Swoons, sighs and secrets await in this month's best new romances.
★ Bayou Baby
Southern delight awaits in Bayou Baby, Lexi Blake’s second Butterfly Bayou romance. Single mom Seraphina Guidry is focusing on her young son when a handsome newcomer arrives in her hometown. Harry Jefferys, nephew to the town’s wealthy queen bee, is an Army veteran looking to find his way in the world. One look at Sera and he thinks he’s discovered the answer, but there are bad feelings between his aunt and the young woman who’s captured his fancy. Will secrets and past grievances break Sera and Harry apart? This charming small-town drama is as smooth and sweet as a Louisiana drawl, with a good-guy hero who more than deserves his happily ever after.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Lexi Blake on how the villain's perspective unlocked the story.
Medieval romance flourishes in Scotland in Kathryn Le Veque’s Highland Gladiator. Young Lor Careston is smitten when he meets Isabail Keith, a brash Highland lass. But his romantic dreams are dashed when his village is burned and he declares vengeance. He joins an infamous fight guild, Ludus Caledonia, where he trains as a warrior, gaining the skills he’ll need to enact his revenge. There, Isabail reenters his life and they find love—and a common enemy. Well-drawn characters and heart-thumping fight scenes give readers a lot to relish in this series starter. Lor is a hero made for swoons and sighs, evolving from callow youth to driven fighter-with-a-cause. And broadsword-wielding Isabail never waits to be saved, which is the hallmark of the very best kind of heroine.
Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series continues to dazzle with Emerald Blaze. In this alternate universe, magical families known as Houses dominate the world. Catalina Baylor is a Prime, a particularly powerful magic user, and also the Deputy Warden of Texas, whose job it is to protect humanity from those who unscrupulously wield their magic. Tasked with tracking down the murderer of another House’s Prime, Catalina must partner with assassin Alessandro Sagredo, who recently broke her heart. There’s conflict galore in this wryly written story, but what appeals most are the relationships between the Baylor family members and the growing trust—and romance—between Catalina and Alessandro. Emerald Blaze sizzles with imagination, making this paranormal a true gem of the subgenre.