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SUMMER READS 2014: Red-hot romance turns up the heat

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What could be hotter for a summer read than a sizzling romance? Whether you prefer yours foamy like a cappuccino, hot and dark like an espresso or invigorating like an old fashioned cup of Joe, a good romance beats caffeine as a summertime pick-me-up. And just like a tasty iced coffee on the deck, it’s hard to stop at just one. So fill your cup then get your fill of these passionate tales. Sure to melt your ice and your heart.

The Bee Keepers Ball CoverThe Beekeeper’s Ball by Susan Wiggs (Harlequin, July 1) 

There’s a reason why Wiggs is a #1 New York Times bestselling author—she knows how to deliver a deeply satisfying story. In The Beekeeper’s Ball Wiggs takes us back to sun-drenched Bella Vista in the Sonoma town of Archangel where Isabel Johansen is using her culinary skills to turn her childhood home into a destination cooking school. It’s the kind of place anyone who loves food and nature would adore—a thriving orchard, bountiful gardens and buzzing beehives. Anyone but Cormac O’Neill, a swaggering war correspondent who enjoys exposing the misdeeds of others. Will Isabel’s kitchen coax a few truths out of him before the past and present collide at the Beekeeper’s Ball?

 SolsburyHillSolsbury Hill  by Susan M. Wyler ( Riverhead Books, April)

When successful New York clothing designer Eleanor Abbott arrives in the Yorkshire moors to care for her dying aunt, she has no idea that she may be related to Emily Brontë and her beloved classic, Wuthering Heights. Eleanor only knows that she feels strangely at home in the weathered landscape and drawn to the enigmatic Meadowscarp Macleod. Having been betrayed by her longtime boyfriend back home, Eleanor must understand the true depth of her inheritance—the family estate of Solsbury Hill—in order to fulfill her search for a meaningful life.

BrothersOfTheWildNorthSea72lgBrothers of the Wild North Sea by Harper Fox (Samhain Publishing; June 3)

No list of summer reads is complete without a historical romance and Harper Fox serves up Romans, Vikings and early Christians in this haunting love story set in Britain as Europe slips into the Dark Ages. Caius denies his heritage as a Roman warrior to join a monastery. After his first love is lost in a Viking raid, he puts his feelings of vengeance aside to use his skills as a physician to heal a young Viking warrior who has been left for dead. As their attraction grows so does Fenrir’s responsibility for completing a quest that could tear the new lovers apart.

When We Meet CoverWhen We Met by Susan Mallery (Harlequin, April 29)

The first in the Fool’s Gold trilogy, When We Met introduces us to fiercely independent and tough-talking PR woman Taryn Crawford. She’s always had to rely on herself and likes it that way. Used to going toe-to-toe with professional football players, she’s the equal of any man—and an expert at keeping them at a distance. When Angel Whittaker, the instructor at the local bodyguard training school, approaches her, she thinks she has it made. He’s dark and sexy and has no interest in anything permanent. But behind his smolder is heartbreaking loss and personal sacrifice and, just maybe, something special. The next two books in the trilogy, Before We Kiss and Until We Touch release May 2

This juicy trilogy will take you to the gleaming heights of New York in a quest for revenge. Austin, Hunter and Alex are united in their passion for justice after that devastating night 10 years ago when their dear friend, Sarah Michaels, lost her life.


avenge-me coverFIFTH AVENUE: Avenge Me by Maisey Yates (Harlequin, June)

Austin Treffen and Sarah were the best friends in college. After graduation, Sarah Michaels began working for Austin’s father, Jason Treffen—a prestigious hot shot lawyer. When Sarah cracked under the pressure of her demanding job, Austin was too self-involved with his new law career to notice. It wasn’t until Sarah threw herself off a building that rumors begin to swirl that Austin’s father, Jason Treffen, had a hand in her tragic death. With everything he believes in ripped to pieces, how can Austin take down his father—risking his family name and those he loves—without any proof?

Scandalize Me CoverFIFTH AVENUE: Scandalize Me by Caitlin Crews (Harlequin, July)

Hunter Talbot Grant III, a former golden boy and jock—is now completely washed up. Living in a haze of sordid excess, Hunter lacks the motivation to go after corrupt lawyer Jason Treffen to avenge Sarah’s death. That is, until Zoe Brook, the PR queen of New York, shows up and takes control. Beneath their scorching mutual attraction, Zoe has a secret—she’s also been burned by Jason, and she has as much of an appetite for revenge as Hunter does.

 Expose meFIFTH AVENUE: Expose Me by Kate Hewitt (Harlequin, August)

Alex Diaz has the power to take the final step to revenge. With ruthless determination, Alex has risen up from his impoverished roots to become the head of a global media empire. But he has one last thing to achieve: avenge Sarah by destroying the man responsible for her death—Jason Treffen. With talk-show host Chelsea Maxwell about to interview Treffen live on TV, this is Alex’s chance. When Alex and Chelsea’s relationship begins to deepen, Alex realizes destroying Treffen could also shatter the life that Chelsea has built to protect herself.


is a writer, editor and dabbler in arty stuff. A fourth-generation journalist (on her father’s side) and millionteenth-generation mother (on her mother’s side) she has written, edited, photographed and illustrated for newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, videos and books. Known for her persnicketyness about grammar, she occasionally leaves in an error to delight people of similar inclination.

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