Romance Roundup: Hockey Players, Barrel Racers, and Hawai’ian Princesses

This week’s Romance Roundup includes a retired hockey player who falls for his baby mama, a Hawaiian royal chief’s daughter who falls for an English sailor, and a barrel racer who falls exceptionally hard for an exceptionally hot cowboy.

Savior, by J.R. Ward
Murhder was expelled from the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and that’s because he fell into a seriously deep and dark spiral. Now he’s on a quest for redemption, which puts him in the path of Dr. Sarah Watkins. She’s a researcher at a biomedical firm, and life hasn’t been so great lately. Her fiance and fellow scientist died, and she finds out that her company is conducting some pretty horrifying experiments. Oh, she also learns that her late fiance was involved in said experiments. Then gloriously hot and bothered Murhder shows up in her life, and while he makes her feel all kinds of feelings, they have to contend with an ongoing vampire war. (Indeed, their current situation doesn’t exactly scream “Potential long-term relationship!” or “Pick out curtains!”) Oh, Sarah, we know that Murhder doesn’t always give off the warm fuzzies, but sticking with him through the end will involve some pretty great rewards! This is the latest book in Ward’s extensive Black Dagger Brotherhood series. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on April 2.)

The Other Lady Vanishes, by Amanda Quick
Adelaide Blake just escaped a private sanitarium, so she has to lay low for a little bit. (Adelaide, we’ll do whatever it takes to help throw the hounds off of the scent!) She goes to Burning Cove, California, which is a Hollywood R&R haven, and gets a job at an herbal tea shop. Her work brings her in touch with widowed businessman Jake Truett. He’s pretending to just be another tired soul looking for some respite, and let’s just say that women would line up around the block for the chance to make him happy and relaxed. (This just miiiiiiiight be his cover, though.) When a famous local psychic is found dead, Adelaide and Jake get swept up in the mystery—not to mention a world of gangsters and other shady characters. Can they solve the murder and keep themselves above the fray? And can Adelaide be 100 percent honest with Jake about her past? This is the second book in Quick’s Burning Cove series. (Available in paperback on April 2.)

I Want You Back, by Lorelei James
Jaxson Lund did the whole NHL thing, and now he’s back home and deciding what his next move is going to be. (Yes, Jaxson. Please think about your next move while we all, ahem, turn down our bedspreads in an inviting way!) One thing is for sure: He still has feelings for Lucy Quade, his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his daughter, Mimi. Surely now that they’re both older and wiser—and that Jaxson still has his smoking hot hockey body—they can give romance another try? When something goes wrong with Mimi, Jaxson goes into full-on Protective Daddy Mode, which makes Lucy do a major double take. Impressed with his paternal instincts, Lucy wonders if they just might indeed have a second chance. Here’s hoping that everything turns out fine with Mimi, that Jaxson never stops proving himself to his family, and that Jaxson also shows Lucy that he’s ready to make everything up to her every night of the week! This is the first book in James’ Want You series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on April 2.)

When a Duchess Says I Do, by Grace Burrowes
Duncan Wentworth couldn’t help but help Matilda Wakefield when he found her in distress in the woods on his estate. He ends up getting WAY more than he bargained for in Matilda. Not only is she beautiful, but she is also extremely smart. Duncan is a rather bookish kind of guy himself, so he’s pretty thrilled to have found an intellectual equal. (Good for you, Duncan! You know when you’ve found a great catch!) Trouble is, Matilda is actually a widowed duchess and she has a TON of secrets that could ruin them both. Matilda, we totally understand why you want to keep your lips sealed, but please realize ASAP that Duncan is a wonderful and reliable guy who doesn’t give a hoot about judgmental society. Instead, he gives hundreds of hoots about Y-O-U! This is the second book in Burrowes’ Rogues to Riches series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on April 2.)

Colorado Cowboy, by Sara Richardson
Charity Stone is a champion barrel racer, and as such she’s used to overly-macho, arrogant rodeo men. That said, there is one man who is WAY different from the rest, and that’s officer-slash-cowboy Dev Jenkins. He knows that beneath Charity’s tough, bruised, flannel and denim-clad exterior beats the heart of a lady who is all woman. Charity doesn’t think she wants anything to do with a guy like Dev, but then she gets saddled with taking care of her delinquent 13-year-old nephew and realizes that she needs a helping hand. Fortunately, Dev recognizes this for the golden opportunity it is and offers his services. Will Dev be able to proverbially whack some sense into Charity’s nephew? Will Charity realize there’s way more to Dev than his heavenly face and sculpted backside? Will Dev and Charity enjoy at least one tussle in the hay? This tome includes a bonus story, “Unbroken,” by Jay Crownover. This is the fifth book in Richardson’s Rocky Mountain Riders series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on April 2.)

A Song for the Stars, by Ilima Todd
Maile is the second daughter of a royal chief on the Hawai’ian islands, and her world is about to get turned upside down. A bunch of English sailors have arrived, and one of them, John Harbottle, is distractingly distracting. She takes him prisoner after a fatal fight breaks out between her people and his people—a fight that results in the death of her fiance. But she ends up healing him instead, and they soon start to form a very close bond. She even ends up teaching him how to sail using nothing but the stars. (Yup, sexy English guys and tropical climates will certainly help those feelings along! It’s almost like “The Bachelor” circa 1700s.) Here’s hoping that John realizes that everything he’s been looking for is right there on the Hawai’ian islands, and that he and Maile start a new chapter together in paradise! (Available in paperback and audiobook on April 2.)

What romance novels are you excited about this week?

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