So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons — before he was famous. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again? Part-romance, part-love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.
All Lina wants to do is get back home. But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other.
Only, who is he?
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When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. Maybe the boy named Hamlet yes, Hamlet crushing on her is pretty cute. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?
Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them. Which perfect family will save her?
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Or is it time she saved herself? So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race. But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.
Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…Blaire just may have fallen too far.
Now, after years of homeschooling, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at a public high school. Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it.
But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip—and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar—especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory—but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.
Until he blows it. Ellia thinks in shock. She has no clue who Liam is, let alone whether or not she once loved him. She remembers her family, her friends, and the fact that she wants to be a fashion designer. But Liam is a big blank in her life. Meanwhile, Liam is devastated that Ellia, the love of his life, who suffered an accident while they were running together on the beach, has lost her memory.
So Liam begins writing the story of the two of them, piecing together the past in the hopes of having a future with the girl he loves. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Since then, the stand has been owned and managed exclusively by local girls, who inevitably become the best of friends. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.
Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. How I wrecked their whole family. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life? But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer? Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.
And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees. After reading a comment on Facebook which likened her to vanilla ice cream, Tempest decides she has to do something about it or be forever branded as plain, lukewarm, and well, vanilla. When she happens upon a book of dares, she decides to attempt each one, no matter how hard. This is her personality at stake, after all. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between the distance between who she is and who he is, is worth the risk.
When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. In the other, currently serving as her reality, Victoria is a shy teenager with overprotective Cuban parents, who sleepwalks through her life at the prestigious Evanston Academy. But after a chance encounter with an unattainably gorgeous boy named Strand, whose band seeks a lead singer, Victoria is tempted to turn her fevered daydreams into reality.
To do that, she must confront her insecurities and break away from the treadmill that is her life. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever…or consume it.
And, now, it ought to be the perfect way to spend their last summer together before university. But things are more complicated at eighteen than they were at ten. Five friends. Ten days. Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Florence, Barcelona. And a messy, complicated, can-this-really-be happening love story, or two … because how could there not be? Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in.
As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. I did love Iron and Magic much to my surprise and chagrin. I hated Hugh in the Kate Daniels books and was truly boggled when the Andrews announced that they were turning their April fool's joke into an actual book. I am very interested in learning more about Elara and her band of followers and can't wait to see where the story goes.
A domestic violence survivor fights to hold on to the unusual property she was awarded by her ex in their divorce. The property is a small resort, Sproing, a small human community covertly managed by shapeshifters. I'm looking forward to Wild Country, the second book in the World of the Others series to be out next Spring. What did you love and why? This review was originally published at Love in Panels:. Zac Fallon has been stripping for 10 years and he has always loved everything about it. He loves making women smile, being in the spotlight, the camaraderie with the other guys in the show, the freedom to travel and the money.
Robyn Flores had it all together once. She is the one who did everything right but ever since since her. While there are lots of glitzy and sexy scenes, what I loved were the quieter romantic moments that let me see why Fallon and Robyn were getting so wrapped up with each other so quickly. Hosting an apartment-full of women for an after-party, just feels like a chore rather than a perk. While he has plenty of people who get it and support him simple small talk with Robyn friends and family feels like traps, intentionally or unintentionally. Fallon is ready for something new, for a change, but outside of loving Robyn what that new thing was left too vague for my liking.
Do they not have faculty meetings? Her gigantic heavy work bag she lugs back and forth to work did make me feel seen. I also appreciated that she frequently considered filling out union incident reports because she was certainly entitled to have done so. The whole storyline with Lukas, her inappropriately fixated principal was an ode to trusting one's instincts when other people think someone is okay.
There is a lot to like in this romance and I am intrigued enough by a lot of supporting characters, particularly Ricky the lead choreographer and organizer of the crew that I will come back to the Happy Endings series again. When his temporary post-prison living arrangements fall apart, Salvador Rosas need a cheap place to crash, quick. Chinita's granddaughter Vanessa, loses her mind when she finds out, but lets him stay anyway, on probation. Sal was sent to prison at 19, after spending most of his teens stealing cars and running with a Hollenbeck gang in East LA, ever since his family started disintegrating after his mother and sister's death.
But just as he was being sentenced, she was finding out she was pregnant by the first boy she ever kissed, another gangster just like him, Sleepy. In the 5 years Sal spent in Prison, Vanessa's life changed. Widowed before she became a mother, she didn't get out of the neighborhood, but she did get her degree. She works hard as bookkeeper, studying hard to pass the CPA exam.
She let her life get derailed once and is determined not to let it ever happen again. Thirsty is told exclusively through Sal's POV, his worries, anxiety and tension about what to do next with his life is central and that focus is what makes this story work. Sal is big, dangerously built, charming and super-sexy, but from his POV we also know how he struggles to acclimate to life outside of prison, to figure out what the right choices are for him.
Hopkins does a wonderful job with depicting the complexity of Vanessa and Sal's connection to their neighborhood and their Mexican American heritage. While I don't love the fact that Sal and Vanessa's ex, were both gang-members and the centrality of gang life to the story, and I wish there were more non-gang affiliated supporting characters in the story, I still liked it. Chinita and her gang of elderly chismosas were a ton of fun.
I also liked the contrasts Hopkins developed between the two white men who enter Sal's life. Barry is his boss at the gym, sees someone he can exploit in Sal. He might frame his offer to train him to be a trainer as something that would benefit both of them, but Sal is right to be wary.
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To Barry, Sal is an opportunity. Alan on the other hand, recognizes in Sal someone with potential. He mentors and befriends without in non-patronizing way. He feeds Sal's curiosity by sharing his passion openly and I wasn't surprised that he was there when Sal needed him most. If you enjoy stories about second chances, about finding a new path in life despite past mistakes, try Thirsty. Despite my wariness that the story w ould reinforce the very harmful stereotypes of Latinx criminality, it was a story that was very respectful of the challenges of growing up with few choices and focused on building a better future.
She absolutely loves Insta-Love romances and has a fantastic set of recommendations for you. Hi Everyone! I am so happy that Ana invited me to RomBkLove. There is something about the gaze from across the room. A spark, a pull-toward, or a click. That instant feeling they were meant to be yours which defies all logic, reason, and reality.
It touches you and you are happily never the same. Sure the attraction is instant. But there is something a bit decadent in the gaze, not in the sense of being objectified but by first by being desired and then wholly accepted by a mate that one hopes is destined to be fated.
I believe elements of Insta-Love are the bedrock to of all Romances and Erotica. That is how we, as readers, believe the unbelievable. These elements are what progresses the story along…and what also stops the story cold. Whether characters have no prior history with one another, are over the top OTT , obsessive, growly, or are wolves or bears. When we think Insta-Love, some authors who come to mind might be E. The Vixen and the Vet by Katy Regnery. Savannah and Asher are both deeply broken in their own ways. She is a disgraced journalist through no fault of her own and he is a war hero, disfigured by a bomb.
Asher lives life as a recluse on his rolling estate, with only the kindly Mrs. Savannah hopes to interview Asher as her piece. And though hidden, as soon as her eyes lock into his from afar, that moment is what sets this story on its path. Not only that, as soon as they touch, they cannot stop holding one another in some manner.
Becoming friends is one thing, but Regnery crafts a deeply moving, Insta-Love tale, where Savannah and Asher fall hard and fast before they know what they are getting themselves into. Though tormented and affected, Asher wants to push himself with Savannah as his inspiration. And Savannah wrestles with what her article brings with it and what her feelings for Asher bring with that. There are a lot of painful passages, but Regnery is never heavy-handed. She treats Asher with the utmost care and does not deliver a cure-all for the varying degrees of wounds examined here. While the Insta-Love is literal, the reality is also very real.
Savannah and Asher need one another to soothe their traumas and their instant connection is one to root all the way for. The Protector by Jodi Ellen Malpas. Ex-military man, Jake Sharp barely lives life fueled by meaningless sex, drinking and his assignments to numb the effects of his PTSD. Socialite Camille Logan is wrestling with independence from her father and the pain of her recent past with an ex. Neither are particularly jazzed by the idea, until the moment they meet. Camille is not at all as fame presents her as. Her warm demeanor reaches places Jake forgot existed.
With super-hot scenes, serious suspense, and an ideal, emotionally wounded Alpha hero, Malpas totally delivers. Stranger by Robin Lovett. There is something about stalkers in Romance. The piercing glances from afar, the combination hints of danger and possibility.
But stalkers and Dark Romances can be tricky for some readers. I have often said that Penny knows who she is and what she wants at all times. She explores her own darkness and that sense of her agency pays off. She stares back and likes it.
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She explores those desires back and likes it. Logic be damned. The hero, Logan, undertakes a dark road of would-be revenge by sucking Penny in by his gaze. He wants her to want him so that he can exact his plot and usurp her safe world. Logan seems obsessive and very intense, but as the story progresses, his plans get thwarted because of his feelings for Penny…in spite of himself. It is a Romance after all.
And Lovett cares about who she is writing for. Her characters are as self-aware as they are fixated, and they embark on individual journeys to embrace the truth of their desires. Royally Matched by Emma Chase. While you might argue that this snicker-induced Royal romp might not qualify as a typical Insta-Love, there are a zillion reasons why it also does. However, once Henry and Sarah do meet, they cannot stop thinking of one another. But staying with it, it makes sense. We believe that he is totally captivated by her. And Henry is totally believable seeking Sarah out as a sort of refuge while also teasing her as he falls for her in return.
The symbolism and the changes they endure for one another is a super fun road to travel. From forced celibacy for show purposes to Sarah allowing Henry to share her room at night away from the cameras.
What starts off as jolly good fun, ends up touchingly sweet. Hot Westmoreland Nights by Brenda Jackson. I am SO hitting an amazing backlist for this category favorite. The novel opens with Chloe noticing the most attractive man she has ever seen from outside her window. Over the phone, Ramsey is not at all interested, so Chloe pays him a visit in hopes of changing his mind. Because she does happen to have experience cooking large scale while spending summers working at a homeless shelter…the fact that she learned from a Mama Francine is pure coincidence ;.
And here is where trouble of the best kind ensues…as well as super-hot sexytimes! When he first sees her, he feels not only lust, but he literally feels her in his gut. From those moments forward, the heat between the two sizzle off the page. Jackson does chemistry right in her Westmoreland stories, but there is something about Ramsey and Chloe that stays with the reader.
We believe the instant attraction and the daydreaming that follows. There is something about Chloe that gets in deep with him. I can keep you here all day talking Insta-Love. Whatever stories appeal to you, RomBkLove has got you covered. Get lost in them. And if you want to discuss even more Insta-Love, come find me any time.
Yesterday's discussion of Insta-love for Day 9 of Romblove was filled recs for books and with stories of real-life Insta-love stories of true love. It was sweet, fun, so emotional and simply hard to put down. Tom's best-friend and roommate has accepted a promotion and left town and he has left behind an empty room and a big hole in Tom's life. The thought of finding a roommate as easy to live with as Josh while he waits for his own promotion and salary bump fills Tom with dread but it is a necessary evil if he doesn't want to burn through his savings.
He is sure however he doesn't want Flick as a roommate. She is just too much, too bright, too energetic, too loud, too everything and he knows it will never work. Flick needs a place to stay, just for 3 months before she heads to Washington and the dream job she has been working towards all of her life. Tom has the room, and she gets things done, even if its maneuvering a big mountain of a man into renting her the room, after all she sells ideas for a living.
This odd couple start out their weeks as roommates doing their best not to run into each other but it doesn't last and soon they are aggravating each other just like they expected too, only Tom does seem to protest too much, especially as the more Flick teases the more he finds himself wanting to kiss her. I really enjoyed this banter-filled story. Flick and Tom spark in all the right ways but it isn't just a romp. Both Flick and Tom have some serious baggage from their childhoods Tom had a distant demanding father and Flick's family is hugely dysfunctional and she is walloped by grief when a dear friend gets to some terrible news.
Master communicators, Flick and Tom excel as misdirection and distraction, doing their best to sound like they have it all together when they absolutely don't. The coupons which may sound gimmicky make total sense in story as these struggle to make sort out their feelings and choices as the deadline of Flick's departure draws ever closer. Chicago-area residents like jenreadsromance are right to point the one thing that didn't work in this story, Tom's love of hiking.
He frequently goes away to hike, off to the mountains, but there just aren't any real good options for doing that in Chicago. Mentally I relocated them to Denver and moved because geographical realities aside, I was totally sucked in by this sexy and emotional romance. The choices made by Flick and Tom made sense to me and I felt they really saw each other and the ending was absolutely satisfying. This past month and half has been rough in Romancelandia.
Since then Black authors have been sharing incredibly painful stories of exclusion.