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An Inconvenient Duke by Anna HarringtonIntroducing: Marcus Braddock, the new Duke of Hampton, and Danielle Williams, a family friend who helps him investigate the suspicious death of his sister Elise while hiding what she knows about Elise's secret life.
Why you might like it: This 1st book in the Lords of the Armory series balances sensual romance with a compelling mystery subplot.
For fans of: Jana MacGregor's The Bride Who Got Lucky, or Manda Collins' Ready Set Rogue.
Calling on Quinn by Blue SaffireWhat happens: PI Quinn Blackheart's courtship of driving instructor Alicia Rhodes gets complicated when the criminals targeting his family set their sights on her.
Reviewers say: "A cliff-hanger ending, thrilling action, and plenty of heat are sure to have readers hooked" (Publishers Weekly).
Series alert: Calling on Quinn kicks off the Blackheart Brothers series, about Irish American siblings who run a private investigation firm.
The Worst Best Man by Mia SosaWhat it's about: Unfortunately for wedding planner Lina Santos, landing her dream job involves working closely with Max Hartley, her ex-fiancé's brother, whose duties as Best Man included (accidentally) convincing the groom to call off the wedding and then breaking the bad news to Lina.
Read it for: a determined heroine trying to achieve her dreams while making her Brazilian immigrant family proud; a hero trying to prove himself after a lifetime of being overshadowed by his "perfect" brother.
A Cowboy to Remember by Rebekah WeatherspoonStarring: Celebrity chef and morning talk-show host Evie Buchanan, currently dealing with memory loss following a head injury; rodeo star Zach Pleasant, Evie's childhood pal (and longtime not-so-secret crush).
What happens: As Evie recuperates on the Pleasant family's California ranch, Zach realizes that fate has given him a second chance at love.
Reviewers say: "The almost entirely black cast is rendered with care and cultural specificity, making for a refreshing entry into the cowboy romance genre" (Publishers Weekly).
Forbidden Promises by Synithia Williams"God, family, and Robidoux Tobacco..." Putting her career on hold after her wealthy parents command her to assist with her brother's Senate campaign, violinist India Robidoux reconnects with her crush, attorney Travis Strickland, who's also her sister's ex-husband.
For fans of: the angsty relationship drama of Alisha Rai's Forbidden Hearts series, the life-in-politics aspect of Cheris Hodges' Rumor novels, or the complicated family dynamics of Elle Wright's Wellspring series.
Focus on: Friends to Lovers
No Other Duke But You by Valerie BowmanMatchmaker, matchmaker: Having played Cupid for most of her social circle, Lady Delilah Montebank now seeks a suitor of her own.
What about... Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley and Delilah's best friend? He'd marry her in a heartbeat, if only he could get her to see him as a potential husband.
Why you might like it: A pair of fan-favorite supporting characters (finally) take center stage in this 11th Playful Brides novel, which takes inspiration from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Will's True Wish by Grace BurrowesWhat happens: Willow "Will" Dorning and Lady Susannah Haddonfield fall in love while investigating a series of high-society dognappings.
Why it can't work: Will is an earl's second son who lacks the means to support a wife, while Susannah has resigned herself to spinsterhood following her disastrous debut.
For fans of: dogs, whimsically named characters (Will and his brothers are named after trees), and quietly moving historical romances featuring well-drawn protagonists.
Right Beside You by Mary MonroeMeet: Felicia Hawkins, single but searching, and Richard Grimes, a widower with two adolescent daughters. Despite mutual attraction, these longtime colleagues worry that romance would ruin their friendship.
Why you might like it: Right Beside You is a chaste, charming holiday romance starring a mature couple and featuring a mostly black cast.
Want a taste? "Richard Grimes and I had been coworkers and commuter bus seat mates for over eight years and he'd never seen the "real" me until now."
Once a Rebel by Mary Jo PutneyWashington, D.C., 1812: Callista Brooke is rescued from a city under siege by her childhood sweetheart, Richard, whom she hasn't seen since their failed elopement years earlier.
Read it for: sympathetic characters, a suspenseful blend of romance and adventure, and a well-researched and vividly rendered setting.
Crossover alert: Once a Rebel is the 2nd book in the Rogues Redeemed series, a spin-off of author Mary Jo Putney's popular Lost Lords series.
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