This month's slate of new romance releases brings more of everything we want: heroines who take charge of their own lives, heroes who obviously adore the heroine, lots of sexy times and satisfying happy endings. Plus fake engagements, secret clubs and in a shocking twist — a duke who doesn't get the girl. But rest assured, all ends well.
For your rom-com fix, don't miss Act Your Age, Eve Brown, the third in Talia Hibbert's popular Brown Sisters series. Eve Brown is a self-described hot mess who can't quite commit to a career or get her life together. When she pulls the plug on her latest promising venture after one mishap (involving the liberation of doves at a wedding) her parents insist she must get — and keep — a job. As an added incentive, they're cutting her off from her trust fund.
As luck would have it, Eve finds a gig as cook at a bed and breakfast, even after she runs over the owner, Jacob Wayne. (She's guilted into staying to help Jacob run the place.) Then something surprising happens: Eve finds that the work suits her and she enjoys it. Even better, Jacob suits her and she enjoys him. Sure, he's obsessive about making sure his B&B runs smoothly and they start off at odds with each other, but soon enough she's making him laugh during chance midnight encounters. Together they are fun, funny and can't get enough of each other. Jacob even helps Eve understand herself better — like him, she's on the autism spectrum. In this romance, Eve finds herself, her purpose and the love of her life.
Scoundrel of My Heart by Lorraine Heath reminds us why she's one of the legends of historical romance. Lady Kathryn Lambert must marry a titled nobleman — no second son for her! — if she wishes to inherit her beloved grandmother's cottage. She definitely cannot entertain thoughts of Lord Griffith Stanwick, her best friend's (not titled) brother. Especially not when she has a chance to snare the Duke of Kingsland; in an usual scheme to find a wife, His Grace has asked interested and eligible ladies to apply via letter. And Kathryn has captured his attentions. But it's Griffith her heart really wants.
Griffith has always felt his position of second son keenly — especially since it means the woman he adores will never look twice at him. He plots to open a "cock and hen club" exclusively for those who aren't first born and who seek companionship. Despite a lack of funds, his father hanging for treason and a whole host of obstacles, he manages to open The Fair and the Spare to great success. But what happens when Kathryn walks through the doors of his club? Too say more would risk revealing all the twists in this perfectly plotted historical that will keep the pages turning until the happy ending.
There is so much to love about Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron. Reema Manji is protesting yet another attempt by her parents to find her a nice Muslim husband when sparks fly with the new guy across the hall, who turns out to be ... Nadim, the man her parents want to set her up with. Obviously, she must hate him on principle. She also has other stuff to worry about, like finding a new job or the care and feeding of her sourdough starters.
But when the chance of a lifetime presents itself — a competition to star in a family cooking show, she ends up faking an engagement with Nadim and filming cooking segments for the contest. Sparks fly when they're on camera, but there's no faking their chemistry on screen or off. One thing leads to another and romance blossoms. But as the Manji family secrets come spilling out — and lo, there are many secrets! — it seems their happy ever after is impossible, until Reema takes control of her own destiny. This happy ever after is full of love, family, and feasting.
Maya Rodale is a bestselling author of historical romance. Her next novel is a work of historical fiction about Nellie Bly. Connect with her on Twitter: @mayarodale