Our Most Anticipated Contemporary Romance

The Red Door Inn

The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson
Publisher:  Revell
Publication Date:  March 1, 2016

What’s it about:

Marie Carrington is running from a host of bad memories. Broke and desperate, she’s hoping to find safety and sanctuary on Prince Edward Island, where she reluctantly agrees to help decorate a renovated bed-and-breakfast before it opens for prime tourist season.

Seth Sloane didn’t move three thousand miles to work on his uncle’s B&B so he could babysit a woman with a taste for expensive antiques and a bewildering habit of jumping every time he brushes past her. He came to help restore the old Victorian–and to forget about the fiancée who broke his heart.

The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just three months will take everything they’ve got. Can these two wounded souls find hope, healing, and perhaps a bit of romance on this beautiful island?

Step into the Red Door Inn, a lovely home away from home tucked along the north shore of fabled Prince Edward Island. It’s a place where the wounded come to heal, the broken find forgiveness, and the lonely find a family. Won’t you stay for the season?

Rachel’s Thoughts:  I’m a big fan of romances where the hero and heroine are thrown together on some sort of project. I’m not personally big on decorating, but I imagine renovating an inn will be interesting to read about. I’m also a massive L. M. Montgomery fan, so I’m looking forward to revisiting Prince Edward Island in a modern setting.

 

Goodbye Bride

The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Publication Date:  March 8, 2016

What’s it about:

She only remembers loving him. But he can’t forget the way she left.

Following a concussion, Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancé Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.

It’s taken Zac months to move on after Lucy left him with no explanation. He’s thrown himself into his family’s farm and his restaurant business in Summer Harbor. Now Lucy’s back, vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. She needs his help putting the pieces together, but letting her back into his life is a risk—and the stakes are high. If he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life. But if her memory returns he’ll lose her all over again.

Carrie’s Thoughts:  First of all, I have major cover love for this book too. Denise Hunter is one of my go-to contemporary romance authors.  I’ve loved every book of hers I’ve read – I just have varying degrees of “favorite” when it comes to her novels. This second book in the Summer Harbor series looks like it will be emotional but healing and full of moments that squeeze your heart and steal your breath. Denise Hunter’s writing is always beautifully engaging, and I know this next book will be no exception. I can’t wait!!!

 

What We Find

What We Find by Robyn Carr
Publisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date:  April 5, 2016

What’s it about:

Between the urban bustle of Denver and the high-stress environment of a career in neurosurgery, Maggie Sullivan has hit a wall. When an emergency, high-risk procedure results in the death of a teenager, Maggie finds herself in the middle of a malpractice lawsuit—and experiencing levels of anxiety she’s never faced before. It’s in this desperate moment that Maggie’s boyfriend decides he can’t handle her emotional baggage, and she’s left alone, exhausted and unsure of what her future holds. One thing is certain, though: she needs to slow down before she burns out completely, and the best place she can think to do that is Sullivan’s Crossing.

Named for Maggie’s great-grandfather, the land and charming general store at the crossroads of the Colorado and the Continental Divide trails have been passed down through the generations and now belong to Maggie’s estranged father, Sully. Though raised by her mother and stepfather after her parents divorced, Maggie has always adored Sully—despite his hands-off approach to fatherhood. When she shows up unannounced in Sullivan’s Crossing, he welcomes her with opens arms, and she relishes the opportunity to rebuild their relationship.

But when Sully has a sudden heart attack, Maggie’s world is rocked once again. Consumed with his care, she’s relieved to find that Cal Jones, a quiet and serious-looking camper, has been taking over many of Sully’s responsibilities as he recuperates. Still, Maggie is suspicious of this mysterious man’s eagerness to help—until she finds out the true reason for his deliberate isolation.

Though Cal and Maggie each struggle with loss and loneliness, the time they spend together gives Maggie hope for something brighter just on the horizon…if only they can learn to find peace and healing—and perhaps love—with each other.

Rachel’s Thoughts:  I’ve read a lot of Robyn Carr’s back catalogue–more than twenty books, at least–and I’ve yet to find a book that I’ve not enjoyed. Here’s hoping this new book doesn’t break my good run! I love the small-town settings that she crafts, and I imagine that Sullivan’s Crossing will be just as entertaining as Virgin River and Thunder Point.

 

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Close to You by Kara Isaac
Publisher:  Howard
Publication Date:  April 2016

What’s it about:

A disgraced scholar running from her past and an entrepreneur chasing his future find themselves thrown together—and fall in love—on a Tolkien tour of New Zealand.

Allison Shire (yes, like where the Hobbits live) is a disgraced academic who is done with love. Her belief in “happily ever after” ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew nothing about. She finally finds a use for her English degree by guiding tours through the famous sites featured in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. By living life on the road and traveling New Zealand as a luxury tour guide, Allison manages to outrun the pain of her past she can’t face.

Jackson Gregory was on the cusp of making it big. Then suddenly his girlfriend left him—for his biggest business competitor—and took his most guarded commercial secrets with her. To make matters worse, the Iowa farm that has been in his family for generations is facing foreclosure. Determined to save his parents from financial ruin, he’ll do whatever it takes to convince his wealthy great-uncle to invest in his next scheme, which means accompanying him to the bottom of the world to spend three weeks pretending to be a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan, even though he knows nothing about the stories. The one thing that stands between him and his goal is a know-it-all tour guide who can’t stand him and pegged him as a fake the moment he walked off the plane.

When Allison leads the group through the famous sites of the Tolkien movies, she and Jackson start to see each other differently, and as they keep getting thrown together on the tour, they find themselves drawn to each other. Neither expected to fall in love again, but can they find a way beyond their regrets to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for?

Rachel’s Thoughts:  I have a confession to make: I only watched the Lord of the Rings movies for the first time in 2015. I know, I’m terribly late to the party! But now that I finally know what all the fuss is about, this novel sounds like it’ll be a lot of fun.

Carrie’s Thoughts: Hobbitses. New Zealand. Witty writing. Romantical tension.  Yes please! (Ok… no hobbitses.  But a LOTR tour of New Zealand is kinda the same thing.)  Ever since I heard about Kara Isaac’s upcoming debut novel, I have been eagerly waiting for its April release.  It just sounds like everything I love in a contemporary romance wrapped up in a gorgeous cover.

Megan’s Thoughts: I’m not a diehard Tolkien fan. I’ve watched the movies, but have yet to read any of his books. (Please don’t hate me—there’s just too many books and so little time. J ) But I thought this was a new and interesting idea that it has be counting down the months until its release.

 

Like Never Before

Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg
Publisher:  Bethany House
Publication Date:  April 5, 2016

What’s it about:
Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley’s haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered, but her new life as a newspaper editor is shaken when the paper is bought out by a chain that plans to incorporate it into a regional paper.

After his biggest campaign success yet, speechwriter Logan Walker is approached to work on a presidential campaign. But he already lost his wife three years ago, and saying yes to the job means he’ll see his young daughter even less. When Logan hears of a special election campaign in his hometown, helping out sounds like the perfect way to occupy himself while deciding what to do.

When Amelia hears Logan is back in town, she begs him to lend his previous experience in the newspaper world to help turn her paper’s numbers around in time. They may butt heads more than they expected, but a lead on a story that could help save the paper is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.

Beth’s Thoughts:  I loved the first book about the Walker family, and I can’t wait to read more about Logan Walker – plus is that cover not the cutest ever?! Melissa’s writing never fails to win me over and compel me to read. I look forward to more of Melissa’s humorous and poignant moments, as well as realistic interactions between members of the Walker family.

 

A Twist of Faith

A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham
Publisher:  Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Publication Date:  April 6, 2016

What’s it about:

Maybe the language of love doesn’t have an accent, but with any other type of accent, Dr. Adelina Roseland feels confident she can correct it. Accent reduction is her specialty and she’s worked ten years in research with it to attain her dream job: Professor at the University of Virginia. But all rookies must pass through the fire, so Adelina is sent to a tiny town in a crevice of Appalachia called Wise, Virginia, to begin a new program for their satellite university there. Determined to prove herself, Adelina makes a daring wager with her arrogant supervisor, Dr. Alexander Murdock. If she can pass Appalachian cow farmer, Reece Mitchell, off as a Harvard grad and help him with a job interview for a corporation in Chicago, then she can present her research at the National Convention in front of her newfound colleagues and hundreds of other professionals, launching her career to further heights and moving her as far away from Appalachia as possible.

But Adelina didn’t plan for the faith and friction of single-dad Reece Mitchell or his chaotic family. Drawn into a culture she’d been trying to forget for the past fifteen years, Adelina finds the warmth of family, the hope of faith, and the joy of love melting away at the deep wounds of her past. But when Reece discovers that he’s been a mere pawn in her step up the corporate ladder, will he be able to forgive her deceit or will their miscommunication end in two broken lives.

Will some good old-fashion Appalachian grit from a meddling mother bring rescue this culturally-diverse couple before they lose their chance to build a future of their own?

Carrie’s Thoughts:  This modern & Appalachian twist on My Fair Lady promises to be both hilarious and heartwarming.  Plus, I smile every time I look at that cover. I also have it on good authority that Reese Mitchell wields some kisses that will have you sticking your head in the nearest freezer to cool off! Pepper’s historical novels are elegant and exquisite, but there’s enough sass in her female leads to assure me that her contemporary debut will be nothing short of FUN!

 

Together at the Table

Together at the Table by Hillary Manton Lodge
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Publication Date:  May 3, 2016

What’s it about:
Great love, like great food, always involves risk.

Three months ago, Juliette D’Alisa’s world changed.

In a bittersweet series of events, her mother’s health took a turn for the worse. Juliette and her brother opened their restaurant together to rave reviews, but her romance with Memphis immunologist Neil McLaren ended in anger and tears.

As autumn sweeps into the Pacific Northwest, Juliette feels that she’s finally on the cusp of equilibrium. The restaurant continues to thrive, and her family is closer than ever. She and sous-chef Adrien are seeing each other, both in and out of the kitchen. Just when she thinks her world might stop spinning, a trip to the waterfront lands a familiar face into her path.

Rather than dwell on her personal life, Juliette throws herself into work and research. After reading her grandmother’s letters from war-torn Paris, she still wants to know the full story –  and she’ll travel across countries and oceans to find it.

But even Juliette can’t outrun the man who stole her heart. As she finally uncovers the truth about her family history, what will it mean for her own chances at lasting love?

Beth’s Thoughts:  I am so excited to read the conclusion to the Two Blue Doors trilogy. The D’Alisa is another family that stole my heart, and Juliette is such an endearing character and has a very fresh voice. I love the realism of the family and their genuine interactions together. I’m looking forward to seeing how things end up for Juliette.

 

jilted

Jilted by Varina Denman
Publisher:  David C. Cook
Publication Date:  June 1, 2016

What’s it about:

Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.
Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must—once and for all—leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

Megan’s Thoughts:  The first two books in the Mended Hearts Series were excellent. Varina Denman has a way of creating unique storylines with believable characters, leaving the reader with hope and a happy heart.

Beth’s Thoughts: Even though I’ve yet to read book two in the series, and plan on reading it soon, I am particularly anticipated Jilted because it’s about a not-so-likable character from book one, Lynda. Her daughter Ruthie’s story was one of my favorite reads of last year, so I am looking forward to Lynda’s story.

 

Told You Twice by Kristen Heitzmann
Publisher: bHd Books
Publication Date: Not Yet Announced

Cover art currently unavailable

What it’s about:

What could be better than a custom wedding and novel by Grace Evangeline for Devin’s cousin, Alexis, when her finace is so…right for her? Or is he?

Stage star and spokesmodel Bo Corrigan is the ultimate disruption. Alexis—Exi—is more than dazzled. She senses Bo’s in trouble, and not only from choices in his past. Something inside is tearing him apart. Will his dark web jeopardize her carefully laid plans, or might she bring hope and restoration?

Megan’s Thoughts: I loved the first book in this series. The writing was good, the characters were great, and the storyline kept me on my toes. I can’t wait to revisit the characters and focus on Bo this time around. I always felt a little sweet spot for him even if he is a little rough round the edges. It will be interesting to see what becomes of his life.

 

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