Cults, fairy godmothers and a lot of Scottish whisky! This month’s romance column is sure to liven up your TBR list.
★ Men Are Frogs
Love proves truly magical in Men Are Frogs by Saranna DeWylde. After wedding planner Zuri Davis’ latest event goes awry, she leaves Chicago for Ever After, Missouri. Her new job at Fairy Godmothers, Inc. sounds promising, and her first glimpse of Ever After almost makes her believe that magic is real. And in DeWylde’s world, it is! There are enchanted castles, talking beasts and a charming prince cursed to be a frog from sundown to sunup. It takes time for Zuri to believe what’s before her eyes, and readers will enjoy watching her learn to accept her new fairy-tale surroundings. She even falls for the prince, only to (of course) discover he’ll stay a frog forever unless saved by true love’s kiss. There’s so much delightful imagination at play here; every page sparkles with fun and clever wordplay. A modern romp with Grimm throwbacks, Men Are Frogs has a decidedly poignant side that touches the heart even as it incites smile after smile.
Devil in Disguise
An aristocratic widow and a Scottish whisky distiller make an unexpected match as Lisa Kleypas continues her Ravenels series with Devil in Disguise. The head of her late husband’s shipping business, Lady Merritt Sterling meets Keir MacCrae when he’s recently arrived in London and in a well-deserved bad mood. But she’s instantly fascinated with the big and beautiful Keir, who is equally smitten with the composed, capable Merritt. She’s far above him socially, and he vows to keep his distance, though such vows never prevail against the will of a woman and sizzling mutual desire. Merritt and Keir succumb to a single night of passion that only serves to nourish their growing love. But besides issues of class, wealth and geography, there is the slight problem of someone trying to kill Keir. The unraveling of that mystery will please Kleypas fans as favorite former characters get involved in the story. But Devil in Disguise truly stands out thanks to Kleypas’ masterful blend of blazing ardor and tender yearning. Readers will bask in this lovely romance that hits every emotion just right.
Karen Rose pens a thrilling conclusion to her Sacramento series in Say Goodbye. Former pro basketball player-turned-FBI agent Tom Hunter is on the case of the cult known as Eden, which is hiding somewhere in the rural Pacific Northwest. Hayley Gibbs, a young pregnant woman, is being held by the cult against her will, and Tom and his team are determined to find her before she gives birth. To make matters more dangerous, DJ, a ruthless member of Eden intent on taking control of the group, is piling up bodies and threatening the lives of those Tom cares about—including his best friend, Liza Barkley. Can he concentrate on the crimes at hand even as his relationship with Liza begins to shift? Multiple viewpoints, including those of DJ and Hayley, ratchet up the tension. Chock-full of twists and scares, this is spine-chilling and heart-satisfying romantic suspense.