By Heidi Belleau and Sam Schooler.
Oct. 2015. 356p. Riptide, $19.99 (9781626493384);
e-book, $6.99 (9781626493377).
Now that his grandmother has died, it looks
like it’s back to turning tricks again to make
ends meet for 19-year-old Brandon Ringer.
In desperation, he capitalizes on the one thing
he has going for him: he is the spitting image
of his late grandfather, James Ringer, 1950s
Hollywood royalty. So he takes a job at a Hollywood Doubles escort agency. Across town,
21-year-old Percy Charles is homebound by
illness and an overbearing caretaker. He just
so happens to be James Ringer’s biggest fan.
When he sees that a Ringer escort is available
he can’t resist hiring him. Over time, the relationship between Percy and Brandon shifts
from client and escort to friends and finally
to lovers and boyfriends. The development
of their relationship is tender and passionate
as they learn to love first one another and
then themselves. Belleau (Bliss, 2014) and
Schooler explore what it means to be a family
and to be beholden to family secrets in a love
story for fans of new adult and/or same-sex
romances as well as classic film aficionados.
YA/M: Teens grappling with issues of
parental control will connect with Percy
as he struggles for independence despite a
debilitating medical condition. IL.
By Pamela Nowak.
Sept. 2015. 282p. Five Star, $25.95 (9781432831042).
Lottie has suffered years of sexual abuse by
her uncle, who is now focused on her daughter, Elsa, so Lottie takes the 10-year-old and
gets as far from New York as her meager funds
allow. When Lottie and Elsa reach Denver,
the “friend” who’s been traveling with them steals the
last of their money. Since
Lottie’s only work experience has been as a Coney
Island huckster, she seeks
employment at an amusement park, Elitch Gardens.
Caleb Hudson knows a con
artist when he sees one, and since Mary
Elitch Long, who owns the park, is like a
mother to him, he wants to protect her from
this stranger she has hired out of pity. Caleb
also has his own problems. His time in the
Spanish-American War has left him with what
we know as PTSD, and the mechanical noise
and screams of the amusement part bring on
panic attacks. As Nowak (Changes, 2013) orchestrates a romance between two people who
are afraid to trust, she skillfully blends danger,
a painful social issue as old as time, and the
lush history of an actual amusement park.
Every Girl Gets Confused.
By Janice Thompson.
Oct. 2015. 336p. Revell, paper, $13.99 (9780800724009).
Love is blossoming all around Katie Fisher,
The 10 most outstanding romances reviewed in Booklist between September 15, 2014, and September 1, 2015, include two striking
debuts as well as books by best-selling authors at their very best,
inspirational novels and tales of sexual intensity and suspense, settings past and present, and characters of wit, resilience, and passion.
An Affair Downstairs. By Sherri Browning. 2015. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paper, $7.99 (9781402286827).
In the exceptional second novel in her Edwardian Thornbrook Park series, Browning
focuses on Lady Alice Emerson, who is determined to turn away all proper suitors and
pursue a potentially scandalous dalliance.
After a Fashion. By Jen Turano. 2015. Bethany, paper, $14.99 (9780764212758); e-book
New York City, 1882. Harriet needs a job; Oliver need a new fiancée, so a deal is
struck. Witty dialogue, slapstick situations, and a spunky heroine confirm that Turano is
one of the funniest voices in the inspirational genre.
Brown-Eyed Girl. By Lisa Kleypas. 2015. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (9780312605377); e-book
Her own matrimonial disaster hasn’t kept Avery from succeeding as a wedding
planner, but it has convinced her not to try again, a decision Joe is set on reversing in
Kleypas’ sexy, heart-melting romance.
Caged in Winter. By Brighton Walsh. 2014. Berkley, paper, $14 (9780425276488).
In debut author Walsh’s authentic and satisfying new adult romance, Winter, a college
senior working in a restaurant, survived foster care by learning not to rely on anyone, a
barrier aspiring chef Cade feels compelled to overcome.
Dearest Rogue. By Elizabeth Hoyt. 2015. Vision, paper, $8 (9781455586356).
Lady Phoebe Batten understands why her brother hired Captain James Trevillion to
be her bodyguard, but his monitoring of her every move is infuriating. Hoyt writes with
particular force and flair in this truly swoonworthy love story.
Hot Point. By M. L. Buchman. 2015. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paper, $7.99
Buchman continues his superb Firehawks series with the suspenseful, emotionally
nuanced tale of love-under-fire between Vern, a helicopter pilot for the elite firefighter
unit, and Denise, the unit’s chief mechanic.
Jilted. By Rachael Johns. 2014. HQN, paper, $7.99 (9780373779369).
In Johns’ heartfelt, richly dimensional debut, Ellie left Hope Junction in rural Australia,
and the town’s golden boy, Flynn, at the altar 10 years ago. Now that the soap-opera
star has returned, she must face the town’s animosity, and Flynn.
Say Yes to the Marquess. By Tessa Dare. 2015. Avon, paper, $7.99 (9780062240200).
Clio Whitmore, dubbed “Miss Wait-More” because she remains unmarried many
years after her betrothal to Piers Brandon, has inherited Twill Castle and now wants to
end her engagement. Dare’s droll, clever, and flawless Regency will charm and captivate readers.
This Heart of Mine. By Brenda Novak. 2015. MIRA, paper, $7.99 (9780778316725).
Back in Whiskey Creek after serving time for a crime she did not commit as a teen,
namely killing a rival for Riley’s affections, Phoenix just wants to get to know her and
Riley’s son. In this second-chance contemporary romance, Novak sensitively explores
redemption, forgiveness, and the healing power of love.
Through Waters Deep. By Sarah Sundin. 2015. Revell, paper, $14.99 (9780800723422).
Mary and Jim are working amid danger and suspicion at the Boston Navy Yard just
before the U.S. enters WWII in Sundin’s exciting, intricately plotted, unusually thoughtful, and socially incisive tale of romantic suspense.
TOP 10 ROMANCE FICTION