Readers back for a third round of the bestselling Cocktail series will enjoy a madcap romantic comedy about bodice ripping and chest heaving, fiery passion and love everlasting. Plus a dash of paperwork filing and horseshi—wait, what?
By day, Viv Franklin is a tough-as-nails software engineer who designs programs and loves hospital corners. By night, Vivian’s a secret romance-novel junkie who longs for a knight in shining armor, or a cowboy on a wild stallion, or a strapping firefighter to sweep her off her feet. And she gets to wear the bodice—don’t forget the bodice.
When a phone call brings news that she’s inherited a beautiful old home in Mendocino, California from a long-forgotten aunt, she moves her entire life across the country to embark on what she sees as a great, romance-novel-worthy adventure. But romance novels always have a twist, don’t they?
There’s a cowboy, one that ignites her loins. Because Cowboy Hank is totally loin-ignition worthy. But there’s also a librarian, Clark Barrow. And he calls her Vivian. Can tweed jackets and elbow patches compete with chaps and spurs? You bet your sweet cow pie.
In Screwdrivered, Alice Clayton pits Superman against Clark in a hilarious and hot battle that delights a swooning Viv/Vivian. Also within this book, an answer to the question of the ages: Why ride a cowboy when you can ride a librarian?
Rowena: This is a series that I’ve been meaning to read. I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about it so since this book is coming out, it’s on my radar.
Molly Burnett and Carter Richards share a painful past, one that sent Molly running out of town, vowing never to return. The only thing bringing her back is her sister’s wedding, and she doesn’t intend to stay long. But circumstances force her to remain in town, and within close distance of the one man who hurt her more than she’d ever been hurt before. Can the two of them face down the past and work together toward the possibility of love and happiness in Hope?
Holly: I’m really loving this series. I’ve been curious about Molly since book one. I can’t wait to read her story.
Rowena: This is another series that is on my radar but I haven’t gotten around to reading yet. I will, one day. But can I just say that Jaci Burton is always blessed with some fantastic covers. I just want to lick home dude’s stomach and keep right on licking.
Tyke Douglas is tired of being the glue that holds the hottest band in the world together. If the rest of the guys are out doing their own thing, then why shouldn’t he? He’s about to turn things up a notch and bring a whole new level of crazy into Black Falcon’s world.
Francine Mead is putting her sordid past behind and is determined to help others overcome their demons along side her. The first step in her new life is taking a job as an addiction counselor, where she can mentor others through their struggles. Francine never expected to be lured back into temptation when her first sexy celebrity client, Tyke Douglas walks through her door. The moment she lays eyes on him, she’s in trouble.
Both Tyke and Francine know a relationship between them would be a disaster, but with each session, things continue to heat up, making it impossible to deny the connection they share. Boundaries cross, attractions heighten and both of their willpowers will be tested to the very limit.
Novel centers around Tyke Douglas, bassist of Black Falcon, and final book in the series.
Holly: I read the third book in this series and enjoyed it enough that I want to go on.
Mercy Thompson’s world just got a whole lot bigger…
A collection of all-new and previously published short stories featuring Mercy Thompson, “one of the best heroines in the urban fantasy genre today” (Fiction Vixen Book Reviews), and the characters she calls friends…
Includes the new stories…
“Roses in Winter”
…and reader favorites
“Alpha and Omega”
“The Star of David”
“In Red, with Pearls”
Holly: I’m excited for new Mercy Thompson stories. Plus, I love that all the novellas will be in one place.
On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she’s vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That’s why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.
The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past….
Holly: Harrison’s Elder Races series is one I can fall into at any time. I’m really excited for the next installment.
For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It’s the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she’s rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she’s ever laid hands on.
Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to “save” him. In fact, he’d like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He’s just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole’s heart, or will it be the end of Olivia’s days in little Lucky Harbor?
Holly: I’m really sad to see the Lucky Harbor series come to a close, but this is such an excellent book. Shalvis is really leaving on a high note.
Rowena: I’m really sad that this series is going to be finished in a matter of a couple of books but I agree with Holly, Shalvis is really treating us to a fantastic ending to the series. I adored this book.
Eve Dallas deals with a homicide—and the holiday season—in the latest from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.
Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn’t count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest.
Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who’d been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler’s enemies, she’s also dealing with her Christmas shopping list—plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband’s upcoming holiday bash.
Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year’s 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.
Holly: I’ve been stockpiling these books, too. I decided to take a break after my last binge. I know I’ll go back to it soon. I love Eve and her murder cases.
I thought I needed only one thing in my life–the money and power to crush one man. But the moment I laid eyes on Victoria Corielli, my thirst for revenge was replaced by my craving for her.
No rule would keep me away; no obstacle too large to overcome. Not her will, not our differing social positions, not my infamous past. When she lost everything, I helped her pick up the pieces. When she trusted me with everything, she sealed her fate.
I’ve convinced Victoria she can put her heart in my hands. Now I have to protect it–from her shady stepfather and my business rivals, from enemies known and hidden. I’ll do anything to keep her. And I might have to prove it, because now Victoria”s risking more than her heart to be with me; she’s risking her life.
Holly: This book picks up where book 1 left off. It’s told from Ian’s point of view. I really enjoyed it. Like book 1, it started slow for me, but once it picked up I fell right in.
Rowena: I like Frederick’s books so I really need to dig right into this series. I’m definitely looking forward to reading this one.
A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…
Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.
A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…
Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…
Holly: This was such an excellent read. My first time through it I thought the first half was a bit slow, but upon re-reading I was sucked into the story from page one. It’s sexier than some of Singh’s other novels, but it really worked for me.
Rowena: I’m right there with Holly on this one. This was a fantastic book. I really liked it and cannot recommend it enough. If you love sexy rock stars then you’re going to love Fox.
CAN’T FORGET THE PAIN
It took years for Adam to stop drowning his regrets in alcohol, and running the local bar doesn’t make it any easier—especially not when everyone he knows gathers there to discuss the shocking allegations that have shattered his hometown. When another murder rocks sleepy Madison to its core, it becomes chillingly clear that even more vicious wounds are waiting to be exposed.
WON’T RESIST THE PLEASURE
Nothing is sacred anymore, and no one is safe, least of all the mystery woman who shows up in town out of the blue, looking like every fantasy Adam’s ever had. She may have her own dangerous secrets, but she can’t ignore the urgent heat between them any more than he can. As a killer’s quest for vengeance explodes into violence, Adam is tempted to lose himself in the delicious promise of her body—until he realizes he’ll risk anything if she’ll give him her heart…in Sweeter than Sin by Shiloh Walker.
Holly: I’m still behind in this series, but I really love the premise.
What lies beneath…
Clare Cermak’s adjusting to a new man in her life—and a lot of ghosts. The passing of Clare’s aunt gave way to a sizeable inheritance of not only money, but also the ability to communicate with the dead. At the same time, she met Zach Slade, a private detective with a rough past, and just like Clare, he’s not yet ready to accept her gift—or his own.
But Clare has another matter to look into. A multimillionaire needs her help after relocating an old ghost town to his mountain estate. The bones of a murdered prospector are making nightly appearances in his guests’ beds. When the gold miner’s ghost contacts Clare, she promises to help find the name of his killer—but someone doesn’t want the past revealed and might find her first…
Holly: The first book in this series was a little slow, but I liked it enough to want to continue. I hope the story develops a bit faster this time.
He was my best friend.
Until he became my enemy.
All within the span of one night.
Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang.
The rapid fire of gunshots became the soundtrack to my life.
This is the Mafia. Lines are blurred. Choices are never black and white. And the life you thought you knew is… one giant lie.
He was dead.
And I didn’t want his life to be in vain, so I tried to make something of myself. I tried and failed.
Now he’s back. Alive. And he wants something…
Nobody ever said the mafia played fair.
Welcome to The Family.
Holly: I’m on the fence about this. I’ve read Rachel Van Dyken before and enjoyed her, but a book about the mafia? Meh. We’ll see.
At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.
But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she’d left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.
Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.
Rowena: I’m really enjoying this series and while I was hoping that Calla would end up with Brandon, I read the excerpt with Jax and whoa dang. I think I can forgive J. Lynn for hooking Calla up with someone different. Jax is showing promise of being HOT DAMN HOT! So yeah, I’m all about reading this book.
Emmaline Neal needs a date. Just a date—someone to help her get through her ex-fiancé’s wedding without losing her mind. But pickings are slim in Manningsport, New York, population 715. In fact, there’s really only one option: local heartthrob Jack Holland. Everyone loves Jack, and he won’t get the wrong idea…. After all, Jack Holland would never actually be interested in a woman like Em. Especially not with his beautiful ex-wife creeping around, angling to reunite ever since he rescued a group of teens and became a local hero.
But when the wedding festivities take an unexpectedly passionate turn, Em figures it was just one crazy night. Jack is too gorgeous, too popular, to ever end up with her. So why is she the one he can talk to about his deep, dark feelings? If Em is going to get her dream man, she’ll have to start by believing in him…
Rowena: Even though I didn’t like the last book all that much, I’m still going to read this one because it’s Jack’s book and I’ve adored Jack all series long. I just hope that it’s better than the last one. Fingers crossed.
The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling in love.
Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?
Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…
Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she’s shut him down. Completely.
That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It’s a good thing Drew knows all about winning.
All’s fair in love and football…Game on.
Holly: I read Callihan’s historical paranormal series and really enjoyed it, but my true love is contemporary. So..yay! A new contemporary book by an author I already love. Score!
Losing fifty pounds is an incredible achievement. But for Melissa Atherton, progress doesn’t come with praise—a scathing comment from an evil cousin at a bridal shower threatens to crush her new self-esteem. Who will she bring to the upcoming wedding? Showing up without a date would be humiliating. It just isn’t an option.
Personal trainer Jake Sawyer was attracted to Melissa before she lost weight, but her progress has him floored. When she admits she plans to hire a male escort—and why—his heart all but breaks. Melissa’s come too far to be knocked down, especially by her own family. He’ll go as her date…and figure out a way to keep his hands to himself.
But when a steamy hotel room encounter takes them both by surprise, Jake balks. He’s sworn never to date one of his clients, not again. And Melissa can’t bear to be just friends with the man who treated her so tenderly, even if it was only for a weekend. Jake’s helped her see she’s strong enough to stand up for herself, but will she find the strength to pursue the only man who’s ever seen the real her?
Holly: I like Alison Packard, so I’m adding this to my list. I’m a little leery of the weight loss thing. I hate it when that’s the main focus of a book.
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. Enough Said.
When she’s in heat, there’s no cooling down…
Lone Pine Pride, Book 2
Wilderness guide and cougar-shifter Patricia “Patch” Fontaine has known the dangers of lone-shifter life since she was ten, when her parents mysteriously vanished. All grown up now, she thrives on her hard-won independence.
When rumors of a new rash of shifter abductions crop up, she’s forced to come home to the Lone Pine Pride for protection—right as the man she’s always secretly wanted is about to marry her best friend. And right as she’s going into heat.
Roman Jaeger values his role as Alpha heir apparent, but he isn’t thrilled about his arranged marriage to the Alpha’s daughter—especially when his bride is just as nonplussed as he is—but he’ll do his duty for the pride. Seeing Patch again challenges his noblest intentions. The wildness in her sets him on fire, and he can’t resist the chance for one last fling.
Both know a future together is impossible. But when chemistry and sowing wild oats grows into a need deeper than lust, their bond could threaten the very heart of the pride they both love.
Holly: I still have the first book in my TBR pile. I really like Andrews’ voice and I love shifters. I expect good things.
Atlantic City is the perfect place for detective Bradley Hudson to nurse his broken heart. A week of beer and strippers is sure to erase his former fiancée from his memory for good. What he didn’t count on was running into a sassy redhead from his past. Maybe a rebound romp is an even better plan…
Trina Trimble, private eye in training, is thrilled to be reunited with the hottie she almost hooked up with last summer. She’s undercover on her first solo case, but there’s always time to lock lips with a sexy cop. Besides, a fun fling with Brad doesn’t have to last beyond his week in town.
Brad and Trina are supposed to be just flirting, not forging a new forever. Brad’s still healing, and although Trina changes careers the way other women change shoes, she has finally found her calling in her new life of disguises and stakeouts. But when an irresistible job offer threatens to lure her away, Brad will need to decide to let her go or bet it all on love and risk his heart again.
Holly: I’m stockpiling this series so I can read them all at once. I love binge-reading Barth.
Things are going good for Callie and Kayden. They’re still dealing with their past and the pain connected to it, but for the most part they’ve moved on. The biggest decision they have at the moment is what they want to do with their lives in the future.
Eventually, though, the past catches up with them and it leaves them with a choice no one wants to make. But Callie and Kayden learn that as long as they have each other, they can make it through just about anything. And in the end, they discover what they really want out of life.
Rowena: As much as I wish that this series had been chopped down to just one book, I’m still pretty excited to read this book. To see how Sorensen wraps it all up. I like both Kayden and Callie, even though they drove me crazy with their back and forth with each other and just all of the drama of the last two books but still, this is a series that I’m invested in. Of course, I’m reading this book.
What books are you looking forward to in September? Any books we missed?