Shelley Coriell keeps it gritty and real in The Broken. Three years ago, TV reporter Kate Johnson survived a vicious knife attack, but the perpetrator was never caught. She’s been on the run ever since, certain the villain wants to finish the job. Now other female reporters are being murdered, and Kate knows the Broadcast Butcher is the same criminal who came after her. FBI agent Hayden Reed suspects the same and tracks Kate down for her help. At first she doesn’t want to cooperate. She has little faith in justice and is afraid her involvement will put her at risk. But though Hayden is organized and efficient, there’s something about him that makes a free spirit like Kate trust him. When he says he’ll keep her safe, she begins to believe he can. Hayden does his best to stay detached from the beautiful woman—his usual M.O. to keep himself sane as he hunts down monsters—but he cares about Kate . . . too much? As his feelings for her grow, so does his fear for her survival. A story with as many twists as there are suspects, The Broken is sure to keep readers of romantic suspense up all night.

SUN AND FUN
A woman unexpectedly finds romance in No Sunshine When She’s Gone by Kate Angell. Builder Aidan Cates and his date stop for a reading at a psychic fair. When a fortune-teller reveals that Aidan’s companion has been cheating on him and then he discovers that the seer is no psychic at all, he’s angry—and intrigued enough to track down the mystery woman. Confronted by sexy Aidan, Jillian Mac confesses that her “reading” was inspired by a conversation she’d overheard at a restaurant the night before and that she’s temporarily in town doing PR work for the local baseball team. Because of the sparks that instantly fly between them, much about Jill’s usual, no-permanence life changes. Aidan’s roots go deep in the town, and it’s not long before he wants this beauty to set down her roots, too. Love makes Jill feel too vulnerable, however, so it’s a waiting game to see if her heart will override her fears. A secondary romance between a grouch and a good girl rounds out this sunny novel of love.

TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
There are very sweet Dreams of Lilacs in Lynn Kurland’s latest medi­eval romance. Youngest daughter Isabelle (“Iz”) de Piaget is tired of standing in the shadows. It’s not until she receives a blackmail note, though, that she concocts a plan to escape the overprotective bonds of her family. Instructed to go to an abbey in France or her grandparents will be killed, Isabelle disguises herself as a boy and is on her way. A shipwreck takes her off course, though, and she’s rescued by one Gervase de Seger, who’s recovering from his own mishap. It takes some time before Iz’s true gender and identity are revealed, but when they compare situations, Gervase and Iz realize that they both may be targets of a murderer. Various family members arrive on the scene to unravel the mystery—and perhaps save Iz from the clutches of a man who’s rumored to be overly friendly with the ladies. But Iz’s heart is already lost, and Gervase will stop at nothing to have her—unless a villain stops him first. Kisses only, and filled with style, adventure and wit.

 

This article was originally published in the May 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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