man battling the ghosts of his past.

    Taylor is looking for peace and quiet away from the memories of all she’s lost. A small mountain town where no one knows her seems like the perfect escape. Walker loves his life just the way it is. His town, his family, his brothers in blue. Everything simple and easy–until a chance encounter changes it all.

    When Taylor’s solitude is interrupted by the rugged cop, they find that the very thing they were avoiding might be just what they both need. As their iron wills clash and passion flares…a killer lurks. And you never know who might be caught in the crosshairs.

    The inspiration behind the novel:

    “Beautifully Broken Pieces was born out of the grief I felt when I lost my dad. I really wanted to explore the tougher parts of grief. Then I started to daydream about what might happen if my heroine fell in love while in the midst of that grief. My greatest hope is that I’ve written a book that will resonate with others who have lost a loved one.”

    Catherine Cowles

  • Best Historical Romance Books

    To Steal A Heart (Secrets & Spies Book 1) by K. C. Bateman

    A master spy and a beautiful thief find love and intrigue in each other’s arms…

    Forced to do the bidding of a corrupt government minister, Marianne de Bonnard agrees to plant incriminating evidence in the offices of France’s most notorious spymaster. Under cover of night, the tightrope-walking thief puts her skills to good use—until her aerial stunt is foiled when her target appears in the window and, with consummate poise, helps Marianne off the wire and into his lair. The tremors that run through her body are not just from fear; there’s an unwanted frisson of desire there, too. But is it because of her elegant, wickedly handsome host . . . or his proposition?

    Nicolas Valette has had plans for his graceful trespasser since he witnessed her unique skills at the Cirque Olympique. Sinuous as a cat, Marianne is perfect for his next mission, but she refuses his generous offer for fear of disobeying her family’s tormenter. When their mutual enemy auctions off her virginity to the highest bidder, Nicolas leaps at the chance to purchase her cooperation. Keeping her will be like trying to tame a wild animal, but what’s life without a little risk? Besides, Nicolas and Marianne both want the same thing: revenge—and, perhaps, something else that’s equally delicious.

    The inspiration behind the novel:

    “In the case of To Steal A Heart I drew particular inspiration from two tiny portrait miniatures that came in for valuation at my auction house – one of a Napoleonic–era British gentleman, and the other of a beautiful young woman. They were painted by the same artist, and in identical frames, but the seller had no idea who they were, – distant relations, perhaps? I thought that was a shame – so I made up my own story for them . Perhaps the man’s name was Nicolas Valette. And maybe the smiling woman was called Marianne de Beauvais . . .and I bet they had some amazing adventures . .”

    K. C. Bateman

  • Best Contemporary Romance Novels

    The Selection by Kiera Cass

    Prepare to be swept into a world of breathless fairy-tale romance, swoonworthy characters, glittering gowns, and fierce intrigue…

    For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape a rigid caste system, live in a palace, and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and competing for a crown she doesn’t want.

    Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

    The inspiration behind the story:

    “The inspiration behind The Selection was thinking about the what ifs of other stories, mainly Esther and Cinderella. I wondered if Esther happened to like the boy next door before she got shipped off to a palace to become the wife of a king. What if she had to slowly let that love die? And Cinderella never asked for a prince, she asked for a night off. What if that person and that job were way too much for her? For some reason, those two things meshed in my head, and I knew I wanted to write about a girl who was poor and would catch the attention of a prince, but she wouldn’t want him because she was already in love.”

    Kiera Cass

  • Best Clean and Wholesome Romance

    Falling For You by Leeanna Morgan

    Both leave the cities to return to the sweet, small town of Sapphire Bay. Little do they know that striking up a friendship could lead to more… 

    After six years of focusing on her career, Natalie Armstrong craves the peace and tranquility that only Sapphire Bay can give her. But returning to her grandparents’ cottage isn’t as easy as she imagined. No one told her about her houseguest or the unexpected changes in the small town she calls home.

    Gabe Lanigan is a former NYPD detective. His new career as a bestselling crime writer has brought him everything he didn’t want—fame, fortune, and a deep distrust of strangers. When Natalie arrives in Sapphire Bay, their unlikely friendship sparks into something he never expected. But he needs to be careful. The real reason he left New York City is closing in fast and Natalie is standing in his way.

    The author’s favorite quality in a protagonist:

    “Unconditional love. The ability to love someone as they are, to support and care for them, regardless of what they have done, is a wonderful gift.”

    Leeanna Morgan

  • Best Historical Romance Books

    A Beauty for the Scarred Duke by Bridget Barton

    She once spoke of tales of a terrifying monster–the scarred Duke of Coldwell. Now she’s been sold off to marry to him…

    As young girls, Lady Isabella Tate, daughter of the Earl of Upperton, and her friend, Esme, told each other terrifying tales of the monster. But not just any monster. This monster was alive and living in his old mansion behind a tangle of overgrown hawthorn trees in the very same county. This monster was none other than Elliot Covington, the Duke of Coldwell.

    The Duke of Coldwell, scarred for life in a fire which claimed the lives of those dearest to him has been hiding in his mansion for almost eighteen years. He knows he is a figure of fear and speculation in the county and chose many years before to live a life of self-imposed isolation. But he is the loneliest Duke in all of England. When the Earl of Upperton sells his daughter off as a bride for the disfigured Duke, Isabella has never been more terrified. Due to marry a man she has never met and always believed to be a monster, she truly believes her life is over.

    But is life with the Duke really something to be afraid of? Will Isabella be able to get past her own prejudice and see the man beneath the scars? And will the Duke be able to let go of the pain and guilt that has swallowed him whole for almost two decades and find a new life with a new love?

  • Best Historical Romance Books

    Deception in Emeralds by Laura Landon

    She will accept his proposal of marriage. And take her revenge.

    Barnaby Linscott, under orders from the Crown, must apprehend or kill one of England’s most elusive villains. The means to accomplish his mission are anything but clear, but his mind is resolved. The man has already murdered three government agents, and Barnaby vows he will not be the fourth, though he has little to lose. That is, until he meets the partner assigned to carry out his deadly mission.

    Lady Millicent Chandler has lost everything. Her beautiful Cliffside Manor has been burned, her parents, her brother Thomas, and her sister Polly all murdered. When her trusted servants bring her their suspicions that her handsome neighbor is directly involved, she knows exactly what she’ll do. She will accept his proposal of marriage. And take her revenge.

    The author on overcoming writer’s block:

    “I know that many would disagree with this, but I don’t think there’s such a thing as writer’s block. I think when we sit down to write and we struggle, we’ve taken a wrong turn in our story, or we’ve forgotten an element that our inner voice is telling us must be added.
    When I have trouble, I rely on my writer friends to help me out. When I can’t see the forest for the trees, I have to rely on them to see my forest and point it out to me.”

    Laura Landon

  • Best Historical Romance Books

    A Grand Season to Remember by Abigail Agar

    Will Annis be able to heal the wounds of her past and give love a second chance, or will she never be able to trust a man again?

    After a disastrous London Season that left her with a broken heart, Annis decided to retreat to the countryside, leaving all her painful memories behind. When two years later, though, she is forced to accompany her younger sister to her first Season, hurtful memories and fears that she has been trying to repress, will begin to resurface. As if her life was not already a tragedy in the making, the very man who broke her heart appears out of nowhere, once again turning her life upside down.

    All these years Oliver could not take his mind off of Annis, even though she ran away from him without any explanation. The fateful moment he meets her again, he knows deep inside that she is the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with, and decides to do whatever it takes to win her back. Will he ever find the reason why Annis abandoned him and threw the opportunity of a happy life by his side? How far will he go to convince her that his life has no meaning if she is not in it?

    When a third person tries to put obstacles in their path, Annis and Oliver must prove that nothing can keep them apart. Even though their love is still alive, rife misunderstandings still prevent them from leaving the bad memories behind and start a new chapter in their life. Will their love be strong enough to survive it all, or the events of the past will never stop haunting them?

  • Paranormal Romance

    Celtic Moon by Jan DeLima

    Like father, like son…

    Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run from the father of her son for more than fifteen years. Now her son, Joshua, is changing, and her greatest fears are about to be realized. He’s going to end up being just like his father—a man who can change into a wolf.

    Dylan Black has been hunting for Sophie since the night she ran from him—an obsession he cannot afford in the midst of an impending war. Dylan controls Rhuddin Village, an isolated town in Maine where he lives with an ancient Celtic tribe. One of the few of his clan who can still shift into a wolf, he must protect his people from the Guardians, vicious warriors who seek to destroy them.

    When Sophie and Dylan come together for the sake of their son, their reunion reignites the fierce passion they once shared. For the first time in years, Dylan’s lost family is within his grasp. But will he lose them all over again? Are Joshua and Sophie strong enough to fight alongside Dylan in battle? Nothing less than the fate of his tribe depends on it…

    The author on the main character Sophie:

    “Her strength comes from her instinct to protect her child at all costs. She’s tough when she needs be, soft when she’s loved, and always practical. She’s real.”

    Jan DeLima