Top Romance book picks released September 2022 week 2 : This week, we have Pen-Pal romance, a zoologist finding love on reality TV and Halloween season begins

Posted September 11, 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.

Also, CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER TO GO TO AMAZON PAGE

I have a lot of love for some of Sally Thorne’s work – this one looks fabulous.

For generations, every Frankenstein has found their true love and equal, unlocking lifetimes of blissful wedded adventure. Clever, pretty (and odd) Angelika Frankenstein has run out of suitors and fears she may become the exception to this family rule. When assisting in her brother Victor’s ground-breaking experiment to bring a reassembled man back to life, she realizes that having an agreeable gentleman convalescing in the guest suite might be a chance to let a man get to know the real her. For the first time, Angelika embarks upon a project that is all her own.

When her handsome scientific miracle sits up on the lab table, her hopes for an instant romantic connection are thrown into disarray. Her resurrected beau (named Will for the moment) has total amnesia and is solely focused on uncovering his true identity. Trying to ignore their heart-pounding chemistry, Angelika reluctantly joins the investigation into his past, hoping it will bring them closer. But when a second suitor emerges to aid their quest, Angelika wonders if she was too hasty inventing a solution. Perhaps fate is not something that can be influenced in a laboratory? Or is Will (or whatever his name is!) her dream man, tailored for her in every way? And can he survive what was done to him in the name of science, and love?

Filled with carriages, candlesticks, and corpses, Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match is the spooky-season romcom that reminds us to never judge a man by his cadaver!

I just love the idea of this book. I have no experience of the author or her work but the title, the blurb and the cover all make me want to read.

A zookeeper always on the fringe learns to go after her wildest dreams—including a certain television star—in this charming and laugh-out-loud romantic comedy by Kerry Rea, author of The Wedding Ringer.

Lucy Rourke has two great loves in her life: the gorilla troop she cares for as a primatologist and the laundry list of reality TV shows she watches to escape the fact that her actual love life doesn’t exist. And like a reality contestant gunning for the final rose, Lucy’s laser-focused on one thing: getting promoted to head keeper. So when a wildlife docuseries hosted by hotshot TV personality Kai Bridges chooses her zoo as its summer filming location, she sees an opportunity to showcase her beloved gorillas to the world and land a starring role in her department. 
 
When Kai and his film crew arrive, however, it’s obvious to Lucy that Kai cares more about sky-high ratings than the gorillas, and he considers her a camera-averse know-it-all whose wardrobe consists entirely of khaki. But she’s surprised to discover there’s more to him than his rugged good looks and cheesy catchphrases…and that maybe a promotion isn’t the only thing she wants. But when secrets from their pasts threaten to complicate everything, Lucy discovers that happiness and success aren’t the same thing—and that finding joy just might mean getting a little wild.

Again, I have no experience of the author but I do like the idea of this book – there is always something so lovely about a pen-pal romance.

A fresh, hilarious take on the classic Cyrano de Bergerac from USA Today bestselling author Kilby Blades…

In today’s world filled with terrible dating apps and split-second hot takes, all Zuri Robinson wants is something real. And between her crap job, her family drama, and feeling like she completely missed out on her twenties, she’s pretty much done. Her only bright spot is exchanging letters with a ridiculously charming guy in Italy. Only Alessandro Fabricare has a teeeeeny little secret…

Nico Fabricare simply wanted to help his brother, Alessandro—who isn’t as eloquent with the English language—write a few letters. But with every letter that crosses the Atlantic, Nico is discovering that Zuri might just be the most incredible woman he’s ever met…except she thinks she’s falling in love with his brother.

Now Zuri is on her way to Italy—to meet Alessandro. And Nico is running out of time to win over the girl of his paper dreams before she finds out the truth.

I am completely behind with series but I do like Vivian Arend’s work. On the list.

This rancher wasn’t looking for love—but she’s been right there the entire time.

In their mid-forties when they first met, widow Sonora Fallen and vows-to-stay-single rancher Ashton Stewart both felt a spark but agreed being friends was more important than becoming lovers. For many years that decision held firm, and other than one time, their grumbly-in-public, friends-in-private arrangement has stuck.

Now sixteen years later, the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future seem determined to change these friends to lovers to…something else? All of Heart Falls is watching, suspicions on the rise as Sonora and Ashton’s secret slips into view.

Can two people used to standing on their own find a way to admit they want more? Or will stubbornness and fear keep them from forever?

I always enjoy Susannah Nix’s work – this book looks fabulous. On the list.

They’ve both got good reasons to fight falling in love, but they can’t resist the overpowering attraction pulling them together…

MAGGIE

Wicked Witch. Ballbuster. The Terminator. Those are just a few of the nicknames I’ve earned in my professional life. As the executive consultant King’s Creamery has brought in to save them from financial ruin, I have to decide which employees get the ax. I can’t afford to make friends or get chummy with my new neighbors.

Try telling that to the enormous, hunky fireman next door who’s annoyingly determined to make friends with me. It’s not enough that the guy saves kittens from trees, tosses tree trunks around while wearing a kilt, and has a body that makes Thor look puny. He also works out shirtless in full view of my kitchen window. I might be secretly obsessed.

When a newspaper exposé turns the whole town against me, my hot fireman neighbor steps up to act as my protector, and my secret obsession threatens to turn into a case of serious feelings. But I can’t allow that to happen when I’m only here temporarily. I’ve got to keep my walls up to protect the heart everyone thinks I don’t have.

RYAN

My new neighbor might act like she wants nothing to do with me, but I’ve seen her watching me from her window. I can tell she likes what she sees, and I love pushing her buttons—a little too much. I’ve got no restraint when it comes to this woman.

Now I’m screwed because I can’t get her out of my head. The more time I spend with Maggie, the more I suspect she might be the soul mate I’ve been waiting for all my life.

Of course I’d find her now when I can’t risk letting her get too close. If she does, she might discover the secret I’ve been keeping from everyone.

Soul mate or not, I’ve got to let her go. Even if it kills me.

PINT OF CONTENTION is book #3 in the King Family series set in the small town of Crowder, Texas, home of the King’s Creamery ice cream company. Each book is a standalone, full-length contemporary romance that follows one of the six King siblings as they find and fight for love.

I haven’t read this series but I enjoy Erin Nicholas – it’s definitely something I may pick up.

How do you get over a woman you never should have been, ahem, under in the first place?

Just when FBI special agent Spencer Landry had decided to forget about investigative journalist Maxine-Max-Keller and their one hot night together, there’s a threat made against her and Spencer’s protective instincts get all riled up. Again.

So now they’re shacking up on the Louisiana bayou and pretending to be in love so he can keep Max safe until the guy is apprehended.

Considering their chemistry and that he can not stop thinking about the gorgeous-and-doesn’t-know-it, smart-mouthed, bold-and-yet-vulnerable redhead, this could be a fun few days, right?

Nope. She’s all wrong for him.

And she hasn’t forgotten he can be kind of a jerk.

Sure, the naked-times are great, but he told her exactly what he wants— a bubbly, sweet school teacher who bakes him brownies and loves to cuddle—and Max ain’t it.

Max not only doesn’t bake, no one has ever called her sweet. And cuddling? Shudder.

Plus his bossiness is super annoying for someone who’s been taking care of herself all her life. But now they’re stuck together and dammit, besides being hot and very good with his mouth, Spencer is pretty irresistible with baby goats, little kids, and attempts at baking. And don’t forget alpha-protective. All of which makes her stomach feel very swoop-y. No wonder her clothes keep falling off.

But this is a temporary situation and they’re only faking it. So falling for the guy is a terrible idea.

She really should have kept that in mind.

Another series I haven’t started but Mari Carr writes great, erotic romance so I will eventually read this.

Gio is blessed with a big family and lots of friends. Unfortunately, there’s an unspoken code amongst his buddies…one where sisters are off-limits. That wouldn’t be a problem if he and his best friend, Rafe, could stop thinking about Kayden’s vivacious, fun-loving little sister, Keeley. They have always been stand-up guys, but Keeley is so tempting, so sexy, that they’re in danger of breaking all the rules.

Keeley’s not exactly batting a thousand when it comes to life. She just lost her job and her only true talent seems to be picking the worst guys on the planet from online dating sites. However, her uneventful life takes a turn for the steamy after Rafe hires her to work for him and he and Gio start crashing all her bad dates.

When one kiss lead to a second and then to something much, much more, the lovers are left to decide if they’re engaging in a fun fling or embarking on forever.

The price point of this book is insane but it has caught my eye. I’ve added it to my eReaderIQ watch list.

In this smart, swoony, rom-com debut from Jenny L. Howe, two college exes find themselves battling against each other—and their unresolved feelings—for a spot in a prestigious literature Ph.D. program.

Allison Avery loves to win. After acing every academic challenge she’s come up against, she’s finally been accepted into her dream Ph.D. program at Claymore University, studying medieval literature under a professor she’s admired for years. Sure, grad school isn’t easy—the classes are intense, her best friend is drifting away, and her students would rather pull all-nighters than discuss The Knight’s Tale—but she’s got this. Until she discovers her ex-boyfriend has also been accepted. Colin Benjamin might be the only person who loves winning more than Allison does, and when they’re both assigned to TA for the same professor, the game is on.

What starts as a personal battle of wits (and lit) turns into all-out war when their professor announces a career-changing research trip opportunity—with one spot to fill. Competing with Colin is as natural as breathing, and after he shattered her heart two years ago, Allison refuses to let him come out on top. But when a family emergency and a late night road trip—plus a very sexy game of Scrabble—throw them together for a weekend, she starts to wonder if they could be stronger on the same team. And if they fall for each other all over again, Allison will have to choose between a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and what could be a twice-in-a-lifetime love.

In this charmingly bookish debut, The Make-Up Test embraces the truth that people can sometimes change and grow, even when you least expect it.

Another one when I don’t know the author but the blurb really sold it. Some good reviews. It’s a maybe

Can she stop herself from falling before she’s too far gone?

As a fashion aficionado and best friend of the queen of the African island country Ọlọrọ Ilé, Iris Blakely dreams of using her talent to start a sustainable clothing line to help citizens in impoverished areas and honor the country’s resources. But when she discovers that Ekon Diallo–the man who betrayed her best friend–will be her business consultant, the battle between her desires and reality begins.

Ekon Diallo has lost everything: his princely title, his material possessions, his friends, and the respect of his fellow Ọlọrans. To pay for his actions against Ọlọrọ Ilé, he’s forced to assist the charismatic Iris Blakely–but he can’t allow his heart to distract him from regaining his status.

Though they come from vastly different worlds, Iris and Ekon are both determined to reach their goals, and the only way to do that is to work together–if they can just keep their hearts from getting in the way . . .

Bookstore/librarian romances always work for me and I don’t know why. This is a maybe

Can love be picture-perfect?

Rachel Price has a near-perfect life: she’s an avid reader working in a bookstore which is located across from her favorite chocolate shop and runs a lively book club. The only things missing are a man to rival her many book boyfriends and the courage to pursue her dream of being a published author.

Tom Haynes loves his career as a photographer for surfing competitions. He gets to travel the world, eat delicious local cuisine, visit gorgeous beaches, and hang out with his best friend. Everything’s perfect…if you don’t count the accident that destroyed his own surfing career and cost him his fiancée. Even if he wanted to risk loving again, his nomadic life doesn’t exactly lend itself to relationships.

It’s hard to deny their chemistry, but if they want to commit to seeing if things can work, Rachel must confront the fears keeping her from her dreams while Tom decides if he’s strong enough to take another chance at love.

This strangers-to-lovers contemporary romance has humor, lots of book references, chocolate, travel, and only steamy kisses.

LOVE this author – I’m still working on her backlist but this is on my radar.

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