Practical work to build a long-lasting romance leads to a guaranteed HEA for the couples in these three love stories.
★ About a Rogue
A marriage of convenience becomes more in About a Rogue, the latest historical romance by Caroline Linden. As one of three men in line for a dukedom, Maximilian St. James is exhorted to rehabilitate his reputation. Max, wallet empty and ever the pragmatist, offers marriage to the elder daughter of a successful ceramics maker. But after his intended elopes with someone else, he ends up “I do”-ing with her younger sister, Bianca. Watching them go from cool companions to passionate husband and wife is warmly satisfying. There is no hot flash of insta-lust or even the slow burn of banked longing. Instead, true regard grows naturally as Max and Bianca learn about each other through work, friends and shared interests.
Just a Heartbeat Away
Cara Bastone delivers a cozy and charming Brooklyn-set romance in Just a Heartbeat Away. After his wife’s death, Sebastian Dorner shifted his life to focus on his young son. While serving as lunch monitor at his son’s elementary school, he’s surprised by the sparks that fly between him and school counselor Via DeRosa. But she’s got a boyfriend, and Seb’s convinced their 15-year age gap is a deal breaker. However, the pair bumps into each other so often at school and in their shared neighborhood that the attraction grows unstoppable. Bastone explores universal themes of grief, love and parenthood through Seb’s and Via’s relatable fears and hang-ups in this heartwarming story.
A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby
A secret group dedicated to helping ill-treated widows takes up the case of West Indian heiress Patience Jordan in A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley. Patience is determined to reunite with her infant son and return to her island home. But the arrival of her son’s guardian, a heroic soldier and powerful duke named Busick Strathmore, means she must masquerade as the child’s nanny until she can secure their escape. Riley opens up the world of Regency romance by depicting a heroine whose society views her as the Other and pairing her with a powerful man whose war wounds now cause him to see himself differently. There’s wordplay and swordplay in this not-to-be-missed romance, plus subtle love scenes that prove Patience and Busick’s mettle as helpmeets and lovers.