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Find more Top 10 Romance Fiction
Wit and fortitude distinguish the smart women protagonists in the best romances of the last 12 months as authors ingeniously spin new gold out of classic themes in vivid and compelling tales set both in the past and the present and on city streets and the open road.
Bedding Lord Ned. By Sally MacKenzie. 2012. Zebra, paper, $7.99 (9781420123210).
The ever-witty MacKenzie launches a new historical series in a novel about long-separated childhood friends Nell and Ned, and Ned’s clever matchmaker mother, Lady “Venus” Valentine.
Blue Moon Bay. By Lisa Wingate. 2012. Bethany, paper, $14.99 (9780764208225).
In Wingate’s warm, involving parable of a prodigal daughter, architect Heather Hampton is excited about building an industrial plant, but everyone in her Texas hometown is against it, even banker Blaine Underhill.
Can’t Buy Me Love. By Molly O’Keefe. 2012. Bantam, $7.99 (9780440423072).
RITA Award winner O’Keefe presents a gritty yet touching start to a new series about Crooked Creek Ranch and a wildly dysfunctional dynastic family circle that includes hockey legend Luc, stepsister Victoria, scam artist Tara Jean, and ranch hand Eli.
Forever and a Day. By Delilah Marvelle. 2012. HQN, paper, $7.99 (9780373776368).
In the first title in her new Rumor series, an incisive tale of social divides set in lower-class New York City, circa 1830, Marvelle brings together down-to-earth Georgia and a Good Samaritan afflicted with amnesia who turns out to be a duke.
The Great Escape. By Susan Elizabeth Phillips. 2012. Morrow, $25.99 (9780062106063).
Romance star Phillips continues the story she began in Call Me Irresistible (2011) with Lucy Jorick, an ex-president’s daughter, abandoning her fiancé at the altar and accepting a lift from a motorcyclist in this sexy, funny, and emotionally complex jewel.
A Lady Never Lies. By Juliana Gray. 2012. Berkley Sensation, paper, $7.99 (9780425250921).
Gray’s captivating debut portrays widowed Lady Alexandra Morley as she seeks refuge in Italy, only to find that several prominent Englishman have come to the same Tuscan castle.
The Lord of Illusion. By Kathryne Kennedy. 2012. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paper, $7.99 (9781402236549).
In her superb third fantasy-steeped romantic-suspense novel in the Elven Lords series, Kennedy follows outcast Drystan as he searches for the rainbow-eyed girl of his visions and finds enslaved Camille.
The Night Is Mine. By M. L. Buchman. 2012. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paper, $6.99 (9781402258107).
Buchman sends chef and helicopter pilot Captain Emily Beale on special assignment to the White House in this hard-to-put-down tale of nonstop action, a surprise villain, and forbidden love.
Rainshadow Road. By Lisa Kleypas. 2012. St. Martin’s/Griffin, paper, $14.99 (9781429938372).
Kleypas begins a new trilogy with this emotionally riveting, lightly paranormal tale about romance-leery glass artist Lucy and Sam, who is not now nor ever will be interested in a long-term relationship.
The Ugly Duchess. By Eloisa James. 2012. Avon, paper, $7.99 (9780062021731).
James expertly infuses her latest fairy-tale love story with humor and sensuality as wealthy Theodora Saxby, certain that with her looks only a fortune hunter will marry her, is forced to reconsider her best friend, the Earl of Islay.
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