Bestseller Susan Mallery kicks off a new series with Sweet Talk. Three sisters are in conflict in this story centered on concert pianist Claire Keyes. A child prodigy, Claire left home at six to pursue her music. But her twin's surgery sends her back to Seattle to reconnect with her roots and renew a relationship with sisters Nicole and Jesse - no easy task. There's discord between the two Seattle sisters, and Claire's twin Nicole resents Claire's more glamorous life. Those negative feelings rub off on Nicole's friend, single dad Wyatt Knight, who is attracted to the beautiful and determined Claire as she works to fit in and be "normal." While doing so, Claire confronts past choices and finds renewed confidence and a restored relationship with her twin. Both allow her to reach for more - for Wyatt and what they could have together. Complications arise and compromises are made, but these two find their way to an adult and satisfying resolution. Yet all three Keyes sisters are not settled at story's end, leaving the reader eager for Mallery's next installment in this entertaining contemporary romantic drama.

Read something sweet

Marriage 101 by Deborah Shelley is a short romance with a charming premise. When first-year high school teacher Rachel Levin is challenged by students in her life skills class to practice what she's teaching, she can't refuse a school year-long "marriage" to coach Danny Ricucci. After all, she holds a master's degree in human relationships. Surely she can negotiate nine months of close proximity to a man so much her opposite. Danny, however, is not certain their pretend pairing can last even that long, since he's convinced he inherited the Ricucci "divorce gene." But real chemistry can cause a man to change his mind, and both Rachel and Danny look beyond their expectations as they deal with matrimonial issues as well as spend Thanksgiving and then Hanukkah together. This story ends with the first kiss the characters share, but the promise of a lifetime is in both their hearts.

Explore something rare

Bookshelves hold few new Western historical romances, which makes Beth Ciotta's Fall of Rome a welcome find. This reunion romance pairs former Wells Fargo detective Rome Garrett with the woman who broke his heart—retired professional gambler Katrina Simmons. While anger still simmers between them, they overlook the emotion to team up against hardened killer Bulls-Eye Brady. Rome wants to prove his worth as the newest member of the covert government agency, the Peacemakers Alliance, while Kat has a much more personal motivation. There are poker games and dusty desert rides, cold-blooded desperadoes and heroic Western men. As the action-packed story plays out, former lovers Rome and Kate rekindle their romance, but this time find a more honest intimacy. The large cast of characters, including Rome's family and their love interests, make for a rollicking read.

Chill with something suspenseful

Then You Hide by Roxanne St. Claire is a return to the intriguing Bullet Catchers Agency, which is trying to persuade former sniper Wade Cordell to join the team. He's offered a "gimme" assignment: bring Wall Street blonde Vanessa Parker back from her Caribbean vacation. The investment banker is one of a secret set of triplets that are the key to saving a woman's life and solving an old murder. Problem is, the fast-talking, fast-walking New Yorker has an agenda of her own - to track down a good friend gone missing. She won't leave sun and sand until he's located, so Wade swallows his annoyance and attempts to duck his attraction as he helps Vanessa with her task. Wade and Vanessa have to fight bad guys and find out some truths about themselves before they can solve the puzzle and confront their feelings for each other. Then You Hide is a riveting story sure to please lovers of romantic suspense.

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