One of the great burdens of my life right now is making more time for romance—not in real life, I get plenty of that (slay)—but in my reading. There is so much amazing stuff out, and coming out, that sometimes I look at my stack of Avon with a quivering fear in anticipation.
While we have our own official book club, I wanted to make this special post about the books that I have been able to read and enjoy, along with the titles that are really making me look at my mail every day to see if it’ll be on my desk. The collection below is diverse featuring romances with East Asian, South East Asian, Black, white, and Jewish women looking to find love in this messy world we call life.
BOOK THAT HAVE BEEN ROASTING OUR CHESTNUTS:
1. The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli
“Raina Anand may have finally given in to family pressure and agreed to let her grandmother play matchmaker, but that doesn’t mean she has to like it–or that she has to play by the rules. Nani always took Raina’s side when she tried to push past the traditional expectations of their tight-knit Indian-immigrant community, but now she’s ambushing Raina with a list of suitable bachelors. Is it too much to ask for a little space? Besides, what Nani doesn’t know won’t hurt her…
“As Raina’s life spirals into a parade of Nani-approved bachelors and disastrous blind dates, she must find a way out of this modern-day arranged-marriage trap without shattering her beloved grandmother’s dreams.”
2. Dare to Love a Duke: The London Underground by Eva Leigh
“Thomas Powell, the new Duke of Northfield, knows he should be proper and principled, like his father. No more dueling, or carousing, or frequenting masked parties where Londoners indulge their wildest desires. But he’s not ready to give up his freedom just yet. The club is an escape, a place where he can forget about society and the weight of his title… and see her, the woman he’s wanted forever.
Lucia—known as Amina—manages the Orchid Club, a secret society where fantasies become reality. But for Lucia, it’s strictly business, profitable enough to finance her dream: a home for the lost girls of the streets. Surrounded by lovers, she only observes, unwilling risk her future for any man. No member has ever intrigued her…until him, the masked stranger whose heated looks sear her skin. After months of suppressed longing, they dare to give in to temptation…
But the late duke’s legacy comes with a shocking secret, and the scandal threatens to destroy everything Tom loves… his family, the Orchid Club, and even Lucia.”
3. Devil’s Daughter: The Ravenels meet The Wallflowers by Lisa Kleypas
“Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he’s a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband’s life a misery, and she’ll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself…as none other than West Ravenel.
“West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire…not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn’t bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She’s the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent—the most devilishly wicked rake in England.
“Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past?
“Only the devil’s daughter knows…”
4. One Day in December: A Novel by Josie Silver
“Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.
“Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.
“Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.
“What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.”
5. Appetites & Vices (The Truitts Book 1) by Felicia Grossman
“He’s her ticket into high society…
“Banking heiress Ursula Nunes has lived her life on the fringes of Philadelphia’s upper class. Her Jewish heritage means she’s never quite been welcomed by society’s elite…and her quick temper has never helped, either.
“A faux engagement to the scion of the mid-Atlantic’s most storied family might work to repair her rumpled reputation and gain her entrée to the life she thinks she wants…if she can ignore the way her “betrothed” makes her feel warm all over and stay focused on her goal.
“She’s his ticket out…
“Former libertine John Thaddeus “Jay” Truitt is hardly the man to teach innocent women about propriety. Luckily, high society has little to do with being proper and everything to do with identifying your foe’s temptation—an art form Jay mastered long ago. A broken engagement will give him the perfect excuse to run off to Europe and a life of indulgence.
“But when the game turns too personal, all bets are off…”
UPCOMING TITLES WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO:
1. Fumbled by Alexa Martin (April 23, 2019)
“Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she’s built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it’s all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.
“T.K. Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he’s moved on.
“When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they’ve suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they’ll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.”
2. The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory (July 16, 2019)
“Maddie and Theo have two things in common:
“1. Alexa is their best friend
2. They hate each other
“After an ‘oops, we made a mistake’ night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it’s suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can’t possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right?
“But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love.”
3. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (May 7, 2019)
“Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.
“As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.
“With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.”
4. Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors: A Novel by Sonali Dev (May 7, 2019)
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that only in an overachieving Indian American family can a genius daughter be considered a black sheep.
“Dr. Trisha Raje is San Francisco’s most acclaimed neurosurgeon. But that’s not enough for the Rajes, her influential immigrant family who’s achieved power by making its own non-negotiable rules:
· Never trust an outsider
· Never do anything to jeopardize your brother’s political aspirations
· And never, ever, defy your family
“Trisha is guilty of breaking all three rules. But now she has a chance to redeem herself. So long as she doesn’t repeat old mistakes.
“Up-and-coming chef DJ Caine has known people like Trisha before, people who judge him by his rough beginnings and place pedigree above character. He needs the lucrative job the Rajes offer, but he values his pride too much to indulge Trisha’s arrogance. And then he discovers that she’s the only surgeon who can save his sister’s life.
“As the two clash, their assumptions crumble like the spun sugar on one of DJ’s stunning desserts. But before a future can be savored there’s a past to be reckoned with…
“A family trying to build home in a new land.
“A man who has never felt at home anywhere.
“And a choice to be made between the two.”
5. A Prince on Paper: Reluctant Royals by Alyssa Cole (April 30, 2019)
“Nya Jerami fled Thesolo for the glitz and glamour of NYC but discovered that her Prince Charming only exists in her virtual dating games. When Nya returns home for a royal wedding, she accidentally finds herself up close and personal—in bed—with the real-life celebrity prince who she loves to hate.
“For Johan von Braustein, the red-headed step-prince of Liechtienbourg, acting as paparazzi bait is a ruse that protects his brother—the heir to the throne—and his own heart. When a royal referendum threatens his brother’s future, a fake engagement is the perfect way to keep the cameras on him.
“Nya and Johan both have good reasons to avoid love, but as desires are laid bare behind palace doors, they must decide if their fake romance will lead to a happily-ever-after.”
(featured image: Avon, Berkley, Carina Press)
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