Have you ever contemplated being rich and famous? Dreamed of walking a red carpet or seeing your face featured on Page Six? All that attention sounds glamorous, right? Perhaps it would be a dream come true and a wonderful experience, but in the book duet we’ve chosen for you this month, fame and fortune complicate our couples’ chances of happy ever after to an amazing degree. Can lovers find happiness with the world watching their every move? Let’s find out . . .
MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL MARRIAGE
Former fashion designer K.M. Jackson closes out her Unconventional Brides series with The Betting Vow. Supermodel Leila Darling is ready to move on from print ads and runway modeling. After a small part in a movie earns her critical acclaim, she’s energized and determined to focus on her acting career. A recently broken engagement, however, has only contributed to her reputation as a high-maintenance party girl. Handsome TV executive Carter Bain has had a crush on Leila Darling since the first time he saw the beautiful model in a print ad, and he wants to sign her for a sitcom on his network. When Leila’s manager introduces them at a party in Las Vegas, the two find themselves sharing drinks and playing poker, which results in an unconventional agreement—a six-month marriage.
Leila and Carter’s marriage of convenience is supposed to be good for both of their careers and neither expects love out of the deal. Except–the spark between them was undeniably strong since their first meeting. Can they share an apartment and keep their relationship platonic? It’s clear they have much in common, but is there any chance their business arrangement could end in true love? If they lay their hearts on the line and gamble on forever, do they really have a chance at living happily ever after?
There is much to enjoy in this novel, from the slow burn of growing affection that adds heat to an already powerful physical connection, to the cast of very likeable family and friends who support the couple. The background setting in the TV and modeling world add color to a plot driven by an engaging couple. Leila is smart, strong and perfectly balanced by the stable, wise and eminently sigh-worthy Carter. Romance readers will love this story.
HER BIGGEST FAN
The first full-length novel in her Montana Heat series, Jennifer Ryan’s Escape To You is a thrilling, heartwarming love story. The world believes that Oscar-winning actress Ashley Swan walked away from fame to find a more peaceful life. The reality is that Ashley was kidnaped by a man she thought was a friend and held hostage, tortured and imprisoned for nearly a year. Finally, her captor accidentally leaves her cell door ajar and Ashley escapes, taking her four-year-old fellow prisoner with her. She flees into the Montana wilderness with a full blown blizzard looming, knowing full well there’s little chance they’ll survive, but that even death is better than what they leave behind. Fate has other plans for Ashley and little Adam, however, for she stumbles across the isolated home of DEA agent Beck Cooke. Beck takes her and the child in, keeping them safe while they work out a plan to bring the sadistic madman to justice.
Slowly, despite the trauma she’s endured, Ashley begins to trust Beck. But before they can plan a future together, they will have to stop the madman stalking Ashley. Her kidnapper wants her back and he’s prepared to kill anyone who stands in his way. Will Ashley and Beck ever be safe from the danger that threatens them and the little boy they’ve both grown to love?
This romantic suspense novel is a riveting, nonstop roller coaster ride. The villain is supremely evil, the hero is wonderfully noble and the heroine is strong and beautiful inside and out. Readers will hold their breath during nail-biting danger and cheer with delight when these two damaged, good-hearted people fall in love. If you only have time to read one contemporary suspense novel this fall, pick this one—it doesn’t disappoint on any level.
Lois Dyer writes from her home in Port Orchard, Washington.