Booksters, I am feeling all the pressure. The day is upon us. Shop windows have been puking rainbows and hearts for a few weeks now. And I know that some of you don’t give two f…rogs about love and its pertinent celebration. But the day in which we grace the arrival of a certain half naked angel that throws arrows in his quest of finding us a significant other is here nonetheless. So we may as well accept all the chocolate we can get, am I right? After all, tinder dates don’t come wrapped in a sweet and chocolatey exterior.
Listen, I know you don’t want to hear it but I’ll say it anyway just for the sake of being stubborn – and because I love to make a point when I am right, which is most of times *winks*. Love should be celebrated each and every day of the year. But for those of you feeling particularly extra, I am here for you regardless. I celebrate Valentine’s every time I pick up a romance book, and trust me, that is so often I could very well start throwing arrows around. But I want to keep my job and sanity so instead, I am bringing you seven of the latest romance releases. Because we need no partner to celebrate love. We need no roses, no chocolates and no corny cards. Books can be your Valentine. So scroll down and indulge your inner cheeseball. But careful, some of these reads are HOT.
From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
Key facts: sports/ice-skating, slowburn, frenemies, from hate to love, heavy on the banter
Is this book your Valentine? Get a hot date with a sports romance that gets out of the box of the typical football, baseball and anything ball related. Mariana Zapata’s signature slowburn romance can be your date if you are looking for a frenemies that will break the ice with the best from hate to love banter. And trust me, the come-back game of these two is something else.
Blurb | If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one. After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close. But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything. Including Ivan Lukov.
Moonlight Sins by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Key facts: cocky millionaire, instalust, family with dark secrets
Is this book your Valentine? If you are ready for a night with a cocky millionaire with a dark reputation that always gets what he wants and a family full of dirty and dangerous secrets, this one is for you. Beware, this one is a contemporary with some paranormal vibes and a good load of intrigue. Spoiler alert, the de Vincent brothers might be CURSED.
Blurb | Julia Hughes has always played it safe until she learned a very painful lesson. Now Julia’s starting over with a job in the Louisiana bayou—and a scorching encounter with a stranger, only to discover he’s Lucian de Vincent… her new employer. The de Vincent brothers share a massive fortune and a dark reputation. Julia cares for their troubled sister, but a menacing presence in the mansion—and the ever-present temptation of Lucian—prove dangerously distracting. Lucian’s grandmother claimed de Vincent men fall in love once—and hard. Apparently, it’s Lucian’s turn. Julia’s compassionate care of his twin makes Lucian want to lay himself bare. But some secrets are better for Julia not to know. The recent “suicide” of Lucian’s father is the latest in a string of deaths on the estate. Someone is eliminating the de Vincents. And the best way to get to Lucian may be through Julia…
Keep her Safe by K.A. Tucker
Key facts: thriller, crime, (light)romantic suspense,
Is this book your Valentine? If you are not so much about the romance, and more about a well plotted crime, then you are in for a treat. In all honesty, I have just started reading this book and I am making recommendations based on reviews and a few chapters, but booksters, this one looks like a good Valentine’s date if you are looking for a glass of wine and a page turner.
Blurb | Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that’s been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family’s life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret. Gracie Richards wasn’t born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it’s all she knows anymore. At least here people don’t care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive…until a man who clearly doesn’t belong shows up on her doorstep. Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department’s dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined.
The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon
Key facts: friends to lovers, heart breaking/heart melting
Is this book your Valentine? I will be a 100% honest here guys, Amy Harmon is not known for light and fun reads. When you pick up a Harmon, you are in for an emotional ride. One that would probably wreck you, if just a little bit. Having said that, I would recommend this one only to those of you looking for a memorable and emotion filled date night. As for myself, I will be definitely picking this one up this month. Release date: 13th Feb.
Blurb | It was a big lie. The biggest lie she’d ever told. It reverberated through her head as she said it, ringing eerily, and the girl behind her eyes—the girl who knew the truth—screamed, and her scream echoed along with the lie.
“Are you in love with Noah, Mercedes?” Cora asked. “I mean . . . I know you love him. You’ve been friends forever. We all have. But are you in love with him?” If it had been anyone else—anyone—Mercedes would have stuck out her chest, folded her skinny arms, and let her feelings be known. She would have claimed him. But it was Cora. Brave, beautiful, broken Cora, and Cora loved Noah too. So Mercedes lied. And with that lie, she lost him. With that lie, she sealed her fate. She was the best friend, the bridesmaid, the godmother, the glue. She was there for the good times and the bad, the ups and the downs, the biggest moments and the smallest parts. And she was there when it all came crashing down. This is the tale of the girl who didn’t get the guy.
Most Likely to Score by Lauren Blakely
Key facts: sports/football, off-limits romance, sweet and flirty hero
Is this book your Valentine? Lauren Blakely is one of the queens of fun and hot romance. If you want a laid back, drama-less date night with a sweet sweet sweet hero that also is a shameless flirt, this one is for you.
Blurb | It seemed like a good idea at the time… As the team’s publicist, I need a football player to be the face of our charity calendar, and Jones Beckett needs a savvy PR woman to manage his new sponsorship deal. A simple give and take, and I’m sure I’ll have no problem following my iron-clad rule — don’t date a player. And never ever fall for one. No matter how charming, big-hearted and devilishly clever the man is. But you know what they say about best laid plans… Once I start spending my off-season days and nights with Jones, I’m following a brand new playbook, one that has me falling hard for the incorrigible flirt — heart, body and mind. That’s against the rules, and now what seemed like a bright idea has turned into a dangerously forbidden one.
It was supposed to be an I-scratch-her-back-she-scratched-mine kind of arrangement. And man, did Jillian ever drag her nails down my back on one hell of a hot night. Okay fine, it was several hot nights on the road. Now we’re back in town and it’s time to set the play clock back to when we were simply player and publicist. Given the way the last few years have gone, I can’t risk this deal. Trouble is, I want more than than just another night with her. What’s a guy to do when he’s always been most likely to score, but the woman he’s falling for is way off limits?
Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen
Key facts: sports/hockey, friends to lovers, office-romance
Is this book your Valentine? This book is definitely one of my Valentine candidates. If you are a sucker for the friend to lovers trope, then this one may be our perfect date. Plus, a little bird told me that the brooklynaire in question is one of those sweet and sexy guys meant to win our hearts with about a page or two. Release date: 12th Feb
Blurb | You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong. For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard. When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together. Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?
Seek by Mia Sheridan
Key facts: suspense, protector love interest
Is this book your Valentine? According to all the reviews, this book is definitely different from any other Mia Sheridan. Contrary to her usual emotional stories, this one is more on the romantic suspense side of the fence. Set in Colombia and wrapped up with steamy and suspenseful vibes, this is your perfect date only if you want to discover this new side of Sheridan.
Blurb | Wealthy socialite Olivia Barton never imagined her fiancé would disappear on what was supposed to be a routine business trip. She’s even more heartbroken and confused when a hired private investigator tracks him half a world away, to a seaside town in Colombia. But the country has recently been ravaged by a massive earthquake and deadly tsunami, shutting down outside communication and making travel all but impossible. Still, Olivia is determined to make it to Colombia to find the answers she so desperately seeks. What she needs is a guide—a mercenary. The man named Thomas arrives in shadows, an unmistakable air of danger about him, promising to help lead her through the ruined, crime-infested country. But when Thomas and Olivia find themselves fighting an undeniable attraction, danger takes on a whole new meaning. Then again, in the lush jungles of South America, all the rules are different and Thomas and Olivia are about to discover that sometimes the thing you seek, isn’t necessarily the thing you find.
As you see, I have included a little bit of everything so everyone can find their match. Your date could be in this list, so don’t waste time and indulge your romantic side, as small as it may be. Who knows? Even if you are skeptical, you may discover something about yourself or add a new bookboyfriend to your never ending list. But trust me on this, beware of these reads and handle with care because like a wise man once said they are “too hot, hot damn, make a dragon wanna retire man“.