Romance Book Preview week 4 August 2022 : My Top Picks include numerous grumpy/sunshine romances, the beginning of holiday romance season and some Gargoyles

Posted August 28, 2022 by Nix in Top Picks / 1 Comment

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.


Ooooh, Gargoyles … I am all in with Gargoyles. Also, I do like Jenn Burke’s writing style so I’m good with this!

His curse can only be lifted with true love, but can true love come from a fake date?

Being the personal assistant to a trio of cursed gargoyle brothers who sleep for a hundred years and wake up for twenty-five wasn’t a career proposed by Josh’s high school guidance counselor, but it’s a job that he’s eminently suited for. Not to mention a job his family has been doing for generations. The brothers are truly excellent bosses, but Josh is surprised when Drew offers to pretend to be his date for his high school reunion. And even more surprised by a supposedly fake kiss that feels as real as a kiss can get.

Drew and his brothers owe Josh and his family for watching over them each time they turn to stone for a hundred years, and for helping them reintegrate into the world when they wake up. The least he can do is pose as Josh’s boyfriend for a night. Even though true love can break his curse, he knows he won’t find it with Josh. Nothing that real can come from a lie. Or can it?

When the fake boyfriend situation stretches into two nights, and then more, Josh and Drew can’t fight the attraction blazing between them. There’s no harm in exploring it, right? No expectations. But when paranormal danger comes to Arrington, Josh and Drew are going to have to battle for every moment of peace…and maybe a real happily ever after too.

STONE WINGS is a 50,000 word male/male paranormal romance featuring a mechanic who happens to have wings and is a literal monster in bed, a personal assistant who’s always had a crush on him, stone skin or not, and a relationship that’s going to take a leap of faith to give the fairytale a happy ending.

Danielle Allen has written a lot of books I have enjoyed …. The cover of this book is fabulous but the blurb tells me very little about the book. It is a KU so I will put it on the list and give it a shot.

When you’re a mental health professional, your job is to take care of everyone else.

But who takes care of you?

I actually hadn’t heard of this book until researching this post but I do like the look of it. I am putting it on the TR list.

Will dislike at first sight turn into the trip of a lifetime? A sparkling enemies-to-lovers rom com from a talented new voice.

From Peru with love, (wander)lust & loathing…

Blake Goldfield is ‘the guy who broke Tinder’ while raising funds for his overseas charity. High-flying banker, Louise Lane, isn’t buying his hot, eligible philanthropist act. In fact, it’s dislike at first sight when she encounters Blake working the bar at her office Christmas party.

Both are at a life crossroads: Blake has begrudgingly left his not-for-profit to deal with Goldies, his family’s embattled restaurant; Louise has just split from her perfect-on-paper fiancé.

Blake may be in control of the drinks, but Louise has the power to reject the loan necessary to keep Goldies open…

As Blake and Louise watch their lives unravel, their paths seem to be inextricably tangled. Torn between the weight of expectation and her heart’s desire, Louise searches for a fresh perspective in Peru. First stop: Machu Picchu. Final destination: Love?

A sparkling enemies-to-lovers rom com about the things we want, the things we think we want and the things that really count.

I know, it isn’t christmas yet but how cute is this book?? I have read a few Beth Moran books so this one is on the list.

After the end of a long-term relationship, local weather girl Bea Armstrong has been avoiding her family, and their inevitable ‘I-told-you-sos.’ But with Christmas fast approaching, she is finally on her way home to Charis House, the school in Sherwood Forest that her mum and dad run in their old family home. And to top it all off, the insufferable Henry Fairfax – who her parents have always wanted her to marry – has also been invited.

Relief comes in the shape of a last minute interview for her dream job. There are just a few minor problems… The interview is in Scotland, Bea has no car, and the snow is falling already. The only solution is for Henry to drive her – could this Christmas get any worse…

But during an unforgettable two day interview, a stay in a log cabin and a nightmare journey through the snow, Henry turns out to be nothing like she thought.  And when Bea’s first love and recent ex shows up, Bea has a difficult choice to make…

Reading Beth Moran’s fabulous novels makes every day better. Feelgood, satisfying, with smart characters and gorgeous settings, it’s impossible not to fall in love with a Beth Moran story. Perfect for all fans of Jill Mansell, Julie Houston, and Jenny Colgan.

‘Let it Snow is so uplifting. It’s cleverly written, witty and smart. A winner!’ USA Today Bestseller, Judy Leigh

Love Eve Langlais, haven’t started this series as of yet but I will – she just has an extensive backlist I am working through!!

An epic fantasy romance with monsters and magic.

She was hired to spy on the King, not get dragged on a quest.

Asharee lost her family in a monster attack and learned to survive on the streets. It’s a hard life, so when she’s offered a chance to escape, she decides to look past the reputation of the person offering.

Best decision ever.

While a house of pleasure might seem like a bad place for a young woman, the truth is Asharee’s never been safer. The gradeenas protect their tizanas. And so she learns how to entice, to dance, to seduce with her eyes and a shake of her hips. But what happens later in the privacy of her room…

It’s only an illusion because Asharee’s mentor taught her alchemy. With her potions, she can make her clients believe the fantasy she weaves with words—and get them to spill their secrets.

When an old friend asks her to spy on the king, she must resort to a disguise to get close enough. Only he’s not as expected. For one, Daksh sees right through her deception.

And still wants her.

Together, they will travel to a place long forgotten to try and save a kingdom. They will face a peril unlike any. Be tested to their limits.

And if they prevail, they will have to figure out if there’s a future for a spy and her king.

I have fond memories of the first Stephanie Plum books and so I always try new bounty hunter books… I am in for this book!

An accident-prone bounty hunter gets more than she bargained for when she mistakenly apprehends the wrong guy…

Moving to small town Shiloh Springs from Manhattan was an adjustment Arlo was prepared for. Being accosted by a blonde that made him forget his own name, in the middle of the town’s one and only coffee shop, the first day of his new job no less… not so much.

Kida has something to prove. Her bounty hunting family doesn’t see her as a valued member of the team. So she may have had a few minor incidents in the past—it’s not like she meant to break that guys nose, or his collarbone—But Kida is nothing if not determined.

When her father gives her one last chance to bring in an easy target, without bloodshed or broken bones this time, she jumps at the opportunity. But things don’t quite pan out the way Kida planned.

Now she’s left trying to avoid the town’s newest resident who’s surprisingly hard to stop thinking about while keeping her father in the dark about her latest mishap. Totally doable, right?

*Catastrophe Magnet is the start of a fun, fresh, and steamy, rom com series—Hunters & Co. Following the badass daughters of a widowed biker turned bounty hunter in the quirky small town of Shiloh Springs where they all follow in their father’s footsteps

I will be honest, you stick gumpy/sunshine in a title and I will probably try it …. the reviews are actually alright but I will await if someone I trust reads it first.

Most life changes start with a wake up call.

Lola Turner’s wake up call came in the form of saving her politician father one too many times.

Now she’s determined to be ‘New Lola’ – the version of herself that has always been hiding beneath duty, guilt, promises, and secrets since her mother passed away when she was 15.

But the problem with a wake up call is you’re the only one to get it. So even though she’s moving on, starting her own bakery on the Ocean View boardwalk, the mess that her father always seems to get himself into still is finding its way to her.
Ben Coleman left his hometown and the family business that should have been his to pursue his true passion: art and tattooing. Coleman Ink has become his world, and he’s tailored the business to fit his life the way he wants it, rather than the life that was originally laid out for him.

Until early one morning he’s woken up by what he thinks is an intruder only to find it’s just his new neighbor. His new neighbor, who has no regard for her own safety, wakes up way too early, and seems to have made it her job to tempt him.

But what happens when the grumpy neighbor decides that it’s his job to keep her safe, even if she drives him insane? Will Lola open up and share her burden with someone else? Will she be able to keep her family’s secrets without getting hurt?

Bittersweet is a contemporary grumpy sunshine, enemies to lovers romance. It is book three in the Ocean View series, but can be read as a standalone.

It is a full-length romance with a Happily Ever After that features sexually explicit material and profanity. This book is intended for 18+

This is on a lot of lists and I haven’t tried the series – it certainly looks like I may enjoy it (Billionaires again … I despair of myself). On the list.

In this sexy installment of the Miles High Club series from bestselling author T L Swan, a billionaire playboy goes incognito on a backpacking trip in Europe. But how long can he hide from love?

I’m wealthy, powerful, and able to get any woman I want.

So why do I feel so empty inside?

In search of a deeper me, I take a sabbatical from my privileged life. One year of backpacking around Europe: a new identity, no contacts, and no money. Not a bad plan, I think.

Until I get there.

A crowded hostel room, body odor, and beer bongs—there are no words for the fresh hell I’ve landed in.

But amid the chaos, I meet my new roommate, Hayden Whitmore. She sleeps in the bed opposite me, and I openly admit to staring at her more than I sleep. Beautiful, innocent, and smart. Not my usual type but perhaps the perfect woman.

There’s just one small problem with the divine Miss Hayden. She’s totally unaffected by my charm. Nothing is working, and now, I’ve been friend zoned.


But the good thing about me is that I’m an incredible problem solver, and I’ve come up with a diabolical plan. I’m going to slide right in under her friend zone. Be the best damn friend she ever had, hold her hand, make her laugh, and spoon with her in bed.

But now there’s another problem.

Hayden is the one who is sliding under my skin, and maybe friendship isn’t enough.

Another grumpy-sunshine book and this one seems to be set in a coffee shop (I have an unhealthy attachment to coffee). I haven’t heard of the author but I liked the blurb and I always enjoy an author that appreciates the value of a content warning.

Welcome to the Frisky Bean
Coffee to Wake you Up
Pastries to Turn you On

Listen… My daily goddess card tried to warn me that a big change was coming. She did. But… I was still not prepared for the impact that he would have on my life. That day when we met, I quite literally fell into him.

It was mortifying. It was exhilarating.
It was totally unprofessional. It was hot.

While our actions and bodies were most definitely aligned, our intentions were not. How so, you ask?

Well, I was blissfully busy pursuing my goals for my new café, The Frisky Bean. I did not ask, nor have the time, to deal with complications. And, since I felt as though we were both falling hard, all seemed well-blended.

That right there was mistake number one through five thousand, because he has no understanding of love and my goddess cards have some explaining to do.

Here’s what I know… Sometimes even the best recipes flop while a recipe riddled with mistakes can yield unexpected perfection. What were we?

A freaking delight. Stop asking me and read our story.

Don’t forget your oven mitts because one thing we were very good at is bringing the heat.

CW: Discussed childhood loss of a parent to cancer. Parental neglect.

I like the cover, I like the title, I like the concept, I’ve read and enjoyed books from the author before ….

He’s famous, gorgeous, and furious.

When reclusive celebrity chef Kit Morton sees a woman breaking into his neighbor’s house he knows she’s either paparazzi or a stalker fan, and either way she’s going to f- off. Turquoise-haired Ellen insists she’s house-sitting, but Kit’s neighbor has disappeared, and Ellen has no clue what she’s doing with the menagerie. Kit has a cookbook to write, and ought to call the police or keep his distance. Instead, he wants to kiss her.

Mermaid hair, don’t care.

Life as an artist and social media influencer isn’t as glamorous – or lucrative – as Ellen Harris would like. Suddenly homeless, she lucks out with two months in a cute cottage by exaggerating her animal care experience a tiny bit. How difficult can it be? But when she turns up, there’s no instructions, no owner, the doors are wide open, and there’s a handsome angry man with a kitchen knife. Worse still, every time she makes an embarrassing mistake, he’s watching.

When the heating goes kaput at Ellen’s borrowed house, Kit grudgingly invites her over for hot food, hot showers… and hot sex. They have to get it out of their systems quickly because he hates publicity and she’s desperate for fame. And Kit’s neighbor is due back at Halloween…

A scorching hot enemies to lovers, opposites attract, small-town British romance with heart, humor and banter.

Celeste Granger is auto-try for me as an author and how utterly gorgeous is this cover. The blurb is vague (not a fan of a vague blurb BTW – what tropes am I expecting??) but this author hasn’t steered me wrong yet. There is a possibility that I will wait for more reviews but we shall see …

He was captured by her magnetic beauty from the very beginning. She was unaware of just how incredibly beautiful she really was. Chantal LaRue, heir to her family’s business throne acquiesced to a request by Miles Malone, world renowned internal photographer, to take a few pictures. Those still photos changed the trajectory of her life in more ways than Chantal could have ever imagined.

There are a lot of reviews that draw me to this book but there are a few that give me pause from Sapphic readers – It features a lot of the tropes I enjoy but I need a few reviewers I trust to read it first.

With her career as a successful Los Angeles event planner imploding, Morgan Ross isn’t just heading home for the holidays, it’s more of a strategic retreat. Breathtaking mountain backdrops, acres of pine trees, quirky townsfolk, and charming small businesses aside, Fern Falls is also the setting of Morgan’s greatest heartbreak – and she’ll do anything to avoid her one-time best friend turned first love, Rachel Reed.

But when Morgan discovers that Rachel’s struggling Christmas tree farm is the only thing standing between Fern Falls and a corporate takeover, she has to put her heartbreak on hold.

Pouring her focus into planning the perfect Christmas event to save the town, Morgan finds herself spending more and more time with Rachel. Who can blame them if the romance of the season starts to get to them?

Morgan knows one thing for sure though: she and Rachel will never have a heart-warming happy ending. And, anyway, she’s only here for Christmas . . . right?

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