In this edition of our monthly thematic roundup of BookLife titles, we feature romance and relationship-focused books. Want to see your book featured? Check out the Indie Spotlight calendar at


Archlord of Exile

Kate Stevens

ISBN 978-1-990551-11-6

Author statement: “Abducted as a child to serve as little more than a magical battery, Inez fell in love with her archlord and he helped her escape. Years later, while smuggling others to safety, her past catches up with her in the form of her ex-archlord, Rylec. Exiled for aiding her escape, Rylec is determined to bring her back to Sollir, risking everything to claim her once and for all. After writing a couple of ‘traditional’ alien romances, I wanted to shake things up a bit. In came the idea for Archlord of Exile, a short but steamy alien romance that includes romantasy elements like magic and an enemies-to-lovers relationship.”


Brian Corley


Author statement: “New in town and navigating the complexities of Alder High, Geoff Smith might be a little more comfortable with a guitar in his hands than with a conversation. His father, a professor and collector of magical oddities, is a local goth hero, but that doesn’t exactly boost Geoff’s popularity. However, his dad’s latest find, a mysterious book of spells, might be the key to winning a seemingly impossible bet with his crush, Corinne. In a whirl of notes and lyrics, Geoff unknowingly strums a cursed tune. Suddenly, his low-key life hits a high note as the melody weaves its magical chaos throughout the school. Gilm! started as a song for my indie-rock band The Mars McClanes.”

Soultaming the Serpent

Tar Atore


Author statement: “When the last dragon died, it stopped raining. Fifty years later and Jun is the only one left in her village who remembers what the rain felt like. After an argument with her best friend Casey, she decides to leave her village for the first time and encounters not only rain but also a strange young man who may be the one prophesied to bring back the dragon—if only he will agree to it. I wrote Soultaming the Serpent as part of a publishing derby to complete a book in three months. My goal was to write a fantasy love story with a few changes from the typical. I wanted an older protagonist. I couldn’t resist having two younger men chase after her, but decided to play with a few tropes including twisting the chosen one and removing the idea of love rivals to focus on different aspects of love instead. After throwing in a dash of inspiration from Korean mythology and differently-abled representation, I had a final piece that I was truly happy with!”


R.L. Merrill

Author statement: "Vampire Creed Lowell drifts from town to town working with the elderly as a night nurse and looking to avenge his harrowing past. At long last he’s arrived in Santa Cruz, where he hopes to find the truth about those who betrayed him. But first he finds an unexpected love with a man who might understand him—or end him. I'm fascinated by people who have a little 'extra' to them. The kind of people who make you feel better just by being around them. And then I took it a little further and looked into the flip side of that—how ordinary people can become extraordinarily evil. I'm currently writing the second book, and I love this world full of cult members, criminal psychology, and vampires."

The Woodland Stranger: A Fairy Tale with Benefits

Jane Buehler

ISBN 978-1-957350-08-0

Author statement: “Burne wanted to talk to the man picking flowers at the edge of the forest, but he was too nervous. And now the man is gone. Next time he’ll be brave enough to enter the village. Next time he’ll talk to the handsome stranger. But next time will be sooner than he thinks. Because the stranger is Gray, a fairy and master of illusions who’s now following Burne home. I write cozy romantasy—lighthearted stories set in a fantasy world with fun magic and a guaranteed happy ending. With this book, I was interested in writing a romance with a main character who is nervous about relationships and struggles with anxiety but still finds love.”

Historical Romance


Dee Miller


Author statement: “Anneliese is about a free-spirited woman in the 1920s. She finds herself pregnant and is confronted with making the tough decision to either marry a man she no longer trusts or to raise the child on her own. Love continues to elude her but there has always been one constant love in her life, someone who will always be there by her side. I began writing this novel after doing genealogy research on my husband’s grandfather, whose identity was unknown. After DNA results came in, the story that emerged was too unbelievable not to be told.”

Not Quite a Scandal

Bliss Bennet


Author statement: “One of the pleasures of being an indie author is having control over the design of your book covers. But that pleasure can quickly turn to frustration when you can’t find the right photo to use. Just about every historical romance author laments how challenging it can be to find good stock photos of models in historical dress. I decided to avoid the problem of searching for an appropriate, appealing, and unique cover image altogether by sewing my own historically accurate outfits and working with a photographer to take pictures of the cover models.”

Experimental Tales of Love and Sex

The Immaculately Obscene Nixeen

Baroque Medusa


Author statement: “The 2020 lockdown inspired me to write this ‘contemporary poetry’ piece in which hedonistic shepherd Nixeen embarks on a mission to restore connection and sex to those who have been programmed to forget their primal needs. There is no standard process when it comes to my writing projects. For this particular project, I wanted specific symbolism attached. Nixeen, the main character, is derived from the Greek goddess Nyx, who held power and owned the night.”

The Sum of All Parts

Sara Sheeran


Author statement: “At its most basic level, The Sum of All Parts is a love story. It is told through six female narrators (The Wife, The Woman, The Lover, The Girl, The Patient, and Thoughts) who reflect on their experiences, relationships, and struggles. I had been mulling over the idea of The Sum of All Parts for quite a few years, considering the many roles women have to play, or feel they have to play, and the impact this has on them, their families, and their mental health. I decided to tell the story via six different viewpoints in terms of age, health, and emotional state to convey how a person views life events differently depending on many factors.”

Setting a Romantic Example

Reflections of a Hopeful Romantic

Stephanie Anyaoha


Author statement: “My mission is to inspire others to find their light, shine their light, and protect their light. My work was incubated and birthed out of long seasons of turbulence in my life. The soil of my own heart was watered by my blood, sweat, and tears, and I am so grateful that I wasn’t alone in the process because God was with me every step of the way. God directed me to go back into my past to uncover the scars and wounds that I healed from, so others can see exactly what I’ve been through and know that if I can make it, they can make it too. In Reflections of a Hopeful Romantic, I share my stories with you through poetry, my love language.”

Us: An Intimacy Innovation

Dan Pahnke

ISBN 978-0-9985752-1-6

Author statement: “Shy, deep-thinking
Kiel has crafted a dating approach to accomplish his goal of ‘forever love.’ Popular but underachieving Alexsia, tired of attracting all the wrong guys for all the wrong reasons, is drawn to Kiel and enlists his help in her struggles to let go of unrewarding dating behavior. Deeming himself ‘out of her league,’ Kiel is oblivious to the flirtation signals Alexsia keeps sending him. An impetuous blunder jeopardizes Kiel’s envisioned perfect romance. Sadly, 50% of marriages end in divorce. Seeking to help people beat those odds, I wrote this engaging story to introduce readers to its lessons on how to choose the right life partner.”

Contemporary Romance

The Accidental Boyfriend

Lori Freeland


Author statement: “After celeb heartthrob Gabe unknowingly hijacks shy teen author Jess’s first kiss, he decides she could be the perfect decoy to throw off the paparazzi—if he can convince her to play his girlfriend of the week. Keeping the impossible promise he made to his mom depends on it. Only Jess isn’t anyone’s fangirl and wants nothing to do with TV’s hottest hairball or his Hollywood ego. I’m definitely a pantser when it comes to story. I love to see where my characters take me.”

Breaking Cycles

Nikki A. Lamers


Author statement: “When I’m writing, I focus on the characters. With each character, I love to dive into their backgrounds: who they are, where they live, how they were brought up; their families, their friends, their likes and dislikes; and things that happen in their lives, intentional and unintentional, good and bad. All of this and more impacts who they are and how they act and react in their relationships in life and love. In my books, unlike in life, I love that I’m able to control the story for a happily ever after ending every single time.”

Forgetting Me

Katherine Tirado-Ryen


Author statement: “When Anne Strafford wakes from a coma in a New York City hospital, she has no memory of who she is, how she got there, or why the handsome movie star Jack Post sleeps by her bedside. She certainly doesn’t remember getting cosmetic surgery, or the accident that scarred her once beautiful face. With bravery and determination, one woman will confront the echoes of her past to embrace an unforgettable future. At its heart, Forgetting Me is about resilience. Even when facing hardship, Anne Strafford never gives up. She’s determined to regain her memories, make amends with those she’s wronged, and rekindle an old flame. Her story showcases not only the triumph of the human spirit but the lasting power of love.”

Growing Connected

Penny Heart


Author statement: “Susan loves her job, but she’s been feeling adrift lately. When an opportunity to take on a new garden at her school presents itself, she jumps at the chance. But with no gardening experience, she’s in over her head—that is, until she meets Jacob. A professional gardener with a grumpy demeanor, Jacob is better with plants than people. But when he meets Susan, sparks fly. I read a Regency romance a few years ago in which a 40-something widow was trying to arrange a match for her 17-year-old daughter to this 40-something man. It made me realize how uncommon it was for me to come across romances (regardless of genre) of people closer to my own age (Gen X). I realized that if I wanted to read more romances about people with fuller, grown-adult lives, I should write them.”

Regret & Romance

Rebekah Santoro


Author statement: “Melody Haden is excited to begin her dream job at a local public library but her dream turns into a nightmare when her college ex-boyfriend Jamie Washington starts working at the library the same day. Confronted with a painful past, Melody tries to ignore this walking reminder of a broken heart by hanging out with her plucky best friend, helping her new senior friend find love, and maybe even starting a new romance with a library patron. Due to his regrets, Jamie has other plans. Can the boy who broke her heart break back in? This novel was originally inspired by three things: my college romance, the Taylor Swift song ‘All Too Well,’ and Persuasion by Jane Austen.”

The Right Kind of Unexpected

Rayna York

ISBN 978-1-9990951-4-7

Author statement: “After being abandoned by her boyfriend in a small town, 18-year-old
Tess Harrington discovers that even the worst situations can have a silver lining, and this one is a town called Jasper Creek, a diner everyone calls Earl’s, and a small-town mechanic named Colton Reed. The Right Kind of Unexpected originated from a dream so vivid and gripping, it transformed into the poignant journey of Tess and Colten, capturing the essence of life’s unforeseen twists and turns.”

The Sands of Roanoke Island

Adrienne Palma

ISBN 978-1-960810-18-2

Author statement: “With a setting of Manteo and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the novel is a love story of Vanessa McGrath and Charlie Connolly. Writing has always been a passion for me. My dream was to write a romance novel set in Manteo, my home since 2006. I tried to include the local feel and flair so readers could visualize the small-town charm. My goal was for the reader to root for Vanessa and Charlie to overcome their roadblocks and realize their true love was meant to be.”

Something Good

Darlene Deluca


Author statement: “Mandi Evans burns with regret. Haunted by a devastating loss, she’s working multiple jobs and studying online to escape Texas and start fresh. But when her trailer park is targeted for demolition by a devastatingly handsome urban planner, she’s torn between saving her community and giving in to their undeniable attraction. Lane Whitmore is reeling from his cheating partner’s double-cross. Determined to succeed in the real estate market by developing a run-down property, he never expected a stunning local to capture his passion. This book is a romance that feels real. Two people fall in love, but it’s a rocky road getting there. They are each looking for something more, a fresh start. The book pairs a strong female character with a confident and compelling book-boyfriend candidate.”

Take a Bow

Libby Waterford


Author statement: “Casual hookups with Nash Speedwell, her brother’s best friend who happens to be a world-famous actor, are all Mimi Orlando expects, and all she tells herself she wants. When Nash suggests their relationship could be more than a series of one-night stands, she freaks. She dyes her hair every week—if she can’t commit to a color, how can she commit to a relationship? I based the hero of Take a Bow, Nash Speedwell, on that particular subset of actors who also sing and are in bands. What’s hotter than a rockstar but a rockstar/actor? Matching Nash up with unconventional librarian Mimi, who dyes her hair every color of the rainbow and doesn’t have a shy bone in her body, was tremendous fun.”

Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay

Kate Darroch


Author statement: “I wrote this tender love story about two broken people helping each other to heal in part because I wanted to give the friends and family members of those suffering in the aftermath of addiction some insight into the complex, difficult emotions and unusual thought processes of the people they care about. I’m glad that I wrote this book for three reasons. It has brought joy to lots of readers, hope to some. And some of those who hated the story have reached out to me in bitterness; that has been the beginning of a dialogue which, so far, has been a force for healing.”

The Unforgettable Summer

Nikki A. Lamers

ISBN 978-1-951185-15-2

Author statement: “The Unforgettable Summer is a story of love, loss, and a fight for second chances. Bree and Christian spend the summer together on a lake in Maine and fall in love. At the end of the summer, Christian starts college and Bree leaves for home, finding her life turned upside-down. Will they find their way back to each other? My novel was inspired by first love, soul mates, and happily-ever-afters. Over the years, I spent a lot of time on a lake in Maine and I used the picturesque location I adore and know so well to write the story. I love a story that pulls you in and keeps you there, needing to know what happens next. Christian and Bree’s story takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions in search of the ultimate happily ever after.”

Silently (Transformation #1)

Talya Blaine

ISBN 978-1-959336-03-7

Author statement: “One brazen move. Two simple rules. A journey of discovery that will transform two lives. At its heart, Silently is a story about overcoming devastating loss and the unexpected people and places that help us begin to heal. Silently began as a short story; Quinn and Jonathan didn’t even have names. I set it aside but couldn’t stop wondering how their relationship would unfold—they shared such an incredible intimacy in one night. Three books later, their twists and turns continue to surprise me.”