Tag: romance

BLOG TOUR: Two Together by Lisa Renee Jones

Book: Two Together

Series: Naked trilogy #3

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Release date: 19 November 2019

Main characters: Emma Knight, Jax North – their families are sworn enemies but can these two end the enmity once and for all?

Blurb: He came into my life. He took me off guard, consumed me. Claimed me. But there is more to Jax North than meets the eye. There is more to this man than the way he makes me tremble, sigh, and even smile when I didn’t believe I still could smile. And as it turns out the two of us together are far more than fire and passion. The two of us together threaten to expose a secret about Jax, and our families, that not even we know. A secret that someone doesn’t want exposed. A secret that someone will do anything to hide.

Why you should read it: Do you like secrets? Lies? Family lies and secrets? Then you owe it to yourself to finish this series. You really need to have read One Man and One Woman before attempting Two Together (in case you somehow didn’t know this is a trilogy). Action picks up from the end of book 2 and from there on, there’s sexy times aplenty. There’s peril and intrigue, self-discovery and lots character growth. The was a ton of angst for Emma and Jax – namely because there’s danger and it’s not immediately clear where the danger is coming from. However, Jax and Emma are such a good team that they don’t spend a lot of time agonising about whether they should be together or not. I was thankful for this, as this kind of vacillating from characters can really slow down a plot and become repetitive.

What you may not like: For the most part I enjoyed the conclusion to this series. It was poignant, it was sexy and there was a good build up of intrigue. There were lots of surprises along the way, so I was kept guessing whodunnit. My only question would be Jill’s behaviour throughout the series and why it turned around seemingly overnight. It felt a little unresolved to me.

Rating: 3.5/5 for an intriguing, exciting and hot series. Being rich doesn’t equal happy, that’s for sure!

BUY LINKS:

Apple → https://apple.co/2Xg5ZCY

Amazon Universal → http://mybook.to/TwoTogether

Nook → http://bit.ly/2I43qPv

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2K6pdZe

Blog tour: Loving Amber by Roya Carmen

book cover of Roya Carmen's book Loving AmberBook: Loving Amber

Series: Riverstone Estate #1

Author: Roya Carmen

Release date: 26 September, 2016

Main characters: Amber Mcanulty (née Riverstone) recently widowed and struggling to keep everything together. Aiden Rogers, old family friend and the person Amber holds responsible for her family’s problems.

Plot: Following the death of their beloved father, siblings Amber, Ruby and Flynn have all pitched together to keep the Riverstone estate afloat. Amber runs the inn and has her hands full bringing up her son and dealing with the grief of losing her twin, her husband and her father in a relatively short space of time.

Amber’s grief is a tangible burden. Despite losing her husband and brother two years earlier, the concept of moving on just seems impossible some days. When Aiden Rogers walks back into her life – the man she blames for the deaths of her brother and husband – suppressed anger erupts and the pair must face up to their unresolved issues.

Aiden has loved Amber since childhood and the loss of her as well as his two best friends is unbearable. He tries to stay away, but the pull of her is too strong. How can he make her see that their attraction to one another needn’t be something to feel guilty about? Will she ever feel for him what he feels for her? Or is he doomed to a life of unrequited love?

Why you should read it: I love Roya Carmen’s books. You usually get a lot of drama, entertainment and red-hot romance. This book is no exception. We have a heroine who’s been through the mill, is afraid of everything as a result and needs to find some peace. Her dynamic with Aiden was an interesting one because they’ve known each other forever. They’re a huge part of each other’s lives and their story was engaging. Their shared history meant that they understand each other a lot – but that doesn’t make things plain sailing at all! Aiden is pretty much a saint: he’s patient, kind and ready to settle down.

What you may not like: Ok, I’ll be honest – this book includes a challenging heroine. Amber is suffering, has suffered a lot in the past, so I gave her a free pass on a lot of stuff, but at times she was a real cow! And rather self-involved. She could be a real pill, but Aiden is no pushover and he gives as good as he gets. Amber’s indecision and inner monologue was a little repetitive at times, but I figure it showed how much turmoil she was in.

Rating: 3.5/5 – it’s an engaging book, the start of an exciting series and it kept my interest. I look forward to book 2 which comes out in Jan 2017. (Ruby’s story.)

roya-carmenAbout the Author:

Busy mom, naughty writer, comic-addict, artist & designer, book-aholic, nature lover, and hopeless romantic.

When I’m not writing, I can usually be found hanging with my family, reading, camping and travelling, painting, yoga-ing (very ungracefully), shooting pool, or at my favourite bookstore café with my book friends.

A Northern French-Canadian gal, I now live just near Toronto where it’s much, much warmer!

For all the latest updates, sign-up for my newsletter at www.royacarmen.com or friend me on Facebook or Twitter!

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/royacarmen/?…

Twitter: @royacarmen

Wattpad: @royastories

website: www.royacarmen.com

loving_amber_book_tour

I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne

Book: I Wish You Were Mine

Series: An Oxford novel #2

Author: Lauren Layne

Release date: 2 February 2016

 

Basic story: Jackson Burke is re-adjusting (badly) to life off the football field. As Oxford’s newest health and fitness writer, he should be settling in and making an effort to get to know his new colleagues. Instead, despite several attempts from the Oxford crew to welcome him, he prefers his solitude and brooding. The car accident that ended his illustrious career months ago still haunts him. A messy divorce has left Jackson jaded and determined to get back to football, if only as a coach.

Mollie Carrington knows that her ex-brother-in-law, Jackson has been in New York for a while. What she doesn’t understand is why he won’t answer her calls or emails. They used to be best friends, always having the other’s back. Mollie always had a crush on Jackson, even though he was completely in love with her sister Madison. She was just glad of his support. So if he’s in a funk about his new situation, she’ll be the one to get him out of it.

Jackson always saw Mollie as his little sister and listened to her when it seemed Madison was too busy or too self-involved to bother. The woman he now sees is far from that awkward girl. The more time they spend together, the more obvious the mutual attraction becomes. The choice is a difficult one: should Mollie remain the loyal sister she’s always been, or should she put her own happiness first for once?

Why you should read it: I’m a huge fan of this Oxford series and the Stiletto series, which feature some of the same characters. Jackson and Mollie are a well-paired couple dealing with a manipulative sister/ex-wife, while trying to do the right thing. There was plenty of sexual tension and some great scenes featuring characters from Stiletto and the other Oxford men. It’s always a pleasure to reconnect with these characters. I’m totally invested in them now.

What you might not like: Jackson isn’t the nicest of heroes, it has to be said. He’s grumpy, slow to go after what he wants and the way he deals with his ex and Mollie will have you shaking your head at times. However, there wasn’t manufactured drama in this book – it could have taken a very predictable route, but fortunately it didn’t. Mollie also could have been a total doormat, but she really came into her own as a capable, independent woman.

Rating: So all in all, I give I Wish You Were Mine 3/5 for a satisfying and thoroughly enjoyable tale.

Here’s an excerpt: 

“I thought I might find you out here,” he said quietly as he took a sip of his own champagne.

Mollie snuck a look out of the corner of her eye. He’d come looking for her? She hadn’t thought anyone had noticed she’d slipped away.

“I messed up the toast,” she said quietly.

“Nah,” he said, stretching his long legs out in front of him and slouching down a bit to get comfortable. “Just think how many people you educated on the mating ritual of parasitic worms. They should be thanking you.”IWYWM_17

Mollie groaned. “It was supposed to be romantic. I did a paper about them for my systematics and biotics diversity final. They’re unusual because they’re bonded for life. Most organisms sleep around or, you know, the male dies after mating—”

Jackson winced, and Mollie wished she could wither and die just like a male bee.

Mollie knew she had lots of useless trivia in her head, but she didn’t normally go spouting it out like this. Not that she was a smooth talker or anything, but she was usually pretty quiet and normal, if a bit nerdy.

But tonight she felt . . . off. Starting with the fact that the dress Madison had picked for her was the exact color of Mollie’s complexion, so she looked like a mole rat. And then there was the fact that she’d tripped a bit as she’d been going down the aisle, courtesy of the five-inch stilettos her sister had insisted on.

Add in an awkward maid-of-honor speech where she’d gone on for a good five minutes about Schistosoma mansoni worms and how they mated for life, just like the bride and groom, and . . . oh God. Why had nobody stopped her?

Mollie scrunched down on the bench with a moan as she took a sip of champagne. “Madison’s going to kill me.”

Madison was in a mood anyway. She’d been a bridezilla from the moment Jackson had put a ring on it, but Mollie had figured when the actual day came around, her sister would relax.

Nope.

She’d been pissed about the flowers being ivory instead of true white to match her dress. Had bitched about the fact that Lily, one of her bridesmaids, had styled her hair in a way that was too close to the bride’s style.

Then Madison had vented about how the bracelet Jackson’s mother had shyly presented as Maddie’s “something old” was dumpy.

That one had gotten under Mollie’s skin. Mrs. Burke was the closest thing to a mother that either of them had. Their own mother had died of an overdose years ago, and Mollie would have given a kidney to have a surrogate as lovely and kind as Jackson’s mom.

“Maddie won’t kill you,” Jackson said, putting an arm around the back of the park bench and smiling down at her. “She loves you, even if she doesn’t get your whole triple-major, science-camp vibe.”

Mollie withheld a snort. That was an understatement. She loved her sister, but the closest Madison ever got to science was her monthly chemical peel.

Still, Mollie felt a fierce need to make sure that Jackson Burke knew she was an adult. “I’m twenty. I do not go to science camp.”

He lifted an eyebrow, and Mollie pointed her champagne flute at him. “Okay, I used to go to science camp. But I’m not the one who used the word ‘lactation’ in relation to a mermaid.”

“Hey, you’re not the only one who took bio in college.”

“But you were a communications major. Journalism,” she said.

He gave her a surprised look, and Mollie looked away, mentally kicking herself. That was exactly what Jackson Burke didn’t need—another groupie stalker.

She snuck another glance and saw that he’d slumped even farther, matching her own crappy posture, and Mollie was surprised to see that he looked . . . exhausted.

“Are you okay?” she asked. Because she couldn’t not ask. Not after she’d seen the weariness around his eyes, the slight tension in his shoulders.

Jackson turned his head so their eyes locked and he frowned before returning his attention to the mermaid. “Nobody ever asks me that.”

Her heart squeezed at the lost note in his voice. It was strange to think of someone as big and important as Jackson Burke being lonely, but somehow . . . somehow she knew he was. Even here, among all these people, he was somehow alone. Apart.

Like her.

The Scientific Method by Kris Ripper

Book: The Scientific Method

Author: Kris Ripper

Series: The Scientific Method

Format: Kindle

Review by: Judith

Plot: Will Derrie only wants one thing out of sex: to be dominated. Too bad it never works out for him. He and his latest girlfriend have predictably boring and far too vanilla sex until Will can’t take it anymore. But what can he do? He fantasizes and dreams and ultimately hopes that one day someone will figure out that he’s not messed up in the head for wanting something with a bit more kink. Will’s brother finally forces Will into getting what he wants since he knows Will would never do it on his own. He sets Will up on a coffee date with Mistress Lucy, a Dom friend of a friend, and thinks that she can solve all Will’s problems. Or at the very least, beat them out of him. What Will’s brother doesn’t bank on is Lucy bringing along, Hugh Reynolds, a male Dom who intrigues Will far more than he thought possible. As Hugh helps him search inside himself, Will learns that being dominated isn’t so kinky after all…

What you’ll like: this is ultimately a journey of self-discovery that doesn’t start out as pure smut. We see Will transform from a weak, unsatisfied boy into a man who knows what he wants and goes after it. The sex is ho-ho-HOT! And in the end, it’s not about romance or love. It’s about the journey that brought Will into accepting who he is and who he could be through domination and submission. Awesome story-telling from Kris Ripper and an action driven plot. Well, if you use “action” as a euphemism for sexy smut.

What you might hate: some people hate m/m. Some people also hate BDSM. Some people even hate smut. This book has all three. It’s a book where not a whole lot happens and Onni called it a bit clinical at first. (Judith totally disagrees BTW).

Rating: 5/5 The first book was free and I devoured it…and promptly bought the other 7 in the series and really haven’t come up for air in the last week.  So so so deliciously good.

Just One Night by Lauren Layne

FINAL-JUST-ONE-NIGHTBook: Just One Night

Author: Lauren Layne

Series: Sex, Love & Stiletto #3

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Riley McKenna loves her job. As a sex writer at Stiletto magazine, she’s gained quite the reputation as an expert in men and having a good time. As the anniversary issue of the magazine approaches, each columnist is asked to write a personal piece that draws on her own experience. Not a problem for a sexpert right? Wrong, Riley may have been giving sex advice very successfully over the years, but her own range of experience is seriously lacking. The reason: Sam Compton. Sam has featured heavily in Riley’s life and her fantasies for the past ten years. The chemistry between them is electric. The only problem is getting him to see her as anything other than his best buddy’s little sister.

Sam Compton is in turmoil – he’s left his highflying career as an investment banker and ploughed his 401(k) into a new distillery venture, making high quality whisky. He’s unsure of himself but knows one thing: he’d do anything for Riley McKenna. She drives him crazy. When she propositions him to help her write her article for the anniversary issue, it takes all he has to refuse. He promised her brother long ago that he wouldn’t go after his little sister and he’s not in a hurry to lose his best friend. But when Riley’s offering just one night to get the sexual tension out of both their systems, will one night be enough?

Why you should read this: If you’ve read and enjoyed After The Kiss and Love The One You’re With then you definitely need to read on to see how some much-loved characters are getting on. Riley, Grace and Julie are a lot of fun and it’s great to catch up with them and their love lives. Riley’s a great character. She’s brave, focused and determined to get her man. Sam is sexy, hopeless and prone to hurt those who love him the most. He screws up – making him a flawed hero. It was a heart-warming and sexy read.

What you might hate: This book had quite a bit more angst than the earlier two. Not a bad thing – it gave it depth, but at times the hero did do the whole ‘I’m not good enough for you, I don’t deserve to be happy’ shtick, which fortunately, didn’t last too long. I don’t have a lot of patience for heroes who sabotage their own happiness! The angst was well balanced by the heroine’s determination to get her man and make him see sense. I’m hoping there will be a fourth book in the series for Emma and Alex – I don’t want it to end…

Rating: While I may not have loved this book as much as Love the One You’re With, it was still an enjoyable, sexy read. I’m giving Just One Night 3.5/5

Just One Night is out on April 22nd.

Blog Tour: The Redhead Plays Her Hand by Alice Clayton

We’re very happy to be today’s stop on the Redhead Plays Her Hand blog tour. *Fanfares please.* I know everyone who is an Alice Clayton fan has been waiting not so patiently for the final chapter in the Redhead series. Well, fear not! The wait is over…

redhead

Book: The Redhead Plays Her Hand

Series: The Redhead Series #3

Author: Alice Clayton

Reviewer: Onnica

Basic story: Grace is about to take the television world by storm. Busy rehearsing for the pilot of ‘Mabel’s Unstable?’, the TV version of the successful stage show she worked on in New York, the world is soon to be Grace’s oyster. The only fly in the ointment? The Director and her manager/bff have suggested that she lose 15 pounds for her TV debut. Determined not to make an fuss in the face of her big break, Grace complies, upping her workout regimen and curtailing her candy habit. It’s only fifteen pounds right?

Meanwhile, Grace and Jack are going as strong as ever and he is about to embark on a new film. Practically inseparable, yet never admitting their relationship to the press, the pair are as in love as ever. So what if Jack had been hitting the party circuit a little harder than before. Grace puts it down to being 24, the toast of the town and the need to blow off a little steam.

When the weight loss plan goes a little awry, Grace decides not to stay quiet about her struggles any longer. As a mere size 8, she’s hardly a poster girl for plus size, but being linked to Jack Hamilton is a double-edged sword. The press and some of Jack’s online fans aren’t being very complimentary about her and so she decides to fight back. If only things were that simple when it came to handling Jack. He’s becoming increasingly surly with his manager and whenever she suggests that he party a little less, he goes postal. Is this just a phase, or has Grace lost her Sweet Nuts for good?

Why you should read this: I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting ages to see what would happen to Grace and Jack – would they weather the storm and be together forever? Can love conquer all? Of course it can. Alice Clayton has put a lot of heart into the characters of Jack and Grace – their story had me wanting more from The Unidentified Redhead. The level of angst in book two took me by surprise, but I feel that book three has ironed out a lot of issues and we got to see very different sides to all of the characters we thought we knew in depth already. This book is sexy, has a serious side and makes you think twice about reaching for the tabloids at the checkout on your next shopping trip.

What you might hate: This book is all about Jack’s wobble. In The Redhead Revealed, Grace had a massive wobble which led to a lot of angst and in this final book, it’s Jack’s turn. For me, he acted like a huge jerk for a significant portion of the book – completely out of character up until now and he behaved like any 24 year old, with a lot a fame would probably behave. It’s realistic, but don’t expect to love him for it. In fact, he really got on my nerves if I’m honest. At times, the couple were too scared to confront their issues and instead, just had sex as that part of their relationship never failed. The usual humour that Alice Clayton uses in earlier books was missing from this one too – I get that the honeymoon period was over for Grace and Jack, but this book felt a lot more serious than before. You’ll have to make the call whether you prefer bright and breezy or angst-ridden drama.

Rating3.5/5 – A satisfying ending to the saga that is Grace and Jack. I liked it – I liked completing their journey. I didn’t love it for the reasons I mentioned above, but I’m glad that I read it. It’s actually a very interesting commentary on how celebrities are treated by the press and how crazy their lives can get.

The Redhead Plays Her Hand is out now!

Fancy winning a copy? Go to our FB page to enter.

Cake by Lauren Dane

Cake

Book: Cake

Author: Lauren Dane

Publisher: Cosmo Red-Hot Reads

Format: Uncorrected ARC

Review by: Onnica

Basic Story: Wren Davis is studying art and determined to make her dreams to be an illustrator come true. Working hard with a job as a courier on the side, she becomes good friends with artist, Gregori Ivanov, Russian enfant terrible and toast of the art world. He’s enigmatic, flirtatious and demanding, but Wren likes him. They flirt, they talk art and she gets him. Gradually she begins to look forward to more and more delivery jobs that bring her to his door.

Art is Gregori’s life and nothing gets between him and his work. He’s used to being pursued by hangers-on and women that want to be the centre of his universe. Wren is different. She’s sassy, confident, beautiful and she is unimpressed by his wealth and his lifestyle. She doesn’t take kindly to his caprices and is always honest with him. She can give as good as she gets and he loves that. When it becomes clear that she could be good for him in more ways than one, he struggles to accept it as he wants her friendship more than anything else. How can he offer her more when all along he’s thought of women as disposable?

Why you should read this: This is a delightful novella that’s fun and has a great heroine. Comfortable in her own skin and knows what she wants she has he man in her sights and she usually gets what she wants. There’s humour and the author sets the scene nicely. It’s well paced and sexy as hell. Who doesn’t like a tattooed and moody artist with an accent? The power play between Wren and Gregori is enjoyable – did I mention how much I enjoyed her character??

What you might hate: Can’t think of anything here – too short maybe? Ah yes, that’s the nature of novellas – I think it was the perfect length.

Rating: 4/5 – this was a highly enjoyable quick read – sweet and delicious. A lot like cake.

Cake is out on 15 September.

Emancipating Andie by Priscilla Glenn

Book: Emancipating Andie

Author: Priscilla Glenn

Format: ARC

Review by: Judith

Basic story: Andie Weber knows what she wants out of life and she always always plays by the rules. She has the true love of a wonderful man named Colin, a stable job, and dreams of one day becoming a writer (though she keeps that to herself). The only glitch in her otherwise perfect world is Colin’s best friend, Chase – a free spirited and hilariously unfiltered photographer who thinks she is way too uptight for her own good. When they end up driving to Florida together for a wedding, Chase decides to show Andie just what she’s missing out of life by being so rigid. In only 48 hours he manages to rock her to her very foundations and forces her to reevaluate what is most important.  Once the wedding is over however, Chase, Andie, and Colin find themselves back home and each of them must deal with the ramifications of Andie’s awakening.  With all these new ideas of what’s right and wrong, will she choose Chase or Colin? And most importantly, will she be happy with her choice and what the future brings with him?

Why you should read this: She’s done it again! Priscilla Glenn smacks us upside the head with awesome in this book and will make you question why we really love people and what it takes to make us happy in life. She is the master of gorgeous, effortlessly written prose and when you reach the end of this one, you’ll say to yourself, “wha…? It’s over?! ALREADY??? Now I gotta go read sub-par crap again? Wahhhh!” With this book, her characters are fleshed out and described so beautifully that you feel for them as they grow and mature naturally. Like I said above, everything that she writes is effortless. It’s as if her words were a lens and we’re able to see into these people’s lives through it.  It’s an amazing and unique experience.

Chase is undeniably clever and hot. His interactions with Andie will have you laughing out loud and yearning for more simultaneously. He’s everything obnoxious and brash but when we finally learn more about him and hear his whole backstory, we discover that he’s not abrasive just matter of fact. I’m tired of all the Alpha males running around these days and Chase is definitely not one. He lays his cards out there on the table and is just a raw, refreshing character. You will swoon all over him!

What you might hate: Their trip down to Florida was way too short! I wanted to see more of Andie getting out of her comfort zone because what we do get is exhilarating. Priscilla’s books are all very real and in today’s romance world of vampires, humongous packages, and marathon sexy times, some of you may not want to read about things that could actually happen. And this book is all about reality. There’s no explosive action or men with huge muscles fighting over the girl. It’s a very raw look at emotions and the ties that bind us to other people.  A true love story. It’s also a standalone which many people might dislike cause it means they’re investing time and emotion into a story that will end.  Many people love series and this is a wholly contained world. (Personally I loved that!)

Rating: 4.5/5. The writing is gorgeous, the characters are extremely real and likable, the story just flows. This is a love story at its core but also a tale of redemption and maturity where the heroine finds her happily ever after not only in love but also in all the other aspects of life. Read it now!

How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox

Book: How to Misbehave (Novella)

Series: The Camelot series

Author: Ruthie Knox

Reviewed by: Onnica

Basic Story: Amber Clark is a good girl – has been her entire 24 years on earth. She wants that to change. She gets her wish one day when a tornado hits the town, trapping her and building contractor Tony Mazzara in the community centre where they both work.

Amber has always admired him from afar, never daring to do anything about it. So when they enter the dark basement to wait out the storm, with only each other for company, there’s no choice but to get to know one another. Tony is nothing like she imagined. He’s strong and taciturn yes, but also afraid of the pitch blackness of the basement. In the short space of time, they find out many things that challenge their pre-conceived notions. But will their mutual passions outlive the storm outside?

Why you should read this: Usually, I’m not a huge fan of the novella, as the pace usually speeds by without the reader getting a proper feel for the characters. Not so with this book! Amber is a likeable, doe-eyed heroine with courage and the confidence to speak up for herself. Tony could have been a meathead Italian-American, but he was so much more. I loved them both.

What you might hate: The fact that once the story gets going, it ends! But don’t worry, this is a series and the rest of Amber’s family will get their own stories. (I was ridiculously happy about this news, as Ruthie will confirm as I took to Twitter immediately!)

Rating: 5/5 – yes you read right – I’m giving it five out of five. It’s a highly enjoyable, surprising, racy read that you can pick up and enjoy in one sitting. I’m a huge fan of Ruthie Knox and it’s great to be reading more from her.

Our Top Romance Picks from 2012

Hello hello! Judith and Onni here. Well, it was a rough year on us, romantically speaking. We both read a ton of great books only to discover while compiling this list that the majority were published prior to the current year. “Wait, what!–I can’t add Bone Deep by Bonnie Dee to my list?!” I whined to Onni just last night. “Nope, I’m afraid not. Not published in 2012,” she countered. Well, it doesn’t matter any way since we have 6 books we both loved, no! Adored, no! WANT TO FORCE ON YOU SINCE THEY ARE SO GOOD!

So you have it: our top picks of 2012.

Onnica:

It’s such a tough job looking back on a year’s worth of reading and then picking a favourite, but here goes:

Gabriel's Inferno (UK cover)

1) Gabriel’s Inferno, by Sylvain Reynard

How much do I love this book? Let me count the ways. The arrogant, surly and beautiful Professor Gabriel Emerson is without doubt one of my favourite leading men of 2012. The story is intelligent and sexy and its overall theme that kindness is never wasted and redemption is always possible, made this an unforgettable tale. The love story between Gabriel and Julianne is one I will return to again and again.

Wallbanger

2) Wallbanger, by Alice Clayton

A lot of books this year have made me smile and feel good, but none have actually had me laughing out loud in public. Bar this one. The balance was impeccable – a likeable heroine, a sexy and down to earth hero, a cat with tons of attitude and gentle humour that didn’t get too over the top. If you haven’t read it yet, what have you been doing? Get on it!

50 Shades Trilogy

3) Fifty Shades Series, by E L James

Ok, ok, I know it’s not really the done thing to stand up and admit to liking this series these days, but I did! That’s right – I said it and I’m owning it. So the dialogue wasn’t Shakespeare, but I really fancied Christian Grey and if I’m honest, these books re-ignited my love for the whole romance/smut-tastic genre. Ana was a great heroine too – she didn’t put up with all of Christian’s nonsense and stayed true to herself. This series has also spawned a whole sub-genre: just look at how many stories there are now on the market about rich/broken/bored billionaires!

Judith: 

Back to You_Cover

1. Back to You by Priscilla Glenn

If you follow our sister site, http://www.iloveyafiction.com, you’ll know how much I absolutely love Back to You.  It’s the story of Lauren and Michael, past loves meeting again ten years later in the midst of very different circumstances. You fall in love with Michael in the present, you fall in love with Adam, Lauren’s new love, and you fall in love with Lauren and Michael’s past. IMO, this was a breakout book. With phenomenal writing and varying viewpoints that left me wondering if they would ever get back together, it’s sweet, funny, and oh-so-sexy. I can’t praise this one highly enough. Buy it and read it again and again. I bet you can’t read it just one time!

Laurie Breton Coming Home

2. Coming Home (Jackson Falls series) by  Laurie Breton

True story! Back to You by Priscilla Glenn used to have a different cover. In fact, it was the same cover as Coming Home. Well naturally, one day I was searching for something new to read on Amazon and saw the image of what I assumed was Back to You. I clicked on it, wanting to see what rave reviews it was receiving from readers and ended up so confused as I landed on a completely different story than the one I thought I was getting. Luckily I did though, cause the premise intrigued me and I bought it. This was as amazing as Back to You but in a wholly separate way. It’s very different than my usual romance fare in that it begins in the 70s and works its way through the 80s into the 90s. If you know my romance preferences they’re pretty cut and dry: basically I despise the 70s and 80s and love everything else. But this book romanticized those decades wonderfully, making each of the characters seem fresh and modern in a way I’ve never read. The story is lyrical and gorgeous, detailing the life and love of one woman as she faces challenges over the span of 20 years. What she wants in a man as a teen and what she wants and needs as a grown woman are two different things and this story is just beautiful in its portrayal of the devastating changes of love over time. Plus it’s a series! That means seeing more of these characters. Yes, please!!!

On The Island

3. On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Before reading this, if you would have told me that I would not only like but become enthralled by a book with pretty much only 2 characters set almost entirely on a desert island, I would have laughed at you. Seriously, I would have laughed so hard because that premise sounds utterly ridiculous. Romance thrives on a strong supporting cast and lots of exotic backdrops. But not this one. Honestly, I dare you to read the first 50 pages and not be hooked. It is so unique, so wholly out of the scope of what I usually read that I was floored by it. It is perhaps one of my favorite books of the year. Two survivors of a plane crash in the Maldives have to learn how to survive while also learning to trust one another in a savage environment. There’s a May-December aspect that you wouldn’t see coming if not for the fact that it’s labelled as romance. There are a lot of difficult to read scenes but also some amazingly poignant moments. This is a book you’ll never be disappointed you in purchasing and all I can say it: BUY IT!

Do you agree with any of our choices? What would you want to see on our list of Top Picks? Let us know!