From a defense attorney determined to get justice for her client to a secret duke-to-be hidden in the wilds of Scotland, and from a hockey player looking to win again to an FBI agent undercover in her home town, these romance heroes and heroines stand out from the pack.
We've picked 12 sweet and sizzling stories as the best romances of August. Read on to learn more about six of our favorite reads this month.
Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin
Griffin's newest romantic thriller departs from her Tracers series but introduces complex and fascinating characters that make this novel stand out. Texas lawyer Brynn Holloran would be the mean girl in lesser books: a gorgeous defense attorney who insists on making TV-worthy sound bites in front of the courthouse while wearing the highest of high heels. But Brynn is devoted to demanding justice for her clients, and when an escaped murderer sets her in his sights, she puts her safety on the line to continue to fight the good fight. Private security professional (aka bodyguard) Erik Morgan is handling the protocols to keep Brynn and her co-counsel safe during their high-profile trial, but his focus is shaken by Brynn. Griffin excels at creating complicated characters with real-world problems even as she spins the suspense even tighter.
A Duke by Default: Reluctant Royals by Alyssa Cole
Opposites attract in this contemporary tale of a hidden noble who meets a New York sophisticate in the wilds of Scotland—and in a sword armory, no less. Portia perfectly captures the insecurity so many of us struggle with when we ignore our strengths and focus on our weaknesses, and her combination of outward brass and inner self-doubt adds to her appeal and relatability. And who doesn't love a Scotsman who makes swords, has a sexy burr, and is in line to become a duke?
Half Empty by Catherine Bybee
As I write this, Half Empty has an astonishing 4.8 stars, demonstrating how much the second book in Bybee's First Wives Club series is resonating with readers. Trina Petrov entered into marriage knowing it had a one-year time limit, but she didn't expect it to end with her husband's suicide and her becoming an enormously wealthy woman. With the help of Wade Thomas, a country singer traveling incognito, Trina begins to sort through what really happened to her husband even as she tries to open up to new possibilities with Wade. Bybee wrings the heart with her characters who try to get past their own emotional battle scars to embrace a better life.
The Protector: Games People Play by HelenKay Dimon
Sparks fly—and not initially in a good way—between Cate Pendleton and her bodyguard/guide Damon Knox as Cate investigates her sister's death at a Pennsylvania commune. Damon, once a resident, knows all too well how many terrible secrets are concealed there, but the trouble is getting evidence to prove it. As Cate and Damon clash and then clinch, they need to learn to depend on and trust each other, even as their own lives are at risk.
Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers Series) by Penny Reid
Reid returns to Green Valley, Tennessee, with the youngest Winston brother finally coming face-to-face with his romantic kryptonite, Simone Payton, ten years after she broke his heart by telling him she could never love anyone, especially him. Simone is back in town because she's secretly working for the FBI as a conduit for an agent undercover with the local motorcycle gang, but Roscoe Winston's sudden appearance in her life has knocked her sideways…and not only because Roscoe's estranged father has a powerful position in the gang. Simone and Roscoe's tentative steps toward making peace with each other turn into a dance, but Simone's secret job might just stop the music.
The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting
While this book isn't related to her popular Pucked series, there is hockey, and hockey players, and the silly rituals they do to keep them lucky before their games. Eight years ago, Ethan left Lilah in order to give his hockey career everything he had. When he returns, he wants her back, but Lilah wonders if he really wants her or if he wants to win at hockey again. Hunting offers a sexy, smart, and often funny relationship that skids around before it finally finds its footing.
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- The RITA Award Winners for the Best in Romance
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