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The Best Romances of September: Our Top 5 Picks



Best romances of the monthFacing mistakes made in the past, a hot rookie hockey player, a Scotsman who wants nothing to do with his troublesome new ward, and the ongoing battle in postapocalypse L.A. to hold onto heart and soul are among the best romances of September.

 

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Because I'm Watching by Christina Dodd - I've enjoyed Dodd's Virtue Falls romantic suspense series, but this newest entry is absolutely gripping. The couple is unusual--he's the town hermit, and she's the town crazy-lady--and they both suffer from awful events in the past. Because they're both kinda bonkers, they recognize themselves in each other and recognize that "crazy" isn't always crazy. The sheriff also has a keener appreciation than most law enforcement officers that just because something is weird doesn't mean it isn't real. An unpredictable plot, characters that don't adhere to the usual tropes, and a small town that's more poisonous than cozy all adds up to a mesmerizing read. My only quibble is that the couple declare their love for each other a bit quickly, but, hey, it's a romance. I can live with it.
 

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Shadow Falling by Rebecca Zanetti - If you like alpha heroes, smart heroines, and the postapocalyse, I heartily recommend Zanetti's Scorpius Syndrome series. This is book two, and I liked it even better than the first. This hero is more conflicted but less of an a-hole, she sees ghosts and can maybe read minds, and the infected, sociopathic president is still trying to find the location of the drug that could cure humanity, though for the worst possible reasons. Torn loyalties, chest-beating male posturing, hot sex, and a bunch of gun battles give this action romance a delicious sizzle.
 

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Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen - Speaking of chest-beating males...yum. Georgia has her hands full as the only publicist for the Brooklyn Bruisers professional hockey team even before the team announces that they've hired her father as the new coach and her high-school boyfriend, Leo, as their newest rookie player. On top of that, Leo has a talent for saying or doing the wrong thing and getting in the news for it, adding to her workload. Georgia doesn't regret dumping Leo when they graduated, but he is the only guy who ever held her heart. And when Leo wants to reconnect with the only girl he's ever loved, Georgia tries really hard to say no. Sweet on the emotional side, sexy under the covers, plus modern and funny, Rookie Move is a true winner.
 

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A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean - A Scottish duke wants nothing to do with England and manages to avoid the whole darn country for five years until he's alerted that he has a ward living in London who has been embroiled in a scandal. When he rides to the rescue, he learns his ward is older than expected (almost twenty-five) and the scandal--she's been painted nude by a well-known artist--will be solved only by marriage. Warnick grimly reenters London society to bring Lillian to the attention of some suitable and desperate men. While the identity of the groom is predictable, the path MacLean trods to get there is not. Lillian's and Warnick's stubbornness provide entertaining battles while each struggles to resolve the damage past loves have on his or her present self-worth. Nuanced and enjoyable, with light touches of humor at just the right moments.
 

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Last Chance Rebel by Maisey Yates - Modern realistic romances (meaning no kidnappings, shapeshifters, or BDSM clubs are involved) rarely revolve around truly difficult obstacles between hero and heroine. Maybe someone has to choose love over career or get over a bad boy/girlfriend from the past or negotiate with the hot cowboy who owns the neighboring ranch, but who doesn't have those daily problems to solve? Last Chance Rebel takes romantic conflict to an Everest-high level with a women who was scarred and broken by a car accident when she was a child and the man who recklessly drove that car and then left town right after the accident, returning to "fix" his victim almost two decades later. Hats off to Yates for setting up an almost unsurmountable challenge for her characters, and then for conquering it and its enormously complicated emotional hurdles. There's a lot of talk here about feelings and forgiveness, plus a fair amount of unspoken, physical communication (if you get my drift...), culminating in a love story that might defy common sense but listens to the heart.
 

 My other picks for best of the month in romance include Tawna Fenske's latest comic romance, Fern Michael's Fast and Loose (Men of the Sisterhood series), the tale of a European polo-playing royal who comes to New York and falls for a geek girl, and more. See the full list here.

 


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