Top Picks : Romance eBook releases 26th July – 2nd Aug Incl. releases from Faith Hunter, Kit Rocha, Olivia Dade & Olivia Waite

Posted July 26, 2020 by Nix in Top Picks / 0 Comments

New Romance Releases

Top Picks is a weekly meme that I do here at Scorching Book Reviews.

In this post, I highlight the Romance books that I want to read that are released this week. I have been lazy of late with not going past Tuesday – that has changed and I now look for books up to Sunday.

They are all books on my TR pile and only books I am interested in spending money on. I do not ask people to recommend books or highlight releases for author promo.

I feel I have to point out that books in a series are only going to be featured on here if I have started the series. I can’t recommend a series at book 14 when I haven’t read the others.

I don’t read NA. I do not read reverse harem. I also do not read Pandemic romance.

I also don’t recommend books from authors who 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 is an awful person, tell me in the comments and the book will be removed.

I have made the decision to add amazon links and links to twitter profiles on this post however they are not affiliant links as I CBA with amazon.

Spells for the Dead (A Soulwood Novel Book 5) by [Faith Hunter]Status on the TR list : I love this series. I have an ARC of this to review later this week as part of the tour. It is full of mystery, suspense and a yummy romance. This is book five and you CANNOT read it out of order. It is first person narrative and the lead has a strong accent – I recommend a sample as it is not for everyone. CW for violence.

Buy Links : HERE

Nell Ingram faces a dark magic with no known origin in the newest pulse-pounding paranormal procedural in the New York Times bestselling Soulwood series.

Nell is a rookie PsyLED agent, using the powers she can channel from deep within the earth to solve paranormal crimes. Together with her team, she’s taken on the direst magic and the most twisted foes. But she’ll need to tap into every ounce of power she has for her newest case.

Nell is called to the Tennessee mansion of a country music star and finds a disturbing scene—dead bodies rapidly decaying before everyone’s eyes. The witch on her team, T. Laine, has never seen magic that can steal life forces like this. PsyLED needs to find this lethal killer fast. But when a paranormal-hating FBI agent tries to derail the investigation, and the dark magics begin to spiral out of control, they find themselves under attack from all sides.

 

Deal with the Devil: A Mercenary Librarians Novel by [Kit Rocha]

Status on the TR List : I have this one marked on my TR list. I love the previous series by Kit Rocha and this one has been recommended on my Twitter TL a million times over the last month by people who have had ARC’s. I know it is only elements of romance though so you have been warned…  TR.

Buy Links : HERE

Deal with the Devil is Orphan Black meets the post-apocalyptic Avengers by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author duo Kit Rocha.

Nina is an information broker with a mission—she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America.

Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he’s fighting to survive.

They’re on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process…

Or they could do the impossible: team up.

This is the first book in a near-future science fiction series with elements of romance.

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Sweetest in the Gale: A Marysburg Story Collection (There's Something About Marysburg Book 3) by [Olivia Dade]Status on the TR List : I do like Olivia Dade’s work and, again, this has been highly recommended on my TR. Her books are always lovely and sweet with the perfect cinnamon role heroes … I am looking forward to it. Not pre-ordered yet but marked on the TR list.

Buy Links : HERE

3 stories + 3 couples = 6 lonely hearts finding happily-ever-after at last.

“Sweetest in the Gale”: Much ado about love…

Candy Albright has always stomped confidently through the halls of Marysburg High, passionate and loud and entirely devoted to her students and her various English department initiatives. From his first day as her colleague, Griff Conover couldn’t look away, despite his best efforts.

After a summer apart, though, Candy returns to school a changed woman. Muted. Dimmed. Bowed by a grief Griff recognizes all too well, but doesn’t yet understand. And when they’re thrown together to coordinate a poetry project, he can’t resist the urge to read between her lines once and for all–even if doing so means he’ll have to confront his own loss…and his own lonely, longing heart.

“Unraveled”: The more tightly wound a man is, the faster he unravels…

Math teacher Simon Burnham–cool, calm, controlled–can’t abide problems with no good solution. Which makes his current work assignment, mentoring art teacher Poppy Wick, nothing short of torture. She’s warm but sharp. Chaotic but meticulous. Simultaneously the most frustrating and most alluring woman he’s ever known. And in her free time, she makes murder dioramas. Murder dioramas, for heaven’s sake. But the more tightly wound a man is, the faster he unravels–and despite his best efforts, he soon finds himself attempting to solve three separate mysteries: a murder in miniature, the unexplained disappearance of a colleague…and the unexpected theft of his cold, cold heart.

“Cover Me”: First comes marriage…

Elizabeth Stone has no health insurance. No savings. No one to turn to when she finds a lump on her breast…except James Magnusson, her friend of over twenty years. When he offers her a marriage of convenience for healthcare coverage, she’d be a fool to say no. But given the emotions she’s buried for so long, saying yes might lead to a broken heart.

James won’t take no for an answer. Not when marriage could save Elizabeth’s life, and not when he’s finally realized how much he needs her. Even during his doomed first marriage, James considered Elizabeth a special friend–one he had to keep at a safe distance. Now he’s free, and Elizabeth is his wife…but will they finally have the chance to be together, only to have everything torn apart?

Content guidance for “Cover Me”: This story contains discussions of breast cancer, an on-page mammogram and biopsy, and a definite happily-ever-after.

This book contains one entirely new story (“Sweetest in the Gale”) and two stories previously published in the He’s Come Undone and Rogue Acts anthologies. The latter stories have been lightly edited since their original publication, and “Unraveled” has a new epilogue.

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows: Feminine Pursuits by [Olivia Waite]Status on the TR list : I do like Olivia Waite’s FF historical fiction – I have read no reviews of this however I am pretty sure I will like it. And this one is about BEE’s. I have marked it on the list.
Buy Links : HERE

When Agatha Griffin finds a colony of bees in her warehouse, it’s the not-so-perfect ending to a not-so-perfect week. Busy trying to keep her printing business afloat amidst rising taxes and the suppression of radical printers like her son, the last thing the widow wants is to be the victim of a thousand bees. But when a beautiful beekeeper arrives to take care of the pests, Agatha may be in danger of being stung by something far more dangerous

Penelope Flood exists between two worlds in her small seaside town, the society of rich landowners and the tradesfolk.  Soon, tensions boil over when the formerly exiled Queen arrives on England’s shores—and when Penelope’s long-absent husband returns to Melliton, she once again finds herself torn, between her burgeoning love for Agatha and her loyalty to the man who once gave her refuge.

As Penelope finally discovers her true place, Agatha must learn to accept the changing world in front of her. But will these longing hearts settle for a safe but stale existence or will they learn to fight for the future they most desire?

Paradise Cove (Matchmaker Bay Book 2) by [Jenny Holiday]

Status on TR List : I have just bought book one as I did not know this series existed. I loved her Bridesmaids series; funny characters, sexy banter and hot scenes. If book one goes well, I will buy book two.

Buy Links : HERE 

From the USA Today bestselling “master of witty banter” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a hilarious and heartwarming romance about a big city doctor who never expected to find the man of her dreams in the tiny town of Matchmaker Bay.

Dr. Nora Walsh has just been dumped in spectacular fashion, making it the perfect time for a major life change. She figures taking over the medical practice in tiny Matchmaker Bay for a couple of years will help her get over her broken heart, and then she can head back to the big city. But when the first man she sees looks like a superhero god, she wonders if maybe there’s something to small-town living after all.

Jake Ramsey also has a broken heart — one he never expects to heal. He doesn’t need people anyway and is content hiding out in his secluded cottage on the beach. But after helping Nora with a medical emergency, he finds himself opening up to the witty, warmhearted doctor. Soon the local matchmakers are working overtime to pair them off, and Jake begins to wonder if his campaign to get Nora to stay is for the town or because he can’t bear the thought of her leaving.

Cock & Bull: A Small Town Enemies to Lovers Romantic Comedy by [Laura Barnard]Status on the TR list : This has a high number of positive reviews which means that I will be marking it as TR and will get a sample. I love the blurb, I love the premise and I love the title …

Buy Link : HERE

Who knew that owning a pub would come with so many extras?

When Phoebe and Ella Bellerose left England behind to run the Irish pub they’d inherited, it sounded like a great adventure… until they saw for themselves what a wreck they’d been left.
With no experience, a severe lack of money, and a rival pub owner threatening to ruin them, the two girls aren’t convinced they can actually make this work.

Not until they meet Clooney Breen, who just so happens to be packed with charm, charisma, and barman skills that could help them all survive. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s the son of Cock & Bull’s biggest rival, and he’s desperate to help Ella and Phoebe teach his father a lesson.
But can mysterious Clooney, with his obvious secrets and desire to be their saviour, really be trusted? Or are they being played by this handsome lothario who seems too good to be true? Their problems only seem to grow and grow, until Phoebe discovers a ‘gift’ of her own that changes everything for all of them…

The Way You Tempt Me (Pure Talent Book 1) by [Elle Wright]

Status on the TR List : I haven’t read anything from this author but this one sounds fabulous. Again, lots of positive reviews – I will be getting a sample and adding this to the TR list if I love it. All reviews are this is fun, sexy and full of drama.

Buy Links : HERE

Brilliant and ambitious, the high-powered team behind the Pure Talent Agency manages the best creatives in the business. In this sizzling new series, they gamble big on every wild-card, industry-outsider client—and on delicious, unexpected, crazy-irresistible passion . . .

The heir-apparent to Pure Talent, ex-playboy Xavier Starks had it all figured out. With an engagement to Hollywood’s hottest actress and his innovative expansion plans, he can finally prove to his dad, Jax, that he’s responsible enough to step into a leadership role at their company. Until a jilting-gone-viral puts Xavier back in the relentless social-media spotlight, out of the running for partner—and in competition with the last person he ever expected: his very-grown-up childhood friend and girl-next-door . . .

With her acclaimed sports talent roster and unparalleled instincts, agent Zara Reid knows she can take Pure Talent to the next level. To make the most of her mentor Jax’s faith in her, she’ll go head-to-head and scheme-to-scheme with Xavier to prove she’s got what it takes. But suddenly, long days working too close together turn into reckless, insatiable nights. Now, being co-workers-with-benefits means Zara and Xavier must face their secrets, dare to trust—and negotiate the toughest game of all—love.

“The heat is high in this lustful tale.”
Publishers Weekly on Enticed by You

In Name Only (The Love Connection Book 1) by [Sean D. Young]

Status on the TR list : I just love this cover. Like love it. I am pretty sure this is a marraige of convenience but it’s not too clear from the blurb. I am marking it as TR and waiting for some reviews.

Buy Links : HERE 

Cassaundra Moore, event planner extraordinaire, never believed in fairy tales only in creating them for her clients. Why would she believe something so magical would happen to her after being scammed by her ex causing her loss of business and social standing.

But when Adam Simmons, candidate for governor of Virginia comes along making a proposition that would not only help propel him in the race but also relieve her of her financial worries, she has to redefine what fairytales are made of.

In Name Only explores one man and one woman’s decision made out of convenience that forces them to consider there was something else at play. They both yearned for love.

Come Home to Deep River (Alaska Homecoming Book 1) by [Jackie Ashenden]

Status on the TR List : I like the sound of this. I have read this author before and I have to say I have enjoyed everything I’ve read. I’m a sucker for a small town romance – I shall wait for some reviews and mark it TR.

Buy Links : HERE

First in a bold, sexy new small-town Alaska contemporary romance series from Jackie Ashenden

Deep River, Alaska boasts a fiercely independent though small population. The people who live here love it, and they don’t much care what anyone else thinks. Until the day Silas Quinn comes back and tells them an oil reserve has been found below the town and now it’s neighbor vs. neighbor. Some want to take the money and run, while others want to tell the oil company to put its rigs where the sun don’t shine.

Hope Dawson never expected to leave Deep River. Her mom needs her. Her grandfather died and left her the local hangout to run. Her dreams of college and adventure died long ago. Until Silas comes back to town, holding the key to set her free. But freedom means she loses him again, and he’s the one she’s really always wanted.

“Tantalizing and explosive.”—Publishers Weekly Starred review for Mine to Take

Things Hoped For: A Vow Series Spin-Off (The Vow Series Book 4) by [Chencia C. Higgins]

Status on the TR list : This one has been recommended to me by someone I trust on twitter – I shall be marking it as TR and picking it up. I haven’t read the author before but I trust the reviewer in question 🙂

Buy Links : HERE

Can two women who only want to be loved, find a home in each other when the world around them is moving too fast for them to settle down?

Growing up in an intolerant town, Latrisha Martin was used to shrinking the most important parts of herself. She hid her loneliness within a busy life and kept the yearning in her heart tucked away from those closest to her. Just as the façade became too heavy to maintain, Trisha received wise words from a strange woman that helped redirect her life’s journey. On a whim, she relocates to Houston, and while adjusting to a new normal, she finds that those desires she’d once hidden begin to manifest in ways she never imagined.

With her star attached to a rocket ship, Xenobia Cooper was quickly transforming from a locally known talent into a name known in households across the nation. Viewed as an overnight success to many, the only thing that the veteran of the Houston underground music scene hadn’t prepared for was living a life without someone to come home to at the end of the day. A reckless tweet sent out in the middle of the night brings an influx of women with stars in their eyes, but they all lack the key component that Xeno is looking for. A chance encounter after her largest show to date and she’s convinced that those things she’d hoped for are just within her grasp.

The Vow Series:
To Buy a Vow – Book 1
To Build a Vow – Book 2
To Break a Vow – Book 3
Things Hoped For – Book 4

High Heat (Hotshots Book 2) by [Annabeth Albert]

Status on the TR List : I have still not read book one in this series … I have it on the kindle! I have great experience of Annabeth Albert’s work and this series has all the hallmarks of one I will enjoy! I must move book one up the TR list and then I will pick this up.

Buy Links : HERE

Annabeth Albert’s Hotshots series continues—the emotions and intensity of Chicago Fire with the raw, natural elements of Man vs. Wild.

Smoke jumping is Garrick Nelson’s life. Nothing, not severe injuries nor the brutal physical therapy that follows, is going to stop him from getting back with his crew. But when a lost dog shows up on his front porch, he can’t turn her away, and he can’t take care of her on his own. Thankfully, help comes in the form of his new sexy, dog-loving neighbor. As they work together, trying to re-home their little princess, Garrick can’t resist his growing attraction for the other man, even though he knows this guy isn’t the staying type.

Rain Fisher doesn’t take anything too seriously. He dances through life, one adventure at a time, never settling in one place for too long. When his hot, conveniently buff, neighbor shows up on his doorstep, dog in tow, Rain’s determined to not just save the adorable puppy, but her reluctant owner as well. He never expects their flirtation might tempt him into stay put once and for all…

Danger lurks everywhere for Central Oregon’s fire crews, but the biggest risk of all might be losing their hearts. Don’t miss the Hotshots series from Annabeth Albert: Burn Zone, High Heat, and Feel the Fire.

Jasmin's Billionaire: A First Love Romance (Five Friends With Chai Book 1) by [Sookh Kaur]

Status on the TR List : This seems to be a new author but the blurb has me at the first line! I have marked it as TR and will either await some reviews or pick up the sample.

Buy Links : HERE

In my first meeting with Will Bennet, I drip paint all over his Hugo Boss suit.

Jasmin Sandhu at it again. Lowly painter ruins gorgeous Hollywood producer’s thousand dollar outfit. He better not fire me because I need the money. I’ll say yes to anything…

Even Will Bennet when he offers me a side job: Babysit his troubled brother in return for extra cash. It’s only for a few days. Easy, right?

Except, his brother has a secret that could ruin their entire family. As an over-achieving, open-hearted Punjabi it’s practically my duty to help others so how I can I stay out of it?

Although being around Will makes my brain go fuzzy.

Turns out he might be having the same issue with me. The sexy Hollywood billionaire is interested in solving my long-standing orgasm problem.

It’s only temporary, a one-time fling. I have a different future planned out so my heart has to be protected at all costs. (Well, that’s the idea anyway…)

One thing is certain: Paint or no paint, things are about to get messy.

Hate Thy Neighbor: An Enemies-to-Lovers Standalone Romance by [S.M. Soto]

Status on the TR List : I have read nothing but good reviews for this from the ARC release and I do love an enemies to lovers book. I haven’t read the author before but I am marking it TR.

Buy links : HERE

Fresh out of a failed engagement, Olivia Hales is in dire need of a fresh start. Tired of being the charming and accommodating girl that always gets stomped on, she’s determined to change her outlook on life.When she finds her dream job in a small town in California, she thinks she’s finally found her place in life. That is, until she meets her new neighbor.

Roman Banks.

Moody.

Foul-mouthed.

Jerk.

And the hottest man on the planet.

At a sprawling six foot five, he was coldly distant and physically intimidating. Not only was her new neighbor a God that was good with his hands, he was also a grade-A jerk. Trapped on the same street, sharing the same space together, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous, never-ending game of insults and pranks that result in the destruction of two perfectly good homes.

The tension between them is as thick as the walls of their houses are thin. Roman’s touch burned like fire even when his words were ice, and both of them will stop at nothing to make the others life hell. In the midst of the pranks and the hate they harbor for each other, Olivia slowly pulls back the layers of the man next door and finds herself consumed with wanting to fix him and his past.

When both enemies start to catch feelings for each other, Olivia finds herself hiding her own secrets, not wanting to lose another man in her life. Lines are drawn. Strict rules put into place. But that doesn’t stop Olivia from wanting to save the quiet, broody man next door.

They say you’re supposed to love thy neighbor, but that was the furthest emotion she felt when thinking about Roman. Hate was all there was to their relationship. At the very least, that’s what she tried to tell herself.

Hate Thy Neighbor is a full length Enemies-to-Lovers standalone.

Man Down (A Rookie Rebels Novel) by [Kate Meader]

Status on my TR list : I have enjoyed some of Kate Meader’s books before – this one sounds like it may break my heart a bit though! On the list to check out some reviews to see if I can handle it.

Buy Links : HERE

I’ve been texting the wife I lost, the woman I loved beyond measure . . . Now someone else has answered back.

Gunnar Bond is broken.

Three years ago, he lived through the car crash that took his wife and twins away from him–though “lived” barely describes his current state. Giving up professional hockey, going off grid, and drinking himself into oblivion are his coping mechanisms. Another is texting his dead wife about his days without her. Therapeutic? Doubtful. Crazy? Definitely. But those messages into the ether are virtually the only thing stopping him from spiraling to even darker places.

Until someone texts back …

Sadie Yates is losing it.

Suddenly guardian to a little sister she doesn’t know and a misbehaving hound she’d rather not know at all, she’s had to upend her (sort of) glamorous life in LA and move back to Chicago. The nanny has quit, the money’s running out, and her job is on the line. The last thing she needs is her sister’s hockey camp counselor, a judgmental Viking type, telling her she sucks at this parenting lark. Thank the goddess for her sweet, sensitive, and–fingers crossed–sexy text buddy who always knows the right thing to say. In the same city at last, they can finally see if their online chemistry is mirrored in real life. She just needs to set up a meeting …

A ruined man who claims to have used up all his love is surely a bad bet, but Sadie’s never been afraid of a challenge … even if this one might shatter her heart into a million pieces.

Stacking the Deck (The Kings: Wild Cards Book 1) by [Charlie Cochet]

Status on the TR List : I haven’t read anything from this author, nor had I heard of this book before, but I do enjoy techno-geek stories .. I have marked it as TR.

Buy Links : HERE

Ex-Special Forces Communications Sergeant Jacopo “Jack” Constantino heads the cybersecurity department at Four Kings Security, working with his tech-savvy team to provide clients with state-of-the-art security systems. But life for Jack is pretty uneventful—despite the exploits with his brothers-in-arms—and he finds himself longing for a little more excitement.

Be careful what you wish for.

Two years ago, Fitz Harlow captured Jack’s heart and walked away with it. Now he’s back.

Fitz spent the last two years picking up the pieces of his life after a disastrous relationship. After much therapy, and ice cream, Fitz leaves the fashion world behind and returns home to St. Augustine to open his own high-end salon, Hair Comes Trouble. Now Fitz finally has the quiet, peaceful life he’s wanted for so long. There’s only one thing missing, or rather, one man missing, but Fitz has his doubts. With Jack, he’s not just gaining a boyfriend—he’s gaining a boyfriend, his family of mischief-magnet ex-Green Berets, and one highly opinionated Belgian Malinois.

Fitz and Jack discover their connection has only grown stronger over time, thanks in part to meddling friends, but just as they start to pick up where they left off, someone takes exception to their reunion. Danger hides in the shadows, a stalker determined to keep Fitz out of Jack’s life, no matter the cost. With the odds stacked against them, can Jack and Fitz win a battle against an unknown enemy, or will Jack lose Fitz forever?

The Kings: Wild Cards series is a spin-off of the Four Kings Security series.

Then There Was You: An Opposites Attract Small Town Romance (Haven Bay Book 1) by [Alexa Rivers]

Status on the TR list : I checked out this author before I put this on the list and I have to say I enjoyed what she wrote. Again, I am a sucker for a small town romance and this one fits all the tropes I love – on the list.

Buy Links : HERE

Love was never part of the plan… Then There Was You…

After struggling as a teen to support his ill mother, Sterling Knight understands the value of hard work and financial stability. It’s made him a workaholic, and he’s determined to prove himself by ensuring his company’s next project—a resort in the small seaside town of Haven Bay—is a huge success. He’s found the perfect piece of land. Now all he has to do is convince the stubborn (and distractingly beautiful) owner to sell.

Katarina Hopa has no intention of ever selling her property to some corporate suit. That land and the house on it are her sanctuary and all she has left. But Sterling stirs feelings and desires she thought she’d buried with her husband long ago. Ignoring their intense attraction is impossible. All she can do now is guard her heart against the devastation that will happen when everything falls apart. And it will fall apart. Because surely, no one gets a second chance at true love…right?

Can Katarina and Sterling overcome the pain of their tragic pasts and clear a path to happily ever after? Or will fear keep them apart forever?

Author’s Note: Opposites attract. Second chance at love. Uptight businessman with a heart of gold. Quirky small town. Meddling friends and relatives. Sexy-times and beachside kisses. True love.

Each book in the Haven Bay series can easily be read as a standalone, and the books are linked so you can find out what’s happening with your favorite characters.

Comments are always appreciated :)