With summer’s approach, it’s time for books destined to fill those long hours of daylight or the warmth of a flower-scented night with steamy stories. From regency to contemporary romances, this month’s selections really turn up the heat. Enjoy!

Readers will delight in returning to Serenity, South Carolina, and the friends, neighbors and lovers there in Sweet Tea at Sunrise by Sherryl Woods. Sarah Price has returned home with her two young children after the disintegration of her marriage. Her job in the local diner puts her in the direct path of handsome stranger Travis McDonald. He flirts as naturally as he breathes, so Sarah can’t take him seriously—or can she? When he offers her a job, it only intensifies the conflict she feels. Ex-baseball star Travis wants to put down roots and he wants Sarah too, though he’s stymied about how best to convince the relationship-shy woman to take him on. Other characters from the series weave in and out, offering new insights to the couple and sometimes further complications. A great read for warm afternoons and for those who enjoy watching likeable characters grow and change.

A regency romp
Regency heiress Sophie Stanton has finally caught the attention of the man she loves in Sex and the Single Earl by Vanessa Kelly. Interested in Sophie’s lands, Simon St. James has decided he will marry her. Unfortunately, trouble trails Sophie, and the gossip that ensues once the two are set to marry might blow up Simon’s careful plans to expand his holdings and keep Sophie out of trouble. But their attraction is explosive too, and while Sophie is unsure of Simon’s motives, she can’t turn from what she finds in his arms. However, when she discovers how cold-blooded he’s been in courting her, can he convince the girl he’s always watched over that she’s the woman he wants beside him for the rest of his life? Sexy and charming, this fast-paced romance will have readers rooting for Sophie and Simon to survive impending scandal and find their happy-ever-after.

Top pick
What could be better than a wedding . . . except wedding cake? Baking such scrumptious delights is the specialty of Laurel McBane, the heroine in book three of Nora Roberts’ Bride Quartet, Savor the Moment. Laurel is content with her place in the wedding planning company she runs with her three pals, but her personal life is not so successful. Though all her life she’s been attracted to her best friend’s brother, Ivy League lawyer Delaney Brown, she’s sure he’ll never see her that way—until the day she plants a killer kiss on him. What follows is the pleasure of watching two people negotiate a new kind of relationship and fall deeply in love. With weddings as the atmosphere surrounding the story, this is romance with a capital R, as well as a lovely look into the dynamics of close female friendship. Readers will close it with a heartfelt sigh.

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