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The Best Romances of October: Our Top Picks



Romance best of the monthDebbie Macomber kicks off the month with a Christmas-themed heart-warmer, while Christina Lauren closes out her Beautiful series with a glorious finale.

These and more are among our top romance picks for October. To see the full list of what we selected as best of the month in romance, please click here.

 

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Beautiful by Christina Lauren - Lauren (the pen name of dynamic duo Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) concludes their ten-book series with an opposites-attract romance, as Pippa and Jensen first find much to object to about the other before realizing that they hold the missing pieces that will make them whole. As with most of the other books in the series, Beautiful swirls together laughs, steamy love scenes, and a heightened emotional maturity level (no OMG moments here) to cook up a memorable love story. And readers will learn what has happened to the other couples in this series, bringing an extremely satisfying closure to a consistently great series.
 

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A Change of Heart by Sonali Dev - With her third book, Dev proves herself a master at digging your heart out of your chest, stomping on it, and then cradling it in healing hands. There have been a few customer reviews who think this story lands on the outer line of romance, and I think it's because Dev plunges into a deeper part of the emotional pool than most romance writers regularly wade into. The plot: She has his dead wife's heart; his heart is so broken by his wife's murder that it hardly works, plus he's trying to kill himself with alcohol. They team up to locate his wife's killers, and in the process they peel back the layers on their own damaged souls so they can find both trust and justice. Dev's writing evokes all kinds of scary emotions. Yep, you might cry, and it might be ugly crying. But you will feel fantastic in the end.
 

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  A Change of Heart by Sonali Dev - On her fourth book in this series, Ruggle proves that she has nailed the tough sweetheart heroine, and Daisy Little is yet another winning protagonist. I could spend paragraphs talking about what I like about this series (small Colorado town with a survivalist bent, first-responder heroes and heroines, inevitable-seeming love, heroes who are never, ever a-holes), but I'll focus on one thing, which is that Ruggle makes readers see beyond easy stereotypes. In this novel, our heroine Daisy is a shut-in who hasn't left her house since her mom was killed in front of her eight years ago, but that doesn't make her wacky, weird, or weak. It just makes her different. You can jump into the series here, but because there's a mystery that spans all the books, I recommend starting at the beginning with Hold Your Breath.
 

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Hero in the Highlands by Suzanne Enoch - Funny and brash, with little of the usual focus on the importance of titles and marriage obligations (or virginity, for that matter), Hero of the Highlands yanks an English army major off the battlefield with Wellington and stuffs him into a duke's role. But like always, Major Gabriel Forrester is not going to handle the situation as everyone expects him to do. Within days of gaining the duchy, he disregards his fancier properties and heads off to the Highlands to deal with his recalcitrant estate manager--who turns out to be the smart but secretive Fiona Blackstock, who will do almost anything to get him to return south of the border. When Fiona and Gabriel realize they have an enemy in common, they realize, too, how important each is to the prosperity of the people who depend on them. Saucy verbal dueling and sizzling bedroom shenanigans keep them on their toes as they maneuver toward a happy conclusion neither expects.
 

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Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber - Macomber's newest novel pits a friendly optimist against a bah-humbug pessimist during the run-up to Christmas in a fun and clever scenario. When Julie decides to focus her blog on how she's decided to kill her surly neighbor with kindness, she doesn't expect the amount of traffic and support she gets from her blog readers--or that her neighbor, Cain, isn't actually as bad as he first acts. Julie realizes that Cain has become more than a blog post to her, and Cain figures out that his days are empty without Julie's bubbliness--but will that be enough when Julie reveals that she's been documenting their relationship? Macomber's characters gravitate toward the light even during their darkest moments, and this heartwarming holiday season-starter will get you in a generous frame of mind.
 

 

 

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