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Top 25 Best Romance Books of 2015

The Best Romance Novels of 2015

It’s always interesting to read “award-winning” novels or novels determined to be “crap” by organizations that supposedly “know” these things. The truth is, I often find the lists interchangeable – I often like the crap and don’t like the award-winners.

That said, there is often something to be said for books voted on by other writers and by readers of the genre. Subsequently, this list of the “Top 25 Best Novels of 2015” starts with some “official” award winning titles as chosen by the Romance Writers of America and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. (And, I’ll be honest, all of them are pretty good, and some of them are REALLY good!) Then it moves to include suggested novels from Goodreads, amazon.com, the Washington Post and The New York Times. This list also considers books with hugely popular followings – which is, quite honestly, much more important than any award could ever be. I mean, who cares how many awards a book wins if no one ever reads it?? That said, ALL of these books are worth checking out – no “duds” here, and a wide variety of genres are covered so you should definitely find something that appeals to you.

Note 1: Several of these books were actually published in 2014, but since they won awards in 2015 I am including them here.

Note 2: There are a number of really good books from 2015 that could/should be on this list, but they seemed to fit better as part of a series. So, while this list does include novels that are part of a series, most others will be found in the 25 Best Series Romance Book list.

Happy reading!

The teenaged heroine in this novel, Raven, is the child of a bi-racial marriage (something the author says is intentional in an effort to try to balance the scales of reality a little bit) and the teenaged hero, Kieran, is modeled on a young Sherlock Holmes. Ravens parents die and she becomes a scholarship student at the privileged boarding school where her grandfather is a caretaker. Raven finds that the kids at the school are acting oddly, and the plot involves bullying, stereotypes and a mystery to be solved. The romance is pre-determined and a little vanilla, but the story itself is pretty entertaining and its not always easy to guess how things will turn out.

Joss Stirling is the pen name for Julia Golding, a former diplomat who holds a Ph.D. in literature. She is a bestselling author who won several awards including the 2006 Waterstones Childrens Book Prize and the Nestle Childrens Book Prize.

Why It's On the List

This is the first Young Adult (YA) novel in more than fifty years to win honors as the Romantic Novelists Association Best Romantic Novel of the Year.

A lot of times mysteries in romance novels are pretty easy to figure out while this novel does have some of those characteristics, ultimately, there is an air of unpredictability that makes it a fun read.

Read if you like: young adult romance; situations and dialogue focused on solving a mystery; sweet romantic relationships

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This is the first book in the two-novel Run to You series that tells the story of a family of psychics which is on the run from a horror-filled past. Tessa (her newest pseudonym) is the normal, non-psychic heroine who is trying to fit into yet another school, and Tristan is the hero who is determined to discover her secrets even as she tries to turn away from him. He is truly a good guy, (hard to find in a lot of romance novels these days) and his commitment to Tessa as she deals with her challenges is both sweet and endearing. The novel blends two stories (Tessas family being on the run, and Tessa and Tristans relationship) in an incredibly interesting and appealing way.

This is Kensies first novel. She grew up reading dark fiction and has found release writing novels for young adults that focus on family dynamics, the ability of teens to find and focus on their inner strength, a reconsideration of the meaning of home and the ability of overcome personal obstacles. She has not won any awardsyetbut she tells a really nice story!

Why It's On the List This novel won the RITA (Romance Writers of America) award for Best First Book and Best Young Adult Romance.

Its a fun, engaging, cant put it down read. The characters are fun and relatable, they really care about one another, and the mystery is interesting and well-developed.

Read if you like: young adult romance; engaging situations and dialogue; well-developed and likable characters

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I love it when romance isnt obvious, and this novel fits the bill perfectly. Part of the Rainbow Valley series, it tells the story of a woman, Kari, fleeing her own wedding in full wedding attire, of course and leaving her staid and well-planned life behind her. When her car skids off the highway, she encounters Marc, a man with his own demons who is finally hoping to be able to escape his own past. But when Kari shows up on his doorstep, plans might have to change.

Graves is a New York Times bestselling author who has been a finalist nine times for RITA awards, and she has won one for this novel. She has also received two National Readers Choice Awards, the Booksellers Best Award and several others.

Why It's On the List This novel won the RITA (Romance Writers of America) award for Best Contemporary Long novel.

Its a sweet, engaging read. The characters are likable and relatable, and the story is interesting and well-developed. There isnt a whole lot of hot sex here, but there is definite chemistry, and we are quickly invested in the happily ever after for this couple.

Read if you like: small town romance; sweet situations and dialogue; well-developed and amiable characters

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This is the twelfth, and final, book in the Lucky Harbor series, and tells the story of a wedding planner, Callie, who has seen enough wedding distress to not want to think about ever having her own. However, when she goes back home to check on her grandmother she encounters her high school crush, Tanner, who, of course, never even knew she was alive back then. He became a teenaged father at 17, and joined the Navy to provide for his family. Physically he has not changed at all still as hot as ever (and a former Navy SEAL, to boot), but Callie has definitely left her ugly duckling behind her and Tanner is attracted to her right away. They swear its just a casual fling - Tanner has his son to think about, after all - but their hearts quickly become involved as it turns into forever. Note: There are a lot of references to characters from earlier books in the series. While it is helpful if you have read the other books it is absolutely not required. Callie and Tanner stand on their own as main characters.

Shalvis is a New York Times bestselling author who has published over 50 contemporary romance novels. She won a RITA Award for this novel and has been a finalist for several others, and she has also won several other awards, including three National Readers Choice Awards. She has been on bestsellers lists for Walden Books, Amazon.com and the Barnes and Noble Top 100.

Why It's On the List

This novel won the RITA (Romance Writers of America) award for Best Contemporary Mid-length Novel. Its an enjoyable read about second chances. The characters are fun and relatable, and use of previous characters from the series helps to round out the story.

Read if you like: second-chance romance; single fathers who really care about their kids; fun situations and dialogue; well-developed and likable characters

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This is the fifth book in the Original Sinners series, but is a prequel, so falls earlier than some of the previous novels. It tells the early story of Nora (aka Eleanor), who becomes New York Citys most well-known dominatrix, and Father Marcus (aka Soren). As a teenager, she has turned her back on all who would control her (her mother, the Church) and she puts herself in complete control all the time. Untilshe meets (who else) a priest. (That cant be right, can it?) Together they embark on one of the hottest, sexiest relationships ever seen in a romance novel. It is helpful to read the other books in the series especially The Siren - to get to know the characters peripherally, but it isnt requiredNoras and Sorens story stands on its own pretty well in this novel. However, I can guarantee you that if you start with this one, you will absolutely go back to read the others!

Reisz is an internationalbestselling award-winning author. She has won a RITA award (for this novel), and has also won several RT Book Reviews awards, Lambda Literary Awards and an RT Reviewers Choice award.

Why It's On the List

This novel won the RITA (Romance Writers of America) award for Best Erotic Romance novel. Its an intense, intriguing, turn the pages quicker! read. The characters are smart and insightful, daring and vulnerable, and they will stay with you for a long time after you read the last page.

Read if you like: hot, erotic romance; steamy situations and dialogue; challenging and interesting characters

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This is the second novel in the Rules for the Reckless series. It is a Victorian romance novel which tells the story of Olivia, a young woman desperate to find a home for herself. She decides to disguise herself as a housekeeper in hopes of winning her freedom. The lord of the manor, the Duke of Marwick (Alistair), is a man scorned, and he would like nothing more than to take his revenge with his new young and somewhat cheeky and beautiful housekeeper. Together they work to overcome their loneliness and feelings of abandonment, and start to find happiness in each other. True to many Regency romance characters, the heroine is brash and outspoken, and the hero is amused by her even as he is caught up in his own troubles. 

Duran is a USA Today bestselling author who has a self-proclaimed obsession with Anne Boleyn. She has been nominated for several awards, including the Romantic Times Award for Most Innovative Romance, several All About Romance readers polls, and she won the RITA award for this novel.

Why It's On the List

This novel won the RITA (Romance Writers of America) award for Best Historical Long Romance Its a smart, engaging read, and both the main and secondary characters are fully (and interestingly) developed. There is the traditional understated sense of humor here that we associate with Regency romance, and the relationship between the main characters is a journey in and of itself.

Read if you like: Regency/historical romance; well-developed situations and dialogue; interesting and relatable characters

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This is the third and final book in the Private Justice series. It focuses on the story of Kate, whose world is upended when her husband and son are killed in a boating accident. However, several years later she is at a mall and hears a child who says something that she thinks only her son would, and when she sees the child, she thinks he looks like her son would look at this age. She begins to wonder if he is actually dead (they never recovered his body). She employs Connor, a former Secret Service agent/now private investigator, to look into the case. Although initially unconvinced, Connor finds himself drawn to Kate, and quickly discovers a mystery to the disappearance of her husband and son three years prior.

Hannon is a bestselling author who has won a ton of awards, including, but not limited to, several RITA Awards, a RT Career Achievement Award, a Booksellers Best Award, a HOLT Medallion, a Booklist Award, and on and on. Her website lists no fewer than 45 awards which she either won or for which she was a finalist.

Why It's On the List

This novel won the RITA (Romance Writers of America) award for Best Inspirational Romance. Its an attention-grabbing story, told from the point of view of both the protagonists and the antagonist. So theres no suspenseful who done it here we know pretty early on. However, the characters and the story are interesting and well put together, and its hard to predict how the two perspectives will ultimately come together.

 

Read if you like: inspirational romance; an interesting story at the forefront with a romance that develops rather slowly and organically; well-developed main and supporting characters

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This is the fifth book in the six-book Darkest London series. This is one novel/series where you do want to read them in order in order to really get the story/characters relationships. This novel tells the story of Holly and William, an assassin-for-hire, who meet when he tries to kill her. There are a lot of paranormal elements in this novel, along with Williams mental health challenges, so this novel definitely keeps you on your toes. It is IMPOSSIBLE to figure out what is going to happen next, which is kind of refreshing! That said, it is really easy to follow the plotline Callihan doesnt introduce a lot of extra just for the sake of introducing it.

Callihan is a bestselling author who won several RITA awards and has been both a nominee and a winner of the RT Reviewers Choice Award. Her debut book also won the honor for Best Book of the Year from the Library Journal, and an award from Publishers Weekly.

Why It's On the List

This novel won the RITA (Romance Writers of America) award for Best Paranormal Romance. Its a really intriguing read. The characters are put into interesting situations, and we really care how they interact with each other and with those around them both good and bad!

 

Read if you like: action, suspense and romance; unique situations and dialogue

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So, when I first wrote down the title of this novel, I accidentally put Congealed in Death and I can say that this title would also work for this book! This novel is number 38 in the 44-book In Death series. It tells the story of Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas who is called to a crime scene where there are two plastic-wrapped bodies. By the time she finishes her investigation there are a dozen bodies, and a dozen murders to be solved. Then she discovers the link between them, and things start to get a lot more complicated.

J.D. Robb is one of the pseudonyms for Nora Roberts, queen of romance novels. There has not been an award she has not won multiple times, nor an honor which she has not achieved. She is up there with Danielle Steel as one of the most prolific romance novelists in history.

Why It's On the List

This novel won the RITA (Romance Writers of America) award for Best Romantic Suspense Novel. Its a suspenseful, intense read. The characters are interesting and relatable, and the mystery is interesting and well-developed. Some readers complained that the writing for this book and several of the recent ones in this series seem to be ghost-written, but what I found was an interesting and absorbing romantic suspense novel.

Read if you like: suspense, action and adventure; well-developed and relatable characters

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Dont let the title fool you - this novel is a true tearjerker mostly in a good way. It tells the story of two teens, Monroe and Nate, who experience similar (but separate) tragedies and are both sent away by their families for the summer in order to start to heal. Their coming together is full of roadblocks, some self-imposed and others situational, but when they finally do, it is sweet and satisfying and intense and somewhat overwhelming.

Stone is a USA Today bestselling author who won the RITA award for this book, and had two other novels which were featured as starred reviews by both Booklist and Publishers Weekly.

Why It's On the List

This novel won the RITA (Romance Writers of America) award for Best Young Adult Romance Novel. Its an absorbing hard to put it down read. Monroe and Nate are both suffering and struggling to regain some semblance of normalcy, and their relationship does not develop overnight they have to work for it.

Read if you like: young adult romance; touching situations and dialogue; well-developed characters and relationships

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This is a stand-alone novel which is much more than a romance novel. It is a story of loss, survival, courage, willingness to take a chance and overcoming the odds. It features the heroine, Auburn, and the hero, Owen. She needs a job and he needs an assistant, but as they start to work (and play) together, it is discovered that they both have deeply held secrets, secrets which threaten everything should they come out.

Hoover is a New York Times bestselling author who has been nominated for (and won) several Goodreads awards for her books since 2012, including this one. She also won an utopYA award in 2014.

Why It's On the List

This novel is the most popular romance novel of the year as reviewed on Goodreads. It garnered an incredible 63,297 ratings (receiving 4.26 on a scale of 5 for readability). Its an appealing novel which really draws you in. The characters are entertaining and three-dimensional, and the secrets being held by each are complex. Plus, you are never 100% sure what is coming next, making for a really engaging read.

 

Read if you like: suspense and romance; intriguing situations and dialogue; well-developed characters and situations that you cannot really anticipate

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This is the second book in the Bollywood series, but stands alone as a novel of young love lost and rediscovered. Ria and Vikram were madly in love as teenagers with dreams of forever, until she sold her soul (his words) for stardom in India. She has overcome tragedy in her childhood to achieve incredible fame as a Bollywood actress, but it was at the expense of her relationship with Vikram. When a scandal touches her in India, Ria returns home to Chicago to find support among family and friends. However, when she sees Vikram again, he is harboring a lot of anger about the past, but also is still deeply in love with her. The story of their relationship is complex and engaging, and the outcome is not a sure thing since Bollywood is still calling.

Dev is a bestselling author who has been on Best Books of the Year lists for NPR, Library Journal, Washington Post and Kirkus. She has also won the American Library Associations award for best romance for 2014, the RT Seal of Excellence, and was a RITA finalist.

Why It's On the List

This novel was a finalist for the RITA (Romance Writers of America) award for Best First Romance Novel, and was recommended as a best read by the Washington Post. Its a unique setting, an engaging story, and an enjoyable read (with a few tears here and there). The characters are interesting and intense, and the setting is a little dark.

Read if you like: second chance romance; friends to lovers romance; some dark situations and dialogue; well-developed and intense characters

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This is the third book in the Wicked Deceptions series, and tells the story of a woman, Lady Sophia, who wants to fight for the poor and for young women working as prostitutes. Lady Sophia is not afraid to push boundaries, and is willing to do whatever it takes to help those who are less fortunate this means wearing pants and disguising herself as a man (Sir Stephen), and carrying a gun in order to uncover a serial killer who is on the loose. Unfortunately, she doesnt know how to use a gun, so she turns to her former friend to learn how. Viscount Quint wants nothing to do with Lady Sophiahe has never gotten over his love for her, and he has his own issues to worry about: namely, being terrified to leave his home. But, their chemistry cannot be deniedand neither can Lady Sophia.

Shupe is an award winning author, having won the Romance Writers of Americas Golden Heart Award for best historical novel. She also has been nominated for awards from RT Book Reviews.

Why It's On the List

This novel was recommended by the Washington Post as a must read romance for 2015. Its a romance novel housed in a mystery. The characters are fun and quirky, and the mystery is interesting and well-developed. There is also a LOT of chemistry between the main characters, and some pretty steamy love scenes.

Read if you like: historical romance; interesting situations and dialogue; well-developed and unique characters

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This is the second book in the Hot in Chicago series. This novel focuses on Alexandra (Alex), the only female firefighter in Engine Company 6. She cant get a break some of her co-workers think she cant do the job, her foster brothers (also co-workers) want to protect her and the wives and girlfriends think she is a little too close to their men for comfort. When she saves the life of the mayor she thinks she might finally get some respect, but instead she finds herself turned into arm candy for his re-election campaign. Hes her boss, and a chauvinist pig, but there is definitely some heat in this relationship.

Meader has been nominated for and won several awards from Publishers Weekly, Washington Post, RT Book Reviews and RT Reviewers Choice Award.

Why It's On the List

This novel was recommended by the Washington Post as a must read romance for 2015 and won the RT Reviewers Choice Award for Contemporary Love. Its a fun read. The heroine is confident and competent and fully in charge of her own choices. She definitely gives as good as she gets, which is a lot of fun.

Read if you like: contemporary romance; fun situations and dialogue; verbal back and forth between the characters

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This is the second book in the Pleasure series. This novel tells the story of Rana who is desperate to turn around her poor choices and start making ones that will be better for her future, and ones of which her mother will approve. But, while she is looking for Mr. Right she is finding it really difficult to ignore the incredibly hot guy who lives right next door. Micah is a man on a mission who has been touched by immense tragedy. He doesnt want to let his guard down lest he lose everything that matters to him all over again, but he cannot ignore his feelings for Rana if only he can keep it light. But light and casual are not in the cards for these two, although it seems like destiny and forever might be.

Rai has won a RT Readers Choice Award, and has been nominated for several others.

Why It's On the List

This novel was recommended by the Washington Post as a must read romance for 2015. Its a novel about second chances both characters have things in their past that they want to overcome and their stories are compelling. The characters are fun, and a lot of their scenes are really hot!!!

Read if you like: contemporary romance; African American romance; erotic romance; stories about redemption and starting over

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This is the second book in the Legal Briefs series, and tells the story of tough, to-the-point, keep-it-clean lawyer Jake Becker.  Jake hates complications, and it seems like Chelsea and her six orphaned nieces and nephews are going to be a REALLY big complication. Even though its set in modern times, Jake is a throw-back saving women and children from the big, bad world. He would never admit it, but he has a huge heart. Chelsea is hilarious dedicated to her nieces and nephews and all that entails; her heart of gold belies a character who is tough as nails when it comes to protecting her family.

Chase has won several awards, including one from All About Romance for Funniest Romance and the Goodreads Choice Award for debut novel.

Why It's On the List

This novel was recommended by the Washington Post as a must read romance for 2015. Written in first person from the heros perspective, its always fun to see how the hero perceives/encounters the heroine. The story is full of love and laughter, passion and compassion, and some really hot sex scenes!

 

Read if you like: contemporary romance; first person narration from the heros perspective; hot sex scenes; likable characters

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This is the fourth book in the Crossfire series. It tells the story of Gideon and Eva, two complex and troubled characters who love hard and hate hard. Deeply emotional conversations and deeply erotic situations highlight this challenging tale of two distressed souls who come together to heal. Note that this novel is not a stand-alone, and you will want to read the other books in the series to truly get these charactersthis novel takes place over about three weeks in their lives, and the supporting characters are important in the development of their story.

Day is a #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today and internationalbestselling author who has won or been nominated for at least two dozen awards, and counting!

Why It's On the List This novel debuted at #1 in 19 different countries, including on the New York Times and the USA Today bestseller lists, and was nominated as a Goodreads Choice Award Romance for 2015.

Its an intense read. The characters are complex and have a lot of depth. They are both imperfect with a lot of baggage, but also compelling and embraceable.

Read if you like: erotic romance; intense psychological situations and dialogue

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This is the first book in the Wicked trilogy. This novel is about Ivy, someone with the gift (curse?) of recognizing the evil fae among us, but she wants more from her life than just protecting mankind from evil soul-suckers. She wants to be normal, go to college, and have a regular life. Not likely. She has lost two sets of parents and her true love already, and as a member of The Order, she is not destined to live very long. But when Ren comes along, things start looking up. Hes smart, hes a great fighter and he is 100% hot! Spoiler: There are some loose ends in this novel that will definitely drive you to book 2, but I dont necessarily think thats a bad thing!

Armentrout has been nominated for a number of RT Book Review awards, Goodreads Choice awards and a Tayshas Reading Award.  

Why It's On the List It received a 4.11/5 rating from almost 13,000 readers on goodreads.com and a 4.5 rating on amazon!

Its an intense read that creates a really interesting alternate reality. It makes you wonder what if, which I always enjoy. The characters work together in interesting ways, and the threat to mankind is well-developed.

Read if you like: paranormal romance; definitely some sexy situations and dialogue; engaging characters

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This is the third book in the Chaos series, which is a spinoff of Ashleys Dream Man series. However, while you dont have to read any of those books in order to read this one, it is recommended that you read Knight from her Unfinished Heroes series before you read this novel. Phew

Okay, now that you know where this book fits and what to read ahead of time here is what it is about: This novel tells the story of Carissa (Carrie) and Carson (Joker). They met in high school: HER: idealistic, sunny, friendly, looking for her prince and her happy ending. HIM: abused, abandoned, loner, intelligent. They are secretly intrigued by one another, but leave high school never having acted on their mutual attraction. They meet again when single-mom Carrie is stranded with a flat tire, and Joker is a bad-ass biker who just happens to stop to help. From the time they realize who the other one is, the steady part of Ride Steady is anything but. Its a roller-coaster of emotions and passion and making up for lost time. There is kind of an odd and unneeded subplot with a club under threat by a drug dealer but I guess it adds a little mystery to an otherwise perfectly fine second chance romance.

Ashley is a bestselling author who has been nominated for and won several awards she has had top picks by RT Book Reviews, and had a starred review by Publishers Weekly. She also won a Readers Choice Award for Romantic Suspense novel.

Why It's On the List It won the Readers Choice Award from Romance Reviews and was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award.

Its a fun read. The characters are interesting, and the re-birth of their relationship is sweet (and hot!). The mystery isnt necessary, but is present for some reason anyhow.

Read if you like: second chance romance; biker romance; alpha romance

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This is a stand-alone novel that tells the story of Lady Marianna who is forced by her father to marry an older man for his money. She basically ignores him and focuses her attentions on her younger lover. However, when her husband decides to take her away, she has no choice but to go with him, confident that her lover will soon follow. However, there is an accident and Lady Marianna wakes up with no memory of anything in her past, including who she is, and finds her husband in a coma. It will take a lot to make things right again. If nothing else, this novel shows the power of human emotion, commitment and faith.

Klassen is a bestselling author who has won several Christy Awards for historical romance, and a Midwest Book Award

Why It's On the List This novel won a Christy Award (awarded to novels reflecting a Christian worldview) and received a Booklist starred review.

Its an engaging read. It isnt too preachy, which is often a complaint about inspirational romance. Here, the characters/dialogue are sometimes a little over-dramatic, but it is easy to understand their motivations, and the mystery is interesting and takes some unexpected twists.

Read if you like: Regency romance; inspirational romance; gothic romance; Jane Austen-esque situations and dialogue; an intriguing mystery

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This is a stand-alone novel that is equal parts romance and mystery-suspense. This novel takes place over 18 years, and starts when the heroine, Madeline, is just a child and is brutally attacked in her grandmothers hotel. The man is caught and, she thinks, is paying the price for his crime. However, after her grandmother dies under somewhat mysterious circumstances, she returns only to find that things from the past are still unsettled. This thrusts her right into the middle of a murder mystery, along with her childhood friend, Daphne, the hotels new security expert Jack (the hero) and Jacks brother Abe (a magician).

Krentz (who writes using her own name and several pseudonyms) is a New York Times bestselling author who won several awards and recognitions for her books, including several RT Book Reviews Top Pick honors, RT Reviewers Choice Awards, All About Romance Reader Awards, Romantic Times Awards, and Booklist, Publishers Weekly and Library Journal honors.

Why It's On the List This book received special mention from Booklist, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly andRT Book Reviews.

Its a likable read. The characters are thoughtful and relatable, and the mystery is interesting and well-developed. Whether this is your first book by Krentz, or you are a seasoned reader of her novels, there is something for everyone here.

 

Read if you like: suspenseful romance; contemporary romance; keep-you-guessing situations and dialogue; well-developed and intriguing characters

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERMarshall Everett has traveled a twisting, perilous road from the jungles of South America to the streets of Paris. As an undercover DEA agent, Marshall penetrated a powerful cartel and became the trusted right-hand man of a ruthless drug lord. The price he paid was devastating, costing him everythingand everyonehe loved. Back in the U.S., on temporary assignment to the Secret Service, on the presidential detail, Marshall performs an act of heroism that changes his course forever. Ariana Gregory has her whole future ahead of her, with an exciting life in Manhattan and a coveted job at an online fashion magazine. But when her father, recently widowed, is appointed U.S. ambassador to Argentina, she reluctantly agrees to accompany him to Buenos Aires. Then an unthinkable act of violence shatters her world. Nearly a year later, Ariana arrives in Paris, on a fragile road to recovery. There, as she strives to bury painful memories forever, she crosses paths with Marshall Everett. But dangerous forces watch her every move, and Ariana and Marshall will once more have to fight for their survival. In this breathtaking and psychologically penetrating novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Danielle Steel explores the consequences of trauma and the perseverance of the human spirit. In Marshall and Ariana she has created two unforgettable characters confronting extraordinary challengeswho no longer need to face them alone.

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This is the second book in the Allure series, although it can be read as a stand-alone. Lily is a stereotypical redhead with a fiery temper in search of a job in New York City. Trained as a bartender, she finds herself behind a bar one day in a restaurant after seeing that they needed a little help. She impresses the manager on duty, but is pushed to the limit by an obnoxious customer. Of course the customer ends up being the bars owner, and the namesake for the novel. Dean is a workaholic; he doesnt know the meaning of down time, and he is not amused when an out-of-work bartender tries to tell him a thing or two about the restaurant business. Obviously there are fireworks when these two get together, and a whole lot of fun along the way as these head-strong characters battle it out at work and in the bedroom!

Grey is a USA Today bestselling author who is incredibly secretive. She has some social media accounts and a website, but all they focus on is her writing. Nothing personal about her AT ALL, except for the facts that she lives in Texas, likes chocolate and loves to laugh. I could not find that she has won any awards for her books, but they surely are popular over the past few years. Hopefully one day we will know a little more about her, but for now, her writing is well able to speak for itself.

Why It's On the List It was designated as one of the Top 10 Best Romance Novels for 2015 by heavy.com (an entertainment website based in NYC), and is the 2015 #1 best-selling romantic comedy according to amazon.com and Goodreads.

Its a fun, engaging, him vs her read. The characters are witty, and the plot and dialogue are really entertaining.

Read if you like: contemporary romance; laugh-out-loud situations and dialogue; competing alpha characters

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Using her background as a lawyer, James introduces us to divorce lawyer Victoria Slade. Based on everything she has seen and heard over the years, she is never, ever getting married. Enter investigative reporter Ford Dixon, who recruits Victoria to help find the deadbeat father of his sisters child. Of course the more time they spend together, the hotter and more personal the relationship becomes. And the more she swears she is not getting involved, the more determined he is to change her mind about the concept of forever.

Harris is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author (and former lawyer) who has had books on the Amazons Best Books of the Year list, the American Library Associations Reading List for Top Genre Novels list and Booklists Top 10 Romances of the Year, along with being a nominee for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance.

Why It's On the List This novel won the Readers Crown Award for Best Contemporary Romance, the Holt Award of Merit Award, and the AAR Readers Poll Best Contemporary Romance award.

Its the perfect beach (or pool) read. These characters are both grown-ups who are depicted as being very human and flawed, and it makes us root for them (both separately and together) even more.

Read if you like: contemporary romance; somewhat predictable (not in a bad way) situations; pretty witty dialogue; likable, MATURE characters (not high school or college students); a lot of sexual tension

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This is the first book in the Wyoming Rebels series. Set in Wyoming, this novel tells the story of Chase Stockton, one of the Stockton brothers whose tragic childhood has bonded them together as adults. When an old friend calls in a debt, Chase finds himself involved in a shotgun wedding to Mira Cabot, whom he knows but has never met. When Chase finds out that Mira is pregnant (not his child), its a game-changer, and Chase finds himself torn between loyalty to his family, and to his friend who counted on him to take care of Mira and her unborn child. And Mira is struggling with her own trust issues. She has to decide whether she is ready to put down her guard and open herself up to what true love might look, and feel, like.

Rowe is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has published 45 books, is a four-time RITA award nominee and a Golden Heart Award winner.

Why It's On the List This list would not be complete without at least one novel featuring western romance and a sexy cowboy, and since this novel has over 1200 ratings and a 4.23/5 score on Goodreads, and a whole family of sexy cowboys (each with their own book), it was definitely an easy choice to include!

Its a fun and easy read. The characters are interesting, the dialogue is entertaining and the situation is different enough not to be boring or overdone.

Read if you like: western romance; involved families (we get to know all of the brothers pretty well); hot cowboys with a past; well-developed and believable characters

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