These books are about Thanksgiving, but when you’ve grown tired of dealing with your family, why not buy one (or all) of the books on this list to read now or in a few weeks. I have 4 mini-reviews of romances that will help you escape the craziness of the holidays….guaranteed!
Find out more about my romance ratings here.
Author: Sarah MacLean
He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution. Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows . . . that he is no killer. It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love. – Goodreads
I think that this is my favorite Sarah MacLean book that I’ve read, so far. The third book in the Rule For Scoundrels series focuses on a Duke that has been disgraced and falsely accused of murder. This book had everything I love in a regency romance; social constraints, passion, a really fun plot line and lots of intriguing action. Temple is understandably bitter and Mara is both kind and strong. Mara was a very intriguing characters because she felt that she was forced into doing what she had to do, and with no one to speak up for her or defend her, she makes few apologies. I just loved the way the storyline played out and I loved both Temple and Mara. They are the kind of characters that you’ll get attached to and want to follow up with in other books. If you haven’t read any of Sarah MacLean’s books I highly, highly recommend them for fans of Regency romance.
Author: Lisa Burstein
Release Date: 12-9-13
All I ever wanted was to make a name for myself as Candice Salinas, creative writing grad student at the University of Miami. Of course, secretly I already have made a name for myself: as Candy Sloane, self-published erotic romance writer. Though thrilled that my books are selling and I have actual fans, if anyone at UM found out, I could lose my scholarship…and the respect of my faculty advisor, grade-A-asshole Professor Dylan. Enter James Walker, super-hot local barista and—surprise!—my student. Even though I know a relationship is totally off-limits, I can’t stop myself from sneaking around with James, taking a few cues from my own erotic writing…if you catch my drift. Candy’s showing her stripes for the first time in my real life, and I’ve never had so much fun. But when the sugar high fades, can my secrets stay under wraps? – Goodreads
This book was much different than I thought it was going to be. Candy is a focused MFA student, balancing her own writing with her work as a TA. Her alter ego, Candy, writes erotica and so Candace must try to figure out how to reconcile the two. If this is a new, more feminist version of New Adult, then I am all in. Candace is clearly trying to figure out who she is and anyone who reads or writes won’t be surprised at some of the opinions she hears about self-pubbed erotica. As she’s trying to figure out in her head what makes a “serious writer” she also seeking to discover who she is as a woman, who not only writes stories about sex, but experiences it, as well. While I loved the romance, it almost took a back seat to Candace’s search for the part of her that embodies Candy. It was a good story, full of wit and heart. I really enjoyed it!
Author: Erin McCarthy
Jessica Sweet thought going away to college would finally make her free of her parents’ constant judgments and insistence she play chastity club role model for their church events, but if anything, the freedom has made her realize she can’t go home and be a hypocrite anymore. Tired of dodging their questions, she stays at school over the summer and lands in an unexpected crash pad: Riley Mann’s house. Sarcastic, cocky, and full of opinions, Riley is also sexy personified with tattoos and biceps earned from working as a roofer all day. Not the right guy for her even if Jessica was looking for a relationship, which she is definitely not. But Jessica knows that Riley hides the burden of having to raise his younger brothers behind that grin and as she helps him get his house in order for a custody hearing, they begin to fall hard for each other, and she is forced to question what she’s hiding herself. – Goodreads
If you enjoyed True (which I did) you will also love Sweet. In this book, we get to meet Tyler’s brother, Riley, who is desperately trying to keep his siblings from being put into foster care. Jessica Sweet, the daughter of a conservative minister, is not a good girl, but has a hard time seeing the good in her heart as well. In many ways, both of these characters were misunderstood by the people around them. Riley is pretty rough around the edges, but still very noble, in his way. Jessica is a free spirit and The chemistry was really good and the story kept me engaged. This was a great addition to the series!
Author: K.A. Tucker
Owning a strip club isn’t the fantasy most guys expect it to be. With long hours, a staff with enough issues to keep a psych ward in business, and the police regularly on his case, twenty-nine-year-old Cain is starting to second guess his unspoken mission to save the women he employs. And then blond, brown-eyed Charlie Rourke walks through his door, and things get really complicated. Cain abides by a strict “no sleeping with the staff” rule. But being around Charlie challenges Cain’s self-control…and it’s been a long time since any woman has done that. Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Rourke needs a lot of money, really fast, in order to vanish before it’s too late. Taking her clothes off for men makes her stomach curl but Charlie tells herself that at least she’s putting her acting and dancing skills to good use. And though her fellow dancers seem eager to nab their sexy, sophisticated, and genuinely caring boss, she’s not interested. After all, Charlie Rourke doesn’t really exist—and the girl pretending to be her can’t get distracted by romance. – Goodreads
Hold on to your hats because this is my favorite book of this series, so far. There’s a mob story, a strip club owner with a heart of gold, and it all works, somehow. I admit I thought I would have an issue with the whole strip club owner thing. He is trying to help these women, but he’s still….a strip club owner. The wanting to help women and running a business known for exploiting them just didn’t go hand-in-hand in my mind. I’m not saying I agree with the reasoning that he put forth, but I did feel that he was a well rounded character, so it was not something that took away from the story, per say. Charlie was a very complex character, full of contradictions and in a situation that really seemed no-win. This story was full of “what would you do” and choices that seemed impossible to make and definitely put the main characters into a gray area, morally. The steaminess combined with the heart-pounding story made this a definite win for me.
Author: Courtney Cole
Release Date: 12-3-13
For 24-year old Dominic Kinkaide, that moment took place on the night of his high school graduation. One dark incident changed him forever. He’s a hardened actor now, famous in the eyes of the world, but tortured in his own. He doesn’t care about much of anything, except for losing himself in the roles that he plays. 23-year old Jacey Vincent doesn’t realize how much her father’s indifference has affected her. She is proof that sometimes it isn’t one specific moment that wrecks a person, but rather it’s an absence of moments. She’s like a bird with a broken wing-strong yet fragile, as she tries to float through life, finding acceptance in the arms of random guys, one after the other… to fill the void that her father left in her. Until she meets Dominic. – Goodreads
This was quite an intense book. Both characters struggled with darkness in their past, but Dominic probably has the most to overcome. The lead up to the big mystery was very well done. I kept trying to guess what happened, but the truth was nothing that I could have imagined. This was a very, very steamy book, almost bordering on erotica, but with a story that kept it from being more than just filler between sex scenes. Although the family full of rich, famous and handsome men was a bit far fetched, I still enjoyed the story and would recommend it based on the combination of drama and steaminess.
I received these books in exchange for my honest review.