A contemporary love story, small-town romantic suspense and a Gilded Age treat top the month’s best romance releases.
★ Love Lettering
Contemporary romance takes on a distinctly urban flair in Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn. Professional hand-letterer (think invitations and personalized planners) Meg Mackworth is facing a creative block when Reid Sutherland enters her life. Love blossoms between Meg and Reid, but also between Reid and New York City as Meg shares her feelings for her adopted home with him. But their attraction seems doomed, since Reid is on the brink of leaving his Wall Street job. Written in a wry but vulnerable first-person voice, Love Lettering moves at a stroll, but readers will be happy to enjoy the scenery of the city and the interactions between Meg and her friends. With smart characters and authentic dilemmas, this is a very special romance to both smile and sigh over.
Jayne Ann Krentz offers an exciting and spooky tale in The Vanishing, Catalina Lark and Olivia LeClair grew up in the remote town of Fogg Lake, where residents possess psychic abilities due to a past event of murky origins. The pair now runs a private investigation service in Seattle. When Olivia vanishes, Catalina is immediately on the case and is joined in the hunt by Slater Arganbright, a member of a mysterious group known as the Foundation. Catalina and Slater learn to trust each other and appreciate their different paranormal talents—which are believably rendered in smooth prose. Krentz is a master at creating highly entertaining and immersive reads, and her latest doesn’t disappoint.
The Prince of Broadway
Joanna Shupe’s utter treat of a historical romance, The Prince of Broadway, is set in 1890s New York City. Society beauty Florence Green wants to buck convention and open a casino for women. She approaches Clay Madden, the ruthless proprietor of an exclusive casino who’s fought his way to the top, for advice. He’d normally send a privileged young woman on her way, but she’s the daughter of a man he seeks to ruin, so he agrees to mentor her. Although he’s open about his plans for revenge, Florence doesn’t balk; Clay is just that compelling, and perhaps she can foil his plan. Their competing interests only serve to fan the flames, resulting in sizzling, fingertip-singeing scenes. It’s easy to root for Florence as she rails against the strict precepts of the time, and rough-and-ready Clay appreciates her frustration as well as her hunger for more.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read our Q&A with Kate Clayborn about Love Lettering.