Romance Roundup: Actresses, Adventure-Seeking Ladies, and Single Rancher Dads

This week’s Romance Roundup includes a high society lady who wants one last adventure, a woman who still feels major guilt about an old family tragedy, and an actress who’s about to get a very hot blast from her past!

Say No to the Duke, by Eloisa James
Lady Betsy Wilde scored a duke’s proposal during her first London Season, so one would think she’s now got it made in the shade. The thing is, she wants to have one last adventure before she ties the knot and becomes the prim and proper woman society expects her to be. She gets a helping hand from the very masculine Lord Jeremy Roden. He bets that if she beats him at a game of billiards, he’ll lend her a pair of breeches and treat her to a dangerous-but-fun night out in London. If HE wins the game, she will have to bow chicka wow wow with him. (Betsy, this is what we would all call A Win-Win Situation!) It doesn’t take long for Jeremy to realize that Betsy is a fun, spirited woman with whom he would never be bored. Can he convince her to turn down her lucrative marriage proposal? Will he, regardless of the billiards game outcome, make sure she has an adventure or two? And will he himself be an adventure for her, one that lasts a lifetime? This is the fourth book in James’ Wildes of Lindow Castle series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on June 25.)

Paranoid, by Lisa Jackson
Something truly awful happened when Rachel Gaston was a teenager. She was playing with her peers when she accidentally shot her half-brother. (She thought she was holding a soft pellet air gun, but that was somehow replaced with a real gun.) She received some much-needed counseling over the years, but she still couldn’t shake her guilt. (Rachel, we are sending you ALL of the hugs!) Fast-forward 20 years and Rachel’s marriage has disintegrated and her two teenage sons are causing many a ruckus. If that wasn’t bad enough, her high school reunion is around the corner, and lately it seems as if someone is messing with her head and world. (Think home invasions and her car being followed.) She suspects this may all be connected to her half-brother’s death, and that someone may still have some very bad intentions. Here’s hoping Rachel gets the support she needs, that friends in high places believe her and give her a helping hand, and that when the drama is over, she finds much-needed peace in her mind and heart. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on June 25.)

Breathless, by Helen Hardt
Our gal Marjorie Steel is a VERY good friend. She’s putting her culinary school ambitions on pause to help a pal who is going through a difficult pregnancy, among other things. This act of kindness doesn’t come without its perks, though, as it means getting to see more of Bryce Simpson. He’s a rancher who is working on her family’s ridiculously profitable ranch, and they now want him to take an executive position within it. He says yes because he needs the money. (See: single father with a widowed mother.) Bryce has the hots for Marjorie, but he also has a troubled past that involves a father who did some very shady things. (Bryce, not that you did anything wrong, but if you’re going to have any moral dilemmas, please have them while wearing nothing but a fig leaf. Thanks!) Will Bryce stop dwelling on the past and get his woman—and the happy life he deserves? This is the tenth book in Hardt’s Steel Brothers Saga series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on June 25.)

A Walk to Remember, by Nicholas Sparks
The tragic love story that launched a hit 2002 movie adaptation—and bajillions of tears—has been reprinted! It’s 1958. Landon Carter is a senior in high school and he is quite the mischief maker. Jamie Sullivan is the daughter of the local Baptist minister—and literally the LAST girl on the planet Landon expects to like. (Landon, buddy, would you PLEASE open your mind and broaden your horizons once in a while?!) These two high schoolers eventually get thrown together and begin quite the friendship before they fall in love. Jamie, it turns out, is capable of expanding Landon’s heart in ways he never thought possible. (Shoutout to all of the young ladies out there who stay true to themselves!) Superfans of this story already know its ending, so whether you’re down for a re-read or new to the party, make sure to grab a comfy blanket—and a box of tissues! (Available in paperback on June 25.)

Once Upon a Bad Boy, by Melonie Johnson
Actress Sadie Gold is very, very close to becoming a bonafide movie star. It all hinges on her next role, which will open all kinds of professional doors for her if she does it right and does it well. (Good for you, Sadie, for having goals and working hard towards them! Oh, and we’re all accompanying you to the Oscars. Thanks!) Trouble is, the only way she’s going to nail it is if she’s trained by none other than Bo Ibarra. Bo was Sadie’s first boyfriend, and let’s just say they never really forgot each other. They’re both adults now—and, it must be said, they’ve aged quite gracefully—so the time is ripe to see if they really are Meant To Be. Will Bo be able to help Sadie nail her career-changing role? Can Sadie take direction from her former lover? And is there a secluded spot on set where these two can get friendly at least twice? This is the second book in Johnson’s Sometimes in Love series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 25.)

A Lady in Disguise, by Lynsay Sands
This reprint was originally published under the title “The Reluctant Reformer.” Lady Maggie Wentworth is writing under a pseudonym, and she’s intent on exposing the lascivious lifestyles of high society’s lesser men. To that effect, she decides to interview the, ahem, working girls of London. One night during a “Reporting live from a brothel near you!” moment, she sees her own beau enter said brothel, which is so definitely, absolutely NOT what any woman wants to see. She flees the place only to be caught by her late brother’s best friend, the very handsome Lord James. (Oh, Lord James, you can Lord James it over us any day—or night—of the week!) James is unaware of Maggie’s journalistic adventures and thinks she has simply made some Poor Life Choices. He wants to help her get back on the straight and narrow. How long will it take him to realize that she really was just on assignment? And how long will it take until SHE decides to make an honest man out of HIM? (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on June 25.)

What romance novels are you excited about this week?

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