A clever comedy of manners, a tuneful contemporary romance and sexy shapeshifters top the list of April's best new romances.
★ To Have and to Hoax
Debut author Martha Waters delights with a clever Regency comedy of manners, To Have and to Hoax. Lady Violet Gray and Lord James Audley married in haste, madly in love. Five years on, they’re barely speaking. James’ fall from a horse could break the ice, but when Violet arrives at his side and finds him perfectly fine, she gets her revenge by pretending to be gravely ill. At the center of this ever-escalating war of words and wits is a broken partnership, and Waters makes readers eager for Violet and James to fight their way back to trust. The London Season, complete with dance cards and theater outings, serves as the setting, which will further please fans already delighted by the beloved trope of an estranged married couple reuniting at last.
The Happy Ever After Playlist
A grieving woman falls in love with a musician on the rise in The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez. Sloan Monroe meets Jason when she rescues his dog. They’re instantly attracted, first via texts and calls and then in person, but Sloan is leery of their connection. Obstacles litter the path to true love in the guise of a vengeful ex and the pressures of fame. Sloan thinks a breakup is for the best, but Jason is impossible to get over. He fixes leaky pipes! Donates bone marrow! Writes love songs dedicated to her! The dazzling and very public finale to the story is no surprise, given the title, but readers will enjoy this enchanting and unabashed romantic fantasy, complete with the perfect playlist, all the same.
Bears Behaving Badly
MaryJanice Davidson follows shifters on the brink of trouble in her new paranormal romance, Bears Behaving Badly. Bear shifter Annette Garsea teams up with her secret crush, fellow werebear David Auberon, to protect some at-risk juvenile shifters. Davidson doesn’t clobber the reader with world building, yet it’s easy to slip into the reality she’s conceived, where the bears are always hungry for sugary snacks. Annette and David have very human doubts about getting involved with each other, and only by relaxing their guards can they find happiness. This madcap adventure is written in an irreverent, tongue-in-cheek style, with the author occasionally addressing the reader directly. The language and lovemaking are gritty, and the wordplay is nonstop in this fun read.