Feature: Best Friends

Contributed by Ashia (Romancing the Books and More)

I’ve always loved the best friend trope in my romances in whatever form–sister/brother’s best friend, best friend’s brother/sister, or the main characters themselves being best friends. There’s something magical in the process of best friends becoming lovers. How did they transition into the new state? What about the angst/conflict they feel?

I’ve read a lot of this trope, and I have to say that not all authors can do it successfully. Or give me so much feelings–good ones.

Here are some romances in 2018 utilizing the “best friend” trope that I’m gonna be checking out:

Check Me Out by Becca Wilhite (Amazon)

Greta loves her job as assistant librarian. She loves her best friend, Will, the high school civics teacher and debate coach. She even loves her mother despite her obvious disappointment that Greta is still single.

Then she meets Mac in the poetry section of the library, and she is smitten. Mac is heart-stoppingly gorgeous and showers her with affection, poetic text messages, and free hot chocolate at the local cafe where he works. The only problem is that he seems to be a different person in his texts that in his face-to-face conversation.

When the Franklin Library is threatened with closure, Greta leaps into action. She arranges for a “battle of the bands” book jam, hosts a book signing by a famous author, and finally, stages a protest that raises more than a few eyebrows.

Through it all, she slowly realizes that it is Will, not Mac, who she turns to for support and encouragement. Mac has the looks; Will has the heart. How can she choose between them?

Check Me Out is a contemporary romance—with just a hint of Cyrano de Bergerac—that reminds us to never judge a book by its cover. Continue reading

Feature: Office Romance

Contributed by Jackie

What could be more exciting than finding a lover in the office? There are pro’s and con’s, as we shall see:

Pro:

  1. Makes you look forward to going to the office
  2. Being with your lover the entire day (you can then make sure he/she is not having any on the side)

Con:

  1. Being with your lover the entire day (doesn’t it get tiring after awhile?)
  2. Destroys your concentration

Okay, the above is just for fun, because honestly, I really love office romances. You’re with this person day in and day out, getting closer everyday, so of course it’s no wonder you’d fall in love.

Here are some romances that I’ve been eyeing:

Beta Test by Annabeth Albert (Amazon).

Player vs. Player. Fight!

Brilliant graphic designer Ravi Tandel is ahead of the game—he’s just been asked to present a top secret project at a huge conference in Seattle. All systems are go…until he learns his buttoned-up office nemesis is coming along for the ride.

Tristan Jones isn’t really the gamer type, but he knows the back end of the video game business inside out. Together, he and Ravi will give an awesome presentation. If they survive the cross-country trip first.

Tossed together in close quarters, Ravi’s shocked to see Tristan’s sexy, softer side emerge from such a conservative shell. He’s less shocked to learn his handsome colleague’s prominent family would never support an out-and-proud son. But Ravi didn’t struggle through his own coming out to hide who he is now. To be together, Tristan will have to push past his fear and ultimately decide: Does he want a future with Ravi? Or is it game over before they’ve even begun? Continue reading

Excerpt: Blood Veil by Megan Erickson

Buy Link: Amazon

Excerpt:

Celia

I wanted this. Even now, with both of us wounded and scared, my body reacted to the proximity of his. Those unusual yet kind eyes didn’t flinch from mine. No matter the shape he was in, and what was to come, he was going to do this for me. Well, I guessed it was a little for both of us.

Maybe this was why I’d avoided human touch my whole life. My body wanted a vampire. My heart wanted Idris.

I hadn’t ever dreamed of my first time being in a damp cell, but then I’d never imagined sex in a damp cell at all. The floor was cracked concrete beneath my feet, and the only light was a naked bulb above my head that cast a yellow glow over us. I still thought Idris was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I couldn’t leave here without feeling Idris’s skin against mine, without knowing what it was like to be touched by someone who cared for me. Keno had cautioned me about Idris, and had said there was no camera monitoring the cell, so if I didn’t trust Idris not to hurt me, he wasn’t sending me in. So I knew we had as much privacy as we were going to get for at least a half hour. And I wanted Idris.

“Kiss me,” I said as I blinked back tears. “Then feed from me. Then touch me.” Continue reading

Excerpt: On the Line by Liz Lincoln


Buy Link: Amazon

Excerpt:

She took several long, slow breaths with her eyes closed, trying to ground herself and remember all the reasons she couldn’t throw herself at Seth and kiss him right that instant. When she finally got her pulse back in the vicinity of normal, she opened her eyes, scanning the lot for a trash can. She didn’t want her mostly empty cup to drip in Seth’s car.

She spotted one near the building and pushed off the hood to walk away. “I’m going to—”

The rest of the words died on her tongue when Seth’s hand wrapped around her upper arm and turned her back toward him. She looked up, taking in the six feet four inches—yeah, she’d looked up his stats—of broad, delicious man filling her vision.

She didn’t breathe as she watched him rake his gaze over her. The hunger she felt in it made her nipples harden to the point of visibility, but she was too turned on to care. As if he didn’t already know what he did to her.

Huffing out a breath, he took the step into her space. Another step forward and her back pressed against the SUV’s hood, his hand slid into her hair, and his lips descended on hers. Continue reading

Excerpt: Kiss Me Back by Sidney Halston

Buy Link: Amazon

Excerpt:

The little hairs on the back of my neck stand up and without having to turn around I know William Fox is close by.

When I got the job at Panic, I was happier than I’d been in years. Knowing how packed the club gets and the prices of the drinks, I knew my tips would double my income. But then I crashed into Fox. Literally. And that feeling of happiness changed into something I hadn’t felt in years.

Yearning. Continue reading

Excerpt: Undone by You by Kate Meader

Buy Link: Amazon

Excerpt:

Cade looked up from his phone. Muffled cheers and sports commentary was the galley’s soundtrack. “Howdy, Moretti.”

Dante grabbed a bottle of Dewar’s, the only whiskey on hand. He should talk to someone about improving the scotch choices on the chartered flights. “Watching replays of your best moments from tonight’s game?”

“Nah. March Madness.”

“UNC beat Butler?”

“Sure did. Gonna take a miracle to bring ’em down.”

“And that miracle’s name is Duke.”

“No way. This kid they’ve got in Carolina?” He held up his phone. “He scored twenty-six points. Four three-pointers. He’s a beast.”

Dante moved in. Hoops were safe. Chatting with a player about hoops was safe. He took the phone from Cade, their fingers brushing.

Not safe.

But damn, not safe felt not bad. It felt exciting. Continue reading

Excerpt: Long Shot by Kelly Jamieson

Buy Link: Amazon

Excerpt:

Cade checked his watch. “Reese should be here soon.”

“Just don’t freak out on her,” Beck said, crossing his arms.

“I’m not going to freak out on her. I’m going to fire her.”

“What? No!” Beck gaped at him.

“Hold up,” Marco said, waving his hands. “Why do you want to fire her?”

“She’s been lying to us!”

Continue reading

Feature: Holiday Recs Part 1

Now that Thanksgiving and Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the holidays are coming ’round the corner. Have you bought your presents yet? While the crowds haven’t congregated on the malls yet, I’m off to do some holiday shopping this weekend. That includes books for myself, because of course, books are all I want for Christmas. There, easy to get me a present, right? LOL

Oh, or you could get me this T-shirt:

Or any of these. I can’t decide! All of them are pretty funny and cute:

       

They’re also on promotional price right now, if you’re thinking to get one for yourself or your family and friends.

But enough about T-shirts! Here are some holiday reads, recommended by TRR reviewers, to get you in the mood:

Christmas Surprise on MacLean Mountain by Randi Alexander (Amazon)

Doctor Booker MacLean is shocked when his estranged wife calls and asks to talk to him in person. Is Sybil back to finally ask for a divorce? Three days before Christmas? He hardens himself for the blow that’s sure to come

Sybil MacLean has been gone from MacLean Mountain and from her husband for seven long months, and now she’s back to admit that leaving was a terrible mistake. She has a secret, but won’t share it with Booker unless he forgives her and takes her back first.

As a powerful blizzard moves into the Colorado Rockies and Sybil and Booker are stranded together atop MacLean Mountain, will his fierce pride and her need for his understanding keep them from spending Christmas with the one they love most? Continue reading

Feature: Fakeship

Contributed by Ashia (Romancing the Books and More)

Recently, I learned a new term called “fakeship”. This is the story of a pretend girlfriend/boyfriend or fake engagement/marriage storyline, and it’s a trope that I like a lot. It doesn’t matter if it’s between best friends or enemies who needed to call a temporary truce to work together, as long as it’s a fake relationship they have to present to their friends and family. What I love here is the fun, spine-tingling moments when the main characters are forced to be together to keep up the charade.

Here are some upcoming books that feature this trope, books I can’t wait to get into:

Fake Wife by Stacey Lynn (Amazon)

Oh the classic fake engagement for the sake of getting the inheritance.

* * *

This marriage is strictly business . . . until the temptation gets way too real.

Corbin: I loved my grandma, but I don’t need her money. All I care about is keeping the house—the only place that’s ever felt like home. That, and screwing over my dad, who wants to turn the property into a mall. There’s only one catch: To receive my inheritance, I have to get married within six months. Me, the guy who’s never dated a girl for more than six minutes. Now I need to find a woman I can trust. So when I’m rear-ended by a Prius, I figure it’s a sign that I’m supposed to meet gorgeous, down-to-earth Teagan Monroe.

Teagan: First I lose my job. Then I come home and find out—in the most graphic way possible . . . yeah, that way—that my boyfriend is a cheating jerk. And then I speed off and nearly kill Portland’s sexiest bachelor. Corbin Lane should be pissed. Instead, he offers me more money than I’ve ever seen in my life to marry him and live together in a mansion for two years. No sex. No feelings. Just cash—enough to make all my dreams come true. Then we go and break all our rules . . . and I realize I’m falling in love with my fake fiancé. Continue reading