One of the best things for an avid reader is discovering a brand new author. It’s also so rewarding to introduce a friend to a new author. It’s always gratifying to find out when the suggestion bore fruit, so to speak, and its’ one of the main reasons I love what I do at Fresh Fiction. Over the years, I’ve made many an introduction of a reader to a new author, and it never ceases to give me a little thrill. So, let’s see what’s new to discover this month.

It’s amazing to experience the extent of an author’s imagination, and debut author Susannah Scott’s first book, Luck of the Dragon (Entangled Publishing, July 2013), really soars. Follow me on this one: Dragons live among us. Okay, so that’s been done before in fantasy—sometimes dragons are ridden, sometimes they might serve as weapons. You have seen Game of Thrones, right? Well, what if dragons were able to shapeshift into humans?  This was also done in the magnificent—but too short for some of us—historical series by Shana Abe involving a bunch of unruly teens. But Scott puts her dragons in Las Vegas. Seriously, in Vegas. In a casino. Hiding in plain sight. Everything goes in Vegas, right? So what’s a few flying, BIG, dragons? They’ll fit right in. But they have a slight problem: The dragons need to find their human soul mates or they’ll fade away and remain human. Their leader, Alec Gerald, who also owns the casino, is determined not to let that happen and so he puts together a scheme to save them. But as sometimes happens in romance novels, the one not seeking is the first one caught. Lucy is a gemologist and, in order to save her twin brother whose gambling debts are overdue, she’s forced to try to steal the gem collection owned by Gerald. Not only is Gerald not ready to lose his jewels but he’s shocked to feel Lucy is soul mate material…for him. It’s a great tale with villains and loan sharks and intriguing secondary characters you’ll want to read more about. Hopefully, this will be the first of a series.Luck of the Dragon

It can be great fun to revisit the past, particularly in reading old historical romance classics. Avon has spiffed up the cover of one of Cathy Maxwell’s treasures, Married in Haste (Avon June 25, 2013), to allow a new set of readers a chance to enjoy this marriage of convenience tale. The Earl of Merton needs a bride, so he travels to London to find one. Tess Hamilton needs a husband fast—or else. Perfect match. Or is it? Can a relationship based on secrets last? You’ll find out in Married in Haste. And don’t miss Maxwell’s latest novel, The Devil’s Heart  (Avon, May 2013). While not a marriage of convenience tale, there’s a witch, a curse, superstition and the Highlands all mixed up to make it a just-as-scrumptious read.

That old saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover isn’t always true, since Vicki Lewis Thompson’s covers with Harlequin are masterpieces of hot cowboys. The cover of her latest book, Wild at Heart (Harlequin Blaze, July 2013), will make you want to pick it up of the shelf, or at least click on the image online. You’ll want to see it as large as possible. Fortunately, the story is well worth your attention as well. Two people who can’t settle down—one a drifter cowboy and the other a scientist—find that a hot summer fling may turn into something a bit longer term. Thompson is an expert at building sensual tension, and her love scenes are some of the best to be read. So don’t worry, you’ll find Wild at Heart a sizzling summer read. 

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Finally in paperback, Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood (Signet, May 2013) continues the story of the “Pips” but can be read and recommended as a standalone novel. Garwood has so many fans and her move several years ago to romantic suspense after a long run of historical romances made her even more popular. Many of us thought Heartbreaker couldn’t be topped, but Sweet Talk is easily a great run for a spot on keeper shelves. Our reviewer said: “Olivia is a strong, independent, and smart heroine. She shows no fear and stands her ground as she uses the IRS to intimidate with humor and real threat. Grayson is the perfect match for Olivia; strong and tendWild at Hearter, with just a hint of the arrogance that causes him to push for what he believes is right. He's not particularly intimidated by the IRS but loves to watch Olivia scare others. The supporting characters add depth to the story and I really hope we'll be seeing more of the Pips in future books. There were multiple suspense elements that kept me guessing until the very end.”  What better recommendation can you get than the hope a series continues?

So what book or author have you suggested to someone and found out they loved it as much as you did? Sharing is a good thing!

Sara Reyes is the founder and partner at a popular fiction web site for today's reader with new titles, contests, over 50,000 genre fiction author profiles with backlists, and permanently archived reviews, plus all the industry buzz. Fresh Fiction has a biweekly segment (Buy the Book) on WFAA Channel 8 Good Morning Texas to talk about new books not to miss. Believing face-to-face interaction is as important as virtual communities, Fresh Fiction sponsors an annual author reader tea in June, a readers conference in November, monthly literary events, and book clubs. Follow Sara at @FreshFiction on Twitter or