It’s beginning to feel like spring at last! Trees are in bud, tulips are poking up from the soil, and mittens have been tossed to the back of the closet (for now, at least). After months of huddling indoors, it’s time to kick back with an iced coffee, pop an allergy pill, and try to remember what it’s like to flirt without also wearing ten pounds of cable-knit sweater. And what better way to get into the spirit than by diving into a romance, or four? From sweet to suspenseful to thrilling, these books offer something for every reader.
Blossom Street Brides, by Debbie Macomber
Best-selling author Macomber is back with the next chapter in her beloved Blossom Street series, which gathers a delightful cast of characters around A Good Yarn, a homey, welcoming store in a close-knit Seattle town (and a place you can actually visit!). Blossom Street Brides weaves together the complex stories of three women who are each facing turning points in their lives: Lauren has almost given up waiting for her long-term boyfriend to propose; newlywed Bethanne struggles with a long-distance relationship, and happily married Lydia worries about the viability of her struggling business. Macomber deftly portrays the heights and hurdles of love, friendship, and family with sensitivity and realism, humor and insight. While each book in the Blossom Street series can be read as a standalone novel, the more you’ve read, the more each book feels like revisiting a fictional community of well-loved friends who feel like family.
The Collector, by Nora Roberts
YA author Lila Emerson moonlights as a professional house-sitter, traveling the world while living a comfortable, if transient, life in the elegant houses of her wealthy clientele. That is, until she witnesses a murder-suicide, which turns her orderly, no-strings-attached existence upside-down and thrusts her into the hazardous center of a glittering, privileged world she’s used to viewing safely from the sidelines. In the process she becomes drawn to handsome artist Ashton Archer, whose feelings for her war with his need to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding his bother’s death. Roberts’ popularity as an author of both romance and suspense is unparalleled, and she’s at the top of her game with this harrowing story of greed, lust, and innocence lost.
The King: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, by J. R. Ward
Fans of Ward’s dark, brooding paranormal romance series about a brotherhood of warrior vampires have been eagerly awaiting the 12th installment, The King, which focuses on the passionate relationship between pureblood vampire Wrath and his half-human mate, Beth. Wrath has finally taken up his father’s mantle and ascended the throne, but he finds that wearing the crown brings more challenges than he could have imagined—not even including Beth’s growing desire to start a family. The Black Dagger Brotherhood’s heady combination of action, suspense, and sensuality continues to thrill dedicated fans and win new ones.
Night Diver, by Elizabeth Lowell
In the wake of a nightmarish accident, Kate Donnelly thought she had left the Caribbean behind forever—but when her family’s diving business threatens to go under, she is compelled to return to the island of St. Vincent to help save it. There, she discovers that her family business is under investigation, and confronts investigator Holden Cameron, whose interest in her very quickly becomes more than professional. As danger mounts, the two are forced to work together for their very survival. With a plot that twists and turns, hidden dangers, and heart-pounding action, Lowell has brought readers another finely crafted mystery filled with well-drawn, nuanced characters in an unforgettable setting.
What are your favorite novels that combine romance and suspense?