An heiress with a secret, a librarian who thinks she’s undateable, and a cat thief with a weakness for an FBI agent are among our picks for the best romances of the month. Whether you like mafia romances, family dramas, historical romances, outrageously funny stories, or suspenseful thrillers, we have some romance suggestions for you.
The Undateable by Sarah Title – I think I snort-giggled all the way through Title’s contemporary romance set in the dating landscape of San Francisco. Wise, funny, and spot-on in its gleeful puncturing of male and female stereotypes, this tale of a librarian who unwittingly becomes the face of a "Disapproving librarian disapproves" meme will have you cheering Bertie on as she agrees to go on thirty dates in thirty days to prove to herself that she’s not undateable. Bertie is helped/hindered by Colin, a staff writer for locally based fashion magazine
Glaze, who is sponsoring Bertie’s makeover as a publicity stunt. You might think that Bertie is being set up for a
My Fair Ladyish ending, wherein conforming to society’s expectations of how a Woman Should Be/Look/Talk allows Bertie to Finally Find True Love. Pish. Though Colin has bro tendencies, he’s fairly enlightened and aware, making him Bertie’s perfect sparring partner as he briefs her and then debriefs her for her dates. It’ll be no surprise that eventually Bertie debriefs Colin as well, but it’s supremely satisfying. Top pick of the month.
Cole by Tijan – A year after her husband’s death in a car crash (which happens a wee bit dramatically right in front of her eyes), Addison takes her best friend’s advice and moves closer to downtown and into an uber-exclusive condo. She meets a few new friends, as well as a darkly attractive man who may or may not live in the building and who may or may not be in the mafia, too. Intense emotions ranging from grief to guilt to passion scald every page, while a feud between Cole and Addison’s former in-laws keeps the action hot as well. It’s not a perfect book–Cole has limited point-of-view scenes, and his first one shows up halfway through the story–but it’s a deeply engaging one. Another winner from Tijan.
Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout – Sasha Keaton returns to the small inn her mother runs in West Virginia to help her mom out as she gets older and to finally face down the ghosts left by the Groom, a serial killer who kidnapped young women ten years ago–and who kidnapped Sasha as well before he was killed by police. While Sasha escaped the Groom, she’s never escaped the damage he did to her self-esteem, her dreams, and her budding relationship with Cole Landis. But when Sasha returns to town, young women start disappearing again, and disturbing events signal that Sasha may be a target once more. Cole,now an FBI agent, makes it his mission to protect Sasha from this new Groom copycat. Some truly scary events as well as details of Sasha’s time in captivity make this not a novel for those who are squeamish, but readers with stronger stomachs will devour this tightly wound romantic thriller.
A Lady’s Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran – For years, heiress Jane Mason has been at the mercy of her horrible uncle, who has been siphoning off her funds even as he strives for power in Parliament. The last person Jane expects to help her escape her situation is Crispin Burke, a handsome but morally blackened confederate of her uncle’s who appears to care only about ruthlessly accumulating power. Burke gives Jane the initial helping hand, but it’s his fall that will allow her the ultimate opportunity to seize her destiny. To say more would ruin a deliciously intriguing plot. Just trust in Duran to dig into the dark corners of this complex relationship between two stubborn people who will discover unwelcome truths about how far they will go to get what they want, even as they learn to rely on each other. Love blooms here in rocky ground, but it becomes all the stronger.
Stealing Mr. Right by Tamara Morgan – I debated whether I should include
Stealing Mr. Right on this list not because it isn’t entertaining, tightly paced, and filled with remarkably vivid characters. It is all those things and more. But it is also unusual in that it starts off with the heroine (Penelope Blue) fairly happily married to the hero (Grant Emerson). Sure, they have some problems. He’s an FBI agent; she’s a cat burglar who has not given up her life of crime. He’s clearly after the fortune her father hid before vanishing; she is on the hunt, too, though the money has eluded her for ten years. But when Grant shows up in the middle of a diamond necklace heist that he never should have known about…and then brings the necklace home "for safekeeping" after Penelope calls the theft off, Penelope has to figure out what’s real and what’s not in her marriage. Laugh-out-loud scenes intersperse with genuinely emotional moments, keeping the reader delightfully off-balance. If you’re looking for something just a bit different, this is an excellent choice.
A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery – Mallery continues her Mischief Bay series with the story of two families who are weaving into each other’s lives in ways no one could have foreseen. Zoe and Jen have been inseparable friends…until Jen has a new baby and doesn’t have as much time for their friendship any more. It’s not Zoe’s fault that Jen’s mother, Pam, is now filling the gap, or that Jen’s brother has seemed to notice that Zoe is not just friendship-worthy but could be something far more. But when Zoe’s dad decides that Pam could be something more for
him, well, that’s when things get complicated. Warm, gregarious, and written with the little nuances that set Mallery’s novels apart from the crowd, this is perfect for those who love feisty and fun family dramas.
Discover our other picks for the best romances of March, including new books from Donna Grant, Rochelle Alers, Molly O’Keefe, Megan Frampton, Lora Leigh, and Paige Tyler.
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