AAR staffers have taken a good look at the wealth of new books being published in August and decided which ones are most likely to make the biggest dents in our bank balances! Joanna Bourne is at the top of several of our lists, closely followed by Tessa Dare, Shana Galen, Layla Reyne and K.J Charles, among others. Here are the books we’re most looking forward to reading next month. How about you? Do you agree with our choices or think we’ve missed out on something really good? Jump into the discussion in the comments.

Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne (1 Aug)

Um. It’s a new book in the Spymasters series by Joanna Bourne.  Surely I don’t need to say anything else?! – Caz

Joanna Bourne. That is all. If there’s a stronger series than her Spymasters, I haven’t read it. – Dabney

Like (pretty much) everyone else in historical Romancelandia, I love the Spymasters series.  I’m invested in the characters, their relationships to each other and the wonderful combination of intrigue and romance Ms. Bourne crafts in each of these wonderful books.  We met Severine de Cabrillac as a young girl and it’s been a long wait to read her story. – Em

Who isn’t dying waiting for this to be released? I’ve been waiting for months ever since I found out Ms. Bourne was writing Sévie’s story. And the buzz around the book says that it is fabulous.- Keira

It was Joanna Bourne’s historical romance The Spymaster’s Lady that brought me back to reading romances after a hiatus of several years, so any book she writes is an auto-read for me. I love her smart, savvy heroines and her ability to craft a riveting story. – Maria Rose

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The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (22 Aug)

A scarred, grumpy duke who needs an heir meets a spirited seamstress who needs employment. I’m a sucker for marriage of convenience stories, and am looking forward to this latest from the queen of the historical rom-com  – Caz

Ms. Dare almost always works for me. Her blend of smart, sexy, and funny is my catnip. – Dabney

A marriage of convenience between a scarred duke and a kindly vicar’s daughter.  Coming from the mind of Tessa Dare this tale as old as time will be chock full of humor and heart. – Sara

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Traitor in Her Arms by Shana Galen (22 Aug)

A lady thief, a dashing spy, the Scarlet Pimpernel and the French Revolution… count me in! – Caz

I always enjoy Ms. Galen’s novels and a few of them are historical romance favorites.  Traitor in Her Arms is the start of her new Scarlet Chronicles series and features spies, the French revolution and the Scarlet Pimpernel.  She’s a thief, he’s a spy and it all sounds awesome! – Em

Thieves, spies and a plot to unmask the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel.  Shana Galen’s new series of spy vs. spy has all the hallmarks of a romantic adventure for the characters and readers alike. – Sara

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Irresistible You by Kate Meader (14 Aug)

Kate Meader won me over with her Chicago firefighters and I’m hoping she can do the same with her new series which features a pro-hockey team set in that same city. – Dabney

Ms. Meader is one of my favorites and now she’s writing about hockey. Praise be to Romancelandia; get this one on my Kindle immediately. – Kristen

First she tackled chefs in her Hot in the Kitchen series, then firefighters in her Hot in Chicago series. Now Kate Meader is trying her hand at hockey players in the Chicago Rebels series. Irresistible You pits NHL owner Harper against her star center Remy who will do whatever it takes to get a Stanley Cup and if it gets Harper into his bed along the way, well, all’s fair in love and hockey. – Maria Rose

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Barrel Proof by Layla Reyne (7 Aug)

This is the last in the Irish and Whiskey series and all the loose ends in the adventures of FBI agents, Aiden ‘Irish’ Talley and Jameson ‘Whiskey’ Walker, are revealed and sorted out. Although, I am drawn to unusual protagonists or ‘underdogs’ usually, I do have the odd penchant for the alpha male stories. Reyne has written this alpha trilogy with heart. These men have idiosyncrasies and faults, which allow the reader to care about them.  – BJ

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in Layla Reyne’s Agents Irish and Whiskey trilogy of romantic suspense novels.  The two central characters have terrific chemistry and the plots are well-constructed and real edge-of-the-seat stuff; this final book will see the conclusion to the story arc begun in the first book, and I can’t wait to read it! – Caz

I’ve given each of the books that preceded this one DIK status and I have high hopes for this concluding chapter in the Irish and Whiskey series.  Ms. Reyne does an excellent job balancing the romance between her FBI partners and their casework – while crafting a credible terrorist plot that links the books together.  I’m hopeful Aidan is finally ready to commit to Jamie…  Oh, Aidan.  Jamie loves you – let him! – Em

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Seeing Red by Sandra Brown

Brown has made a home for herself in the world of romantic suspense, and her newest – about a journalist searching for her next big scoop and an ATF agent whose legendary father provides her with it – looks like it should be tense and crackling. – Lisa

I look forward to all this author’s work. Very few of her books are bad, most are good and some border on brilliant. This story, featuring a reporter, an ATF agent and family secrets sounds intriguing. – Maggie

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Spectred Isle by K.J. Charles (5 Aug)

Why is this release exciting? Well, it’s written by K.J. Charles who has never written a novel that disappointed me. It is a paranormal, set post World War 1 in the roaring twenties. It is also the first in a new series. I love series about groups who investigate the paranormal and are set in a different time – perfect! – BJ

I will read anything Ms. Charles writes, and the synopsis for this sounds incredibly intriguing.  Set in the same world as her Simon Feximal stories, this is the first in her new Green Men series and tells the story of a hidden war being fought by supernatural powers, which the author says is “bursting with English magic–including some real and quite extraordinary London folklore”…  I’m hooked already! – Caz

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Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell (15 Aug)

Romance + sports + queer characters should equal a trifecta of terrific for this Hassell fan.  I can’t wait for this football romance and really, the only thing that could make it better, is if it was about hockey!  Illegal Contact is the start of a new series and I’m looking forward to reading about sexy bodies, locker room hijinx and spandex.  YES PLEASE. – Em

Santino Hassell has already become a favorite author of mine with his Five Boroughs series, a gritty sexy look at different areas and unique characters in New York City and his Cyberlove series about finding love online with co-author Megan Erickson. I can’t wait to read his first sports/football romance! – Maria Rose

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The Betting Vow by K.M. Jackson (29 Aug)

Ms. Jackson has been making waves in the romance world in recent times, and she’s been on my radar to read, and this frenemies to lovers workplace romance sounds like an interesting premise. – Keira

K.M. Jackson’s Unconventional Brides series is one that came to my attention recently and this romantic comedy series looks like a lot of fun! This one has a modern marriage of convenience theme involving a bet, a TV producer, and the woman he wants to star in his show. I’m looking forward to reading this new-to-me author! – Maria Rose

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We’re also looking forward to…


Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons) (29 Aug) by Leigh Bardugo
This is the big one — a YA novel about Wonder Woman — by best-selling author Leigh Bardugo! I’m not sure if I want to get the Kindle edition or spring for the hardcover with the cool cover…



The Hearts We Sold (8 Aug) by Emily Lloyd-Jones


It sounds like Faust meets YA fantasy. This is a hotly anticipated YA novel about a girl who makes a deal with the devil. Of course, this creates a nightmare, and on top of that, she falls in love with a boy….


Toxic by Nicole Blanchard

A prison nurse falls in love with a prisoner, and helps him escape. This plot sounds like “What the what?” So I want to give it a try.


Dirty Dancing at Devil’s Leap by Julie Anne Long

I liked the second book in this series better than the first and I’m hoping, as Ms. Long hones her craft at writing contemporaries, that this novel, the third is a winner.


Disorderly Conduct by Tessa Bailey

Sometimes all I want is a foul-mouthed alpha hero. Ms. Bailey excels at those!



The Daughters of Ireland  by Santa Montefiore (15 Aug)

I enjoy books where intertwining strands of story come together and veer away again and again weaving a tale of ever-increasing complexity. Ms. Montefiore is an author I haven’t read before, but she comes across highly recommended.

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Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent (15 Aug)

What I’m most excited about for this book is for you all to read it! This is an American release of an Irish publication and I’ve been chomping at the bit to force everyone I know to read it since I got to in 2014. If you’re a suspense fan, this story of a sociopath in Dublin and the ripples he causes will have you on the very edge of your seat.

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Ready to Run by Lauren Layne (22 Aug)

The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride? Yes, please, with a big cherry on top. This is the launch of Ms. Layne’s newest series, so not only am I excited to get more of her writing in my life, but I’m excited to be introduced to a whole new world of characters.

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The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin (8 Aug)

Since I’ve enjoyed this author’s historical inspirationals for their great emotional intensity, I’m looking forward to reading this contemporary about two people healing from past heartbreak. – LaVerne

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The Texas Rancher’s New Family by Allie Pleiter (1 Aug)

If it’s Allie Pleiter, I know I’ll get a little faith, a touch of humor, and a whole lot of romance. Add an Australian connection, and I’m in! – LaVerne

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The Paris Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal (1 Aug)

This is the next in the Maggie Hope spy series.  Apparently this story concerns her missing sister.  Really excellent series; the author does a lot of research.

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On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen (1 Aug)

This latest book in the Royal Spyness series is about an impoverished young woman in 1935 London.  Lady Georgiana Rannoch always manages to get involved in solving crimes – while on a budget.

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Escape to You: A Montana Heat Novel by Jennifer Ryan (29 Aug)

Ryan’s latest features a hero protecting a famous actress and a vulnerable child from a stalker.  It sounds like it could be delightful, and Ryan’s good at writing honorable heroes.  – Lisa

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Once a Rebel by Mary Jo Putney (29 Aug)

Childhood best friends reunite during the tumult of the War of 1812, and quickly discover that there’s something more bubbling for them under the surface.  I’m absolutely weak for a plot like this one, and Putney’s always good at writing redeemed rogues.  – Lisa

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The Other Girl by Erica Spindler

Spindler is a rising light in the romantic suspense world and her last few books have been well worth reading. In her latest, a gruesome crime scene forces a young police officer to face a past she has long tried to forget. I love mysteries that mix past and present and it looks like this is going to be a good one.

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Maria Rose:

The Billionaire’s Intern by Jackie Ashenden (1 Aug)

Jackie Ashenden has been very prolific this year with books in 4 (!) different series being published. Sexy, intense, and highly entertaining romances are her trademark and this story of an undercover spy falling for her father’s enemy sounds like an exciting read! – Maria Rose

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The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter (8 Aug)

Karin Slaughter is an auto buy author for me. Her latest thriller has been on my radar since I first heard about it earlier this year. I’m counting down the days until it comes out.

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The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory (8 Aug)

Fans of well-written historical fiction should look no further than this latest release from Philippa Gregory. It looks like exactly the kind of huge novel I love to lose myself in.

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Devil’s Cut by J.R. Ward (1 Aug)

I loved the first two books in Ms. Ward’s Bourbon Kings trilogy, and, although I’m sad The Devil’s Cut is the last book in the series, I’m still super excited to get my hands on it. It promises to be just as deliciously scandalous as the previous books, making it one of my most anticipated books of the year.

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Saving Mr. Perfect by Tamara Morgan (1 Aug)

I absolutely adored Stealing Mr. Right which was sexy, thrilling, and just plain fun. Saving Mr. Perfect is sure to be more of the same, and I can’t wait to read it.

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The Sworn Virgin by Kristopher Dukes (8 Aug)

I am always on the lookout for new-to-me authors and this book, with its unique title and premise, caught my attention. The story of a woman who, living in a remote village in Albania in 1910, decides to take an oath of chastity so she can become the head of her household and live with all the rights that are afforded a man, the book promises to be as topical as well as interesting.


Please note that links are provided for ebook editions of these titles, and some may not be available from all retailers. Where no link is given, an ebook is not available from that retailer.

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Queer romance, romantic suspense and historicals - romance, mysteries, fiction -  are my genres of choice these days, and when I haven't got my nose in a book, I’ve got my ears in one.  I’m a huge fan of audiobooks and am rarely to be found without my earbuds in.