Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is Ten Books Every HEA Lover Should Read. I know I don’t talk about it a lot, but I have a section of books I call comfort books. These are the books I re-read over and over throughout the years as there is just something about them. These ten are my go to romance reads. Some are funny and some are thrilling but all have a great love story at the heart. There are days when I just need a HEA in a book and these do it for me. Now I know they are not close to new releases, but sometimes you just need a good familiar love story. So in no particular order here are my top ten reads for a contemporary romance lover.
Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas –
SHE’S FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS
Liberty Jones has dreams and determination that will take her far away from Welcome, Texas—if she can keep her wild heart from ruling her mind. Hardy Cates sees Liberty as completely off-limits. His own ambitions are bigger than Welcome, and Liberty Jones is a complication he doesn’t need. But something magical and potent draws them to each other, in a dangerous attraction that is stronger than both of them.
HE’S THE ONE MAN SHE CAN’T HAVE
When Hardy leaves town to pursue his plans, Liberty finds herself alone with a young sister to raise. Soon Liberty finds herself under the spell of a billionaire tycoon—a Sugar Daddy, one might say. But the relationship goes deeper than people think, and Liberty begins to discover secrets about her own family’s past.
WILL THEY FIND THEIR HEARTS’ DESIRES OR WILL HEARTBREAK TEAR THEM APART?
Two men. One woman. A choice that can make her or break her. A woman you’ll root for every step of the way. A love story you’ll never forget.
Girls Night by Stef Ann Holm –
Jillene McDermott is raising two daughters, alone. Her coffee bar, Java The Hut, is on life support and the only place she can find a quiet moment is in the bathtub.
Claire and Faye, Jillene’s teenage daughters, know their mom deserves some happiness. But their good intentions go wrong when infamous crime writer, Vince Tremonti, steps up to play Jillene’s “boyfriend.”
Vince has briefly returned to Blue Heron Beach to rethink his flagging career. He doesn’t have time to get involved with anyone, much less a young widow with a ready-made family. Still, he owes ‘the universe’ a good deed or two.
Follow the Stars Home by Luanne Rice –
Being a good mother is never simple: each day brings new choices and challenges. For Dianne Robbins, being a devoted single mother has resulted in her greatest joy and her darkest hours. Weeks before her daughter was born, she and her husband, Tim McIntosh, received the news every parent fears. Tim had not reckoned on their child being anything less than perfect, and abruptly fled to a solitary existence on the sea, leaving Dianne with a newborn—almost alone.
It was Tim’s brother, Alan, the town pediatrician, who stood by Dianne and her exceptional daughter. Throughout years of waiting, watching, and caring, Alan hid his love for his brother’s wife. But one of the many hard choices Dianne has made is to close her heart toward any man—especially one named McIntosh. It will take a very special twelve-year-old to remind them all that love comes in many forms and can be received with as much grace as it is given.
Coast Road by Barbara Delinsky –
Rachel Keats and Jack McGill were artists, deeply in love when they married, until the rush of life took its toll. After ten years of marriage, they divorced and went their separate ways. Jack stayed in San Francisco. Rachel moved with their two young daughters to Big Sur.
Six years later, an alarming middle-of-the-night phone call demands that Jack put aside his own busy life and career as a leading architect to rush to his ex-wife’s hospital bed. While she lies lifeless, Jack maintains a bedside vigil and finds himself getting to know Rachel better than he ever did — through their daughters, her friends, and, even more revealingly, through her art. Meanwhile, the beauty and grace of the redwood canyon where she has made their home also work their own special alchemy upon Jack. He begins to see Rachel, his daughters, and the story of his marriage with new eyes.
She’ll Take It by Mary Carter –
I, Melanie Zeitgar, do solemnly swear I will never shoplift again. Ever!*
*Exceptions: Break-ups, weight gain, job losses, crummy auditions, great auditions where you don’t get a call back, high Visa bills, cavities, the trauma of using automated telephone menus, surprise visits from Mom, no phone calls from CLOML (Current Love of My Life), and any other unforeseen tragic bouts of stress. Amen.
Meet Melanie Zeitgar. Aspiring actress-turned-bored temp. The Queen of Divine Quips. And a total kleptomaniac. For Mel, stealing is a lot like love: she knows the right thing when she sees it. Unfortunately, she sees it everywhere: Pretty soaps. Socks. Lipstick. Cashmere sweaters. Tampons. Condoms. Candy bars. Perfume. Make-up. The occasional vibrator. Hey, can she help it that she has a special, and unfortunately, very illegal, talent? She doesn’t mean to take things. Just like she doesn’t mean to tell people she’s a struggling clock artist. Or continue eating chocolate. Or wait for a call from Ray, the Beautiful Musician Who Must Have Been in a Horrible Accident that Broke His Dialing Fingers.
Melanie’s biggest rule–in life, love, and shoplifting–is this: Don’t Get Caught. But sometimes, even the best klepto has an off day. Now, with every part of her life veering zanily out of control, Melanie’s met a guy whose heart is hers for the taking. . .if she’s brave enough to pay the price. . .
Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood –
When Special Agent Grayson Kincaid first encounters Olivia MacKenzie, she makes quite an impression. The beautiful, tough young attorney has stumbled into the middle of an FBI sting operation and reduced it to chaos. Olivia has ticked off the wrong guy. He’s FBI.
But Olivia is even more intimidating. She’s IRS. Olivia is on the trail of an elaborate Ponzi scheme for her own very personal reasons, and her investigation has enraged some ruthless people and endangered her life. She’s no stranger to tight situations, but she’s smart enough to know when to call for help, especially if that help is tall, dark, and handsome.
Together, Grayson and Olivia make a great team to fight corruption, but they’re also fighting an intense attraction—the one battle they’re bound to lose.
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie –
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.
sMothering by Wendy French –
Claire McLeod, a twenty-something American girl living in Portland, Oregon. Claire’s got big problems: her mother’s a tyrant, her sister’s a lesbian, her father’s in Omaha.
Claire’s peaceful, if dull, existence is shattered when her mother arrives in Portland for an unexpected–and unwelcome–visit. Armed with a sharp tongue, a critical eye, and enough Weekender Wear to make anyone nervous, Mom has mysteriously left Dad at home in the Midwest. It’s not enough that Claire’s job as a telephone survey-taker is excruciatingly irritating and her boyfriend has dumped her. No, now, embarrassed by her dead-end job and flatlining love life, she must also bear the weight of Mom’s critical eagle eye while trying to close the rift between her mother and her sister, solve the riddle of her missing father, climb a shaky corporate ladder, stalk a cute coworker, reinvent herself, and maybe–just maybe–find a little happiness.
Mine Are Spectacular by Janice Kaplan and Lynn Schnurnberger –
In the wealthy New York suburb of Hadley Farms, divorced mom Sara Turner is juggling a new fiancé, a new TV career, and a Newcomer’s Club that throws sex-toy parties. Her oldest friend, Kate Steele, is Manhattan’s “Derm Darling”–a successful Park Avenue skin doctor whose office is always packed with the city’s crème de la thin . . . and whose bedroom is frequented by a real estate mogul who has his own plane–and his own very big problem. Meanwhile, Sara’s new neighbor, Berni Davis, has just quit her career as a wildly successful Hollywood talent agent: pregnant with twins, she’s leaving behind her A-list parties and high-profile pals, trading in the fast track for the cul-de-sac. Will heating formula be as thrilling as creating the formula for the next box-office blockbuster?
At an age when women expect to find doors closing, forty-one-year-old Sara and her friends are all on the brink of new beginnings. For these three savvy and spirited friends, facing new options at midlife brings unexpected twists–a baby shower starring a male stripper, the latest Brazilian anticellulite treatment, and a day at a doggie spa that features lipo. Complications arise when a long-gone husband returns from Patagonia, a seductive ex-wife fights to win back Sara’s fiancé, and a hunky soap star stands waiting in the wings. But in a world where women spend their forties trying to look thirty, and girls as young as four use alpha-hydroxy to keep their skin baby smooth, these best friends help one another keep their priorities straight. Most of the time.
Night Whispers by Judith McNaught –
A policewoman in a small Florida community, Sloan Reynolds knows that her modest upbringing was a long way from the social whirl of Palm Beach, the world inhabited by her father and her sister, Paris. Total strangers to Sloan, they have never tried to contact her — until a sudden invitation arrives, to meet them and indulge in the Palm Beach social season.
A woman who values her investigative work more than a Dior dress, Sloan is unmoved by the long-overdue parental gesture. But when FBI agent Paul Richardson informs her that her father and his associates are suspected of fraud, conspiracy, and murder, Sloan agrees to enter into her father’s life — while hiding her true profession.
Sloan’s on top of her game until she meets Noah Maitland, a multinational corporate player and one of the FBI’s prime suspects — and finds herself powerfully attracted to him, against her deepest instincts. When a shocking murder shatters the seductive facade of the wealth and glamour surrounding her, Sloan must maneuver through a maze of deceit and passion, to find someone to trust — and to decipher the truth behind those terrifying whispers in the dark.
But when a couple of dates threaten to become a summer fling, suddenly the breakfast lattes aren’t the only brews steaming in Blue Heron Beach.
So that is my list of ten 2016 books for contemporary romance lover seeking a HEA. What are your top picks?
Check out more Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.
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