(Photo illustration by Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post)

Fast Connection

By Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson (Self-published)

Dominic Costigan returns from eight years of military service determined to explore his interest in men. He joins Grindr and meets Luke Rawlings, a former Marine, who, like Dominic, is bisexual. Luke is a divorced father who is committed to keeping romantic relationships separate from his day-to-day life. This, of course, is not so simple.

Forbidden

By Beverly Jenkins (Avon)

“Forbidden” begins with Union soldier Rhine Fontaine standing in the ashes of the Georgia plantation house where he was born a slave, son to a brutal master. Light-skinned, Rhine is able to pass as white, and he does so, building an empire in the Nevada desert and working to help the African American community from his position of power. However, when he meets Eddy Carmichael, a black woman who was born free, everything he believes is thrown into chaos.


"Fast Connection" by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell. (Megtino Press)

"Forbidden" by Beverly Jenkins. (Avon)

The Hating Game

By Sally Thorne (Morrow)

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman are lieutenants in recently merged companies. Two people have never irritated each other more — a fact that becomes even more clear when they are pitted against each other for a tempting promotion. This classic setup gives the entire book the charming, gleeful feel of the best romantic comedies.

Magnate

By Joanna Shupe (Zebra)

The first full-length novel in Joanna Shupe’s Knickerbocker Club series is set in Gilded Age New York City. Emmett Cavanaugh is a steel magnate who grew up in a slum and vowed never to return. He’s the perfect foil for society darling Elizabeth Sloane, who plans to open her own investment firm — if only Emmett will back her. What begins as a battle of wills ends with a scandal and a forced marriage that throws Lizzie and Emmett together in a beautiful romance.


"The Hating Game" by Sally Thorne. (William Morrow )

"Magnate" by Joanna Shupe. (Zebra)

(Berkley/“Take Me Home Tonight” by Erika Kelly)

Take Me Home Tonight

By Erika Kelly (Berkley)

Calix Bourbon was a budding rock star when his youngest brother died of an accidental drug overdose at a music festival. Three years later, Calix is living on the east end of Long Island as a studio musician for a popular rock band, carrying tremendous guilt over his brother’s death. Enter Mimi Romano, the band’s private chef, eager to prove her talent to her father, one of the most successful restaurateurs in the world. Calix’s dark seriousness doesn’t stand a chance in the face of Mimi’s unbridled optimism.

Sarah MacLean reviews romance fiction every month for The Washington Post.

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