With holidays approaching, we dedicated our December romance column to novels set during the Christmas season. But for those of us who have had enough Christmas cheer, we bring you three romance novels with plenty of heat and love, sans the holiday spirit.
Award-winning Texas author Lorraine Heath wraps up her Hellions of Havisham series with The Viscount and the Vixen. Viscount Locksley, better known as Locke, is shocked when his reclusive father announces at breakfast that he has plans to marry that very day. When a beautiful young woman, many years his father’s junior, arrives on the doorstep of isolated Havisham Hall, Locke is determined to stop the marriage. But widowed Portia Gadstone has a contract guaranteeing a wedding, and when Locke objects, his father demands that Locke himself honor the legally binding document. Desperately in need of the security of wedlock and with no alternative plan, Portia has no choice but to agree. Both Portia and Locke have vowed to never fall in love, but both are in for an unexpected lesson in life’s vagaries. When secrets from Portia’s past are exposed, the couple must face betrayal and heartbreak. Will love be enough to survive scandal and lies?
This compelling Regency romance employs unconventional subject matter to its advantage and features a compassionate, kind heroine and a strong hero who balances her perfectly. The depth of emotion and passionate connection, paired with a solid English historical setting, is certain to delight readers.
Anne Elizabeth delivers a thrilling romance in The Soul of a SEAL, the fourth in her West Coast Navy Seals series. Beautiful and brilliant Dr. Kimberly Warren has spent her career working on a super-secret space project. Just as her dream is about to be realized, the spacecraft inexplicably malfunctions and two Navy SEAL members on her team are murdered. Top brass in the Navy want answers, and they send in their best warriors, Captain Bennett Sheraton and his friend Melo, to solve the case. Bennett and Kimberly have instant chemistry, and while both worry that their connection will be a distraction, they soon realize they make excellent partners. Aided by Melo, Bennett and Kimberly move quickly to analyze data and untangle the complicated conspiracy that threatens their mission. However, just when the trio believes the saboteur has been neutralized, they discover the enemy has a last card to play. This time, Bennett may be the one to die if Kimberly can’t find a way to save him.
Fans of well-researched technical detail will thoroughly enjoy this novel. The nail-biting scenes with lives hanging in the balance are sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.
New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper begins her new South Shores series with Chasing Shadows. A forensic psychologist who suffers from a neurological disorder, Claire Britten has a unique ability to read people and discover the truth. Her skills and “razor sharp intuition” make her a powerful expert trial witness. After high-powered attorney Nick Markwood loses a case due to her brilliant testimony, he’s impressed, and he hires Claire to investigate a case involving a mysterious death. They travel to Shadowlawn, a magnificent plantation house near St. Augustine, Florida, that looks as if it is straight from Gone With the Wind. The beautiful old house hides secrets, however, and a killer stalks the portrait-hung halls. When Nick and Claire believe they’ve solved the case at last, a surprise twist throws their world into danger yet again. A happy ending is by no means guaranteed, for evil lurks close by.
With a strong cast of characters, lots of red herring clues and a wonderful Southern setting, this novel will have readers clamoring for the next installment.
Lois Dyer writes from her home in Port Orchard, Washington.