If you’re a romance fan, spring is your season. There are so many great books to choose from that you might want to put your wallet inside a block of ice in the freezer while perusing this hot list:
As a former attorney, romance writer Julie James really gets what it’s like to work in the legal profession. “Love Irresistibly” (Berkley Sensation; paperback, $7.99) is the best book yet in her FBI/U.S. Attorney series. This time around, Cade Morgan, one of Chicago’s most successful prosecutors, is after a dirty senator. Cade contacts Brooke Parker, the general counsel for a restaurant group, to ask for help dropping a bug at the senator’s table so he and the FBI can listen in on some dinnertime corruption. Brooke is willing to help Cade professionally, but she’s determined to stay away from him personally. He has other plans.
Kate Noble is one of my favorite writers of historical romance, especially because she places her characters in settings outside the typical Regency social whirl. “Let It Be Me” (Berkley Sensation; paperback, $7.99) takes place in Venice. Bridget Forrester has had enough of her unfair reputation in London, and after a long correspondence with a composer in Venice, she heads to Italy to study with him at his invitation. Trouble is, when she arrives, the composer has no idea who she is — but his friend Oliver does. He’s the letter writer who’s been posing as the famous musician. The setting is as much a delight as the story.
“Lover at Last” (New America Library, $27.95), by J.R. Ward, is the 11th book in her supremely popular series about the Black Dagger Brotherhood. But this is the first of her series that features two men as the romantic leads. The vampire soldiers must make a difficult choice as the battle over the throne heats up.
“Heart of Obsidian,” the next book in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, won’t arrive till June. While waiting, though, you can enjoy her “Wild Invitation” (Berkley Sensation; paperback, $7.99). It’s a collection of four suspenseful stories set in Singh’s shape-shifting world, including two that have never before been published.
Patricia Briggs is a paranormal romance author much like Singh: uncommonly talented, especially with a long-running series. “Frost Burned” (Ace, $26.95) is the seventh book in her Mercy Thompson series about a coyote shifter mechanic and her mate, the local pack alpha, Adam. You’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll want to begin with the first book, “Moon Called.”
Intimidated by series that are so well-established? Fear not! Robyn Carr, whose Virgin River series is a bestseller, is beginning a new one set in Thunder Point, Ore. Capturing the best of small-town romance, Carrstarts with “The Wanderer” (Harlequin Mira; paperback, $7.99). It’s about a man named Cooper who inherits a friend’s beachfront property, only to discover that the future of the property affects the entire community. More alluring for Cooper than the possibilities of the land are his possibilities with Sarah, a resident of the town who doesn’t trust his intentions.
Wendell is co-founder of the romance novel Web site TrashyBooks.com and the author of “Everything I Know About Love, I Learned from Romance Novels.”