Romance Roundup: A Bad Boy, a Muckraker, and a Doctor Who’s Ready to Love Again

Rusty Nailed

This week’s roundup finds a pair of lovebirds playing at playing house, a beautiful model who’s a magnet for danger, and a cooking school under siege.

Rusty Nailed, by Alice Clayton
Readers who fell in love with Caroline Reynolds and Simon Parker in Clayton’s witty smash hit Wallbanger, rejoice! The two are back in long-awaited sequel Rusty Nailed, the second book in the Cocktail series. Never the conventional couple, Caroline and Simon are wrapped up in their own busy jobs and lives, with time set aside for the occasional scorching hot reunion. But eventually, Simon begins to question his priorities, wondering whether his crazy jet-setting lifestyle is still what he wants. Before too long, he and Caroline are navigating the world of cozy evenings at home…lots of cozy evenings. With her interior design career finally taking off, Caroline finds herself torn between spending time with her sweetheart and throwing herself into her professional passion. Not only that, she worries whether they can keep their crazy spark going when their lives are growing more domestic by the day. Fans of Clayton’s smart, funny writing will love another tall glass of these bubbly, refreshing characters. (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 24)

Better When He’s Bad, by Jay Crownover
Is there anyone here who doesn’t like the idea of a bad boy with a heart of gold? Just making sure. Shane Baxter is one such delectable baddie: he did five years in prison after getting in over his head and making one too many poor choices, and now that he’s out, he’s decided it’s payback time. Only a good girl, Dovie Pryce, is standing in his way, as good girls are wont to do. Will the two form an uneasy alliance…or a sexy alliance? You know you want to find out—and you also know that Crownover won’t let you down. The first book in her new Welcome to the Point series is about second chances, righting past wrongs, and overcoming troubled histories. And did I mention bad boys? (Available in paperback and NOOK June 17)

The Promise, by Robyn Carr
If you’re longing for a sweet, slow-building romance to help you usher in the warm summer months, look no further than the 5th book in Carr’s treasured Thunder Point series. Doctor Scott Grant, though enjoying his busy family practice in the small Oregon community of Thunder Point, realizes he might be ready to venture back into the dating scene, and the place is a bit low on eligible ladies. That is, until one Peyton Lacoumette shows up and agrees to work for him on a trial basis for three months. Both Scott and Peyton are cautious about romantic involvement, having been burned in the past, so they hang back and let a deliciously gradual romance heat up between them. In the end, though, Peyton’s job is only temporary, and Scott doesn’t want her to feel compelled to stay in Thunder Point just for him. (Um, paging Dr. Scott: I’m looking at flights out west right now. Call me.) But if he lets her go, will he lose her forever? (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 24)

When Day Breaks, by Maya Banks
The 9th book in Banks’s suspenseful KGI series finally gives us the story of Kelly Group International team member Daryl Swanson (or “Swanny”), who has returned from a mission in Afghanistan very much the worse for wear. Physically scarred and emotionally shattered, Swanny lives a solitary life, afraid to let anyone in. When he and several KGI teammates are hired to protect beautiful model Eden, whose life has been threatened, the two are drawn to each other for reasons neither quite understands—but Swanny most of all, who can’t believe a stunning woman like Eden would be interested in the damaged goods he considers himself to be. Fans eager to learn more about Swanny will not be disappointed, and will relish the undeniable attraction between him and Eden. (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 24)

The Beekeeper’s Ball, by Susan Wiggs
Who wouldn’t want to visit Bella Vista, California, with its sprawling gardens, apple orchards, and beehives, to attend Isabel Johansen’s cooking school? I know, right? That’s what I thought. And everything is going according to plan for Isabel’s exciting, fulfilling new project—until the unexpected arrival of caustic journalist Cormac O’Neill. Cormac is clearly on a mission to unearth scandal, and his presence puts everything Isabel has worked so hard for at risk. Still, it’s difficult for him to remain hardnosed in such a beautiful setting, particularly with the delightful Beekeeper’s Ball on the horizon. Readers will love returning to sun-drenched paradise in the second novel in Wiggs’s charming Bella Vista Chronicles, which is filled with vibrant, nuanced characters, each hiding their own secrets. (Available in a B&N Exclusive signed hardcover and NOOK on June 24)

What romances are spiriting you away this week?