Romance authors are making big changes this season, launching exciting series right and left—often with dramatic departures from their previous work.
As Good as the First Time
K.M. Jackson. Dafina, Oct. 30
Jackson opens the Sugar Lake series with a sweet contemporary about two former lovers who reunite over fresh-baked pies.
J.R. Ward. Gallery, Oct. 2
Ward shifts gears from her Black Dagger Brotherhood series to open a romantic suspense series featuring firefighters, beginning with one who falls for an arson investigator.
Duchess by Design: The Gilded Age Girls Club
Maya Rodale. Avon, Oct. 23
Regency author Rodale eases through the transition to Gilded Age New York by bringing an English duke across the Atlantic to find a very unlikely duchess.
Escape to Pleasure: Lesbian Travel Erotica
Edited by Sandy Lowe and Victoria Villasenor. Bold Strokes, Jan. 15
Midwinter is the perfect time to launch this anthology of sunny stories about lesbian love and passion on vacation.
The Heiress He’s Been Waiting for
Kaitlin O’Riley. Zebra, Aug. 28
This delightful transatlantic Regency romance brings a New Yorker to London, where she helps out in her family bookshop and falls in love with an earl.
Alexa Martin. Berkley, Sept. 11
Martin debuts with a delightfully witty story of a football player’s ex-girlfriend who unexpectedly rebounds into romance with his newest teammate.
Legends of Lust: Erotic Myths from Around the World
Autumn Bardot. Cleis, Jan. 8
Fairy tale and myth retellings get an erotic twist from Bardot in these sexy, steamy renditions of well-known legends.
Rachel Spangler. Bywater, Oct. 9
Intergenerational tensions have never run so high as in this refreshing sports contemporary, in which a longtime tennis player falls for the mother of her upstart young rival.
My One and Only Duke
Grace Burrowes. Forever, Nov. 6
Regency romance star Burrowes launches a series with this rags-to-riches tale of a man who’s saved from the gallows and told he’s a duke.
Shadow and Ice
Gena Showalter. HQN, Oct. 23
Showalter begins the Gods of War epic series with the introduction of otherworldly immortals who battle to rule the Earth—and unexpectedly find love.
Zoey Castile. Kensington, Aug. 28
Castile opens a rollicking series with this entertaining story of a meet-cute between a raunchy male stripper and a sweet schoolteacher from an old-fashioned family.
Romance & Erotica Listings
Beautiful Sinner: A Devil’s Rock Novel by Sophie Jordan (Oct. 30, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-266659-8). Cruz was wrongly accused of a high-profile crime and imprisoned. Gabriella’s desperate for the scoop on the story, which will get her career off the ground and get her out of their tiny hometown. But during an intimate interview, sparks fly.
Duchess by Design: The Gilded Age Girls Club by Maya Rodale (Oct. 23, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-283880-3) opens a series set in Gilded Age Manhattan, where an impoverished duke with a roguish streak is seeking a wealthy American bride—and an enchanting seamstress tumbles into his arms instead.
A Duke Changes Everything: The Duke’s Den by Christy Carlyle (Nov. 27, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-285395-0) launches a Regency-era series. Nicholas Lyon gambled his way into a fortune and ownership of a gentlemen’s club. Then he inherits a title he never wanted—and meets enchanting Thomasina Thorne, steward of his ducal estate.
The Forever Christmas Tree: A Bell Sound Novel by Sandra Hill (Sept. 25, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-285407-0). Christmas tree farm owner Ethan Rutledge has been miserable for the 12 years since Wendy Patterson left him heartbroken. But now Wendy’s back, fresh from a tour of duty as a Navy SEAL, and Christmas magic is in the air.
The Governess Game: Girl Meets Duke by Tessa Dare (Aug. 28, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-267212-4). Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming two wild orphans into proper young ladies. Their debauched guardian, Chase Reynaud, refuses to settle down. For the sake of the girls, who need a stable home, Alexandra challenges Chase—and loses her heart.
Shades of Wicked: A Night Rebel Novel by Jeaniene Frost (Oct. 30, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-286876-3) opens a series spun off from the Night Huntress books. Sexy and ruthless vampire Ian is in trouble: a demon has claimed his soul. Veritas, a Law Guardian, decides to use Ian as bait to trap the demon, but doesn’t count on falling in love.
Wilde for You by Eloisa James (Dec. 24, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-269247-4) is James’s fourth Wildes of Lindow Castle romance, continuing the saga of Regency London’s most eligible bachelors.
Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber (Oct. 2, hardcover, $20, ISBN 978-0-399-18128-3). Sous chef Josie Stewart takes on a six-month job cooking at a lodge in an Alaskan lake town. Palmer Saxon is a quiet, intense sword craftsman who forces her to question whether to return to Washington or make Alaska her home.
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (Jan. 29, trade paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-451-49082-7). Khai Diep is autistic and doesn’t think he’s capable of feeling big emotions. At Khai’s mother’s urging, Esme Tran comes from Vietnam to California to meet him. She falls hard for Khai, but he’s convinced he can never return her affection—and soon she’ll be going home.
Dark Sentinel by Christine Feehan (Sept. 4, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-451-49008-7). A human woman encounters three vampire hunters beating up a man in the woods. When she saves him, he reveals that he’s an immortal Carpathian and she’s his destined mate. But an ancient vampire wants her for himself, and will start a war to get her.
Intercepted by Alexa Martin (Sept. 11, trade paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-451-49195-4). The ups and downs of love in the NFL are well portrayed with a heavy dose of humor in Martin’s debut sports romance. When Marlee dumps her cheating boyfriend, Mustangs wide receiver Chris, the last thing she wants is a rebound romance with Gavin, the Mustangs’ new quarterback—but he’s irresistible.
Take a Chance by Shelley Shepard Gray (Sept. 18, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-5384-4087-2). When Kurt Holland’s younger brother and ward, Sam, gets in a fight at school, Kurt considers leaving their Ohio town—until he meets Sam’s English teacher, Emily Springer, and sparks fly.
Escape to Pleasure: Lesbian Travel Erotica, edited by Sandy Lowe and Victoria Villasenor (Jan. 15, trade paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-63555-339-0). Award-winning authors explore the sexy side of vacation travel in these sensual tales of lesbian erotica.
Flight to the Horizon by Julie Tizard (Dec. 11, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-63555-331-4). Pilot Kerri Sullivan has a perfect life and wants someone to share it with. Flight attendant Janine Case is beautiful but aloof. After the two women survive a midflight water landing and a harrowing rescue mission, all Kerri wants to do is follow her heart into Janine’s arms.
Music City Dreamers by Robyn Nyx (Jan. 15, trade paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-63555-207-2). Louie Francis arrives in Nashville hoping to be a songwriter. Heather King has an eye for discovering new talent, but her record label boss takes credit for all her hard work. When Heather and Louie are thrust together to work with country royalty, their attraction threatens to undermine their careers.
Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin (Aug. 1, trade paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-78576-312-0). When professionally itinerant hotel reviewer Piper Chesterfield runs into Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting small town be the one place Piper can finally call home?
Love All by Rachel Spangler (Oct. 9, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-61294-137-0). Longtime tennis player Jay Pierce begins her last career comeback and unexpectedly falls in love with Sadie Larsen, the mother of 17-year-old star newcomer Destiny. As Jay and Destiny battle on the court, can Jay and Sadie’s romance survive? 12,000-copy announced first printing.
The Artisan Heart by Dean Mayes (Sept. 1, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-77168-142-1). Australian pediatrician Hayden flees the city of Adelaide, his life in ruins. His destination is rural Walhalla, where he fixes up the house his parents left behind—and falls for struggling artisan baker Isabelle, who’s raising her daughter and running her business alone.
Legends of Lust: Erotic Myths from Around the World by Autumn Bardot (Jan. 8, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-62778-278-4) reveals the fiery passions lying dormant behind 14 world myths. Odysseus teases lustful goddess Calypso, Vishvamitra and Menaka find bodily nirvana, and Gilgamesh sends temple prostitute Shamhat to tame a wild man who gives as good as he gets.
The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies (Aug. 14, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-525-57632-7). In 1935 Ceylon, widowed Louisa Reeve tries to solve the mystery her husband, Elliot, left behind. When Elliot’s shocking betrayal is revealed, Louisa turns unexpectedly to plantation owner Leo, a rough man with a checkered past.
As Good as the First Time by K.M. Jackson (Oct. 30, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4967-1709-2). In the small Southern town of Sugar Lake, Olivia Gale helps out at her family bakery and yearns after Clayton Morris, the firefighter and single dad who broke her heart long ago. They reconnect, but unexpected surprises and hard choices endanger their fragile reunion.
Mostly Sunny by Jamie Pope (Sept. 25, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4967-1825-9). When social worker Sunny finds clues that her newest charge might be her younger sister, she sets out to track down the little girl’s mother. High-powered lawyer Julian King knows nothing about family law, but he can’t resist Sunny’s pleas for help with the challenging case.
The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A Feel-Good Christmas Romance by Debbie Mason (Oct. 30, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-5387-4424-6). When hotshot lawyer Connor Gallagher returns to town, his high school sweetheart, Arianna Bell, falls for him all over again.
My One and Only Duke by Grace Burrowes (Nov. 6, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-5387-2895-6) introduces the unconventional Wentworth family in a Regency-era Cinderella story. When London banker Quinn Wentworth is saved from execution by the news he’s the long-lost heir to a dukedom, there’s just one problem: he’s promised to marry Jane Winston, the widowed, pregnant daughter of a prison preacher.
Consumed by J.R. Ward (Oct. 2, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-9490-0). Arson investigator Ann Ashburn is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s legacy, and her current case: chasing a killer. Danny McGuire is a top fireman in the midst of a personal meltdown. As their romance heats up, the arsonist begins targeting Ann.
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren (Dec. 4, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-5011-9740-6). Millie Morris has more success helping colleagues make matches online than she does navigating the onslaught of lewd pics in her own feed. When she creates a fictional name for a new account, Millie unexpectedly gets the attention of a man she already knows.
Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks (Oct. 16, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-5387-2852-9) is a story about a chance encounter that becomes a touchstone for two vastly different individuals—transcending decades, continents, and the bittersweet workings of fate. 1,500,000-copy announced first printing.
Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle (Oct. 16, trade paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-250-18517-4). Geoff Paisley can’t stand Angela Carson, but while he’s answering Dear Santa letters, he realizes the one that’s touched him deeply is from her. Angela thinks “Santa” is a computer program and tells it far more than she’d ever want Geoff to know.
Harlequin Kimani Romance
Bachelor Unbound by Brenda Jackson (Nov. 20, mass market, $6.50, ISBN 978-1-335-21694-6). International jeweler and sought-after bachelor Zion Blackstone felt an instant connection to a Hollywood producer’s daughter, Celine Michaels, when he designed a unique gemstone for her. When she shows up at his house in Rome claiming kidnappers are after her, he offers her his protection—and passion.
Head of Zeus
Last of the Summer Moët by Wendy Holden (Oct. 1, trade paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-78497-760-3). Laura Lake, deputy editor of the glossy mag Society, gets unexpectedly promoted to the hot seat. Her actor friend Caspar is living large in L.A. When his ex trashes his reputation, only Laura can save him by pretending to be his girlfriend.
The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan (Sept. 25, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-335-94647-8). The McBride sisters all find the holiday season challenging, but their adoptive mother is determined this year will be different. As the countdown to Christmas Day begins, arguments, connections, and secrets start bubbling—but they still want to make this the magical family Christmas their mother has always dreamed of.
Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter (Oct. 23, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-335-04110-4) launches the Gods of War epic saga. A group of otherworldly immortals have finally broken free of their prison. In a bid to rule the Earth, their fight to the death resumes. But this time, these savage warriors will also risk their hearts.
Why Not Tonight by Susan Mallery (Sept. 18, mass market, $8.99, ISBN 978-1-335-47460-5). Natalie Kaleta will do anything for the artists at her gallery. Braving a downpour to check on reclusive Ronan Mitchell, Natalie gets stranded by a mudslide at his mountain home, where the brooding glass artist reveals his playful side.
Jilted by Lilac Suzanne (Nov. 8, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-945053-64-1). Carter’s fiancé is in love with someone else. Link has just been left at the altar. After bonding over mutual heartbreak, Link and Carter pass out in the honeymoon suite and are mistaken for newlyweds—so they embark on two weeks of fake honeymooning, and real feelings arise.
Stripped by Zoey Castile (Aug. 28, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-4967-1524-1). Robyn Flores and Zac Fallon meet over a laundry mix-up. The next time Zac sees Robyn, he’s performing as a stripper at her best friend’s bachelorette party. So much for wooing the pretty schoolteacher with an old-fashioned family—unless he pulls out all the stops.
Texas Free by Janet Dailey (Aug. 28, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4967-0958-5). Rose Landro is finally ready to claim the land her grandfather left her, but her return is rife with controversy when cattle begin disappearing. Special Ranger Tanner McCade thinks Rose is behind the cattle rustling, but that doesn’t stop him from falling hard for her.
More or Less a Countess by Anna Bradley (Aug. 7, e-book, $3.99, ISBN 978-1-5161-0533-5). Violet Somerset has always preferred a library to a ballroom, but when notorious rogue Nicholas Balfour requests an introduction to her timid, gentle youngest sister, Violet protectively poses as her sister and upends Nicholas’s plans to acquire a biddable wife.
What a Widow Wants by Jenna Jaxon (Dec. 24, mass market, $4.99, ISBN 978-1-5161-0329-4). Fanny, the widowed Lady Tarkington, has finished mourning her cad of a husband and is ready to enjoy her freedom. All is going pleasurably according to plan—until the Roman warrior Fanny kisses during a masque turns out to be Matthew, Lord Lathbury, whose proposal she refused years ago.
Impostor’s Lure by Carla Neggers (Aug. 21, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-7783-5997-5). The disappearance of a federal prosecutor launches the latest high-stakes case for newlywed FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Cut and Run by Mary Burton (Oct. 9, trade paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-5039-0286-2). FBI Agent Macy Crow is comatose after a hit-and-run. Medical examiner Faith McIntyre is shocked to learn that Macy is her mirror image—the twin she never knew she had. Faith and Texas Ranger Mitchell Hayden follow Macy’s clues to a serial killer cold case and a terrifying threat.
Rogue by Lindsay J. Pryor (Jan. 15, trade paper, $13.99, ISBN 978-0-349-41699-1). Defiant lycanthrope Connor is banished from his pack in Blackthorn and takes refuge in Lowtown. Rowen knows he’s dangerous, but she needs someone dangerous to help her find her missing nephew, and Connor is surprisingly willing to come to her aid.
Christmas by Accident by Camron Wright (Sept. 25, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-62972-476-8). Carter is an insurance adjuster who longs for creative expression. Abby works in the family bookstore and can’t wait to build the annual Christmas book tree stack, which Carter despises. When an automobile accident throws Carter and Abby together, it’s time for a romantic Christmas miracle. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
Simon & Schuster
The Noel Stranger by Richard Paul Evans (Nov. 6, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-7205-2). Sally Walther was humiliated after her husband was arrested for bigamy. When her only friend insists that Sally climb out of her hole and embrace the Christmas season, Sally goes to buy a tree and swoons for Christmas tree lot owner Andrew.
Falling Softly by Maria Duffy (Nov. 6, trade paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-5107-3369-5). Josh and Holly dated long ago. When Josh and his pregnant girlfriend move in across the road from Holly and her fiancé, the two exes feel they have to keep their past a secret, while their separate plans for romantic Christmases with their partners get unexpectedly messy.
Fling Club by Tara Brown (Aug. 14, trade paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-5039-0385-2). After years of conforming to the secret Fling Club’s strict rules, Cherry Kennedy catches her boyfriend in bed with the club’s ringleader and plots revenge with the help of Ashley Jardine, a sexy, broke computer programmer who hungers for a taste of Cherry’s wealthy Hamptons life.
Come Back to Me by Sharon Sala (Sept. 4, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-6350-8). After a crime pitted their families against each other, high school sweethearts Phoebe Ritter and Aidan Payne were forced to say a tearful goodbye. Twenty years later, Aidan comes home to their small town, only to discover he has a 19-year-old son—and his feelings for Phoebe are as strong as ever.
The Decoy Date by Mira Lyn Kelly (Dec. 4, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-3082-1). Bar owner Brody O’Donnel is tired of watching Gwen Danes pine for a guy who ignores her. Convinced that jealousy will get the guy to notice Gwen, Brody proposes a fake relationship. Gwen thinks it’s silly, but she agrees, and soon the kisses get very real.
My Forever Home by Debbie Burns (Dec. 4, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-5089-8). Pro baseball player Mason Redding meets charming Tess Grasso at a dog shelter. When Tess offers to help him catch the elusive stray pup who’s been hanging around his home, Mason jumps at the opportunity, and soon she’s caught his heart too.
A Wolf Apart by Maria Vale (Aug. 7, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-6190-0) plays with alpha male dominance fantasy, strikingly explores the core werewolf conflict between civilization and the wild, and offers food for thought about the nature of strength, all in the context of a tense, high-energy plot concerning pack culture, romance, and politics.
Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley (Aug. 7, trade paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-3713-4). In the 1750s, a young French Canadian lieutenant is captured and billeted with a Long Island family, an unwilling and unwelcome guest. As he begins to pitch in with household tasks and farm chores, he’s drawn to the daughter of the house and their lives become inextricably intertwined.
Do or Die Cowboy by J.D. Faver (Sept. 4, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-6766-7). Cowboy musician Tyler Garrett has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to put aside his rough-and-tumble rancher’s lifestyle and realize his dream. He’s on the road to Dallas to record a demo when that dream gets kicked sideways by a beautiful woman on the run.
Maybe for You by Nicole McLaughlin (Aug. 28, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-250-14002-9). After a year of mourning her fiancé, Alexis Parker takes a marketing job at the Stag Distillery. Ready for a new challenge, she agrees to accompany her coworker Jake Cooper on a cross-country promotional tour. He may have an infamous playboy reputation, but Alexis soon finds out that there’s more to him than meets the eye.
Your Lion Eyes by Christine Warren (Dec. 4, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-250-12074-8). Molly Buchanan is a lioness on the prowl. Unfortunately, she’s down to some pretty slim pickings in the dating department. When bear shape-shifter Grady Emerson arrives in Alpha, Wash., Molly’s eager to get to know him, but he’s reluctant to date his friend’s sister.
The Songbird by Marcia Willett (Dec. 4, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-17741-4). When Tim confides in Mattie that he needs a sabbatical, she suggests he move into one of the cottages at her family’s home in the beautiful English countryside. As he gets to know the locals and their secrets, his thoughts keep returning to beautiful, engaging, clever Mattie.
Stygian by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Aug. 28, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-10268-3), the 29th Dark-Hunter paranormal, reunites misunderstood hero Stygian with Phoebe, the woman he thought was dead—and he now has to rescue her from hell.
The Girl with the Sweetest Secret by Betina Krahn (Nov. 27, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-4349-2). Feisty Nevada silver heiress Frances Bumgarten wallops an intruder, only to discover he’s Reynard Boulton, a viscount’s nephew, and he’s helping her inebriated uncle get home. Soon Frances and Reynard are caught up in a whirlwind of Regency London scandal, secrets, and passion.
The Heiress He’s Been Waiting for by Kaitlin O’Riley (Aug. 28, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-4463-5). Headstrong shipping heiress Sara Fleming is furious when her parents whisk her away from New York to London—but she still enjoys the glitter of London with her cousins and the intriguing Christopher Townsend, the Earl of Bridgeton.
The Highlander Who Protected Me by Vanessa Kelly (Oct. 30, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-4115-3). Lady Ainsley Matthews was expected to make a magnificent match. Instead, she’s hiding on a remote Scottish estate, terrified that her vicious former fiancé will use her pregnancy to force her into marriage. One man can help her: Royal Kendrick, son of a distinguished Highland clan.
London’s Wicked Affair by Anabelle Bryant (Aug. 28, mass market, $4.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-4643-1). Lunden Beckford, Duke of Scarsdale, has chosen to exile himself far from London’s painful memories and cruel gossip. Forced back to town on business, he falls in with his friend’s sister, beautiful, willful Amelia Strathmore, and offers to show her some of life’s pleasures.
Their Perfect Melody by Priscilla Oliveras (Nov. 27, mass market, $4.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-4430-7). Lilí María Fernandez loved to dance and sing, but tragedy and loss lead her to become a victim’s advocate and to forget her joys. Then she meets Diego Reyes, a police officer with a talent for playing classical Spanish guitar, and his passion inspires Lilí to remember hers.
Update: The title and publication date of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Stygian have been updated.