Happy New Year, readers, and welcome to our first Romance Garden post of 2018!
We sincerely hope your new year is full of love, intrigue, and happily-ever-afters, and, to that end, we bring your our genre experts’ favorite reads from the past month. We hope they get your year started off on the right foot, and give you the chance to explore a new author, a new trope, or a whole new genre!
Bridget: Stealing Mr. Right by Tamara Morgan
Every time I read a description of Tamara Morgan’s romances, my initial reaction is “that…that can’t work!”. And every single time, she proves me wrong. Without fail, her romances are smart, funny, insightful, and genuinely touching in a way I never expected, and thoroughly enjoyed.
This first in her new Penelope Blue series features a world-renowned (or most-wanted) jewel thief, Penelope Blue, and her husband, a dedicated and extraordinarily resourceful FBI agent. Penelope got involved with Grant Emerson simply so that she could keep her enemies close, and make sure he wouldn’t get too close to her and her fellow thieves. But the longer she spent with the ultra-handsome, whip-smart agent, the more she finds herself falling for him. And that will never do…he’s supposed to be her worst enemy, right? Things only get worse when Penelope embarks on a new jewel heist…and finds out that her husband has been assigned to track her down.
I normally loathe stories where the protagonists keep secrets from each other. In this case, however, Morgan somehow manages to make it work. Her characters are wonderfully vibrant and driven, ensuring that readers are somehow rooting for both of them, even though it seems there is no way for them to win without losing everything. And, despite all the odds, this is a book with an absolute, total, complete winner of an ending that had me cheering for this most unlikely of couples. Readers looking for a snarky, fast-paced, steamy romance need look no further than this book, and the series to follow!
Kelley: Wilde in Love by Eloisa James
Readers of historical romance know that you can almost never go wrong with a title by Eloisa James. High quality writing, nods to Shakespeare, humor, and just plain good stories are hallmarks of her work, and her latest book, Wilde in Love, doesn’t disappoint.
Lord Alaric Wilde is an adventurer just arrived home to England after years of traveling the world. While away, the books he wrote about his adventures became London’s best sellers, so unbeknownst to Alaric many admirers eagerly await the return of the highly eligible son of the Duke of Lindow. It seems every young woman in London has read his books and posted his picture on their bedroom walls; there is even a long running play (written by an anonymous playwright) about his life called, of course, Wilde in Love.
Appalled by his newfound celebrity, Alaric finds himself drawn to the only woman in England who hasn’t read of his adventures, Miss Willa Ffynche. Of course, Willa is a private woman who prefers a suitor with far less notoriety. Unlike most women in Alaric’s circle, Willa is well-read and easily holds her own in conversations of business and the world. She fascinates him and, much as Willa hates to admit it, the feeling is mutual.
Watching the couple come together, surrounded by an enjoyable cast of friends and Wilde family members, is fun as well as heartwarming. Readers should look forward to the upcoming stories of The Wildes of Lindow Castle.