Barnes & Noble buyer Jules Herbert is a driving force behind the excellent selection in Barnes & Noble’s romance section. Here’s his list of recommendations for the month of September:
| Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl (Harlequin, Aug 28)
For makeup artist Grace Barrett, Hollywood hasn’t lived up to the hype. So when her great-aunt offers her a free place to stay in Jackson Hole, Grace thinks she’ll spend a little time in the sticks to figure out her life, and then move somewhere exciting to live out her dreams. But it turns out that there are a few more thrills in this small town than Grace was expecting …mainly her next door neighbor, a rugged Wyoming cowboy named Cole Rawlins.
Can a big city girl and a born and bred country boy have a chance at forever?
| Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster (Sourcebooks, Sept 1)
Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It’s been said he faced down the Echelon’s army single–handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood–craving he’s been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.
When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She’s so…innocent. He doesn’t see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he’s been seeking.
| A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare (HarperCollins, Aug 28)
The very last place Kate Taylor would look for love is in the arms of Corporal Thorne. The militia commander is as stone cold as he is brutally handsome. But when mysterious strangers come searching for Kate, Thorne steps forward as her fiancé. He claims to have only Kate’s safety in mind. So why is there such smoldering passion in his kiss?
| Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James (HarperCollins, Aug 28)
Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous soon-to-be duke James Ryburn to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of his passion. . . until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry.
Now James faces the battle of his life, convincing Theo that he loves the duckling who blossomed into the swan.
| Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh (Penguin, Sept 4)
With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the palace that was his prison, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.
Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one.
Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.
| Blame It on Texas by Christie Craig (Grand Central, Aug 28)
The late night story of a kidnapped girl triggers unexplained memories for Zoe Adams, and she is dead-set on figuring out why. Her search leads her to one of the Lone Star State’s richest families-and to sexy PI Tyler Lopez.
Tyler has sworn off women, but he can’t deny his attraction to Zoe any more than he can deny that some of her crazy story makes sense. Tyler decides he will do anything to protect Zoe-even risk his heart.
| Study in Seduction by Nina Rowan (Grand Central, Aug 28)
Alexander Hall, Viscount Northwood, has purchased a one-of-a-kind locket from a pawnshop, unaware of the priceless sentiment it holds for Lydia Kellaway. The gentlemanly thing to do would be to simply return it. But Alexander is curious to see just how bold this brilliant beauty will be…
And when a dark family secret is suddenly thrown into the equation, it just might divide them forever . . .
| Fool for Love: A Cupcake Lovers Novel by Beth Ciotta (St. Martin’s Press, Aug 28)
When chef-in-training Chloe Madison’s boyfriend dumps her, she decides to start over from scratch—with a new life and job in Sugar Creek, Vermont. What could be sweeter than cooking for an eccentric lady who’s crazy for desserts? What could be more tempting than joining a club called the Cupcake Lovers? Just one thing: local business-hunk Devlin Monroe…
| How to Drive a Dragon Crazy: The Dragon Kin Series by G.A. Aiken (Kensington, Sept 4)
If Éibhear wants to play the caring hero and travel into the most forsaken of Gods forsaken lands to protect the one woman who doesn’t need it–namely me–I’ll let him. Because while I’m trying to fulfill a ridiculous quest for a pushy god, I’m going to draw this overconfident warlord much too close, rekindle his fires, and enjoy every minute of his delicious defeat…
| Playing to Win (Play-by-Play Series #4) by Jaci Burton (Penguin, Sept 4)
Football star Cole Riley is notorious for doing as he pleases—on the field and off. He parties hard and fights harder, but if he doesn’t clean up his act, his career is over—so Cole reluctantly agrees to work with image makeover consultant Savannah Brooks. He’s not used to being told what to do, especially by some (admittedly hot) Southern belle. As for Savannah, she’s not convinced she can transform this cocky (and aggressively sexy) force of nature. But she’s determined to give it her best shot.
When the sparks start to fly, Savannah lays down the ground rules: no personal complications. But for two people determined to have it all, a hands-off policy can only last so long before one of them yields.