A woman risks her heart and then her life in Firewall by DiAnn Mills. Genius software developer Taryn Young thinks she finally has everything: a great job, a man who loves her, a brand-new marriage. But disaster strikes before the honeymoon can begin when an airport bombing injures Taryn, and her husband disappears. At the hospital, it’s clear the authorities suspect Taryn might be involved in the death and destruction. FBI Special Agent Grayson Hall’s gut tells him the beautiful woman is truly bewildered by what’s come to pass, but that doesn’t stop him from investigating her and the man she married. Fingers are pointed in several directions, but as the truth comes to light, so does more danger for Taryn and Grayson. When a child is kidnapped, the two must work together to stop evil in its tracks. A skillful blend of suspense, romance and spirituality, this book’s intricate storyline will keep readers guessing.

How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less by Elizabeth Michels pits an unusual earl’s daughter against a very proper lord. The dignified Andrew Clifton, Lord Amberstall, is thrown from his horse and lands at the estate of Katie Moore. When he wants to put his injured horse out of its misery, Katie insists on trying to heal the animal. Stymied by the stubborn miss, Andrew is forced to wait out the recovery. While doing so, he learns to appreciate the quirks of his hostess: her blunt manners, her affinity for wearing breeches and the fact that she lives alone in the gamekeeper’s cottage instead of in her stately home. As word of trouble at his own estate reaches him, Andrew reluctantly leaves the fiery beauty, only to confront a nefarious villain bent on taking his lands and life. Katie follows her heart and rushes to the nobleman’s aid, even though it appears she will be too late. This is a touching tale of two people learning to look below the surface.

The importance of family and the emotional hazards of love are explored in Sarah Morgan’s Suddenly Last Summer. Dedicated surgeon Sean O’Neil puts plenty of distance between himself and his family’s mountain resort in Vermont. To him, it’s always felt like an albatross. But when a relative’s illness forces him back into the family fold, he begins to see the place and his past through different eyes. He can thank French chef Élise Philippe for that—and for the way she’s making it hard for him to sleep at night. Élise wants a no-strings relationship. Which sounds fine to Sean . . . until it doesn’t. Will he be able to convince wary Élise that they have more than just sexual chemistry? Will he find a way to reconcile his devotion to medicine and his responsibility to the O’Neils and their resort? Élise has her own troubled history that makes the resort her haven, but falling for Sean and then losing him might jeopardize the peace she finds among the mountains. In this engaging novel, the stakes aren’t life-or-death, but life-and-love, which readers will find just as entertaining.

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a 7 questions interview with Sarah Morgan about Suddenly Last Summer.

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

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