Romance Roundup: Trailblazing Suffragettes, Small Town Affairs, and Renaissance Faire Romances

This week’s Romance Roundup includes a woman who gets an interesting new gig at the local Renaissance Faire, a cancer survivor who is ready to have some fun, and a wife who wants revenge against her philandering husband. 

Dark Illusion, by Christine Feehan
Our gal Julija Brennan has finally escaped her mega-controlling family, and instead of simply running off into the sunrise to enjoy her freedom, she’s using her time to warn the Carpathian people about imminent danger. (Julija, when your mission is over, we are all SO taking you out for some well-deserved F.U.N.!) Trouble is, people are having a hard time believing her, so now she’s on the run for her life. She ends up meeting Isai Florea, who up until recently has been living in a Carpathian monastery. (Fortunately, monastery life has not had any adverse effects on his delicious body or his ability to inspire passion in others!) It pretty much just takes one look at Julija to make Isai realize that they should mate for life. Julija is pretty determined to retain her independence, though. Can Julija find a balance between true love and personal freedom? Will the Carpathian people finally listen to Julija and prepare for the upcoming danger? And will Isai stick by Julija’s side throughout this whole ordeal and give her all of the hugs and foot rubs she deserves? This is the latest book in Feehan’s extensive Carpathian series. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on September 3.) 

Well Met, by Jen DeLuca
Emily’s sister just had a really bad accident, so Emily does the Nice Sister Thing and spends her summer taking care of her and also hanging out with her teenage niece. Emily also gets conscripted into volunteering with the local Renaissance Faire, where she meets Simon, the volunteer coordinator. Simon takes the whole production VERY seriously. The faire is, to be fair, his family’s legacy, but still. He refuses to hear Emily’s ideas for improving it. Plus, he doesn’t care for her Shakespearean theories or her happy-go-lucky attitude. (Emily, we would all LOVE to hear your improvement ideas, we have Shakespeare theories of our own, and we could all learn a thing or two from your positive attitude!) Simon, though, soon realizes there’s more to Emily than he thought, and it has nothing to do with Emily’s wench costume. (Okay fine, it might have a little bit to do with Emily’s wench costume. Emily, we’re all positive you look sexy AND classy! Work it, girl!) Simon, buddy, instead of giving our gal such a hard time, admit that you like her and ask her out on a date. And Emily, stay true to yourself. And both of you save those costumes for later! (Available in paperback and NOOK on September 3.) 

My Kind of Wonderful, by Jill Shalvis
Bailey Moore has finally kicked cancer’s disgustingly hairy booty, and now she’s ready to move on with her life and have some worldly adventures. (Bailey, let’s all rendezvous in the city of your choice!) The first stop on her journey is the Cedar Ridge Resort in Colorado. She’s barely got her skis on, though, when she realizes that taking these bold, fresh steps is not going to be easy. Bailey’s mom is a tad suffocating, for one, and her ex-fiancé doesn’t seem to understand that whole You’ve Been Great But Now It’s Time To Go Our Separate Ways thing. (Bailey’s mom, please let go! And Bailey’s ex-fiance, please let go!) Things look up, though, when Bailey meets Hud Kincaid, the head of ski patrol, who can show us his first aid kit any day of the week. Hud is a very sweet guy who comes from a huge, loving family. He’s also got a hugely loving….way about him. Will this be enough, though, when Bailey’s past comes back to haunt her? This reprint is the second book in Shalvis’ Cedar Ridge series. (Available in paperback on September 3.)

Bringing Down the Duke, by Evie Dunmore
It’s 1879, and Annabelle Archer has just earned a scholarship to be among the first women to study at the University of Oxford, and in return, she has to support the women’s suffrage movement. (Annabelle, we’re all going to need a minute to bask in the awesomeness of this moment. Okay…few more seconds. And a few more. Okay, we’ll need five minutes. Okay…we’re almost there. Wow.) Anyhoo, as part of her mission, Annabelle needs to recruit an influential man to the suffragist movement, and she chooses Sebastian Deveraux, the Duke of Montgomery. Sebastian has his own proverbial fish to fry. He’s a political star and he needs a woman who is going to elevate his standing. Annabelle is the broke daughter of a country vicar, so she doesn’t exactly fit this mold. Oh, Sebastian, please get your snooty nose out of the air, look down, and realize that Annabelle is—by far—the woman you want to have by your side for life! This is the first book in Dunmore’s League of Extraordinary Women series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on September 3.)

The Shop on Main Street, by Carolyn Brown
Carlene Lovelle’s life has just taken a very unwelcome turn: She found a pair of red panties in her husband’s suitcase. Not only that, but as the owner of Bless My Bloomers, a lingerie shop, she also knows who bought said red panties. Yep, Carlene is seeing red, alright. (Carlene, girlfriend, sounds like you need some red…wine! Which we are all totally providing!) Carlene decides to enter the local chili cook-off, one that her husband has won in the past, in the hopes that she’ll win the contest and leave the dirty, rotten scoundrel crying buckets of tears. (Carlene, we all absolutely believe you can make this happen, and we will be waiting with our cell phone cameras at the ready to capture his unmanly sobs!) A story that features a feisty woman who’s not going to just sit around and let her philandering husband have all of the fun and who has friends to cheer her on and even act as accomplices? Yes, please! This reprint, which was previously published as The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off and A Heap of Texas Trouble, is the second book in Brown’s Cadillac series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on September 3.) 

Revenge, by Meredith Wild
The love story between Tristan and Isabel continues! Isabel is quite sure of her feelings for Tristan. Trouble is, Tristan seems quite intent on a bit of bad behavior that involves Isabel’s ex. (Tristan, buddy, this is NOT the time to be insecure! Isabel loves you and wants nothing more than to rub some kind of sexy oil all over your body and then just go to town and…ahem. We’ll leave that to her!) Isabel and Tristan will need to work together, as there are some evil people with evil plans afoot. This will involve working with a bad guy named Kolt and his very…difficult family. Yes, difficult. We’ll go with difficult. (Tristan and Isabel, you two lovebirds might want to pack some sturdy clothing to go with that sexy oil!) Here’s hoping that our heroine and hero manage to defeat the bad guy, save the innocent people who depend on them, and then book an all-inclusive resort vacation that involves staying in a private villa with its own beach! This book is part of Wild’s Red Ledger series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, and NOOK on September 3.)

What new romances are you excited to read this week?

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