Welcome to Top Picks. This is a weekly post which features books out this week which have caught my eye.
I have decided to split the list into three; On my List, On my Radar and Caught My eye. The first is those I have every intention of reading. On my Radar feautures books that I have marked on a wishlist, possibly as I am awaiting a price drop or am not up to that book in the series. The last are more one’s I know next to nothing about but have caught my eye for some reason. All books are one’s which I would potentially read.
As always, I do my due diligence on all books I put on here. I don’t recommend books from authors who I know have engaged in awful behaviour or have bigotted views – I chose not to give them my money so you won’t find them on here. If I make a mistake and feature an author who has engaged in bad behaviour, tell me in the comments and the book will be removed.
I don’t read NA. I do not read reverse harem. I also do not read Pandemic romance. Those books will not feature here.
Due to issues with prices, I will no longer be posting RRP’s of these books – the prices I post seem to be accurate for a day so I feel it is completely pointless.
Also, CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER TO GO TO AMAZON PAGE
A note from Nix – I still haven’t read book two but I know I will love it when I do. No DRM on this book too which is interesting…
POWER IS NEVER GIVEN, ONLY TAKEN
Tobias Richter, the fearsome VP of Security of the TechCorps is dead. The puppetmaster is gone and the organization is scrambling to maintain control by ruthlessly limiting Atlanta’s access to resources, hoping to quell rebellion. Our band of mercenary librarians have decided that the time for revolution has come.
Maya uses her wealth of secrets to weaken the TechCorps from within. Dani strikes from the shadows, picking off the chain of command one ambush at a time. And Nina is organizing their community—not just to survive, but to fight back. When Maya needs to make contact with a sympathetic insider, Dani and Rafe are the only ones with the skill-set and experience to infiltrate the highest levels of the TechCorps. They’ll go deep undercover in the decadent, luxury-soaked penthouses on the Hill.
Bringing Dani face-to-face with the man who turned her into a killer. And forcing Rafe to decide how far he’ll go to protect both of his families—the one he was born to, and the one he made for himself.
Victory will break the back of Power. Failure will destroy Atlanta.
At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
A note from Nix – I love CCJ’s work and all the reviews I have read for this one suggest I will love it just as much as the rest of her backlist. It does seem to feature characters from other series however it does seem to be standalone from what I can see. Just to be aware that this book has been available on the author’s website for a little while to purchase but it is new to amazon.
Sometimes, you just need someone to help you see things in a different light.
A shift in the angle.
A New Heights novella
A note from Nix – I have pre-ordered this book. I have enjoyed books from the author before and I am a sucker for both marriage of convenience stories and billionaire MMC (I know.. I judge me too). I do think the premise is a terrifying commentary on the American health care system though ..
A professional soccer player. An overworked executive. A marriage of convenience. And too many secrets. The first in a brand new series from Liz Lincoln.
Erika Parker-Ward is living the dream–her professional soccer career is on the rise, and she’s got her sights set on making the World Cup team for the US. But all of that could be over in a blink now that Erika’s been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Her plan? Keep the diagnosis hush hush by paying for private medical care, but the cost is threatening to bury her alive.
Nate Simmons owes all his success as a wealthy tech exec to the grandmother who took him in when he was orphaned at two. So when she wants to see him married before she dies of heart failure, he is ready to move mountains to give his beloved Oma her dying wish.
A chance meeting on the road brings these two desperate strangers together, and an evening of commiserating makes a potentially terrible plan seem pretty perfect: A marriage-of-convenience will give them both what they need.
It’s strictly business, and everybody knows you should never mix business with pleasure..
Erika and Nate have plenty of secrets to keep–from the press, and from each other–but the biggest secret of all might be their true feelings.
A note from Nix – This cover drew me in; it’s bright, clean and so lovely. The reviews sold me on it – I have it marked on the TR list.
How can something so incredibly right feel so wrong?
It was just a chance meeting. It shouldn’t have meant anything, but the moment Aretta and Banky set eyes on each other, the attraction was instant and nothing could tame their burning passion.
All they wanted was to explore these flames of desire, but they were committed to other people. When their secret is uncovered, they are forced to go their separate ways.
Years later, they meet again, however, they are cautious. Has time quenched their passion? Will they get their happily ever after?
Follow this story of love, loss, and betrayal as it takes you from campus life in Ilorin to the corporate world of London.
A note from Nix : ALL the tropes in this one; enemies to lovers, fake relationship, millionaire hero …
Love was never supposed to be part of the deal…
Independent and free-spirted Annika has no plans to settle down anytime soon… if only her parents felt the same way. But when her father unexpectedly falls ill, she’ll do anything to make things better. Even if it means suddenly blurting out she has a boyfriend.
The only issue is, he doesn’t exist.
Then, by chance, she bumps into handsome entrepreneur Rav, and she can’t believe her luck. He’s single, sworn off relationships and looking for a date to attend work events with. He’s the perfect solution to her troubles. Or is he?
Because there’s just one slight catch – he also happens to be her childhood nemesis.
It was only ever supposed to be a simple, temporary arrangement. Nothing more. Certainly love was never part of the terms and conditions. But Annika’s about to discover that some deals are made to be broken…
A note from Nix : I haven’t long started reading Kennedy Ryan and I love that the Dark Nights series allows a look into an existing series. I will pick this up to see if I want to start this series.
Set in the dynamic worlds of professional basketball and entertainment, two of Kennedy Ryan’s most critically-acclaimed series—HOOPs and Hollywood Renaissance—collide in this tale of forbidden romance.
I met Nazareth Armstrong when I was eighteen years old. From the beginning, my brother warned me to stay away from him. Told Naz to stay away from me.
Our hearts didn’t listen.
I shared one magical night under the stars with my brother’s rival, thinking it was the start of a once-in-a-lifetime something.
But one awful moment ended it all.
Years later when we meet again, we’ve both pursued our dreams, lived a little, found success…but never found love. What began as a tiny flame when we were young now threatens to consume us. I’m more drawn to Naz than ever, but his complicated history with my brother makes whatever this could be…nearly impossible.
But Naz accepts impossible as a dare.
Through his clever maneuvering and dogged determination, I find myself on a yacht with him and his friends cruising through the Mediterranean. It’s a whirlwind set ablaze. Away from reality, surrendering to the tender heat of his touch, I forget that everything could burn.
*This is the love story of Takira, who first appears in Reel, book 1 of the Hollywood Renaissance series. Characters from the HOOPS series also make appearances, but you do not have to read any of those books to enjoy this one.
A note from Nix : This one has mixed reviews however I do love the premise (plus most of the reviews are around how the FMC is “spiky” so I will probably love her). On the watch list to see some reviews from people I know have similar taste to me.
Turns out that reading nothing but true crime isn’t exactly conducive to modern dating—and one woman is going to have to learn how to give love a chance when she’s used to suspecting the worst.
PhD candidate Phoebe Walsh has always been obsessed with true crime. She’s even analyzing the genre in her dissertation—if she can manage to finish writing it. It’s hard to find the time while she spends the summer in Florida, cleaning out her childhood home, dealing with her obnoxiously good-natured younger brother, and grappling with the complicated feelings of mourning a father she hadn’t had a relationship with for years.
It doesn’t help that she’s low-key convinced that her new neighbor, Sam Dennings, is a serial killer (he may dress business casual by day, but at night he’s clearly up to something). It’s not long before Phoebe realizes that Sam might be something much scarier—a genuinely nice guy who can pierce her armor to reach her vulnerable heart.
A note from Nix : I like Harper Bliss and this one excites me. Price point is a little punchy though so it’s on the price watch list.
Best-selling lesbian romance author Harper Bliss brings you a deliciously impossible love story about falling for the one person you can’t have.
Kate has been married to Kevin for ten years, but their failed journey to parenthood has left their relationship on the brink. As Kevin tries to heal by remodeling their home, Kate finds herself living in her mother-in-law’s pool house. And having to spend a lot of time with Kevin’s spoiled sister.
Stella is preparing for a career-defining audition, but is happy to welcome her brother and his wife to the house—even though she thinks Kate doesn’t like her all that much.
With Kevin away, Kate and Stella bond over secret crushes, hot movie stars, and glitzy celebrity parties.
Until one night, after too many shots of tequila, their bonding goes a step too far…
Get your copy now and join Kate and Stella on their thrillingly unexpected journey to love
A note from Nix : I do enjoy books from this author so this is a easy addition to the list. It hits the only one-bed trope too which I’m a sucker for ….
CONTEST: WIN A DATE TO MY HONEYMOON
I realize that a social media post isn’t the usual way to secure a date to your honeymoon—for obvious reasons—but here we are.
My wedding was canceled. What’s not canceled is the non-refundable, ten-thousand-dollar all-inclusive vacation at a luxury resort, and I’m not about to let it go to waste.
I’m packed and ready to hit the beach. But I can’t deny that it might be more interesting to honeymoon with someone.
Since my track record of picking dates isn’t exactly golden, I’ve done something that I hope I don’t regret. In a moment of weakness—mixed with panic and fueled by margaritas—I agreed to let my friends choose someone to go with me.
It’ll be a blind date / postnuptial vacation—without the nuptials. A few fun days in paradise with no expectations. No obligations.
Before you say, “pick me for a free vacay!” a few things to consider …
The perfect candidate will be single. He won’t talk too much on the plane. And he’ll be able to leave town quickly.
He will also be okay with sharing a bed. It’s a honeymoon suite, after all.
If you want to be considered, email Rebecca and Sara your application at the address below. (Get creative. There’s a free vacation on the line.)
Wheels up next week!
A note from Nix : This sounds right up my street! I do, however, have an issue with the price-point so it will be on the watch list for a while.
Cherry Davis is turning her part-time influencer gig into a full-time venture. As Cherry on Top, she’s the happy, loved, lesbian lifestyle guide with an enviable relationship, friends, and wardrobe. Reputation is crucial for her business, and if she uses some smoke and mirrors to spice it up? She doesn’t hurt anybody. Everyone else does it too. Trolls might try to tell her she isn’t being authentic, but she’s tougher than they are. Her childhood gave her a thick skin.
Ellis Conrad dreams of becoming a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. You know what she doesn’t dream of? Debunking politicians, local celebrities, and online influencers for the less-than-reputable site, 11th Commandment. But the truth is important, especially to Ellis, and besides, she really needs the money.
A chance meeting leaves Cherry and Ellis reeling from the unexpected intensity, and they both start to long for a different life, perhaps even one that includes each other. But when Ellis’s search for truth crashes into Cherry’s insta-filter world, do they have any hope at all of a happily ever after?
A note from Nix : Carrie Ann Ryan is an auto addition to these lists as I tend to read her books and enjoy them.
The Wilder Brothers from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan continue in this emotionally charged enemies to lovers romance.
It took two days for me to know Kendall was the one for me.
And it took two years for me to realize I had to leave in order to protect her.
When I walked away, I told myself it was for the best. But now we work together, and every time we’re in the same room, we end up fighting. If we didn’t, we’d end up naked. Or worse–spilling heartbreaking secrets.
If she knew the truth, she’d either walk away for good or convince me to take a second chance. The first thing would break me, and the second would break her. I can’t let either of those things happen…
A note from Nix : I’m quite open with the fact that I don’t read Quarantine romance which is nothing against the books themselves and more a note of self-care from myself due my own personal experience of this pandemic. The fact is though, it happened. This book feels like it treats the pandemic as an event in time and I do love a foodie romance ..
Take two celebrity chefs, sprinkle in a spicy rivalry, and add one inconvenient quarantine. Will a kitchen romance be a recipe for disaster?
Olivia is at the top of her game. Chef and owner of a two Michelin-starred restaurant, she also hosts the highest-rated show on the American Home Network. She’s determined to keep it that way no matter how often Nate flirts with guests or smiles at the camera on his show.
Nate Hargrove graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and trained at the best restaurants in the world. With a disdain for fine dining, he’s opened three successful fast-casual chains where the quality brings in customers and critical acclaim. His show alternates with hers for the best rated on the network and Nate tries to convince himself that he doesn’t care.
He’s convinced that ratings and Michelin stars are for dilettantes who care more about appearance than food. How will they manage to get along when a pandemic forces them to work together in Quarantine Kitchen?
A note from Nix : I have never read this author before but a) look at this cover b) the reviews are fabulous.
One woman must learn to love again with the help of her supper club friends and the man next door in this delightful enemies-to-lovers small-town romance.
The best meals. The perfect company. And just enough sparks to make it complicated . . .
Serenity Wheeler’s Supper Club is all about getting together with great friends, incredible food, and a whole lot of dishing—not for hooking up. Still, Serenity knows inviting her friend’s brother to one of her dinners is just good manners, but the ultra-fine, hazel-eyed Gabriel Cunningham has a gift for saying the wrong thing at the really wrong time. Especially when it comes to her cooking.
Gabriel isn’t quite sure how they got off on the wrong foot, but something about Serenity makes him nervous. Maybe it’s because he’s new to the small-town vibe. Maybe it’s because the woman is so gorgeous that he can’t think straight. Or maybe it’s because there’s an attraction between them he can’t seem to shake.
Though refreshments and camaraderie may be the supper club’s mantra, Serenity and Gabriel know there’s more between them than just sharing delicious meals. But she can’t let herself fall for Gabriel. Because while cooking with love is one thing, trusting it is quite another…