Laura Florand

Trust Me (Paris Nights, #3) by Laura Florand Review

 Trust Me (Paris Nights Book 3) by Laura Florand 4 Stars!!

She’s nobody’s damsel in distress…
Top Parisian pastry chef Lina Farah is used to fighting for her success. But when a violent attack shatters her security, she needs a new tactic to battle her dragons. What better way to banish the monsters under her bed than by inviting a sexy SEAL to tangle the sheets?

He’s a professional dragon slayer…
Elite operative Jake Adams has never stayed in one place long enough to form a lasting relationship. Lina’s fire and beauty tempt him to give her the hot affair she craves. But her spirit and courage make him long for more. Can he convince a woman seeking forgetfulness to dream of ever after…with him?

 

Review

Our heroine Lina is recovering  from a terrorist attack which she foiled in the kitchen of her restaurant where she is an acclaimed pastry chef.

Our hero is an American on a black ops team working with the French to prevent such things from happening.

He fell in love with Lina when he witnessed her bravery and her deep caring for her friends oh and she is hot and fierce as well.

The wonderfulness of this book is all the little details like a flower opening that I don’t want to ruin. It is a quiet book that charts the coming to turns with a new reality, two career driven people falling and love, and emotionial healing.

There are moving and complex exploration of war, politics impact of each life, racism, sexism, gender relation all with a deft and gentle hand.

Lina just wants Jake for sex at first and he rightly resents it and I adore that start but I also adore how Lina knows mistakes can be corrected and we all can begin again.

A really lovely read!

PS Jake and his freckles are hella hot

I was given this book for my honest review. So there you have it!

Chase Me (Paris Nights Book 2) by Laura Florand Review

Chase Me (Paris Nights Book 2) by Laura Florand 4 Stars!!

A Michelin two-star chef at twenty-eight, Violette Lenoir could handle anything, including a cocky burglar who broke into her restaurant in the middle of the night.

Or so she thought.

Elite counterterrorist operative Chase “Smith” had been through things that made Hell Week look easy. But nothing had prepared him for a leather-clad blonde who held him at bay at knifepoint and dared him to take her on.

Now if only saving the world didn’t require he ruin her life.

Two people who thought they could handle anything now have to take on each other.
It’s a battle neither one expected. But with their futures on the line, they have nothing to lose…but their hearts.

Warning: This book contains one arrogant Navy SEAL, nights of Paris passion, and a woman who wants to have it all

Review

This is a wonderful book with tones of old Hollywood Caper Romances in such a delightful way!

It took me a long time to read this book because like the author whose writing was effected by the terrorist attacks in Paris where this book is set and the action takes place around a black ops team working to prevent such horrors, my reading was also disturbed by too many such events too close to the plot of this book.

Laura Florand is one of my favorite writers and she does an amazing job weaving in the current events and realities of Paris into this lovely caper of a romance. As a result, the is an ache in the book as well as a joy which makes it all the better for a tale of love and resilience.

We get a sunny natured special forces hero who is so very charming and a hard as nails chef heroine who will not stand down.

This is a face paced romance with tones of action and exuberance as well as tenderness.

You will be charmed and comforted by the fierceness of human bravery.

I was given this book for my honest review. So there you have it!

Childhood Friends/Nemesis to Lovers in Contemporary Romance

There is a real joy in finding romantic love with a friends. The friends to lovers there has a special sparkle when the couple has know each other for a long time particularly as childern.  The leads must see each other as more complex than they every have before and that makes for a great love story.

Here are some of my favorite Contemporary Romance Novels that do this theme of childhood friends to lovers right.

 All for You (Paris Nights Book 1) by Laura Florand

Some crushes aren’t meant to be.

When her older brother’s best friend left to join the Foreign Legion, eighteen-year-old Célie moved on to make a life for herself as a Paris chocolatier. Now, five years later, the last thing she needs is another man to mess up her happiness.

Let alone the same man.

But five years in the Foreign Legion is a long time for a man to grow up, and a long time to be away from the woman he loves.

Especially when he did it all for her.

Half strangers, more than friends, and maybe, if Joss Castel has his way, a second chance…

 Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley

Indy Savage, cop’s daughter, rock chick and used bookstore owner, has been in love with Lee Nightingale, once bad boy, now the man behind Nightingale Investigations, since she was five years old. No matter what ingenious schemes Indy used to capture his attention, Lee never showed an interest and Indy finally gave up. Now Indy’s employee, Rosie, has lost a bag of diamonds and bad guys are shooting at him. When Indy gets involved, Lee is forced to help. Complicting matters, Lee has decided he’s interested, Indy’s decided she’s not. But she can’t seem to keep Lee out of her life when she’s repeatedly stun gunned, kidnapped and there are car bombs exploding (not to mention she’s finding dead bodies).

Indy’s best bet is to solve the mystery of the diamonds before Lee. Lee’s challenge is to keep Indy alive and, at the same time, win back her heart.

 

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers Book 1) by Penny Reid

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why perpetually level-headed Jessica James has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…
But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks.
When Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

Three Little Words (Fool’s Gold Book 13) by Susan Mallery

Isabel Beebe thinks she’s cursed in the romance department. Her teenage crush, Ford Hendrix, ignored all her letters. Her husband left her for another…man. So Isabel has come home to dust off her passion for fashion and run the family bridal shop until her parents are ready to sell it. Then she’ll pursue her real dreams. At least, that’s the plan, until sexy, charming Ford returns and leaves her feeling fourteen all over again…..

Seeing Isabel all grown-up hits bodyguard trainer Ford like a sucker punch. Back when heartbreak made him join the military, her sweet letters kept him sane. Now he can’t take his eyes—or his lips—off her. The man who gave up on love has a reason to stay in Fool’s Gold forever—if three little words can convince Isabel to do the same.

 

 

 Seducing Cinderella (A Fighting for Love Novel Book 1) by Gina Maxwell

Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care–Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up.

Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She’d do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she’s crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.

Soon Reid finds himself in the fight of his life…winning Lucie’s heart before she gives it to someone else

 To Do List (Bettencourt Brothers Book 1) by Lauren Dane

Belle Taylor’s life, the one she’s worked for meticulously since before she’d even graduated high school had turned out exactly as she’d hoped. And it exhausted her in ways she’d never even known to expect.

She needs to re-evaluate her future, find a way to do what she loved but still have the time and energy for things other than work. So she heads home for the holidays, where she can rest and get her head together.

Rafe Bettencourt was most assuredly not an item on Belle’s to-do list and yet, when her older brother’s best friend kissed her under the mistletoe, Belle finds herself with another set of goals to balance what she’d thought she wanted.

Rafe has loved Belle from afar for years and when he runs into her the night she comes back to Davis, he realizes he’s done waiting around and it was time to make a move. He’s got to help her see she can have a life that includes more than just her job and that she could do it with him at her side.

 

Want more great Friends to Lovers Romance? Check out my Showcase of this theme: Best Friends to Lovers in Romance Novels. 

 

A Crown of Bitter Orange (La Vie en Roses #3) by Laura Florand 5 Star Review!

Review:

A Crown of Bitter Orange (La Vie en Roses Book 3) - Laura Florand

Childhood friends.
Tristan Rosier might have asked Malorie Monsard to marry him when he was five years old, but things had only gone downhill from there. She’d spent the rest of their lives ignoring him, abandoning him, and destroying his perfumes. Now she was back, to wreak who knew what havoc on his life.

Lifelong enemies.
Tristan might choose to dismiss the generations-long enmity between their two families, but Malorie didn’t have that privilege. Like all the other privileges wealthy, gorgeous Tristan took for granted that she couldn’t. But if she was going to restore her family company to glory, she might just need his help.

Or the perfect match?
They’d known each other all their lives. Could these childhood friends and lifelong enemies ever uncross their stars and find happily ever after?

 

Review

One of my best moments of the year is when Laura Florand published a new book.

Her world building combine with wholly realized and oh so human romantic leads that fall in love before my eyes can not be beat.

She has a gift for setting and seeding details of history, fairy tale, place, and skill. Her books are feasts for the emotional as well as physical senses.

This romance is so good. Taking place in France within the perfume industry in a the long history between two families in the shadow of World War II, we get an opposites attract romance with fun twists and turns. Each detail revealed about the hero builds the heroines love even through they have known and cared for each other their whole lives. The heroine is reseen through her and the heroes eyes.

It doesn’t matter what the plot is of the book, though it is a good one with a nice pace of before, during and after that so many love stories lack, you just want to be with this couple in this place and with the cast of characters.

The marriage proposal scene is the best I have ever read. The best. The tenderness, the embodiment of who they each are and so so sexy. It is the best scene I have read in a long time. I reread it. Alot. I want to go and reread it now.

A great book that I will be reading from comfort and joy for a long time to come.

I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1522035/a-crown-of-bitter-orange-la-vie-en-roses-3-by-laura-florand-5-star-review

Best Contemporary Romance 2015

Contermporay Romance continued  to rule Romanceland this year.

 

Here are my  Best Contemporary Romance 2015

 

In my Best of the Year List, I already have a shout out to some these amazing Contemporary Romances in my best of the year list

 

My list are never in any particular order.

 

This was published oversees in 2013 but didn’t make it to the US until 2015. Helen McNeil is a vet in the small rural town of Broadview. While taking evasive action from a dull girl at a party one night she falls over – and fails to recognise – national sporting hero, Mark Tipene. For some mysterious reason Helen never really grasps, Mark finds this charming and appears the next day at the front counter of the vet clinic to ask her out.
A whirlwind romance follows and everything is going swimmingly until one little hiccup changes everything…

Chocolate Cake for Breakfast is the funny and heart-warming story of the pros and cons of dating a man whose shirtless picture adorns a wall in every second lunchroom in the country, of calving cows and crazy cat ladies, and of doing your best when life takes an unexpected turn.

 

When Colby St. James dresses like a man to prove she can succeed in the male-dominated world of professional cooking, she never expects to fall for the handsome chef who will decide her fate. They agree that nothing that happens after hours will affect Colby’s chances in the competition and begin a secret affair.

It’s been years since Dominic Fevre felt a sexual attraction toward another man. He thought he’d put thatstage of his life behind him when he focused everything on his career. But something about Colby St. James makes him want to break all his own rules…

 

Some crushes aren’t meant to be.
When her older brother’s best friend left to join the Foreign Legion, eighteen-year-old Célie moved on to make a life for herself as a Paris chocolatier. Now, five years later, the last thing she needs is another man to mess up her happiness.

Let alone the same man.

But five years in the Foreign Legion is a long time for a man to grow up, and a long time to be away from the woman he loves.

Especially when he did it all for her.

Half strangers, more than friends, and maybe, if Joss Castel has his way, a second chance…

 

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

 

Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.
And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on

 

Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Systems. But when he makes an offhand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.
To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.

But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart…but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.

 

 

This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre’s Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham

Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard’s antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city.

Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man?

Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip.ÿFrom fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance.

Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?

 

Tzipporah Berger is thirty-seven and single, which is practically unheard of in the Orthodox Jewish community she now calls home. Her increasing religiosity and need for kink may have broken up her first marriage, but she’s decided it’s time to try again. And the rabbi’s wife has just the man in mind.
Elan Klein is the neighborhood butcher whose intimidating size and gruff manner hint at a deliciously forceful personality. But BDSM isn’t exactly something you discuss during an Orthodox courtship. Will a marriage to Elan solidify her place in the community that she loves and provide the domination and pain Tzipporah craves or will she forever have to rely on flights of fancy to satisfy her needs?

 

New job, new boss, and he’s cold, strict, but terribly attractive. Does Molly Parker stay or does she go? Because beneath Cyrian’s chilly front, there may be a heat that’ll burn her up.

Giving in was vicious bliss.

The live-in position is an opportunity for Molly to earn and escape a problematic family. There’s just one drawback. Her employer is the most eccentric, aloof and closed off man she’s ever encountered. His rules are bizarre and his needs even more so, and caring for his ramshackle Dickensian home is far more than she ever bargained for. Only their increasingly intense conversations stop her heading for the door. Cyrian Harcroft is a man of many mysteries and secrets, and the more she learns the greedier she is for each and every one. Especially when she discovers his greatest fear: any kind of physical contact. Now all she has to do is dig a little deeper, to unearth the passion she knows he can feel

 

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Wraiths.
Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

 

What happens when a bad-boy celebrity rocker meets a small-town bestselling novelist? Find out in this first book in the sizzling new True series by Liora Blake!
While most novelists would consider jetting off to Hollywood for a TV interview rather exciting, small-town Montana writer Kate Mosely finds it all a bit exhausting. After losing her husband in a car accident where she was behind the wheel, Kate has finally found her bearings in the world again, rebuilding a simple but stable life. And even if that means a lot of lonely nights watching old movies and quiet days writing obituaries for her hometown newspaper, Kate’s not sure she’s ready for her life to change—again.

Until she shares the stage—and a whole heap of carnal gazes—with rock star Trevor “Trax” Jenkins. Despite his intimidating on-stage bravado, underneath it Kate discovers a man with a Rilke poem tattooed on his arm, an appreciation for cronuts, and a snarky wit that matches her own.

As she and Trevor explore their heated chemistry, the scarred parts of Kate’s heart begin to heal, making room for a love so passionate it makes her want long-forgotten things equal parts naughty, heart-swelling, and joyful. But when a searing exposé in a trashy gossip magazine sends Kate running, will it threaten their chances at forever?

 

Ruthless. That was what they said about Damien Rosier. Handsome. Wealthy. Powerful. Merciless. No one messed with his family, because to do so they would have to get through him. No one thought he had a heart. Not even the woman he gave his to.

Cynical. That was what they said about Jasmin Bianchi. A top perfumer of her generation, Jess had achieved commercial success by growing a protective shell over a tender heart. The one time she cracked it open to let Damien in, he crushed it—after a night of unbelievable passion.

Lovers. That one magical night couldn’t survive the harsh light of dawn. When Jess woke up to discover the man in bed beside her had stolen her company, she fled.

Enemies. Now she’s come to the south of France with something of his. If he wants to reclaim both his family heritage and the woman who walked away from him, he’s going to have to fight as dirty as only Damien can.

But Jess knows how to fight dirty, too. And these days, she has nothing left to lose.

Certainly not her heart.

She stole his roses.
Fleeing the spotlight, burnt out rock star Layla—“Belle”—Dubois seeks refuge in the south of France. That old, half-forgotten heritage in a valley of roses seems like a good place to soothe a wounded heart. She certainly doesn’t expect the most dangerous threat to her heart to pounce on her as soon as she sets foot on the land.

He wants them back.

Matt didn’t mean to growl at her quite that loudly. But—his roses! She can’t have his roses. Even if she does have all those curls and green eyes and, and, and…what was he growling about again?

Or maybe he just wants her.

When an enemy invades his valley and threatens his home, heart, and livelihood, Matthieu Rosier really knows only one way to defend himself.

It might involve kissing.

And that might be just the start.

What a wonderful year! What have your favorites been?

All Work: Workaholics in Romance Novels

I would love to see more romances address work as an addiction.

Here are some Romances that feature Workaholic leads. These books vary from hard working, work as an excuse not to feel, to work as an destructive force.

Do you have a love story you like that deals with work as an addiction?  Let me know!

My lists are never in any particular order. Enjoy!

41+5ZDsKmfL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_1. The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie

Daisy Flattery is a free spirit with a soft spot for strays and a weakness for a good story. Why else would she agree to the outrageous charade offered by her buttoned-down workaholic neighbor, Linc Blaise? The history professor needs to have a fiancée in order to capture his dream job, and Daisy is game to play the role. But something funny happens on their way to the altar that changes everything. Now, with the midnight hour approaching, will Daisy lose her prince, or will opposites not only attract but live happily ever after?

 

 

 

 

51A9lRwQBAL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_2. Turning Up the Heat by Laura Florand

After eleven years of marriage, Léa Laurier knew her husband. Knew how he could take on responsibility for a world-famous restaurant, a wife, and her two teenage siblings at nineteen years old and never falter, never tire. Knew his drive and his ambition, that took him to the stars. Knew how brilliant his gray eyes looked when they met hers for just one moment across a host of cameras. She didn’t know why she was so tired. She didn’t know why she needed to just get away. For a while. Maybe a week or two. A month. She’d be back.

After eleven years of marriage, international superstar chef Daniel Laurier knew his wife. Knew how she could lavish caring on everyone, her siblings, his staff, and most especially him. Knew the way her face lit up when he won yet another television contest, and the way she hugged him for it. Knew how her hair smelled when he sank into bed exhausted at one in the morning. He didn’t know what to do when he came home from a consulting trip to find she’d disappeared to remote South Pacific island: I just needed to get away for a little while. A week or two. I’ll call you.

As the whole solid world under his feet turned into a sandcastle in the tide, Daniel knew only one thing: whatever was wrong with his marriage or his wife, he wasn’t losing her. So as a top chef, he did the one thing he always knew how to do: turn up the heat.

 

 

514Zf7np66L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_3. Kissing Mr. Scrooge by Kary Rader

Maddie Timms’s workaholic, type-A boss is forcing her to accompany him on a business trip where she’ll miss Christmas at home, but it might just be worth disappointing her family if she can convince the tall, dark, and sexy humbug to embrace the season…and her.

 

 

 

 

519lD+bGa8L._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_4. The Courting Campaign by Regina Scott

Emma Pyrmont has no designs on handsome Sir Nicholas Rotherford—at least not for herself. As his daughter’s nanny, she sees how lonely little Alice has been. With the cook’s help, Emma shows the workaholic scientist just what Alice needs. But making Nicholas a better father makes Emma wish her painful past didn’t mar her own marriage chances.

Ever since scandal destroyed his career, Nicholas has devoted himself to his new invention. Now his daughter’s sweet, quick-witted nanny is proving an unexpected distraction. All evidence suggests that happiness is within reach—if only a man of logic can trust in the deductions of his own heart.

 

51CHluv6HvL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_5. Wolf Flight by Vivian Arend

Tad Maxwell’s workaholism serves to keep his bush-pilot company in the air, and his inner werewolf in check. In the two years since he discovered his heritage, he’s resisted the longing to test the power of his wolf side. It would mean compromising his human principles.

Then Missy Leason re-enters his life. Ten years ago, their teenage attraction never went beyond hand-holding. Now their chemistry is off the charts, pushing him closer to the step he’s not sure it’s safe to take, especially with a human.

But Missy is more like Tad than he realizes. She’s wolf too, and a wolf pack is a dangerous place to have secrets. Missy’s Alpha has sniffed out her carefully hidden Omega powers. Her first response: run from the corrupt Alpha’s plan to make her his mate. Step two: get to Tad, and hope like hell his untapped powers are strong enough to negate her own.

Every touch with Missy is hot, hot, hot, but even finding out she’s pure wolf doesn’t solve Tad’s dilemma. Is she using him, or are they truly destined mates? Only one thing is certain. He will defend her to his last breath–on his terms. Even if it means losing his life.

 

 

41tmB8liESL._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_6. Making It Last by Ruthie Knox

A hotel bar. A sexy stranger. A night of passion. There’s a part of Amber Mazzara that wants those things, wants to have a moment—just one—when life isn’t a complicated tangle of house and husband and kids and careers. Then, after a long, exhausting “vacation” with her family, her husband surprises her with a gift: a few days on the beach . . . alone.

Only she won’t be alone for long, because a handsome man just bought her a drink. He’s cool, he’s confident, and he wants to take Amber to bed and keep her there for days. Lucky for them both, he’s her husband. He’s got only a few days in Jamaica to make her wildest desires come true, but if he can pull it off, there’s reason to believe that this fantasy can last a lifetime.

 

51s2744gFLL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_7. Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis

ove can happen in a heartbeat… Grace never thought she’d be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh’s lovable mutt to caring for his rambunctious son. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad…

With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family – until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “good bedside manner”. Josh and Grace don’t know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day…

 

51ELPZU-g7L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_8. Just This Once by Rosalind James

Everyone needs to be rescued sometimes. 
Everyone but Hannah Montgomery, that is. She just needs a vacation. Three weeks in New Zealand to sort out her life, figure out what she wants, seems just right. Oh, and to relax. She should definitely put that on the agenda. She certainly isn’t looking for a sexy fling with a professional rugby player, no matter how attractive he is. Hannah doesn’t do casual. But maybe just this once …

As much as he’s shared with Hannah, Drew Callahan has kept one very big secret: that he’s the captain of the All Blacks, New Zealand’s international rugby team, not to mention the best-known rugby player on earth. And learning the truth, now that she’s back home again, has made Hannah warier than ever. Drew knows that she’s right for him. But how can he convince her to let down her guard enough to explore what they could have together?

51H0SKS5RWL._SX286_BO1,204,203,200_9. Embraced by Love by Suzanne Brockmann

osie and Cooper were one of those couples everyone envied: gorgeous, successful, and so deeply devoted. Even though Josie tended to work too hard, putting in long hours to lift her fledgling company off the ground, and Cooper could be wild and unpredictable, the two complimented one another. It seemed their love would last forever.
But sometimes love just isn’t enough. When a tragic accident leaves Josie and Cooper with two young children to care for, their bond will be tested. Now the pressures of their commanding careers are compounded by the needs of the children, and they find themselves drifting further and further apart. They will have to work to find the way back to each other, to the incredible passion that was once at the center of lives–and still burns deep in their hearts.

51KpAQOFINL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_10. Icebreaker by Deirdre Martin

Good thing high-powered attorney Sinead O’ Brien has a rule about never dating clients. Because Adam Perry, the newest star of the New York Blades-and her newest client-has her headed for the penalty box. If only she could prove he’s just another jock…

Adam’s been charged with assault after a borderline hit on another star player, but off the ice he’s a private, no-nonsense guy who knows the Blades are his last shot at Stanley Cup glory. Assembling her case, Sinead tries not to get distracted by Adam’s dazzling good looks or strong work ethic, but she quickly discovers that there’s a wounded man under that jersey, and she’s starting to fall for him-hard.

Now Adam’s having trouble focusing on the goal with Sinead in his sights. And Sinead is tempted to break her ‘no dating clients’ rule. Can they play on their newfound feelings without penalties?

Vote for the best of the best on my Goodreads list:  All Work: Workaholics in Romance Novels 

Hungry::Cookbooks and Recipes in Romance Novels

8:00 am 23 November 2015

As Thanksgiving Week begins in America, it is a time of great eating.

Before we all get tired of cooking, here are some wonderful Romances featuring recpies or the writing of cookbooks.

My lists are never in any particular order. Enjoy!

1. The Chocolate Rose by Laura Florand

Her father’s worst enemy…
Top chef Gabriel Delange never forgave his old nemesis Pierre Manon for all the other chef had cost him.
One stolen rose…
And he most certainly couldn’t stand the sight of his own most famous dessert, the legendary Rose, claimed as Pierre’s own on the cover of his new cookbook.
A beast’s substitute victim
But even Gabriel could hardly go through with a lawsuit when he learned the older chef had just had a stroke.  Especially not when Pierre had one very cute daughter willing to be Gabriel’s victim instead.
A fascinated beauty…
As a child, Jolie Manon had seen her family torn apart by her top chef father’s obsession with his work.As a food writer, she might be fascinated with a chef’s work, but she knew how to guard her heart.  She would never allow another chef into her life.
Unless he blackmailed her into it…


2. A Recipe for Romance  by Lenora Worth

Contributing authors Lenora Worth, Debra Ullrick, Janet Tronstad, Carolyne Aarsen, Dana Corbit, Lyn Cote, Debby Giusti, Winnie Griggs, Arlene James, Deb Kastner, Renee Ryan, Danica Favorite,Gail Gaymer Martin, Jill Kemerer, Jolene Navarro, Marta Perry, Terri Reed, Sherri Shackelford, Cami Tang, Missy Tippens, Pamela Tracy, and Cheryl Wyatt present an anthology of sweet and inspirational short stories and tasty recipes.A sampling of the stories you’ll find inside:

  • A young woman who uses Potato Salad to prove she’s still in love with her long-lost miner beau,
  • A new stepdad who builds Chopped Tree Casserole to bond with his stepson,
  • An Amish mother who finds a way to reconnect with her husband over her Chicken Potpie,
  • A bank teller who brings Tomato Basil Soup and new hope for a relationship to her coworker.
  • And many more

3.  Heartburn by Nora Ephron Well (not a romance but an amazing read)

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has “a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs” is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron’s irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. Heartburn is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé.


4. The Bride Raffle by Lisa Plumley

Famous home-keeping expert Daisy Walsh is overwhelmed by the warm welcome she receives in Morrow Creek, and then she realizes she’s the star prize in the town raffle! She can bet the lucky winner’s not expecting a pregnant woman who needs a place to stay.

Single father Owen Cooper suspects he’s been set up because his daughter is thrilled to have a woman around the house. He could get used to the smell of home baking tempting his taste buds, but the sight of Daisy’s stockings is one temptation too far!

5. Hell Yeah! Box Set With Bonus Cookbook by Sable Hunter

Cowboy Heat (Hell Yeah!: Book 1)

Aron McCoy has sworn off women – except for sex. When Libby Fontaine
arrives at Aron’s Tebow Ranch, she is determined to cram a lifetime of living into a few short months. The doctor has told her that she can’t count on her remission from leukemia being a permanent one. Their attraction to one another is instantaneous and overwhelming. But when Aron finds out thatLibby is innocent – he backs off. He has nothing to offer a girl who deserves white lace and promises. Then Aron catches Libby pleasuring herself in his stock tank and hears her cry out his name – and the heat is on. Cowboy heat.

Hot on Her Trail (Hell Yeah!: Book 2)

Jacob McCoy wishes for a wife and a family. Tis the Season for miracles when a young woman shows up on his doorstep: homeless, in danger and expecting a child – Jacob’s child. Their
relationship is complicated by the fact that, A – they’ve never met before and B – she’s a virgin. Jessieis determined not to be a burden to the McCoy family. As far as she’s concerned, she is just passing through. Jacob has a different opinion – he wants Jessie in his life, in his bed and in his heart.

BONUS: Sable Does It in the Kitchen Cookbook

All the great recipes mentioned throughout the Hell Yeah! Series are not gathered in one place. This cookbook contains Sable’s Favorite Recipes along with a few of her friends as well. Excerpts from her books are spread throughout the book to give you an added glimpse.

51kkPSXz7ZL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_6. Rosewater and Soda Bread by Marsha Mehran

ore than a year has passed since Marjan, Bahar, and Layla, the beautiful Iranian Aminpour sisters, sought refuge in the quaint Irish town of Ballinacroagh. Opening the beguiling Babylon Café, they charmed the locals with their warm hearts and delectable Persian cuisine, bringing a saffron-scented spice to the once-sleepy village.

But when a young woman with a dark secret literally washes up on Clew Bay Beach, the sisters’ world is once again turned upside down. With pale skin and webbed hands, the girl is otherworldly, but her wounds tell a more earthly (and graver) story–one that sends the strict Catholic town into an uproar. The Aminpours rally around the newcomer, but each sister must also contend with her own transformation–Marjan tests her feelings for love with a dashing writer, Bahar takes on a new spiritual commitment with the help of Father Mahoney, and Layla matures into a young woman when she and her boyfriend, Malachy, step up their hot and heavy relationship.

Filled with mouthwatering recipes and enchanting details of life in Ireland, Rosewater and Soda Bread is infused with a lyrical warmth that radiates from the Aminpour family and their big-hearted Italian landlady, Estelle, to the whole of Ballinacroagh–and the world beyond.

51ml65F4hVL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_7. The Skye Trilogy by Shannon Barczak

Willa McCormack is a feisty bakery owner from Yuma, Arizona. She has wonderful parents, great friends, and a career she loves. Her life changes one night when her parents come home terrified and they have to reveal their secrets to her.
Secrets that will change Willa’s life forever.
Willa must now leave everything she has ever known and embark on a dangerous journey to the Isle of Skye. A place where she will learn that fairytales and nightmares are real. A place where she will discover not only what she really is but who she is destined to be.

Come explore the world of Gypsies, Faeries, and Vampires with an unlikely heroine, who above all else, is determined to stay true to herself.

Isle of Night
Several months have passed since Willa McCormack, a bakery owner from Yuma, AZ, was told she was a powerful Gypsy-Fae princess and journeyed to the Isle of Skye. As she tries to open her new business and get ready for the Fae’s arrival to the Isle, new dangers lurk at every turn.
While she tries to uncover clues about a dangerous enemy and find the weapons that can kill him, she also has to deal with her intense feelings for her Guardian, Mathias, a vampire of light.
Join Willa, an unlikely smart ass heroine, as she navigates this magical world and tries to save her new home from being plunged into eternal darkness.

Isle of Dawn
Willa has left the Isle of Skye and is now in Fairlia with Patcoena to absorb the King’s power. Two unexpected guides join them as they make their way across all the realms so that she can finally fulfill her destiny to become the Fae Sanctity.
Her journey takes her to places she never thought was imaginable and the deeper she delves into the depths, the further she moves away from the person she used to be.
Can she ever make her way back to Mathias and everyone that she loves or will the final battle be her last?
Bonus book, Scrumptious Skye Confections Cookbook!
The Skye Trilogy Cookbook!
Scrumptious Skye Confection contains over 60 recipes all from Willa’s point of view!

51I0pbKvVkL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_8. The First Love Cookie Club by Lori Wilde

“On Christmas Eve, if you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your one true love, he will be your destiny.”

The townsfolk of Twilight, Texas, believe the legend, but not Sarah Collier—not since she was a pudgy teenager, running down the church aisle on Christmas Day in a jingle bell sweater and reindeer antlers, trying to stop Travis Walker from marrying someone else. She may be grown-up, slimmed-down, bestselling children’s book author “Sadie Cool”now, but Sarah will never forget that day. And she’ll never fall foolishly in love again!

But when a letter from a sick fan brings Sarah back to Twilight, she’s shocked to discover that Travis is the little girl’s father—unattached and hotter than ever. His smile still makes her melt, but Sarah knows that ship has sailed. Travis, however, might have different ideas.

51VxNcmZV6L._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_9.  Huddle with Me Tonight by Farrah Rochon

All Paige Turner wants is to be taken seriously as a journalist. The entertainment columnist and blogger extraordinaire gets more notoriety than she planned when her scathing review of NFL superstar Torrian Smallwood’s memoir sparks an online confrontation. But that’s nothing compared to the sensual heat that tackles her when she meets the heart-stoppingly sexy athlete face-to-face….

Torrian can’t let Paige derail his dream of a new career as a restaurateur. Even if the sassy, sultry writer is making America’s favorite wide receiver yearn to be on the receiving end of her desire. And with a reality TV cook-off propelling them into the spotlight, Torrian can no longer hide his passionate secret goal—to build a future with the woman who’s making an end run around his heart….

51lRz62aINL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_10. How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal

Professional baker Ramona Gallagher is a master of an art that has sustained her through the most turbulent times, including a baby at fifteen and an endless family feud. But now Ramona’s bakery threatens to crumble around her. Literally. She’s one water-heater disaster away from losing her grandmother’s rambling Victorian and everything she’s worked so hard to build.

When Ramona’s soldier son-in-law is wounded in Afghanistan, her daughter, Sophia, races overseas to be at his side, leaving Ramona as the only suitable guardian for Sophia’s thirteen-year-old stepdaughter, Katie. Heartbroken, Katie feels that she’s being dumped again—this time on the doorstep of a woman out of practice with mothering.

Ramona relies upon a special set of tools—patience, persistence, and the reliability of a good recipe—when rebellious Katie arrives. And as she relives her own history of difficult choices, Ramona shares her love of baking with the troubled girl. Slowly, Katie begins to find self-acceptance and a place to call home. And when a man from her past returns to offer a second chance at love, Ramona discovers that even the best recipe tastes better when you add time, care, and a few secret ingredients of your own.

Do you have a rec? Let me know!

Vote for the best of the best on my Goodreads list: Cookbook Romance.

Cat’s Best Contemporary Romance Reads of 2014

Every year, I tend to have a sub genre I glom. This year I had an amazing run of blessings with Contemporary Romance.  Contemporary Romances published in 2014 were particularly good so this post is just about those beauties.

Here is my best reads of Contemporary Romance published in 2014.  So many 5 stars, it is dazzling.  These books are not in any particular order. They are all great. Read them!

 

His Road Home by Anna Richland 5 Stars

Special Forces medic Rey Cruz needs to find a fiancée, fast, or he’ll end up in a marriage orchestrated by an Afghan warlord. Finding a picture online of a girl he barely knew back home, he fakes an engagement photo, thinking no one else will see it. But when Rey loses both legs and the ability to speak while rescuing a local boy, the image goes viral.

Seattle marine biologist Grace Kim is shocked to find out she’s engaged. When she’s offered a plane ticket to visit her “fiancé,” she takes it, looking for the answer to one question: Why did he lie? Touched by Rey’s funny texts and the determination she sees in him, Grace offers her friendship—a big step for someone who prefers whales to most company.

And when Rey is finally sent home, Grace agrees to help him drive his classic car cross-country over Thanksgiving—a once-in-a-lifetime road trip that leads to what feels like real love. In front of his friends and family, she plays the caring fiancée, but what place will Grace have in Rey’s new life once he’s ready to be on his own again?

Truly: A New York Novel by Ruthie Knox 5 Stars

May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?
Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.
Sun-Kissed by Laura Florand 5 Stars

They called her the Ice Queen.

Anne Winters. Self-made billionaire. Household name. Divorced single mom. Convicted felon. She didn’t let anyone or anything get to her. No one was allowed to breach the walls around her heart except for her own son. She had only one trusted friend: her vacation house neighbor. They’d been walking the beach together for twenty years. Not that this gave him access to her heart, of course…

They called him a man who got what he wanted.

Mack Corey. Self-made billionaire. Dominant world player. Widowed father of the bride. No felony convictions yet, although his daughters had come close. He’d transformed his family company into one of the top 500 by the age of thirty. He’d raised two daughters who dumped him for idiot arrogant French chocolatiers and went off to live in Paris. Hell, he even managed to tolerate his dad. But that Ice Queen act Anne Winters had going was really starting to get to him…

They’d been best friends for twenty years. Could they become lovers?
Could a frozen heart be kissed by the sun?

 Love Hacked by Penny Reid 5 Stars 

There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn’t been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Sandra has difficulty removing her psychotherapist hat. Of her last 30 dates, 29 have ended the same way: the man sobbing uncontrollably. After one such disaster, Sandra–near desperation and maybe a little tipsy–gives in to a seemingly harmless encounter with her hot waiter, Alex. Argumentative, secretive, and hostile Alex may be the opposite of everything Sandra knows is right for her. But now, the girl who has spent all her life helping others change for the better, must find a way to cope with falling for someone who refuses to change at all.

 

 

 

 Hard Time by Cara McKenna 5 Stars

Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind—or eyes—off inmate Eric Collier.

Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.

When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.

 

Deeper by Robin York 5 Stars

When Caroline Piasecki’s ex-boyfriend posts their sex pictures on the Internet, it destroys her reputation as a nice college girl. Suddenly her once-promising future doesn’t look so bright. Caroline tries to make the pictures disappear, hoping time will bury her shame. Then a guy she barely knows rises to her defense and punches her ex to the ground.


West Leavitt is the last person Caroline needs in her life. Everyone knows he’s shady. Still, Caroline is drawn to his confidence and swagger—even after promising her dad she’ll keep her distance. On late, sleepless nights, Caroline starts wandering into the bakery where West works.

They hang out, they talk, they listen. Though Caroline and West tell each other they’re “just friends,” their feelings intensify until it becomes impossible to pretend. The more complicated her relationship with West gets, the harder Caroline has to struggle to discover what she wants for herself—and the easier it becomes to find the courage she needs to fight back against the people who would judge her.

When all seems lost, sometimes the only place to go is deeper.


Live: A Burnside Novel by Mary Ann Rivers 5 Stars 

If there’s an upside to unemployment, Destiny Burnside may have found it. Job searching at her local library in Lakefield, Ohio, gives her plenty of time to ogle the hottest man she has ever laid eyes on: the sexy wood-carver who’s restoring the building. But as the rejection letters pile up, Destiny finds an unexpected shoulder to cry on. With his rich Welsh accent, Hefin Thomas stirs Destiny so completely that, even though he’s leaving soon, she lets herself believe the memory of his scorching kisses will be enough.


Hefin can’t help but notice the slender, confident woman with ginger hair who returns each day, so hopeful and determined. So when the tears start to fall, his silence—penance for a failed marriage—finally cracks. Once he’s touched her, what Hefin wants is to take her back to Wales and hold her forever. But Destiny’s roots run too deep. What they both need is each other—to learn how to live and love again.

 

 The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand 5 Stars

She hated him.

Patrick Chevalier. The charming, laid-back, golden second-in-command of the Paris pastry kitchen where Sarah worked as intern, who made everything she failed at seem so easy, and who could have every woman he winked at falling for him without even trying. She hated him, but she’d risked too much for this dream to give up on it and walk out just so he wouldn’t break her heart.

But he didn’t hate her.

Sarah Lin. Patrick’s serious, dark-haired American intern, who looked at him as if she could see right through him and wasn’t so impressed with what she saw. As her boss, he knew he should leave her alone. The same way he knew better than to risk his heart and gamble on love.

But he was never good at not going after what – or who – he wanted.

He could make magic out of sugar. But could he mold hate into love.

 Beyond Repair by Charlotte Stein 5 Stars 

When Alice Evans finds a bona fide movie star on the floor of her living room, she has no idea what to do. Ordinary men are frightening enough, never mind someone as famous and frankly gorgeous as Holden Stark.

However, once she realizes that Holden is suffering behind that famous facade, she knows she has to help. He needs someone like her to give him a taste of sweetness and desire and love. He needs normality. The only problem—Alice is hiding a secret that is far from normal. In fact, her name isn’t even Alice at all.

And once Holden finds out, the intense connection they are just beginning to build may well be torn apart.

 

 

 

 Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid 4 Stars

There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.
Hard to Hold On To: A Hard Ink Novella  by Laura Kaye 4 Stars

Edward “Easy” Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves–which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight.  He may have just met her, but Jenna’s the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago.
Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can’t describe how he makes her feel–and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to

 

 

 Shoreline Drive by Lily Everett 4 Stars

Dr. Ben Faulkner is a veterinarian on warm, welcoming Sanctuary Island, a refuge for wild horses. Though he’s dedicated his life to healing animals and rescuing the ones no one wants, Ben is nursing deep wounds of his own. After tragedy tore his family apart, he gave up his dreams of finding happiness long ago…until Merry Preston arrives on the island. Vivacious, friendly, and instantly loveable, Merry is everything Ben is not. She’s also nine months pregnant and attempting to carve out a new life for herself and her unborn child.

Though Ben tries to keep his distance, when a raging storm cuts them off from the mainland, he’s forced to help bring her new baby into the world.  It’s a harrowing experience that leaves him with one great certainty: I want these two to be my family. Seeing his opportunity, he makes a dramatic proposal to the young mother: a marriage of convenience. If Merry marries him, he’ll draw up a contract naming her son as his heir and promising to provide for them both. But as they’ll learn, love is more than a business proposition…and it’ll take all the magic hidden in Sanctuary Island to turn Ben’s proposal into something real and lasting.

 

So, there it is! What a wonderful year! Thank you!

 

I read about 300-400 books a year. My best reads come from that pool of books.  I would love to know your favorites that I may have missed in Contemporary Romance published 2014.

 

To vote for your best Contemporary Romance from this year– Best Contemporary Romance 2014.

Cat’s Best Independently Published Romance Reads of 2014

I love giving my money in the right percentage to authors. I adore the quitting of day jobs to write more books for me to read.

Here are my best Indie Author Romance Reads of 2014!

Published in 2014 (in no particular order because I lack those kind of skills or inclinations)
 Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame

Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of twenty, she’s amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her—people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her both confuses and intrigues her, so when she’s offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity.

When her attempts to come up with an actual experiment quickly drop from lackluster to nonexistent, she’s given a choice: figure out how to conduct a groundbreaking study on passion, or lose both the grant and her position at the university. Put on leave until she can crack the perfect proposal, she finds there’s only one way she can study emotions: by experiencing them herself.

Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy’s neighbor and the one person on the planet she finds strangely and maddeningly appealing. Jensen’s life is the stuff of campus legend, messy, emotional, complicated—in short, the perfect starting point for Lucy’s study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what’s more important: analyzing her passions…or giving in to them?

  Artistic License  by Elle Pierson (AKA Lucy Parker)

“Picasso would have loved his face.”

An art exhibition in Queenstown, New Zealand results in an unlikely friendship and a reluctant love when shy art student Sophy James meets reticent security consultant Mick Hollister. Content with her solitude and independence, Sophy has never desired a long-term relationship. Born with a face that apparently not even a mother could love, Mick has given up hope of having one. They don’t have a lot in common; they shouldn’t even like one another – and they can’t stay away from each other.

 

 

 

 

 Beauty and the Mustache: by Penny Reid

There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.

 Sun-Kissed by Laura Florand

They called her the Ice Queen.

Anne Winters. Self-made billionaire. Household name. Divorced single mom. Convicted felon. She didn’t let anyone or anything get to her. No one was allowed to breach the walls around her heart except for her own son. She had only one trusted friend: her vacation house neighbor. They’d been walking the beach together for twenty years. Not that this gave him access to her heart, of course…

They called him a man who got what he wanted.

Mack Corey. Self-made billionaire. Dominant world player. Widowed father of the bride. No felony convictions yet, although his daughters had come close. He’d transformed his family company into one of the top 500 by the age of thirty. He’d raised two daughters who dumped him for idiot arrogant French chocolatiers and went off to live in Paris. Hell, he even managed to tolerate his dad. But that Ice Queen act Anne Winters had going was really starting to get to him…

They’d been best friends for twenty years. Could they become lovers?
Could a frozen heart be kissed by the sun?

  Just Not Mine by Rosalind James

Destiny can sneak up on you. Or it can smack you in the face.

Hugh Latimer’s coping with a few problems just now. A broken hand, missing the European rugby tour . . . and a half-brother and sister who are playing havoc with his love life. Instead of packing down in the scrum, he’s driving the carpool to ballet—or forgetting it’s his turn. When he hears his neighbor wailing out bad pop in the wee hours, it’s the last straw.

Josie Pae Ata is a fortunate woman. A new house, good friends, a gorgeous boyfriend—oh, and stardom, too. Getting involved with her new neighbors would bring risks she doesn’t need. But life has a way of changing the rules. And when you get more than you can handle, sometimes all you can do is hang on for the ride.

 
The Key  by Victoria Darkins

Jack and Carrie are lost souls. Jack is an eminent university lecturer in English Literature who suffers from quadriplegia after a spinal cord injury in his late teens. Having convinced himself that he was better off on his own he has closed the door on any romantic entanglements and instead directed all his energy into his work.
Carrie is trying to unchain herself from a cruel, neglectful and guilt ridden childhood. She has earned a place on a degree course of her dreams but it comes at a costly price.

Both are thrown together by Mary, a mutual friend and past social worker, who has hatched a plan to help Jack and Carrie with their predicaments. Carrie becomes Jack’s live-in carer securing her with an income and unexpected benefits.

Will it be too late from them to find out that they both hold the key to unleash each other from the chains that hold them to their past? A key that will unlock their hearts.

Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan

Nobody knows who Miss Rose Sweetly is, and she prefers it that way. She’s a shy, mathematically-minded shopkeeper’s daughter who dreams of the stars. Women like her only ever come to attention through scandal. She’ll take obscurity, thank you very much.
All of England knows who Stephen Shaughnessy is. He’s an infamous advice columnist and a known rake. When he moves into the house next door to Rose, she discovers that he’s also wickedly funny, devilishly flirtatious, and heart-stoppingly handsome. But when he takes an interest in her mathematical work, she realizes that Mr. Shaughnessy isn’t just a scandal waiting to happen. He’s waiting to happen to her…and if she’s not careful, she’ll give in to certain ruination.

 

 

Charming the Duke by Holly Bush

1849 . . . Matilda Sheldon, the middle daughter of the sixth Earl of Bisset, has never been interested in the fashionable society events that so preoccupy her parents and siblings. Her loving, albeit, daft family cannot understand why. But Matilda has little use for silly rules and dramas. She would rather occupy her time with a worthwhile cause such as opening The Sheldon Home for Orphans, much to the chagrin of her mother and grandmother. They are quite certain a venture of this nature will discourage suitors. Matilda is quite certain that if suitors are discouraged it is because she is clever, plain, a bit clumsy, and inevitably compared to her beautiful sisters.
The Duke of Thornsby is in tight spot. After receiving the title on the death of his father, he discovers the inheritance is to be gifted elsewhere if he does not marry before his thirtieth birthday. Unfortunately, our man-about-town is embroiled in a scandal, not of his own making, and the marriage mamas won’t let any eligible misses anywhere near him. What’s a Duke to do? Get invited to a house party hosted by the notoriously absent-minded Earl of Bisset, who just happens to be Papa to some young ladies of marriageable age!

Thornsby finds himself fascinated, not with the two Sheldon debutantes actively seeking a husband, but rather with the ‘brown wren’ he first mistakes for a servant. Matilda is counting the hours until the house party ends when the necessity of conversing with the guests will be over, and ridiculously handsome men go far away. Can a worldly Duke convince a sensible girl to accept his court? Find out in Charming the Duke.

 Peanut Goes to School by Thea Harrison

Dragos Cuelebre is no longer the only dragon.
Dragos’s son Liam Cuelebre (a.k.a. Peanut) is springing into existence, reminiscent of the first of the Elder Races who were born at the beginning of the world. At just six months of age, he has already grown to the size of a large five-year-old boy. He can read, write in complete sentences, and his math skills are off the chart.

A white dragon in his Wyr form, Liam also holds more Power than almost anyone else. In an effort to give him a taste of normality, no matter how fleeting, his parents Pia and Dragos enroll him in first grade.

They hope school will help teach Liam how to relate to others, a vital skill that will help him control his growing Power. But school has a surprising number of pitfalls, and relating to others can be a tricky business.

When a classmate is threatened, Liam must quickly learn self-control, how to rein in his instincts, and govern his temper, because there’s no doubt about it—he is fast becoming one of the most dangerous creatures in all of the Elder Races.

 Apples Should Be Red  by Penny Watson

Recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner:

Start with 62-year old politically incorrect, chain-smoking, hard-cussing curmudgeon.

Add 59-year old sexually-repressed know-it-all in pearls.

Throw in a beer can-turkey, a battle for horticultural supremacy, and nudist next-door neighbor.

Serve on paper plates, garnished with garden gnome.

Tastes like happily ever after.

 

Here are some Indie’s that I wished I had been able to read but haven’t been able to yet!

 

1. Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway

2. Tempted by a Rogue Prince by Felicity Heaton

3. Seducing Lauren by Kristen Proby

4. Embattled Home by J.M. Madden

5. Broken Blade by J.C. Daniels

6. Into the Shadows by Carolyn Crane

7. I Love How You Love Me by Bella Andre

8. Mistress of Melody by Anthea Lawson

9. The Syrian Virgin by Zack Love

10. Legal Briefs by N.M. Silber

 

Vote for your favorite Best Independently Published Romances of 2014!

Cat’s Best Romances Read in 2013 Not Published in 2013

I had a great reading year. There are many books on this list that should be but I tried to practice restraint. Here are some wonderful not to be missed Romances that weren’t published this year but you should read the hell out of, they are new to you!

My lists are never in any order because cat.

 The Chocolate Heart (Amour et Chocolat Book 5) by Laura Florand 

Mille-Feuilles can’t buy you love…
No one hates Paris–except Summer Corey. The moody winters. The artists and their ennui. The inescapable shadow of the Tour Eiffel. But things go from bad to worse when Summer stumbles into brooding, gorgeous chef pâtissier Luc Leroi and indecently propositions the hero of French cuisine…
Luc has scrambled up from a childhood panhandling in the Paris Métro to become the king of his city, and he has no patience for this spoiled princess, even if she does now own his restaurant. Who cares if she smiles with all the warmth of July? She doesn’t eat dessert!
There is only one way to tempt her. A perfect, impossibly sweet seduction…

 Hidden Crimes (Hidden Series Book 3) by Emma Holly 

Cats and dogs shouldn’t fall in love. Like any wolf, RPD detective Nate Rivera knows this. He can’t help it if the tigress he’s been trading quips with at the supermarket is the most alluring woman he’s ever met—sassy too, which suits him down to his designer boots.

Evina Mohajit is aware their flirtation can’t lead to more. Still, she relishes trading banter with the hot werewolf. This hardworking single mom hasn’t felt so female since her twins’ baby daddy left to start his new family. Plus, as a station chief in Resurrection’s Fire Department, she understands the demands of a dangerous job.

Their will-they-or-won’t-they tango could go on forever if it weren’t for the mortal peril the city’s shifter children fall into. To save them, Nate and Evina must team up, a choice that ignites the sparks smoldering between them

 Just for Fun (Escape to New Zealand Book 4) by Rosalind James

What happens in Fiji stays in Fiji … except when it doesn’t.
Nic Wilkinson is a responsible, organized, disciplined rugby player for the New Zealand All Blacks, and a man at the top of his game. Emma Martens is a sometimes-scattered, often-emotional, and always-broke would-be designer with a big chip on her shoulder where Nic’s concerned.

They have no history together, except one perfect week. Nothing in common anymore, except the most important thing of all.

Getting together again would be messy. Complicated. Scary. And, just maybe, worth every risk

 

 Romancing Olive: Prairie Romance  by Holly Bush 

1891 . . . Spinster librarian, Olive Wilkins, is shocked to learn of her brother’s violent death at a saloon gaming table and her sister-in-law’s subsequent murder, traveling far from her staid life to rescue her niece and nephew, now orphans. She arrives to find the circumstances of her brother’s life deplorable and her long held beliefs of family and tradition, shaken.

Accustomed to the sophistication of Philadelphia, Olive arrives in Spencer, Ohio, a rough and tumble world she is not familiar with, facing two traumatized children. Her niece and nephew, Mary and John, have been living with a neighboring farmer, widower Jacob Butler, the father of three young children of his own and a man still in pain from the recent loss of his wife.

Real danger threatens Olive and Mary and John while Jacob and his own brood battle the day-to-day struggles for survival. Will Olive and Jacob find the strength to fight their battles alone or together? Will love conquer the bitterness of loss and broken dreams?

 The Shy Bride (Traditional Greek Husbands Book 1) by Lucy Monroe

Thrust into the limelight, child star Cassandra timidly enchanted audiences night after night…. But when her parents died, Cass retreated into her own world—too shy to leave her home. Once a year she shares her musical passion by offering lessons in a charity auction…. This year, money talks. The winning bid: $100,000!

Enter Neo Stamos, arrogant Greek tycoon. He wants Cass with a burning desire, though he knows that, shy and sweet, she will need a gentle awakening…. But Neo’s the master of seduction!

 

 

His Tattooed Virgin by Heather Rainier

Jayne Sheridan intended to wait until her wedding night to give up “the goods.” One life-threatening illness and a decade later, she’s wondering if she’ll ever get married and if she shouldn’t just “go for it” now that she’s cancer-free. Her undeniable attraction to the town tattoo artist has her contemplating getting more than a tattoo. Seth Carter has crammed a lot of living into his years and had his heart broken in a way that he believes is irrevocable. Jayne confuses and intrigues him but he doesn’t want her to look back with regrets, so he turns down her offer. He doesn’t count on the onslaught of jealousy when Jayne decides to take matters into her own hands. Jayne is his. When the past treads on his doorstep, can Seth handle unexpected blessings and protect the ones he holds dearest to him?

 

A Scandalous Plan  by Donna Lea Simpson

Strong-willed and intelligent, Lady Theresa is tired of spending her days listening to the gossipy village spinsters talk about the mysterious gentleman who just moved into the village. Known to be headstrong, and happily unattached, she takes it upon herself to call on the new resident and find out if the awful rumors about his family are true.

The Honourable Mr. Martindale welcomes life as a recluse. A widower, he’s made his fortune and now hopes to dedicate his time to working the land and raising his two young children—free of interference from the locals. When Lady Theresa comes marching up to his door, it’s the last thing Martindale wants, a husband hunter who thinks she can tell him how to raise his children and, worse, how he should comport himself.

Yet before long Lady Theresa has worked her way into Martindale’s quiet life and hatched an outrageous plan to win the village’s approval for both the man and his unusual children. But what she fails to see is how badly the plan could backfire, or how it could jeopardize her own place in a family she has come to cherish—and in the heart of the man she has come to love.

 Packing Heat by Kele Moon 

Dark and brooding firefighter Brad Archer has spent months denying his attraction to his roommate, police officer Gavin Connolly. Gavin is just the kind of guy he likes: tall, tough, and buff enough to actually handle Brad’s big size and rough nature.

To hide his real feelings Brad holds the handsome, seemingly straight cop at arms’ length until a shooting at work leaves Gavin a little too vulnerable to ignore. What starts out as a simple attempt to comfort his roommate blows up into something wild, sexual, and wholly unexpected when Gavin wants more from Brad than a strong firefighter’s shoulder to lean on.

The sexual magnetism drawing the two of them together forces secrets to be revealed, and though the sex is mind-blowing it may not be worth weathering the storms their relationship could stir up.

The Marann (Tales of Tolari Space Book 1) by  Christie Meierz

Marianne Woolsey is a high school Spanish teacher in rural Iowa, when Earth Central Command decides her linguistic talents would be better exercised if she spent 26 years teaching the daughter and heir of an alien ruler on a planet 24 light years from Earth. Now she’s alone on a planet of aliens so humanlike that she has to keep telling herself her student’s noble father is just her boss.

Handsome – and deadly – the Sural has ruled his province and led his planet far longer than he can admit to his daughter’s human tutor. He hides much more from the space-faring races of the Trade Alliance than he is willing to reveal. What he doesn’t want Central Command to know, he has to conceal from Marianne, but Marianne is concealing her own secrets from him – and as an empath, he knows it.

 Love Kinection by Jennifer James

Love, romance, hearts, flowers, cupid…. Rubbish.

Abby Fine still hasn’t gotten over the pain of a year-old betrayal and plans to spend this Valentine’s Day drowning her sorrows with a ménage of men named Ben, Jerry, and Riesling.

Her plans are diverted when she drops and breaks her new iPhone and gives in to a momentary hormone surge, agreeing to let office hottie and tech god Tom Walker squirm his way into her condo to fix it.

Tom shows up with his Xbox, spicy Chinese food, and a habit of stealing kisses every time she lets her guard down.

Can a weekend of laughter, video games, and movies change Abby’s opinion of stupid Cupid?

 

I hope you had a great reading year too!