Romance Roundup: Animal Lovers, Wily Widows, and Cute Politicians

This week’s Romance Roundup includes a traumatized woman who’s about to get lots of tender loving (and delicious meals), a widow with a plan who ends up falling in love unexpectedly, and two old friends who are about to see each other in a very different light. 

The Wallflower Wager, by Tessa Dare
Gabriel Duke worked hard (like, really hard) to escape the slums and become a filthy rich man. He’s now on a quest to get even with his enemies. He does NOT have the time or patience for his neighbor, Lady Penelope Campion, and her bajillion animals. See, Penelope would rather take care of wounded animals—everything from otters to parrots—than do the whole society thing. (Penelope, we are all SO coming over and helping you out with these cute, cuddly creatures, including the hedgehog!) Penelope and Gabriel strike a deal: She’ll get rid of the animals if Gabriel helps her find good homes for them. (Gabriel, buddy, do you REALLY want to be That Guy who doesn’t like animals?!) Oh, and Penelope soon realizes she’d like to take Gabriel’s little black heart and nurture it back to life. Sounds like these two neighbors should merge their properties and devote the rest of their lives to being friends to the animals (#friendstotheanimals)—and making each other super duper happy! This is the third book in Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series. (Available in paperback on August 13.) 

Unbreak Me, by Michelle Hazen
Horse trainer Andra Lawler was assaulted in college, and let’s just say her recovery has been very, very difficult. (Andra, with your permission, we are all going to give you TONS of hugs!) She has chosen to live in isolation on her family’s horse farm. (Hint: She eats A LOT of lonely, frozen dinners.) Then she hires LJ Delisle, a sexy, Haitian-Creole cowboy man with a knack for cooking supremely delicious meals, to help her on the farm. LJ promptly rolls his sleeves up his very muscular arms and starts to make her meals. (The first thing he makes for Andra is a lemon velvet cake, so he’s guaranteed a spot on our Nice List for life!) It doesn’t take either of them long to realize that they’ve each met an exceptionally wonderful person. Things are a bit shaky, though, because people in Andra’s small Montana town don’t trust LJ. (They are shallow and horrible and need to realize that LJ is THE BEST!) Here’s hoping that Andra feels better soon, that LJ ignores the haters, and that they have a big, beautiful wedding complete with all kinds of delicious food! (Available in paperback and NOOK on August 13.) 

The Duchess in His Bed, by Lorraine Heath
Aiden Trewlove owns a club that caters to women’s naughtier fantasies, which pretty much makes him our Best Friend Ever. (Aiden, every beer moving forward is on us!) He has zero desire to fall in love or even so much as fool around with a client (#naughtybutprofessional), but he does get quite the run for his money when Selena Sheffield, the Duchess of Lushing, shows up at his club. She’s a recent widow with some major plans to secure her future, and those plans might involve using Aiden’s chiseled face and body. The thing is, Aiden has quite the big, warm heart to go with said chiseled face and body. (It should also be noted that Selena’s late husband didn’t exactly put her in the throes of passion. Like, ever.) Selena wants to throw her plans out the door, but life just isn’t going to be that easy. Selena, we’re very excited to hear about your plans, and we’re confident you’ll find a way to build yourself a beautiful life AND get the man of your dreams! This is the fourth book in Heath’s Sins for All Seasons series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on August 20.) 

The Pagan Stone, by Nora Roberts
Longtime friends Gage, Fox, and Caleb have come a long way since they started fighting a demon in their town of Hawkins Hollow. Now the battle is almost over, but as they embark on the last step of this terrifying journey, Gage needs to sort out his feelings for his crush, Cybil, pronto. (Fox and Caleb have already found their mates for life, so Gage needs to seriously step up his game if he wants to get in on the next holiday card exchange!) Gage is confident he and his friends can defeat the demon called Lazarus Twisse. He just really needs to also focus on the very strong and smart and beautiful Cybil. (Buddy, sounds like you need to bring her breakfast in bed wearing nothing but…you know what? Just wear nothing!) Can Gage and Cybil work together to defeat this demon? Will the three couples bring peace to Hawkins Hollow? Does Gage have a killer recipe for waffles that involves using real butter and is somehow still relatively low in calories? This reprint is the third book in Roberts’ Sign of Seven series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on August 20.) 

What Doesn’t Kill Her, by Christina Dodd
Our gal Kellen Adams suffered a bullet to her brain, which caused a yearlong memory gap. This had her feeling not so great for a while, but as she’s learned more and more about what happened to her, she’s gained a whole lotta much-needed confidence. (That’s right, Kellen! We don’t know what happened either, but we’re positive you are nothing less than a strong, focused woman with enviable biceps!) Now she’s on a mission, and she doesn’t have a whole lot to guide her. This would bother an average person, to say the least, but Kellen is getting a better idea of all of the awesome things she’s capable of. No doubt she’ll manage to defeat her enemies and save the day—and keep her daughter safe—while looking fabulous at the same time. Here’s hoping that when the drama is all over, she’ll get the pampering spa day she deserves! This is the second book in Dodd’s Cape Charade series. (Available in paperback on August 20.) 

On the Corner of Love and Hate, by Nina Bocci
Emmanuelle Peroni’s father is the mayor of his town, and he wants her to help his protege, Cooper Endicott, win the local election. More specifically, Emmanuelle needs to help Cooper improve his image, because, well, while Cooper is a rising political star he is also a longtime flirt who has loved the ladies just a little too much over the years. (Oh, Cooper, we’d all be more than happy to give you, ahem, a guiding hand or two. Preferably two.) Emmanuelle is constantly putting out public relations fires because Cooper’s love life keeps coming up. (Yes, something has indeed come up many, many times for Cooper.) As much as this new gig annoys Emmanuelle, she finds herself falling for Cooper big time. This is totally understandable, because Cooper is quite the cutie and he and Emmanuelle used to be very good friends. Oh, Cooper, please realize that Emmanuelle is the woman you want to have by your side forever—both in politics and in life! This is the first book in Bocci’s Hopeless Romantics series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on August 20.)

Follow BNReads