Rowena: I think my most anticipated read of the year comes out this month but there are a lot of fantastic authors coming out with new books this month so I’m sure there’s something for everyone to look forward to. Here are the books we’re anxious for:
1. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.
“Stephanie Perkins’s characters fall in love the way we all want to, in real time and for good.” —Rainbow Rowell, Award-winning, bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl.
Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.
Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.
Rowena: I have been looking forward to reading this book since I found out it was coming out. Ana and the French Kiss was one of my favorite books the year that I read it and when Lola & the Boy Next Door came out, I couldn’t read the book fast enough. I’ve got the same ants in my pants for this book. I’ve read the sneak peak and I just know that I’m going to love it. *squee*
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Gibson returns to Truly, Idaho, and to the fate of sexy SEAL Blake Junger.
GIMMEE A B-R-E-A-K!
Ex-high school cheerleader Natalie Cooper could once shake her pom-poms with the best of them. But she’s paid for all that popularity—her husband’s run off with what’s left of their money and a twenty-year-old bimbo named Tiffany. Leaving Natalie to manage a photo store and having to see some pictures she, well, really shouldn’t.
GIMMEE A S-H-O-T!
Then she comes toe-to-manly chest with Blake Junger. Exiled to a remote cabin in Truly, Idaho, Blake wants nothing to do with anyone. Instead, he’s determined to struggle with his demons and win—all on his own. But the last thing he needs is Natalie distracting him with her luscious curves and breaking down the barriers of his heart.
GIMMEE YOUR H-E-A-R-T!
Rowena: I didn’t like the last book as much as I thought I would, considering I love me some Rachel Gibson but I’m still looking forward to this one. How can I turn away from this one? It sounds like it’ll be a hoot!
Holly: I love Truly and I’m super excited for this book. I better do some re-reading before it’s released. Yay, something to look forward to!
They are England’s most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways . . .
Born to the street but raised within the aristocracy, Drake Darling can’t escape his sordid beginnings. Not when Lady Ophelia Lyttleton snubs him at every turn, a constant reminder he’s not truly one of them. But after rescuing her from a mysterious drowning, he realizes she doesn’t remember who she is. With plans to bring her to heel, he insists she’s his housekeeper—never expecting to fall for the charming beauty.
While Ophelia might not recall her life before Drake, she has little doubt she belongs with him. The desire she feels for her dark, brooding employer can’t be denied, regardless of consequences. So when Ophelia’s memory returns, she is devastated by the depth of his betrayal. Now Drake must risk everything to prove she can trust this rogue with her heart once more.
Rowena: I’m really looking forward to reading this book because I really liked the last book in this series and Drake was all kinds of sexy and scandalous in that one. I can’t wait to dig right into this one.
She has complete control…and he’s determined to take it away
A librarian in the small town of Hood River, Natalie Clayton’s world is very nearly perfect. After a turbulent childhood and her once-wild ways, life is now under control. But trouble has a way of turning up unexpectedly—especially in the tall, charismatically sexy form of Paddy Hurley….
And Paddy is the kind of trouble that Natalie has a taste for.
Even after years of the rock-and-roll lifestyle, Paddy never forgot the two wickedly hot weeks he once shared with Natalie. Now he wants more…even if it means tempting Natalie and her iron-grip control. But there’s a fine line between well-behaved and misbehaved—and the only compromise is between the sheets!
Holly: Lauren Dane + rock stars? This is right on so many levels I can’t even…
I read this book and I can tell you it’s absolutely fabulous. Love. LOVE LOVE.
No touching allowed…
After serving her country, Georgia Trulane craves adventure – and sex. She’s set her sights on her brother’s best friend – now her boss, since she took a temporary job as his nephew’s live-in nanny. Only problem? Eric refuses to touch her. That doesn’t stop Georgia from seducing him. But an earth-shattering encounter leaves her fully exposed, body and soul.
Eric has a long list of reasons to steer clear of the woman he has wanted for as long as he can remember. For one, he refuses to be her next thrill ride. When he claims her, it will be for good. But the attraction is undeniable, and the more they fight it, the stronger it pulls. But will it be enough to conquer their obstacles?
Rowena: Ooh, this sounds like it’ll be good. Eric sounds all angsty and sexy and like something I’d want a piece of so count me in!
From the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You and One Plus One, in an earlier work available in the U.S. for the first time, a surprising and moving romance set in an old-fashioned seaside town on the verge of unwelcome change.
Liza McCullen will never fully escape her past. But the unspoiled beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves – if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah. That is, until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt’s hotel.
The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and distracting eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbors her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love – never deserve to love – again.
For his part, Mike Dormer is expecting just another business deal — an easy job kick-starting a resort in a small seaside town ripe for development. But he finds that he doesn’t quite know what to make of the eccentric inhabitants of the ramshackle Silver Bay Hotel, especially not enigmatic Liza McCullen, and their claim to the surrounding waters. As the development begins to take on a momentum of its own, Mike’s and Liza’s worlds collide in this hugely affecting and irresistible tale full of Jojo Moyes’s signature humor and generosity.
Rowena: I’ve been hearing good things about Jojo Moyes but haven’t tried herself for myself, yet. This book sounds like a good one so I’m curious enough to add it to my wish list.
The much-anticipated, brand-new Regency romance from New York Times bestselling author Katie MacAllister.
Can Dagmar flee Denmark
Dagmar Marie Sophie is a poverty-stricken Danish princess whose annoying royal cousin is about to have her stuffed away in a convent. When she finds a wounded man unconscious in her garden, she sees a way out of her desperate situation.
By Lying to Leo?
Leopold Ernst George Mortimer, seventh earl of March, and spy in the service of the king, finds himself on the wrong end of a saber and left for dead. He wakes up not remembering what happened…in the care of a beautiful woman who says she is his wife.
Back in London, Leo-with the help of his old friends the eccentric Britton family – sets out to unravel what he’s forgotten …is Dagmar truly the wonderful, irrespressible woman who makes his heart sing, or is she a dangerous enigma bent on his destruction?
Rowena: I’m not normally one for amnesia stories but this one sounds good and I want to get to know Leo.
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn’t think it’s love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.
Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.
They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.
Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.
Holly: I really enjoyed this book. It was touching and heartbreaking all at once. I wanted to wrap Miles up and put him in my pocket. So much love.
Rowena: Colleen Hoover is one author that I’ve been meaning to try out for a while now. I just haven’t gotten around to it. This book sounds like all kinds of awesome so sign me up!
RITA finalist and New York Times Bestselling author Ruthie Knox kicks off a steamy new series set in the city that never sleeps – alone, at least.
May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone — only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?
Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May — especially in a dive in the Villate — but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start — if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.
Rowena: This book was reviewed by Jen on Book Binge and it looks like it’s a good book. I’m curious to see how Ben is going to show May that New York isn’t so bad.
In her sensational Breathless Trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, there’s only one thing left to do: cross them. And for a married couple taking steps to renew their marriage, the consequences of one single moment of inattention may come at a price the husband never expects…
Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All-consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. Loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business a success, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappy with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give, or they stand to lose it all.
Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number-one priority. But lately she’s seemed unhappy, and he’s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them.
But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy’s safety, his concentration, his wife’s faith in him as her husband—a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he’s going to lose her—has already lost her—he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he’ll get her back, show her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she’ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he’ll take it all. Everything. But he’ll give back far more: Himself. His undying love.
Holly: This is the third book in Banks’ Breathless Trilogy and it was a doozy. So.much.angst. I loved it.
Edward “Easy” Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves–which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight. He may have just met her, but Jenna’s the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago.
Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can’t describe how he makes her feel–and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.
As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to.
Holly: I had some problems with the book prior to this one, but I was curious enough about the mystery to want to continue. I’m not going to rush to read this, but I definitely plan to get to it…someday.
ONE KISS CAN LAST FOREVER
Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now’s her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam’s eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile.
Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can’t resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca’s heart?
Holly: Lucky Harbor. Sigh. I love these books. And Sam? Oh yeah, I definitely want to be kissing him…
Rowena: I love the Lucky Harbor books too. I’m going to miss them when they go away but this book is another great addition to a fabulous series. Sam Brody is very lickable and I still haven’t quite forgiven Holly for claiming him as her own. He’s very hot.
The dead of winter.
An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
A sinister house looming over the sea …
He’s a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She’s a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids’ puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.
But she’s not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they’re trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.
It’s going to be a long, hot winter.
Holly: I love SEP. That’s it. This needs no additional explanation.
Rowena: I’ve been on the fence about trying this one out or not. I haven’t loved the last few releases by SEP but who am I kidding? I know that I’m going to buy this the minute it comes out. It’s freaking SEP!
Mac “The Snake” Hannon has spent years throwing himself into cage fighting as a way to lash back at the natural disaster that destroyed his future. A call for help has Mac returning to the one place he swore never to return: Kansas—in the height of tornado season.
There he meets free-spirited Gayle Andrews. At first he wants nothing to do with the infuriatingly, persistent woman, but the crazy challenges she tosses his way are impossible to resist. As she thaws years of bitterness, bringing back the Mac he believed long gone, he starts to make peace with the past and see the future again. Until he learns she chases his worst nightmare, then he can’t get away fast enough.
Meteorologist and storm chaser, Gayle Andrews is no stranger to being left behind and now believes in living in the moment. She wants to do just that with the handsome extreme fighter with the achingly sad eyes. As she works to replace the sorrow with desire, she finds herself breaking her one rule: have fun, but don’t fall in love. When he suddenly pushes her away and she discovers the horrifying reason why, she issues one more challenge: face his fear and come on a chase with her.
Will squaring off with the past lead to a victory for heartache or love?
Holly: This is the third book in Niles’ Love to the Extreme series, which features fighters. Sexy ones. I’m excited for this new installment.
The third deliciously sexy novel in the New York Times bestselling Duke’s Men historical romance series, featuring an investigator who sets out to find gypsies— and unexpectedly finds love.
Investigator Tristan Bonnaud has one aim in life— to make sure that his half-brother George can’t ever ruin his life again. So when the pesky Lady Zoe Keane, the daughter of the Earl of Olivier, shows up demanding that the Duke’s Men find a mysterious gypsy woman, he seizes the opportunity to also hunt for a gypsy friend who knows secrets about George. Tristan doesn’t expect to uncover Lady Zoe’s family secrets, as well… or end up falling for the woman who will risk all to discover the truth.
Holly: I’m a big fan of Jeffries. This is the third book in The Duke’s Men series. I’m hoarding these until I’m in the mood for historicals again.
She’s given up on finding love…
Veterinarian Shelley Morgan has always preferred animals to humans, and not simply because she can communicate with them psychically. Unlike most people she’s known, animals have never broken her heart. But after six months in her new town, some of her favorite four-legged companions begin disappearing from the local zoo. Determined to track down the animals and their thief, the telepathic vet decides to investigate, unknowingly delving into a deadly mystery…
He’s ready to make her heart go wild…
Although his bear-like physique has been an advantage in the Tidewater Police Department, Dev Jones’s size often intimidates people. Only Shelley has seen past his massive build to the intelligent man inside, but that was years ago. So when she contacts him requesting his help to solve a series of animal kidnappings, he’s eager to reconnect with her. But the thefts escalate to murder and all the evidence points to Shelley as the killer, and Dev faces a devastating choice: forsake his career or risk losing the woman he’s grown to love…
Holly: I was intrigued as soon as I saw “Vet who talks to animals”. I love novels that feature parapsychology. Though I had some problems with it, overall it was a good read.
A mermaid statue could be the cause of heartbreak or everlasting romance for a practical-minded police chief and his first love—in the second of the delicious Bayberry Island trilogy by national bestselling author Susan Donovan….
Every instinct told Police Chief Clancy Flynn that his island’s claim to fame was nothing but a silly tourist attraction. But now and then, he couldn’t help but wonder if his lifetime of bad romances—starting with the pretty tourist who broke his twelve-year-old heart—could be traced back to a childhood prank involving that very statue….
Then one day the pretty tourist comes barreling back into Bayberry—all grown-up and on the run with her niece. Though Evelyn McGuinness is wanted for kidnapping, she tries to persuade Clancy that there’s more to the story. Now the by-the-book police chief must make the toughest decision of his life: to take Evelyn into custody—or into his arms….
Holly: Donovan can be hit or miss for me and I’m on the fence about the premise of this one. When she works for me she really works, so I plan to give it a try.
It had always been her…
Ten years had passed since the doors slammed shut behind Decker Calhoun, taking away his freedom, but more importantly, locking him away from Elizabeth Waters, the only woman he’d ever loved—the woman he’d given up everything for.
The day he was sentenced, he’d looked at her and said, No regrets, Lizzie. But he lied, because he did have one. Although he’s been out of jail for three years now, he was a year too late. Lizzie never knew how he felt and just months before he was released, she found somebody else and it’s too late.
Or maybe not. It seems that Lizzie’s boyfriend wants an open relationship and two can play at that game. Now all Decker has to do is convince Lizzie that he’s the better man…and has been all along.
Holly: Reunited lovers in an erotic romance? Sign me up.
Jenna and Ryder are far from friends – until a storm stirs up their passion in this contemporary southern romance from New York Times bestselling author Kristi Cook.
In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are practically royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbeques, and the overwhelming desire to unite the two clans by marriage. So when the families finally have a baby boy and girl at the same time, the perfect opportunity seems to have arrived.
Except Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents wishes. They’re only seventeen – oh, and also? They hate each other. Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would prefer it if stubborn-headed Jemma didn’t exist. And their communication is not exactly effective: even a casual hello turns into a yelling match.
But when a violent Mississippi storm ravages through Magnolia Branch, it unearths feelings Jemma and Ryder didn’t know they had. And the line between love and hate just might be thin enough to cross…
Rowena: Ooh, this sounds like all kinds of awesome. Filled with drama, an unexpected love? Yeah, I’m completely in.
The distinctive new crowdsourced publishing imprint, Swoon Reads proudly present its first published novel – an irresistibly sweet romance between two college students told from 14 different viewpoints.
The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks barista, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common – they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together.
Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.
But somehow, even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. You’ll be rooting for Gabe and Lea too, in Sandy Hall’s quirky, completely original novel A Little Something Different, chosen by readers, writers and publishers, to be the debut titles for the new Swoon Reads imprint!
Rowena: This sounds like a cute, contemporary read and that’s right up my alley so of course I want to read it. I’m mighty curious to see if the telling of Gabe and Lea’s story from 14 different POV will be fun or exhausting.
HE CAN’T GET HER OUT OF HIS HEAD
Its lust at first sight when Brody Singer first lays eyes on Abby Dunn. The dark-haired beauty looks a lot like a woman he once knew, who died years ago. At first Brody fears his attraction is a holdover from that secret crush, but Abby’s definitely different. She’s a lot shyer, a lot sexier and, despite her attempts to dissuade his interest, absolutely mesmerizing.
SHE CAN’T GET HIM OUT OF HER BOOKS
Abby isn’t having it. She’s still trying to put her last disastrous relationship behind her and overcome the flaws her ex wouldn’t let her forget. But somehow Brody isn’t getting the hint. It doesn’t help that when writing her steamy novels, she keeps casting Brody as the hero.
Brody is more than happy to serve as her muse and eager to help make sure her “research” is authentic. But when their research turns into something real…will she choose her own happily ever after?
Rowena: She’s a romance novelist and he’s her sexy muse? Yep. I’m in.
There you have it. The books that Holly and I are anxious for this month. Lots of good stuff to choose from.
What books are you looking forward to reading this month?