Weekly Releases for the week of March 16th, 2021

Love is Never Lost by Katy Regnery

From New York Times bestseller Katy Regnery comes a new twist on the beloved American legend, “Rip Van Winkle.”

Sometimes, the journey is the love story.

On the night of his high school graduation, Ripley Van Winkle—local quarterback, prom king and all-around big man on campus—swan dives off the top of the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse. . . and lands on jagged pile of rocks. Suffering massive brain trauma, Rip isn’t expected to live, but he somehow manages to beat the odds: most of his physical injuries heal, though he remains in a deep coma for the next twenty years.

When Rip awakens two decades later, he will need to relearn his body’s most basic functions, in addition to catching up on twenty years’ worth of history, progress and change.

Something called the “internet” has the answer to every question you could ever dream of asking, and people are reliant on mobile telephones smaller than a Walkman. His high school girlfriend is married with children, and he has an eighteen-year-old sister who was born while he was “sleeping.”

As Rip struggles to find his place in this strange, new world, one presence in his life will become both a beacon and guide: his childhood friend, Katrina Van Tassel. But Trina has a challenging adult life of her own, and there’s no guarantee she has space in her life (or her heart) for her one-time high school crush . . . Rip Van Winkle.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Love is Never Lost is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection: contemporary, standalone romances inspired by beloved fairy tales.

The Vixen and the Vet (Beauty & the Beast)
Never Let You Go (Hansel & Gretel)
Ginger’s Heart (Little Red Riding Hood)
Dark Sexy Knight (Camelot)
Don’t Speak (The Little Mermaid)
Shear Heaven (Rapunzel)
At First Sight (Aladdin)
Love is Never Lost (Rip Van Winkle)

The Wicked Prince by Claire Contreras

My job was to clean up his reputation and find him a wife.

It was supposed to be easy, but nothing about Prince Aramis was ever easy.

I was about to throw in the towel when he came up with a solution: I’d be his pretend girlfriend. Forget the fact that I was sort of seeing someone, or that I had no interest in joining the royal family. Once Aramis sets his eyes on something, there’s no use in fighting him on it, besides, in a way it would make my job a little easier.

I accept the offer but set boundaries. Boundaries that Aramis is intent on testing. Before either of us know what’s happening, the lines start to blur and I can no longer tell the difference between pretend and reality.

My job on the line is one thing, but losing my heart to Aramis was never in the cards.

The Song of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon

New York, 1960: For Benny Lament, music is his entire life. With his father’s deep ties to the mob, the Bronx piano man has learned that love and family can get you in trouble. So he keeps to himself, writing songs for other musicians, avoiding the spotlight…until the night his father brings him to see Esther Mine sing.

Esther is a petite powerhouse with a gorgeous voice. And when Benny writes a hit song and performs it with her, their collaboration thrusts the duo onto the national stage…and stirs up old issues and new scrutiny that the mob—and Benny—would rather avoid.

It would be easier to walk away. But the music and the woman are too hard for the piano man to resist. Benny’s songs and Esther’s vocals are an explosive combination, a sound that fans can’t get enough of. But though America might love the music they make together, some people aren’t ready for Benny Lament and Esther Mine on—or off—the stage.

Moonglow by L.H. Cosway

After six months in hiding, a familiar face walks into Tegan’s new life with a proposition. A little girl has been kidnapped and she’s the only one who can help rescue her.

But there’s a catch. To rescue the girl, Tegan must return to the city she once called home and fool the vampire she’s been harbouring feelings for all this time.

She must play the role of a spy, and though she’s supposed to be pretending, as soon as she lays eyes on Ethan all those feelings she tried to suppress come flooding back. Her biggest fear is him discovering the truth, because then he might just end up hating her forever.

Moonglow is book #2 in L.H. Cosway’s Blood Magic Series. A previous unedited version of this story was published under the title Tegan’s Return.

Mafia Bride by C.D. Reiss

Some girls dream of marrying a prince, but I never imagined I’d be sold to a king.

Santino DiLustro.
The king.
The monster.
The keeper of secrets.

When he forced me to marry him, I cried for love I’d never know.

When he locked me away, I cried for the freedom I lost forever.

Every other tear I’ve shed is for my soul, because I’m falling for the devil himself.

Mafia Bride is the first book in the dark mafia romance trilogy, The DiLustro Arrangement.
It is not for the faint of heart.
If you don’t like kidnapping, car chases, violent passions held under wraps for so long they explode in a storm of filthy talk and rough, graphic marital relations, move along.
No hard feelings.

The Brit by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Pleasure has never been so deadly.

Rose Cassidy doesn’t truly live; she just exists. Numbing herself to fear and pain is the only way she can survive in this cruel world. So when she’s taken as collateral by the notorious Danny Black in a deadly game of power, she’s thrown by the deep fear she feels rising within her. And, worse than fear, a profound desire. She’s heard tales of The Brit. He’s callous. Coldblooded. But no one ever said he was wickedly beautiful and darkly captivating. He sees past her mask, giving her a cruel sense of hope. But she must fight their twisted attraction or risk losing the one thing she survives for.

When Danny Black took an enemy’s beautiful lover as security, he never anticipated the repercussions. Or the warped attraction they would share. Rose Cassidy pushes Danny to the brink of madness with her impenetrable façade and savage allure. He has to remind himself that she’s bait. A solution to a problem. Yet she evokes powerful feelings in Danny, and feelings are risky when you’re wanted dead by endless enemies.

The most dangerous game is about to be played.

But can either of them win?

*This story is gritty, dark, edgy, and contains scenes that some people may find uncomfortable to read. It is NOT for the fainthearted. 

Under Pressure by Allie Winters

Mia knows stress. She’s dealt with it her whole life. So when she gets an opportunity to run a psychology study to help her get into grad school, it should be no problem dealing with the prickly guy she suddenly finds herself paired with.

The one she had a secret crush on last year. The one who refuses to let anyone close. The one she’s discovering by the day may have a softer side than he lets anyone else see…

Tyler knows stress. He’s grappled with it for as long as he can remember. And just because he has to share credit with this girl on his new psychology study doesn’t mean he has to be friends with her. Except she somehow keeps worming her way into his life. In school. In the boxing gym.

In his bed.

But everyone knows it’s safer to keep to yourself. You can’t hurt anyone that way. Even if it means giving up the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

As things heat up in the Stress Lab, will this match be able to work together without disruption, or will this growing attraction between them eventually… combust?

‘Under Pressure ‘ is a full-length new adult contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #1 in the Lessons Learned series, Educated Romance World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Featherbed by Annabeth Albert

Harrison Phillip Fletcher, III isn’t supposed to be here. Not in Burlington, Vermont, not running Vino & Veritas, a quaint inclusive bookstore and wine bar, and definitely not still alive, at forty-two. Also not supposed to be here? An unexpected delivery of chickens.

Finn Barnes knows chickens. The burly organic farmer knows all about rare breed poultry, but dealing with a hot, older bookseller is an entirely different matter. City slicker types like Harrison never end up staying in Vermont for the long-term.

They should steer clear of each other. But the flare of attraction is mutual. And somehow amid book discussions and farm tours, they discover plenty in common. Now they’re stealing kisses in Finn’s barn, sneaking out like teens, and burning up the sheets.

What starts as a fling brings very real feelings for two lonely souls, but a future together seems as unlikely as chickens in a bookstore. Feathers may be flying, but learning to trust takes time neither may have. Can they take a leap of faith together before it’s too late?

Featherbed is a stand-alone novel in Sarina Bowen’s World of True North. This opposites attract, age gap romance features a low-angst, fluffy—and feathery—romp as a fish out of water discovers the home he never thought he’d find.

Holding You Close by Kennedy Fox

After serving a decade long prison sentence for an accident that resulted in my husband’s death, Noah Reid returns. Even if he was my childhood best friend and the first man I secretly loved, I refuse to make it easy for him. But the heart never forgets and those old repressed feelings quickly bubble to the surface.

Loving him is a dangerous game but one I’m willing to play.

Flirting leads to falling between the sheets, and I’m forced to deal with the guilt of what we’re doing. Viciousness towards Noah runs rampant and while revenge trickles through the streets of Lawton Ridge, I realize there’s more on the line than just my heart. While I’m afraid that my son and I will be caught in the crossfire of those who want to hurt Noah, I can’t walk away. 

Secrets are revealed and revelations are made, but losing him again isn’t an option—especially since I’m pregnant. 

HOLDING YOU AWAY is a slow burn, angsty friends to lovers romance with lots of small-town, Southern drama. It’s book 2 in the Noah & Katie duet and must be read in order.

The Irresistible Irishman by M.J. Fields & Jessica Ruben (Live 3.17)

Minding my own business on St. Patrick’s Day —with a beer in my hand and Shamrock panties beneath my skirt— I sat on a sticky barstool next to my best friend.
I was expecting to chat about my latest read, but she had other plans…
A “surprise” introduction to a tall, tatted, and utterly irresistible Irishman.
One night stands were totally not me, like, not at all, until she reminded me that it was time to stop spreading pages and begin spreading… yeah, she went there.
And guess what? I took her advice.
One crazy and wild night later, my libido was officially jumpstarted.
Since then, everything has changed for the better- or so I thought.
I had a great new job and my own cozy apartment.
What I didn’t expect?
That same irresistible Irishman to become my new boss.

Mad About Ewe by Susannah Nix (Live 3.18)

Dawn Botstein is doing just fine after her divorce, thank you very much.

She’s got her yarn store to run, her house to herself for the first time in her life, and no use for men anymore. That is until the hottie silver fox who walks into her store turns out to be her old high school crush—the guy who rejected her 30 years ago.

No way is she going to lose her head over him this time, no matter how well he wears that salt-and-pepper lumberjack beard. Okay, so he’s the opposite of her ex in every way, and his attention gives her a thrill she thought she’d never feel again. She’s not risking her heart again.

Mike Pilota is having a mid-life crisis.

Only instead of buying a red sports car he can’t afford and dressing like a 25-year-old who’s time-traveled from the 1990s, he quit his job after his second divorce to move closer to his recently widowed mother.

He didn’t expect to run into Dawn again, but as soon as he lays eyes on her he’s utterly smitten. So he sets out to make up for past mistakes and prove he can be the kind of man she deserves.

But is it too late for second chances? Or will these two lonely hearts find a way back to each other?

‘Mad About Ewe’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #1 in the Common Threads series, Seduction in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Give Love a Chai by Nanxi Wen (Live 3.18)

Tia Wang’s Wedding Planning To-Do List:
1. Find the perfect dress
2. Win her future mother-in-law’s approval
3. Divorce her not-so-ex husband, Andrew Parker

When she fell in love and married her childhood best friend on a whim in Vegas, Tia innocently thought love conquered all. Turns out, that was a crushing lie. Her world shattered as she and Andrew were torn apart by secrets and mistakes.

Ten years later, Tia has left the pain behind and carved out a new life with Mr. Perfect. The only thing standing between her and happily ever after? A divorce from Andrew.

It should have been easy for Andrew to sign his name on the dotted line. Independent, prickly, and always in control, Andrew has done everything to escape his past. But seeing Tia on his doorstep after all these years? He can’t help wondering what might have been. Andrew has never forgotten Tia and vows to fight for their relationship this time around. If he has to hold those divorce papers hostage to get his second chance, he will.

Feelings resurface, stronger and more complex than ever. But Tia and Andrew have more than Mr. Perfect between them. Can they overcome past mistakes to forge a future together, or will new threats ruin their second chance at forever?

‘Give Love a Chai’ is a full-length contemporary romance, and can be read as a standalone. Book #2 in the Common Threads series, Seduction in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

The Muse by Lauren Blakely (Live 3.19)

The first time a woman stepped out of a painting, I thought I was seeing things.
The second time, I thought I was going mad.
The night she emerged from a Renoir, I felt something else entirely — a deep stirring of desire, and the wish to get to know the brilliant beauty who’s been trapped inside a painted garden for years.
She can only come out at night in the Musée d’Orsay, where I work. There, after hours, we wander through galleries, with the Van Goghs, the Monets, and the Toulouse Lautrecs the only witnesses to our midnight kisses and, soon, our trysts.
She opens her heart to me, and I learn her story.
But she keeps secrets too, ones I hope to unravel. Why she was trapped. Why Renoir is hunting her. And why artwork in famous museums across the world is starting to disintegrate.
Why I, too, seem to be the only person who can repair the masterpieces.
As I fall deeper for the woman who’s trapped in a museum, I’m caught up in another side of Paris after dark, one inhabited by forgers, ghosts of famous artists and, impossibly, by Muses.
But someone is after the woman I’m falling in love with, and it’s up to me to save her…even if it means losing everything I’ve found with her.

To Have and to Hate by R.S. Grey (Live 3.18)

Marry a man I barely know to save my family from ruin.
It might’ve been simple, if my betrothed were anybody else.

On our wedding day, my husband-to-be arrived at the courthouse like a black cloud rolling over Manhattan. Walt didn’t crack smiles or pepper in pleasantries as we exchanged hollow vows in front of the judge.

His disdain for me was so palpable I assumed we’d walk out of that ceremony and resume our regularly scheduled programming. But then fate was like, Hold my beer. I got this.

In desperate need of help and with nowhere else to turn, I had no choice but to ignore a crucial rule in our contract: I shall only contact Mr. Jennings II in case of emergency. But hey, what’s a little fine print between husband and wife?

Turns out, Walt’s a stickler for legalese—I think it might be his love language. Oh, and his attitude at the courthouse wasn’t a put-on. My so-called husband is a jerk. He takes what he wants without giving any consideration to other people—specifically ME, his blushing, contractually-obligated bride!

I knew life with Walt would be no honeymoon, but a marriage of any sort should still come with a few standard guarantees:

To have and to hold.
For richer or poorer.
In sickness and in health.

But after experiencing Walt’s version of wedded bliss, I say let’s forget about all that lovey-dovey crap and just take me straight to death do us part.


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