Reading Suggestions

Find your next great read here

Hot (But Not Too Hot) Contemporary Romance Authors

Leave a comment

Like your romance a little less explicit than 50 Shades of Grey? Here are some great authors who deliver heart-stopping romance with plenty of (but not quite *that* much) sizzle.

Printer-friendly version

Kristen AshleyStart with: The Gamble

When Nina Sheridan leaves England and her fiancé behind to spend a little time assessing her life in a Colorado cabin, she is horrified to find the cabin’s owner, Max Maxwell, still in situ and decidedly unhappy to see her.

Stacey Ballis, Start with: Off the Menu

As the executive culinary assistant to Chicago celebrity chef Patrick Conlon, Alana Ostermann works behind the scenes–and that’s just the way she likes it. But with developing recipes for Patrick’s cookbooks, training his sous chefs, picking out the perfect birthday gifts for his ex-mother-in-law, and dealing with the fallout from his romantic escapades, she barely has a personal life, much less time to spend with her combo platter of a mutt, Dumpling. Then a fluke online connection brings her RJ, a transplant from Tennessee, who adds some Southern spice to her life. Suddenly Alana’s priorities shift, and Patrick–and Dumpling–find themselves facing a rival for her time and affection. With RJ in the mix, and with some serious decisions to make about her personal and professional future, Alana must discover the perfect balance of work and play, money and meaning, to bring it all to the table–one delicious dish at a time…

Suzanne Brockmann, Start with: The Unsung Hero

After a near-fatal head injury, Navy SEAL lieutenant Tom Paoletti catches a glimpse of an international terrorist in his New England hometown. When he calls for help, the Navy dismisses the sighting as injury-induced imaginings. In a last-ditch effort to prevent disaster, Tom creates his own makeshift counterterrorism team, assembling his most loyal officers, two elderly war veterans, a couple of misfit teenagers, and Dr. Kelly Ashton. As the town’s infamous bad boy, Tom was always in love with Kelly, a sweet “girl next door” who has grown into a remarkable woman. Now he has one final chance for happiness, one last chance to win her heart, and one desperate chance to save the day.

Robyn Carr, Start with: Virgin River

Arriving in the remote mountain town of Virgin River in response to an ad, recently widowed Melinda thinks that she has made a mistake, until she finds an abandoned baby on her porch and lets a former Marine into her heart.

Jennifer Crusie, Start With: Welcome to Temptation/Bet Me

Bet Me: Minerva Dobbs knows how to work the odds. Calvin Morrisey always plays to win. But when they face off, neither one is prepared. Because when real life meets true love, all bets are off. . . . Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet, even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs, even if she does wear great shoes and keep him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again. But fate has other plans, and it’s not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon they’re dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all—true love.

Welcome to Temptation: While helping her sister film a video in Temptation, Ohio, Sophie Dempsey encounters the town’s handsome mayor, Phin Tucker, and the unlikely duo finds themselves drawn into a bizarre web of scandal, gossip, blackmail, adultery, and murder.

Linda Howard, Start with: Running Wild

Carlin Reed lives in fear, off the grid, moving from place to place. So Battle Ridge, Wyoming, a small town in the middle of nowhere, seems like a good place to lie low for a while. But after becoming cook and housekeeper to cattle rancher Zeke Decker, Carlin suspects that she’s made her first mistake. Rugged, sexy, and too distracting for his own good, Zeke is pure temptation mixed with something deep and primal that makes Carlin feel almost safe. Soon things are getting way too hot in the kitchen. Zeke doesn’t challenge Carlin’s terms: cash, dead bolts, and no questions. It is easy to see that she’s a woman in trouble. Problem is, he’s so blindsided by his attraction to her he can’t think straight. Zeke tries to stayall business, no complications—but that game plan is sabotaged the second Carlin gets under his skin. And when her terrifying past follows her to the ranch, Carlin faces a heartbreaking choice: run away from the man she loves, or put him in the crosshairs of a madman.

Lisa Kleypas, Start with: Smoothing Talking Stranger

Jack Travis leads the uncomplicated life of a millionaire Texas playboy. He makes no commitments, he loves many women, he lives for pleasure. But no one has ever truly touched his heart or soul. Until one day, a woman appears on his doorstep with fury on her face and a baby in her arms. It seems Jack is the father and this woman is the baby’s aunt. The real mother has abandoned the child to her more responsible sister. And now, Jack is being called upon to take responsibility for the first time in his life.

Jayne Ann Krentz, Start with: Eye of the Beholder

After a career-stalling tangle with a fraudulent gallery owner, Art Deco expert Alexa Chambers is ready to get back in the game. But when she secretly consults on an exquisite collection for Arizona’s luxurious Avalon Resorts, she doesn’t know she will cross paths with enigmatic business titan J. L. Trask. Years ago, Trask accused Alexa’s stepfather of murder — and vowed he would get revenge. Now, their meeting is inevitable — and attraction immediate — as they trade sizzling sparks and snappy repartee. But when a killer emerges from the shadows, these sensual sparring partners team up to solve a deadly crime from the past. Following a trail of clues to a trendy but decidedly strange New Age spa, Trask and Alexa don’t need a crystal ball to see that their survival — and their chances of bliss — will depend on a little help from a higher power: a true and trustworthy love.

Elizabeth Lowell, Start with: Love Song

Carlson Raven had never seen anyone more beautiful or more courageous than Janna Moran as she struggled against the stormy sea in the Queen Charlotte Islands. When he rescued her from the choppy waters and revived her with the heat of his body, his yearning was as unexpected as it was enduring. Janna felt oddly safe as she awoke in the warmth of a stranger’s intimate embrace. Staring into eyes as black as midnight, she knew that Raven was the most intriguing man she had ever met. He had saved her life–and Janna couldn’t have been more grateful. But Raven wanted so much more than gratitude.

Susan Mallery, Start with: Chasing Perfect

When she settles down in Fool’s Gold, California, city planner Charity Jones, who has a past rife with romantic disasters, is tempted to take a chance on the town’s most famous resident, former world-class cyclist Josh Golden.

Linda Lael Miller, Start with: Big Sky Country

When he inherits half of a ranch, Sheriff Slade Barlow meets resistance from his half-brother Hutch, especially when Hutch’s former flame, Josyln Kirk, who is working hard to make up for her stepfather’s dishonesty, catches his eye.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Start with: What I Did For Love

When actress Georgie York’s film career hits rock bottom along with her marriage, the paparazzi has a field day with her misfortune, which is only complicated by the reappearance of her sexy, unscrupulous former costar, Bramwell Shepard.

Nora Roberts, Start with: Jewels of the Sun

While immersing herself in the study of Irish folklore, Irishwoman Jude Murray meets Aidan Gallagher, a dashing man whose knowledge of Ireland’s myths intoxicates her.

Sheila Roberts, Start with: The Nine Lives of Christmas

When he perceives a risk against his ninth and final life, Ambrose the cat is rescued by a stranger and in return orchestrates the man’s romantic relationship with a pet-shop employee.

Jennifer Ryan, Start with: The Return of Brody McBride

Former bad boy, now-decorated Army Ranger Brody McBride is home and on a mission: Find the woman he never should have left behind and right the wrong he did eight years ago. When the man she loved broke her heart and skipped town, Rain Evans picked up the pieces. But along with heartbreak, Brody left her something infinitely better than she could have imagined: two beautiful daughters. One she gave birth to, and the other she rescued from the woman who helped destroy her relationship with Brody. Brody is shocked to discover he’s a father, and he’s more determined than ever to win back Rain and protect his girls. Can they rekindle the love they once shared and become the family they were always meant to be? Or will a danger from their past return and ruin everything?

Jill Shalvis, Start with: Animal Magnetism

When Lilah Young, the co-owner of the town’s only kennel, literally crashes into his life, pilot-for-hire Brady Miller, who is new to the town of Sunshine, Idaho, is intrigued by this woman and her menagerie of animals and wonders if he has finally founda place to settle down.

Alison Sweeney, Start with: Scared Scriptless

Maddy Carson loves her job as a Script Supervisor on the hit show, The Wrong Doctor, as much as she loathes fake boobs, juice cleanses, oversized designer sunglasses, and all other things “Hollywood.” Super-organized and down-to-earth, Maddy has maintained a strict dating rule throughout her ten years in L.A.: “No Actors!” But she is seeing someone in the industry, Craig, one of the Executive Producers for the show… and technically her boss. When Maddy regales Craig with stories of Wolf County, her beloved hometown in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, he’s intrigued. He convinces her that a reality show featuring the eccentric characters of the charming ski town could be great for the production company (not to mention a hit that could help his career). Given that her parents and her community are facing serious financial challenges, a show that could drive tourism and boost the economy may be just the saving grace they need. Maddy and Craig visit Wolf County, where she uses her personal connections to recruit people for the show and to get footage for a sizzle reel to pitch to networks. Indeed, the lively characters and beautiful backdrop make for terrific material. But back in L.A., Maddy learns that Craig has his own agenda, and their creative vision’s clash. Now Maddy has to stop Craig, whatever it takes. Meanwhile, Maddy has an unexpected flirtation with The Wrong Doctor’s newest cast member, Adam Devlin. When things begin to fall apart with Craig, she decides to give Adam a chance-but is she suited for dating a hugely popular actor with throngs of female fans who follow him everywhere and even leave their panties tucked into his windshield? When it comes to life and love, Maddy has to learn that sometimes it’s more important to break all her self-imposed rules and simply follow her heart.

Lori Wilde, Start with: All Out of Love

After a fall from grace, ex-football star and notorious ladies man Pierce Hollister returns to Cupid, Texas, where he sets out to seduce Lace Bettingfield, who pined for him in high school but is no longer interested.

Sherryl Woods, Start with: Stealing Home

 While dealing with a wealth of family issues, Serenity, South Carolina, resident Maddie Townsend, jobless and newly single, finds herself the talk of the town when her son’s baseball coach declares his love.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s