Romance – Ink & Tattoos

Rule: A Marked Men Novel
by Jay Crownover

New Adult Romance. Shaw is a high-achieving pre-med student too focused on her future career to worry about relationships. Rule is a hard-partying, tattooed rebel who bounces from one hookup to the next. There’s no reason they should ever be together, and every reason why they shouldn’t. However, reason has nothing to do with their undeniable mutual attraction. Rule kicks off the Marked Men novels. Desperately seeking more brooding loner heroes, preferably with lots of ink? Check out Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive novels or A.L. Jackson’s Closer to You series.

Drawn Together
by Lauren Dane

Erotic Romance. When attorney Jonah Warner approaches tattoo artist Raven Smith about inking a wolf across his back, she can’t resist the opportunity to see such a sexy guy with his shirt off. Jonah, for his part, is intrigued by Raven’s tough-girl attitude and commitment to her craft. A super-hot fling is practically a necessity, but both fight the desire to let their relationship become anything more than physical release. Raven’s rough upbringing has made her prickly and defensive, while Jonah’s disastrous marriage has left him gun-shy when it comes to matters of the heart. Can these well-matched lovers work out their issues and find happiness together? While Drawn Together is book 6 in the Brown Family novels, it stands on its own. Readers interested in reading the whole series will want to start with Laid Bare.

Hard As It Gets
by Laura Kaye

Erotic Romance. After Becca Merritt’s brother Charlie goes missing, she turns to Nick Rixey, a former soldier who served under her deceased father. Nick, now a part-time employee of his brother’s tattoo parlor, Hard Ink, still blames Colonel Merritt for the disastrous situation that got most of their unit killed and Nick dishonorably discharged. Although he wants nothing to do with the Merritt family, there’s something about Becca that he just can’t resist. As Nick and Becca search for Charlie, they make a discovery that could clear the reputations of Nick and his surviving comrades. This steamy series opener, which combines sizzling sensual encounters with an emotionally charged story, may interest fans of Lauren Dane’s Drawn Together, also set in a tattoo parlor.

Sins & Needles
by Karina Halle

Romantic Suspense. Ellie Watt is a grifter trying valiantly to reform. That’s why she has retreated to her uncle’s farm in bucolic Palm Valley, California, where temptation is hard to come by. Or so she thinks until she meets master tattoo artist Camden McQueen, who’s both seriously sexy and an easy mark if ever there was one. As her involvement with Cameron tests Ellie’s resolve to stay on the straight and narrow, her past catches up with her, placing them both in danger. Gritty and explicit, Sins & Needles is the 1st novel in the high-drama Artists trilogy. Readers who hate cliffhangers should be aware that Ellie and Cameron’s complicated relationship unfolds over course of the entire series, which continues with Shooting Scars and Bold Tricks.

Afterlight: The Dark Ink Chronicles
by Elle Jasper

Paranormal Romance. Riley Poe, a tattoo artist in Savannah, Georgia, is an adoptive member of the family that serves as a living blood bank for the Dupré family vampires, who provide protection from the city’s villainous strigoi in exchange for fresh plasma. When Riley’s brother Seth is kidnapped by the strigoi, she seeks out vampire EliDupré, who’s as intrigued by her rare blood type as he is by Riley herself. Although paranormal romance fans should enjoy this steamy vampire-themed love story, Afterlight — the 1st book in the Dark Ink Chronicles — skews heavily towards urban fantasy and may also appeal to fans of Kristen Painter’s Crescent City novels.

The Tattooed Duke
by Maya Rodale

Regency Historical. As one of the London Weekly’s notorious “Writing Girls,” investigative reporter Eliza Fielding will go to any lengths for a story. Her latest assignment? Posing as a maid in the household of Sebastian Digby, the tattooed Duke of Wycliff, whose adventurous lifestyle has long shocked and titillated polite society. As Eliza sets to work chronicling Wyclif’s scandalous exploits, she discovers that he’s a far better man than he pretends to be. Soon, she’s having reservations about exposing his secrets — and his exotic body art — to the world. Love and success: can a Regency-era female journalist have it all? Find out in this 3rd installment of the Writing Girls series, after A Groom of One’s Own and A Tale of Two Lovers.

List created 8/3/16 – James Hartmann

Adapted from Nextreads.

Romance – Military Romance

Military Romance
Do or Die: A Reluctant Heroes Novel
by Suzanne BrockmannRomantic Suspense. Attorney Phoebe Kruger can’t fathom why her client doesn’t want to get out of prison. Yet former Navy SEAL Ian Dunn insists that he’d rather stay behind bars. Phoebe has been sent to convince Ian to undertake a dangerous covert mission for the government in exchange for his release, but what Phoebe doesn’t know (and what Ian can’t tell her) is that protecting his brother from the mob requires serving time for a crime he didn’t commit. Do or Die kicks off the Reluctant Heroes series — a spin-off of the wildly popular Troubleshooters novels — and features author Suzanne Brockmann’s signature brand of military-themed action-adventure romance.

By Break of Day: The Night Stalkers
by M.L. BuchmanRomantic Suspense. First of all, it’s not a drone; it’s an RPA — a remotely piloted aircraft. And as far as Captain Kara Moretti is concerned, piloting “Tosca” for SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment) is the best job in the army. If only she weren’t so distracted by Texan helicopter pilot Captain Justin Roberts, who makes her reconsider her decision not to get involved with anyone on the team. But when Justin’s Chinook is hijacked, Kara faces an agonizing dilemma: duty demands that she shoot the helicopter down, potentially killing the man she’s come to love. Unless she can somehow save him? By Break of Day is the 7th exciting installment of the Night Stalkers series, which starts with The Night is Mine.

Shelter Me: A Second Chance Romance
by Catherine MannContemporary Romance. When Colonel Allen McDaniel is killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, Staff Sergeant Mike Kowalski brings his fallen commander’s dog, Trooper, to the Second Chance Ranch Animal Rescue center. There, he’s reunited with his old flame Sierra, who happens to be McDaniel’s daughter. Sierra tries to resist Mike’s charms, as she has no desire to follow in her mother’s footsteps and fall in love with a military man. Fortunately, Trooper is willing to do whatever it takes to make the couple see that they’re perfect for each other. Author Catherine Mann’s experiences as a military spouse and a dog rescuer inform this heartwarming series opener.

A Time for Home: A Snowberry Creek Novel
by Alexis MorganContemporary Romance. With a dog named Mooch in tow, Nick Jenkins travels to Snowberry Creek, Washington, the home of his army buddy Spencer Lang, who was recently killed in Afghanistan. Spencer’s best friend, Callie Redding, has inherited his house, a rambling Victorian pile that she wants to restore and turn into a bed and breakfast to honor Spencer’s memory. Nick offers to help, hoping that the project will distract him. However, grief over his friend’s death is soon replaced by guilt for falling in love with Callie. Both Callie and Nick will have to come to terms with the past in order to have a future together.  A Time for Home is the 1st book in the Snowberry Creek series, which continues with More Than a Touch.

Back to You
by Jessica ScottContemporary Romance. Since surviving the dangerous mission that killed several of his men, army captain Trent Davila, wracked with survivor’s guilt, has volunteered for deployment after deployment. Unsurprisingly, this has strained his marriage to the breaking point. With both his marriage and his career in jeopardy, Trent realizes that his wife Laura and their children are the best things ever to happen to him and is determined to do whatever it takes to fix his marriage and reunite his family. Realistic depictions of military life, particularly the challenges facing active-duty soldiers and their partners, make this 1st Coming Home novel a moving reading experience.

List created 7/7/16 – James Hartmann

Adapted from Nextreads.

Romance – Wedding Bells

Wedding Bells
Rushed to the Altar
by Jane Feather

Georgian Romance. If he wants to see a penny of his inheritance, Jasper Sullivan, Earl of Blackwater, must reform a fallen woman through marriage. So informed, he heads to Covent Garden to find himself a prostitute, where he encounters Clarissa Astley — while she’s picking his pocket. But Clarissa is no more a lightskirt than she is a street thief: she’s a gently bred virgin who’s fallen on hard times since the deaths of her parents. Jasper outlines his proposal and Clarissa accepts without disclosing her true situation: by sacrificing her virtue to Jasper and accepting his money, she can ensure that she and her younger brother are safe from their wicked guardian. However, what begins as a marriage of convenience turns into an unlikely love match, making Clarissa’s secret a danger to their relationship.

The Bridegroom
by Linda Lael Miller

Western Romance. When they were children growing up in a frontier town, Gideon Yarbro told Lydia Fairmont that if she ever needed him, she need only send word and he’d come for her. Well, Lydia needs him now — on the eve of her wedding to a heartless man. Gideon, true to his word, arrives just in time to rescue the bride-to-be. But Lydia will lose everything unless she marries, prompting Gideon to step in as her groom. From there, the newlyweds travel to Stone Creek, Arizona, where Gideon, an undercover law enforcement official, must infiltrate a criminal organization while protecting his new bride from her vengeful former fiancé and keeping them both safe from Gideon’s enemies. This 4th Stone Creek novel boasts an atmospheric Old West setting, an action-packed plot, and a moving love story.

A Distant Magic
by Mary Jo Putney

Fantasy Romance. En route to a wedding, Jean Macrae, a Scottish woman with a modest talent for magic, is kidnapped by Nikolai Grigorio, a Maltese pirate who harbors a long-simmering grudge against her father. But as Jean and Nikolai spend time together, a simmering attraction ignites — especially once they discover that their magical powers, when combined, are extraordinary. As partners, Jean and Nikolai embark on a dangerous mission to fight slavery around the world. Fans of Mary Jo Putney’s Guardians series will be happy to find that this 3rd stand-alone installment contains a great deal of history in addition to romance.

A Highland Werewolf Wedding
by Terry Spear

Paranormal Romance. Elaine Hawthorn is an American Werewolf in Scotland. While driving through the Highlands, she runs into (literally, with her car) lycanthropic laird Cearnach MacNeill, who’s on his way to a friend’s wedding. Their attraction is both instantaneous and mutual, inspiring Cearnach to invite Elaine as his date. However, because Elaine is related to the rival McKinley clan, showing up with Cearnach to a Highland wedding is enough to reignite a feud that’s been smoldering since 1785. As steamy as it is action-packed, A Highland Werewolf Wedding is the 11th installment of author Terry Spear’s popular Werewolf series.

Dictatorship of the Dress
by Jessica Topper

Contemporary Romance. Laney Hudson has one job: transport her mother’s elaborate, expensive wedding dress to Hawaii. Easier said than done, thanks to the sorry state of air travel in the United States. While the voluminous gown gets her an upgrade to first class, it also gets her stuck with a supercilious seatmate, software designer Noah Ridgewood. Worse, the flight crew assumes they’re newlyweds and when the plane is unexpectedly grounded, ensures that they’re lodged in a nearby hotel’s honeymoon suite. Stranded in a strange city, Laney and Noah are forced to get to know each other much, much better. Dictatorship of the Dress kicks off the Much ‘I Do’ About Nothing series.

List created 6/6/16 – James Hartmann

Adapted from Nextreads.

Romance – Jewel Thieves

Focus on: Jewel Thieves
The Dream Thief
by Shana Abé

Fantasy Romance. Sacred to the drákon race, Draumr, the “dreaming diamond” lies hidden deep within the Carpathian Mountains. Lady Amalia “Lia” Langford, the only one who can hear its song, knows that she must retrieve it. Also seeking the gem is jewel thief Zane, a human raised among the drákon and charged by his adoptive family with retrieving Draumr. With their common goal, shared background, and mutual attraction, Lia and Zane should be natural allies. But Lia is clairvoyant and her visions suggest that Zane could prove to be an enemy. Set in an alternate 18th-century England where shape-shifting dragons conceal their existence from humans, The Dream Thief is the 1st book in the Drakon series, after The Smoke Thief.

When the Rogue Returns
by Sabrina Jeffries

Historical Romance. Ten years after scheming relatives and a set of stolen jewels drove the newlyweds apart, Victor and Isabella Cale are unexpectedly reunited in Edinburgh. Victor, a private inquiry agent employed to investigate a wealthy baron’s beautiful fiancée, never imagined that his client’s betrothed would turn out to be Victor’s own erstwhile bride! Isabella, posing as a widow, is infuriated by the sudden appearance of the man who deserted her and broke her heart — especially since his goal is to prevent her from rebuilding her life and his methods entail reminding her of the passionate love they once shared. When the Rogue Returns is the 2nd book in the steamy Duke’s Men series, which begins with What the Duke Desires.

The Year of Living Scandalously
by Julia London

Regency Historical. Years ago, the famed Ashwood jewels went missing and an innocent man was hanged for the crime. Declan O’Connor, Lord Donnelly, is working to recover the jewels and unmask the true culprit. This will require the cooperation of the current Countess of Ashwood. Alas, she’s an impostor: Keira Hannigan has temporarily assumed the identity of her cousin Lily, who’s living abroad. A strong family resemblance means that nobody notices the switch — except Declan, who has known Keira since childhood. Declan agrees to keep her secret, but on one condition: she must aid him in his search. Mystery, murder, and misunderstandings add suspense to the romance in this opening installment of the Secrets of Hadley Green series.

The Bride’s Necklace
by Kat Martin

Historical Fiction. To protect her sister from their predatory stepfather, Victoria Temple Whiting steals a family heirloom known as “the Bride’s Necklace” to pay for their passage to London, where they can hide from their guardian. Posing as “Tory Temple,” Victoria enters the service of libertine Cordell “Cord” Easton, the Earl of Brant. Intrigued by his newest housemaid, Cord wants to make Tory his mistress. However, his proposition turns into a proposal when her stepfather shows up to claim the sisters and Cord intervenes to ensure their safety. Now facing a marriage of convenience instead of a sexual liaison, Cord and Tory must discover if their chemistry is enough to sustain a long-term union.

Remember When
by Nora Roberts

Romantic Suspense. Laine Tavish is the proprietor of Remember When, a charming antiques store in Angel Gap, Maryland. But Laine Tavish only exists on paper: it’s the alias of Elaine O’Hara, daughter of infamous con artist Big Jack O’Hara, and she’s gone to great lengths to distance herself from the family business. That changes when sexy private investigator Max Gannon shows up, seeking a cache of stolen diamonds. Fast forward to 2059 and NYPD Lieutenant Eve Dallas is still searching for the stones, assisted by rogue-turned-life partner Roarke. Nora Roberts, writing both as herself and as J.D. Robb, combines her signature blend of small-town contemporary romance with the futuristic thrills of the In Death series.

Hard as Ice: The Fortis Series
by Raven Scott

Multicultural Romantic Suspense. Ex-CIA operative Evan “Ice” DaCosta is an asset and recovery specialist at Fortis, an elite security firm staffed by former government agents. Hired by a prestigious Boston auction house to investigate a multi-million-dollar jewel heist, Evan goes undercover and concludes that the theft may be an inside job. His prime suspect? Nia James, the auction house’s beautiful, intelligent, and ambitious managing director who (unbeknownst to her employers) has some secrets in her past. As Evan pursues the gems, he begins to take more than a professional interest in Nia, despite the possibility that she may be a criminal. Hard as Ice is the 1st book in the Fortis series, followed by Hard and Fast.

List created 3/7/16 – James Hartmann
Adapted from Nextreads.

Romance – Romantic Suspense

The Ideal Man
by Julie Garwood

Romantic Suspense. When St. Louis trauma surgeon Dr. Ellie Sullivan witnesses the near-fatal shooting of an FBI agent by the Landrys, a pair of dangerous fugitives on the run, she receives a government-issued bodyguard: Special Agent Max Daniels. Although their attraction is immediate and intense, there are roadblocks in their relationship: the Landrys have put a hit out on Ellie; her stalker has just been released from prison; and her spoiled sister is marrying Ellie’s ex-fiance. Drama, passion, and a healthy dose of humor propel this page-turner to its pulse-pounding conclusion.

Trust No One
by Jayne Ann Krentz

Romantic Suspense. Even positive thinking can’t help Grace Elland when her boss, Seattle-based motivational speaker Sprague Witherspoon, gets murdered. But however traumatized she might be by the event, Grace still needs gainful employment. Between polishing her admittedly spotty resume and scouring Washington State for affordable housing, she reluctantly agrees to a blind date with Marine turned venture capitalist Julius Arkwright, who may not be a pro when it comes to wining and dining women, but who proves to be an expert at protecting Grace from trouble when it arrives. Featuring a resilient heroine with a troubled past, an upstanding but socially awkward hero, and a killer who brings the unlikely couple together, this stand-alone novel by popular author Jayne Ann Krentz should please fans of classic romantic suspense.

by Karen Robards

Romantic Suspense. When Riley Cowan finds her investment banker ex-husband’s body hanging in the opulent Houston mansion they once shared, she’s certain that the cause of death was not suicide, as the police claim. Despite the official verdict, Riley believes that her ex was murdered — possibly by a former client. Riley’s best chance at uncovering the truth lies with Finn Bradley, the former CIA operative turned government “asset recovery specialist.” Finn agrees to assist Riley, but only because he believes she knows more than she’s telling. As danger closes in around them, Riley and Finn must learn to trust each other if they want to survive.

The Liar
by Nora Roberts
Romantic Suspense. Can a woman love a man who never existed? Shelby Anne Pomeroy married “Richard Foxworth” only to discover after his death that her husband had been living under an alias — one that allowed him to lie, cheat, and steal with abandon. Devastated, Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and returns to her Tennessee hometown. Initially, it seems as if Shelby’s life is on the upswing: she’s reunited with her family, reconnecting with old friends, and even taking tentative steps towards romance with contractor Griff Lott. Then Shelby learns that her husband made some dangerous enemies, who may have had a hand in his death and who may be coming after her next.

List created 11/2/15 – James Hartmann

Adapted from Nextreads.

Romance – More than Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades Readalikes)

Fifty shades of grey / E L James
Literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the young and successful entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, and she finds him beautiful, brilliant and deeply flawed. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind – until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time. Lured by her looks, wit, and independent spirit, Grey is determined to make Anastasia his sexual possession. If their relationship is to go any deeper, Anastasia will have to penetrate Grey’s cold armour, and hope that she likes what she finds.

Fifty shades darker / E. L. James
Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.

Fifty shades freed / E L James
Even though Christian and Anastasia are now a proper couple, they still have many obstacles to overcome, including Christian’s past coming back to haunt Anastasia.

Bared to you / Sylvia Day
Eva Trammel, plagued by her own insecurities, is drawn into an intense, obssessive relationship with the wealthy and arrogant Gideon Cross.

Reflected in you / Sylvia Day
Continues the story of Eva and Gideon, whose violent backgrounds compel them to avoid each other in spite of a passionate, obsessive attraction that threatens to destroy them both.

Entwined with you / Sylvia Day
Continues the saga of Gideon and Eva, whose passionate bond is put to an ultimate test by torments from their respective pasts.

Captivated by you / Sylvia Day
The vows we’d exchanged should have bound us tighter than blood and flesh. Instead they opened old wounds, exposed pain and insecurities, and lured bitter enemies out of the shadows. I felt him slipping from my grasp, my greatest fears becoming my reality, my love tested in ways I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to bear.

My education / Susan Choi
Warned about the controversial and womanizing activities of Professor Nicholas Brodeur before her arrival at his prestigious university, graduate student Regina Gottlieb is nevertheless captured by his charisma and good looks before falling prey to his volatile wife in ways that resonate throughout subsequent years. By the Pulitzer Prize finalist author of American Woman.

Obsession : an erotic tale / Gloria Vanderbilt
New York social maven Priscilla Bingham discovers a hidden cache of letters that reveal her late husband’s affair with a sophisticated dominatrix who has recorded the intimate details of their relationship, a finding with which Priscilla becomes increasingly obsessed.

Consumed : a novel / David Cronenberg
While freelance journalist Naomi places her safety in the hands of a suspicious grad student to investigate a sexual philosopher’s murder, her rival and lover, Nathan, contracts a rare STD while documenting a surgeon’s controversial work in organ trafficking.

Foreplay / Sophie Jordan
Attending a prestigious Ivy League university, three suitemates experience unlikely romance, including never-been-kissed Pepper, who has long been in love with her best friend’s bad-boy brother and who resolves to finally get his attention.

Pleasure / Eric Jerome Dickey
Having left a man who has failed to meet her intimate needs, a woman considers the morally challenging notion of pursuing relationships with more than one person and gives in to fantasies in her subsequent affairs with a married man and an unmarried stranger.

Black dahlia & white rose : stories / Joyce Carol Oates
A collection of eleven stories explores the slippage between fantasy and everyday life, the commingling of sexual love and violence, and the complexity of family life.

10 shades of seduction / Sarah McCarty…[et. al.]
An anthology of 10 sultry short tales explores dark fantasies in the sophisticated realm of BDSM and includes contributions by such leading genre authors as Tiffany Reisz, Portia Da Costa and Alison Tyler.

Perfect for the beach / Lori Foster … [et al.]
Temperatures will rise in this sultry collection of six novellas that includes Lori Foster’s Some Like It Hot, in which Dr. Cary Rupert is unable to deny his attraction to sexy patient Nora Chilton, along with other works by Kayla Perrin, Janelle Denison, Erin McCarthy, MaryJanice Davidson, and Morgan Leigh.

List created 4/12/15 – James Hartmann

Romance – Hot Romances: 5 Regency Series to Heat Up Your Reading

1The Viscount Who Loved Me
by Julia Quinn

The brilliant and seductive Bridgerton series, in this story the notorious rake, Viscount Anthony Bridgerton, pursues the beautiful Edwina Shefflield but is secretly falling for her meddlesome sister, Kate. A great story, loveable and lively characters with wicked senses of humor and intense chemistry mean an addictive series from a master of the genre.

2To Pleasure a Prince
by Sabrina Jeffries

Part of the Royal Brotherhood series which focuses on three sons of the Prince of Wales born on the wrong side of the blanket and on the outside of society who are hellbent on satisfying passion but surprised at finding love. No one writes a better sex scene than Ms. Jeffries.

3Seducing an Angel
by Mary Balogh

This is the fourth book in the series about the charming Huxtables, 3 sisters and a brother searching for love and passion in all the right places in Regency London. Stephen falls for a disgraced widow who is not looking for marriage but is instead hoping to snare a rich man to take her on as his mistress. Both get more than they bargain for. Balogh writes interesting lively characters and story lines with depth.

4The Revenge of Lord Eberlin
by Julia London

The second in The Secrets of Hadley Green series. This story features Count Eberlin, who has returned to Hadley Green, the site of his father’s hanging for thievery fifteen years ago. He has come to avenge his father and destroy the Countess of Ashwood, who as a young girl testified against his father. It turns out revenge is no match for major attraction. Hot Hot Hot and great storytelling.

5The Laird Who Loved Me
by Karen Hawkins

The last of the seductive Scottish MacLean series focuses on Caitlin Hurst whose attempt to trick the notoriously eligible Alexander MacLean into marriage in a previous book goes completely awry and in this tale she gets her comeuppance. The sexy chemistry between Caitlin and Alexander is more than enough to keep the pages turning.

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