April is here, though you wouldn’t know it from my window view - snow is falling! (sigh) Thankfully it’s not sticking, and according to the forecast, it will be seventy degrees by the weekend. Mother Nature seems to be slightly confused in the Midwest this spring, and the national news can make my heart feel cold, but I’m glad we can all keep warm, inside and out, with some good romance reading.

What are you looking forward to? Here are some of mine:

Julie James has a book coming out this month (yay!) and it’s terrific. The Thing About Love (starred review) is a little less action-packed than James’ typical books, but I found the characters’ growth and relationship more mature and nuanced, too.  

“Two FBI agents who had a rocky relationship at the FBI Academy are paired in an undercover operation, forcing them to re-evaluate their first impressions, work as a team, and maybe find true love.”

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I love how James’ storytelling has Jessica and John re-examining their past encounters and asking themselves if their interpretations might be reframed with new information. And the hints that stoic John has had a thing for Jessica all along are sweet and sexy.

4.6 thingaboutlove The Thing About Love is a fun, moving read that highlights James’ sheer genius for opposites attract, friends-to-enemies romance and the witty, sexy banter she’s famous for, but dives a little deeper into the motivations and emotions that move a previously antagonistic couple forward when they decide to give a relationship a go.

Is James a must-read author for you? She’s one of my favorites and I hope her legion of fans enjoy this title as much as I did!

Since I’d say this title is more contemporary romance than suspense, but has some suspense elements, I wanted to give a shout out to another author who adds a light touch of suspense to her contemporary romance. 

I love, love, love Virginia Kantra’s Dare Island series, and she was recently nominated for a RITA with Carolina Dreaming. Audible was kind enough to send me an audio copy of the book (thank you!), and if you haven’t read this book—or discovered this terrific series!—pick it up soon.

4.6 romance_carolina “After escaping a disastrous marriage, bakery owner Jane Clark has convinced herself that she has everything she needs—her precious son, a thriving business, and a roof over her head. But the arrival of a handsome stranger on the island shows her exactly what she’s been missing…”

Add in Gabe, a former Marine rebuilding his life after being accused—and acquitted—of murder, Jane’s policeman dad who distrusts Gabe on sight, and the shadow of Jane’s loser ex, you have a tense, sexy, and emotionally layered winner. Arguably Kantra’s specialty.

(Gabe served in the Marines with Luke Fletcher, the hero from Carolina Man, which received a great review when it released in 2014.)

Dare Island is a terrific series and Carolina Dreaming should be on your TBR list if it’s not already. (And for you audio fans, the audio is by Sophie Eastlake, one of my favorite romance narrators, so I highly recommend her, too!)

4.6 dangerousgames Finally, there’s a recent suspense/psychological thriller debut that’s getting great buzz, which I really enjoyed too: Tess Diamond’s Dangerous Games. The sexual and ‘clock-clicking’ tension is high, and the broad spectrum of villains and potential criminals keeps readers on their toes, especially in the surprising end scenes. Maggie and Jake are terrific main characters and it will be fun to watch them figure out their relationship since it looks like there’ll be a sequel.

A smart, taut, sexy debut from an author to keep our eyes on!

I hope your days are warm, and there’s some spring in your days, your step, and your reading! 

Share what books you’re looking forward to this month. So many great titles coming out.

#LoveRomance #ReadRomance #HappyReading