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.”