Contemporary romances fill the spring 2017 list, including sweet smalltown love stories and intense romantic thrillers with a thread of danger.
Nora Roberts. St. Martin’s, June 6
Romantic suspense doyen Roberts heads out west with this story set in Montana, where a series of murders and a heap of complicated family drama leave a ranch owner on edge and turning to her newest ranch hand for help and support.
The Five-Minute Marriage
Joan Aiken. Sourcebooks Casablanca, Mar. 7
This Regency romance from the late Aiken (best known for the Wolves of Willoughby Chase series for teens) earned rave reviews in 1978. This repackaging is long overdue.
The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Amanda Quick. Berkley, May 9
Quick brings her talent for romantic mystery to this novel set on the 1930s California coast, bringing together a rookie reporter and a stage magician.
If Not for You
Debbie Macomber. Ballantine, Mar. 21
Perennial bestseller Macomber’s latest contemporary is a delightful opposites-attract story about Beth, a sheltered young woman finally taking charge of her life, and Sam, a gruff mechanic with a heart of gold.
Jodi Thomas. HQN, July 25
Sunrise Crossing, Thomas’s first contemporary set in Crossroads, Tex., was named one of PW’s best books of 2016. The sequel promises plenty more heartstring-tugging.
The Lilac Bouquet
Carolyn Brown. Montlake Romance, Mar. 28
Brown, best known for her cowboy romances, takes a turn toward contemporary women’s fiction with this tale of romantic hopes and family baggage in the American South.
Love Runs Deep
Gail Chianese. Kensington/Lyrical, Feb. 21
Chianese’s contemporary has an unusual setting: a naval submarine, where one of the first female submarine crew members must contend with both her lust for a fellow sailor and someone’s efforts to sabotage her career.
Nalini Singh. Berkley, June 13
Having wrapped up the main arc of her long-running Psy-Changeling paranormal romance series, Singh opens a new chapter with this trilogy launch.
Sweet Tea and Sympathy
Molly Harper. S&S/Gallery, May 30
Harper takes a break from paranormal romance with this rollicking contemporary set in smalltown Georgia, where an elite event planner from Chicago causes something of a ruckus when she hooks the town’s most eligible bachelor.
Laura Spinella. Montlake Romance, Feb. 21
In Spinella’s gripping contemporary, a symphony violinist and her financier husband must find a way to repair their marriage after he uses her mother’s home as collateral in a business deal.
Romance & Erotica Listings
The Chosen: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward (Apr. 4, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-451-47519-0) continues Ward’s bestselling series with a dramatic tale of a troubled vampire warrior and the woman who holds his secrets.
If Not for You by Debbie Macomber (Mar. 21, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-553-39196-1). In this opposites-attract contemporary, a sheltered young woman finally gets away from her conservative parents, only to meet a gruff mechanic who’s everything they warned her about.
Some Kind of Hero: A Troubleshooters Novel by Suzanne Brockmann (July 11, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-345-54382-0). A former Navy SEAL and a resourceful writer, both single parents, team up to save the SEAL’s missing teen daughter, and find unexpected romance along the way.
The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick (May 9, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-399-17447-6). On the 1930s California coast, a murder mystery brings together a rookie reporter with a nose for the truth and a magician whose stage illusions are far from his only secrets.
Silver Silence by Nalini Singh (June 13, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-101-98779-7) begins a new story arc in her super-popular Psy-Changeling paranormal series, pairing a tightly controlled Psy and a reckless alpha male Changeling.
Fury’s Bridge by Brey Willows (Mar. 14, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-62639-841-2). The Greek gods are transplanted to present-day California in this romantic thriller, which matches avenging fury Alectho and an ordinary philosophy professor.
Royal Rebel by Jenny Frame (May 16, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-62639-893-1) is a charming story of an alternate England where Queen George’s queen consort matchmakes between a misbehaving princess and the director of a hospice charity.
His Alone by Alexa Riley (Mar. 28, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-373-00453-9). Paige is trying to outrun her past, but she keeps getting distracted by Ryan, a sexy heartthrob she can’t resist—and her boss.
Blackthorne’s Bride: A Bitter Creek Novel by Joan Johnston (July 25, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-399-17774-3). A rogue nobleman, a rescued lady, and revenge undone by romance all play a part in this American west historical novel of passion and deception.
Finding Gideon by Eric Jerome Dickey (Apr. 18, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-101-98549-6). Bestseller Dickey brings his trademark sexy flair to an international thriller full of sex and mayhem.
Starlight Bridge by Debbie Mason (Feb. 28, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4555-3722-8) is the second book in her latest contemporary series. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The Nearness of You by Dorothy Garlock (July 11, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4555-2735-9) is a tender contemporary about finding home, whether it’s a special place or an even more special person. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
A Pleasing Temptation by Deborah Fletcher Mello (Mar. 21, mass market, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86493-5). A passionate affair threatens to explode into drama when an entrepreneur discovers that her lover is the owner of a strip club she’s been financing—and is also one of its top performers.
After the Dark by Cynthia Eden (Mar. 28, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-373-80192-3) launches a romantic thriller series with an intense story about a disgraced FBI profiler who must save her reputation by stopping a sadistic killer. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Indigo Lake by Jodi Thomas (July 25, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-373-80404-7) is a contemporary novel set in Crossroads, Tex. (the sequel to Sunrise Crossing, one of PW’s 2016 Best Books), uniting two long-feuding families through the power of love.
The Secrets of the Tulip Sisters by Susan Mallery (July 11, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-373-80276-0). Sisters Kelly and Olivia Van Gilder had their hearts broken by brothers Griffith and Ryan Martin. When the four of them reunite, sparks fly again. 250,000-copy announced first printing.
And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone (May 18, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-945053-15-3). Two young Mormon missionaries find themselves questioning their faith as they fall in love with each other.
Beneath the Stars by Lynn Charles (Feb. 16, trade paper, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-945053-17-7). Returning home to care for his ailing father, a designer on the brink of success meets a fire chief and a young boy who change his life.
Storm Season by Pene Henson (Feb. 2, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-945053-16-0). When Sydney socialite Lien Hong is lost and injured at a music festival in the New South Wales outback, wilderness ranger Claudia Sokolov comes to her rescue.
A Mother’s Love by Charlotte Hubbard (Mar. 28, hardcover, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-4967-0844-1). In Hubbard’s contemporary Amish standalone, complicated family and business ties leave widow Rose Raber and community newcomer Matthias Wagler struggling to find a path to love and happiness.
Complications by Devon Scott (Apr. 25, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4967-0244-9). Three friends in Washington, D.C., embark on individual romantic escapades that lead them in very unexpected directions.
Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson (Apr. 25, trade paper, $9.95, ISBN 978-1-4967-0794-9). A psychologist and a neurosurgeon must defend their marriage against a dangerous stalker who wants to destroy it, in Johnson’s debut, a contemporary romantic thriller.
His Rip-Roarin’ Bride by Martha Hix (Mar. 28, e-book, $1.99, ISBN 978-1-60183-938-1). Packing a six-shooter, Lisa-Ann Wilkins roars into Lubbock, Tex., determined to take out the man who killed her best friend. But a shoot-out at the local saloon lands her in the custody of Sheriff Wes Alington—and the real trouble begins.
Love Runs Deep by Gail Chianese (Feb. 21, e-book, $3.99, ISBN 978-1-5161-0029-3). Active duty is no time for romance, but when two naval officers find themselves in close quarters on a submarine, the temptation to fraternize is hard to resist.
Crossing Hearts by Rebecca Crowley (Mar. 21, e-book, $3.99, ISBN 978-1-5161-0262-4). Chilean soccer legend Rio Vidal is driven to define a role on his new team in Atlanta, Ga. But he must also adapt to a new culture—and for that he needs the help of his translator, Eva Torres.
Dangerous Behavior by Nancy Bush (Apr. 25, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-4289-1). Julia St. James Ford has washed up on a beach with no memory of how she got there or how her husband, Joe, died. The police rule the case an accident. But Joe’s brother, Sam—Jules’s rescuer and her first love—suspects otherwise.
A Family Affair by Fern Michaels (Mar. 28, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-3017-1). After wealthy prince Malik and down-to-earth dancer Trisha embark on a whirlwind romance, she struggles to adjust to her opulent new lifestyle while helping family members who’ve fallen on hard times.
The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline Hunter (May 30, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-4390-4) opens a Regency-era trilogy about scandalous dukes looking for brilliant brides.
Love Story by Lauren Layne (Feb. 14, e-book, $4.99, ISBN 978-1-101-96888-8). Over the course of a cross-country road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love.
Falling Darkness by Karen Harper (Apr. 25, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-7783-3060-8). A forensic psychologist is helping the man she loves flee from a criminal mastermind. When their plane crashes, they and a handful of other survivors are left with a whole new set of problems.
Claiming Grace by Susan Stoker (Mar. 14, trade paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-5039-4243-1). Stoker’s first Ace Security romantic thriller reunites childhood sweethearts. Logan is about to found a business with his brothers; Grace is struggling to escape her controlling family. They must find ways to help each other if they’re to rekindle their love.
The Lilac Bouquet by Carolyn Brown (Mar. 28, trade paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-5039-4355-1). An ancient family feud comes to a head when a woman determined to afford her dream wedding takes a lucrative job for a reclusive elderly man who’s still carrying a torch for her great-grandmother.
Unstrung by Laura Spinella (Feb. 21, trade paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-5039-3735-2). In this complex, layered tale of love and loss, a symphony violinist must come to terms with the decisions that have shaped her life while grappling with tensions in her marriage and a ghost from her past.
Intercepting the Chef by Rachel Goodman (May 2, e-book, $1.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-5892-6) opens a sports-themed series with a romance between a football player who owns a restaurant and the beautiful chef who works for him.
The Last Resort by R.S. Kovach (Mar. 20, e-book, $1.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-4565-0). High-powered corporate executive and show-jumper Alejandra Barros breaks her wrist and heads to a Colorado resort ranch to recuperate. As she falls in love with ranch hand Hank Mathis, she begins to question her priorities and fast-paced way of life.
Borderline by T.A. Chase (May 1, trade paper, $9.95, ISBN 978-1-78651-897-2). Mac Guzman, Texas Ranger, is lead detective on a serial killer case rocking the city of Houston. He’s willing to take help from anyone, especially handsome FBI profiler Tanner Wallace.
The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart (May 23, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-5003-6). Hart opens the Gravediggers romantic suspense series with an intense connection between a black-ops fighter who’s undercover as a funeral home assistant and the smalltown mortician he ends up working for.
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper (May 30, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-5122-4). In this sweet Southern romance, an elite event planner from Chicago winds up in a small Georgia town and makes waves when she starts dating one of the town’s most eligible bachelors.
The Vicar’s Daughter by Josi S. Kilpack (Apr. 4, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-62972-280-1). Cassie’s ambitions are hampered by her shy, emotionally fragile older sister, Lenora, who must marry before Cassie’s parents will allow Cassie to come out in society, so Cassie hatches a plan to kindle a love affair between Lenora and handsome Mr. Glenside, a newcomer to their small village. 15,000-copy announced first printing.
The Five-Minute Marriage by Joan Aiken (Mar. 7, mass market, $8.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-4124-7). In this repackaged 1978 Regency romance from renowned author Aiken, the daughter of an impoverished socialite enters into what’s supposed to be a fake marriage with her cousin in order to get money from her tight-fisted uncle—but the marriage is real and the consequences rapidly cascade.
One More Kiss by Samantha Chase (Feb. 7, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-1640-5). After bombing on Broadway, a rock star seeking redemption finds love in his hometown with his best friend’s kid sister in this low-key contemporary series launch.
Reckless Hearts by Heather Van Fleet (Feb. 7, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-3716-5). Debut author Van Fleet sets up a series with this sweet tale of three tough Marines raising a baby, which gets complicated when one of them falls for their new nanny.
Wanted and Wired by Vivien Jackson (Apr. 4, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-4816-1). In this postapocalyptic science fiction romance, when a by-the-books hit goes wrong, bounty hunter Mari finds herself and her mysterious handler, Heron, on the run. Their lives depend on their trust for each other, even as they both hide secrets.
The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor (May 2, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-250-11612-3). In MacGregor’s Regency-era debut, a man out for vengeance forces his target’s fiancée, who’s supposedly cursed, to marry him instead. Soon their forced proximity causes surprising changes in their relationship.
Come Sundown by Nora Roberts (June 6, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-12307-7). A Montana ranch owner and her newest ranch hand turn to each other for help and support when women in the region are murdered and the ranch owner’s long-lost aunt suddenly reappears.
How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks (Mar. 7, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-250-10821-0). This fantasy romance series launch from bestseller Sparks opens on the Isle of Moon, where Luciana has grown up hidden away because of her magical powers. Her life is upended when she enters an arranged marriage with a man who can harness lightning.
72 Hours by Bella Jewel (Apr. 4, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-250-10834-0). Digital bestseller Jewel debuts in print with a romantic thriller about two desperate people trying to escape a murderer’s horrifying scheme.
St. Martin’s Griffin
The Billionaires: 100 Shades of Sin by Calista Fox (Apr. 4, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-250-09640-1). In Fox’s smoldering ménage romance, three childhood best friends reunite as adults and realize they don’t have to make impossible choices—they can just say yes.
The Deep End by Kristen Ashley (Mar. 7, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-250-12111-0). At the elite Honey club, powerful men give in to their desire to submit to dominant women. Ashley’s series launch follows one such pair as their kink connection develops into romance.
No Strings Attached by Julia Kanno (Apr. 1, trade paper, $9.95, ISBN 978-1-78651-889-7). A harried mother unexpectedly falls for a handsome young rock star when she and her teen daughter win tickets and backstage passes to one of his shows.
Temporary Home by Aliyah Burke (July 1, trade paper, $9.95, ISBN 978-1-78651-914-6). A former Marine opens her home to a fellow jarhead who’s visiting his ailing mentor. Before long, they’re falling in love and having risky thoughts about making their temporary arrangement permanent.