One of the glorious new things Twitter has brought into my life is the ability to keep up with authors in an incredibly immediate way. Now I can see, basically in real time, what my favorite authors are working on—and I know when they’re buying shoes online or cruising for shirtless photos of Idris Elba rather than revising that book that I must read immediately or I’ll perish in agony.
But authors do finish their books, even despite breaks for man-candy Google image searches. (And more romance heroes inspired by Idris Elba only benefit us all.) Here are five romance novels scheduled for 2014 release that I’m anticipating so fervently it makes my fingers twitch.
Jeaniene Frost will wrap up her Night Huntress series with the seventh Cat and Bones book, Up From the Grave, on January 28. I’m not a huge paranormal or urban fantasy reader, and I’ve always found vampires a little, well, silly, but this series captivated me from the first book, and I’m tremendously eager to see how Frost wraps up a story that has seen a half-vampire college student fall in love with an immortal, then transition to the bloodsucking side herself, all while packing a truly impressive arsenal of silver knives. (And redheaded female characters who aren’t Mary Sues usually earn a place in my heart.)
I once described Julie James’ books to a friend as episodes of Law & Order that take place in a Nordstrom catalog, and if that sounds awesome to you, make sure to check out It Happened One Wedding, currently scheduled for a May release. This is James’s fifth book related to the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s offices in Chicago (and if you haven’t read the previous four, do that now. You can thank me later), this time focusing on investment banker Sidney, who’s stuck tolerating her sister’s fiancé’s best man, FBI agent Vaughn Roberts. James’ books just feel like reality, only better, and she should be getting royalties from the Chicago board of tourism for how charmingly she depicts that city.
Right now I’m devouring Courtney Milan’s third book in her Brothers Sinister series, The Countess Conspiracy, which came out last month (reading it while stuffing my face with leftover Christmas cookies: reader, this is the dream). But Milan revealed last month that there will also be a fourth book in the series, The Mistress Rebellion, tentatively scheduled for the first half of 2014. Milan’s early Victorian historical novels feature wonderfully rounded, pragmatic, resourceful heroines who accept their lots in life as nineteenth-century women and do brilliant things with them. She takes as her starting point a society that viciously circumscribes what women are expected to do with their lives and then runs with it, with results that honestly take my breath away.
Nora Roberts published Dark Witch, the first book in her new paranormal series, the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy, in October, with the second installment, Shadow Spell, scheduled for April. There are several constants in my life—bourbon, the Orioles losing, my addiction to red Pilot gel-ink pens—and Nora Roberts is pretty much at the top of the list. She writes, I buy, I sink into the book and feel welcome, at home, enveloped. And the ParaNoras (as romance blogger Sarah Wendell dubbed them) always give that satisfying feeling of good triumphing over evil (like, serious evil. Satan evil. Ghostbusters evil). They just make me feel awesome. Some might say I am inappropriately dependent on romance novels. Those people are philistines and should be ignored.
What are you whiling away the cold nights reading?