Historicals dominate AAR staffers’ lists of which books we’re most looking forward to in February, with new releases from Meredith Duran, Kelly Bowen, Lisa Kleypas and Caroline Linden all scoring high with our reviewers. And alongside those goodies, we’ve got a mix of romance, women’s fiction, mystery and suspense titles for you to consider for your reading delectation next month. Drop by and let us know in the comments whether you agree with our choices or whether you think we’re missing out on something good!
A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen
The small glimpse I got of the Haverhall School for Young Ladies in Ms. Bowen’s last novella was extremely intriguing, so I’m excited to begin this new series. – Alex
The underpaid educator in me has a weakness for teacher heroines, so I’m ready for a duke to sweep a headmistress off her feet. – Caroline
A hard-nosed ducal businessman crosses swords with a quick-witted headmistress in the first book in a new series from Kelly Bowen. Ms. Bowen has become a ‘must read’ author over the past couple of years, and I’m really looking forward to this one. – Caz
I’m new to the Bowen train but I really liked Lady in Red. – Dabney
In the first in Kelly Bowen’s new Devils of Dover series, Clara Hayward, headmistress of Haverhall School for Young Ladies pits her wits against August Faulkner, known—and reviled—for buying and selling companies, accumulating scads of money, and breaking hearts, when he decides to purchase it. In Ms. Bowen’s capable hands, two supremely intelligent, clever, secretive – and attractive – principals face off, and I just know sparks will fly. – Em
A Duke in the Night is the first story in the author’s The Devils of Dover series. The heroine Clara was a secondary character in The Lady in Red which I really enjoyed, so I’m excited to start this new series. She’s the headmistress of a finishing school for young ladies and he’s a ruthless businessman and scoundrel so obviously there will be sparks flying in this opposites attract romance. – Maria Rose
The Sins of Lord Lockwood by Meredith Duran
Separated lovers, a touch of revenge – this one looks angsty, folks, and it’s coming from an autobuy author. I can’t wait. – Caroline
Liam, Lord Lockwood appeared a decade ago in Ms. Duran’s extraordinary début, The Duke of Shadows, and immediately made a big impression on me. It seemed his was a story that begged to be told – and okay, so we’ve had to wait a long time for it, but this is Meredith Duran – is there any likelihood the wait won’t have been worth it? Nope. Didn’t think so. – Caz
New Meredith Duran – Duh! – Dabney
Ms. Duran is an auto-buy for me and I’ve already pre-ordered this new release – without having read a single thing about it. I’m guessing Lord Lockwood’s been a naughty boy (yay!) and some darling girl will have to set him straight… but I don’t really know. I’m reading The Sins of Lord Lockwood because I love Meredith Duran and the Rules for the Reckless series – I know it will be good. – Em
Duran always writes well and this plotline is majorly intriguing – Lisa
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
I love the cover and I’m determined to read more diverse romances in 2018! – Dabney
I’m a sucker for a rags-to-riches story and this looks promising as a former child in the foster care system is wooed by an actual prince. – Heather
Royal romances are very popular right now and I love the sound of this one from Alyssa Cole. It’s got a Cinderella/princess and the pauper themed plot line updated for the present time, and I’ve heard nothing but positive buzz about it! – Maria Rose
Hello, Stranger by Lisa Kleypas (27 Feb)
This looks like a promising story about an independent who set out to be a doctor long before it was “appropriate.” I’d be anticipating it for that plot alone, but I’m especially eager knowing Ms. Kleypas will be doing the storytelling. – Alex
I’ve enjoyed The Ravenels series quite a bit. Each story has been better than the last…but Hello Stranger, featuring the two most compelling characters to emerge from the series – Dr. Garrett Gibson and Ethan Ransom (come on – even the names are awesome!) is the novel I’ve looked forward to the most. Ms. Kleypas has given us terrific, intriguing glimpses of both these characters and I’m thrilled she paired them up. I. CAN’T. WAIT. FOR. IT. – Em
Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen
I’ve loved Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series, and I’m eagerly awaiting this installment which has been teased for quite a while. – Alex.
The Brooklyn Bruisers are back! This time Nate and Becca are getting down and dirty. Ms. Bowen is a consistently exceptional storyteller and I can’t wait to see where this book takes us. – Heather
Look for Me by Lisa Gardner (6 Feb)
I’ve been rabidly awaiting this book for a year now. Ms. Gardner is easily one of my favorite mystery writers and I know that this book will twist and turn and shock and thrill me. Look for Me is the story of a massacred family and a missing teen girl,:It is also a reunion of D.D. Warren and Flora Dane from Find Her. It is sure to be deliciously scary, edge of your seat fun.- Maggie
When I’m in the mood for a really scary mystery, Lisa Gardner is one of my go-to authors, and I’m especially fond of her books featuring Boston homicide detective D.D. Warren. Look for Me, the ninth book in the series, promises all the thrills and chills I’ve come to expect from Ms. Gardner’s books, and I’m super excited to read it. – Shannon
My Once and Future Duke by Caroline Linden
I’m a big fan of Caroline Linden’s intelligent, sensual character-driven romances, and can’t wait to get stuck into this story of a duke, a woman and a scandalous wager – Caz
It’s been a LONG while waiting for Ms. Linden’s newest novel and series. The premise of this one – a wager between the Duke of Ware, and the woman he can’t seem to keep his eyes off of sounds intriguing. A wager, a week and Ms. Linden introducing a new series – I plan to binge this the moment it appears on my kindle. – Em
Fire on the Ice: Snow and Ice Games by Tamsen Parker (6 Feb)
What happens when you cross a bad-girl speed skater with a good-girl figure skater? I can’t wait to find out in this f/f set against an Olympic-style competition. – Heather
Two female skaters are opposite in temperament but find themselves sharing more than just a passion for the ice in this sexy second chance romance. It’s part of the author’s Snow and Ice Games series which features several sports and romantic pairings. I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve read to date, and am excited to read more. If, like me, you’re waiting for the Winter Olympics to start, this is a great way to pass the time. – Maria Rose
Hazard by Stella Riley (23 Feb)
Ms. Riley has long been a must-read author for me, so the release of this fifth book in her Rockliffe series of Georgian romances is cause for celebration. Here, we have a “double romance”, as two couples find their HEAs – one a pair we’ve been rooting for since The Player, and the other… well, I’ll let you find out. – Caz
Based on the blurb alone, I can’t wait to get my hands on this newest novel from Ms. Riley. A high stakes game of hazard features four compelling principal and secondary characters and this author writes smart, thoughtful, special romantic novels. In her capable hands, Hazard is a gamble I’m more than willing to make. It’s guaranteed to pay off. – Em
We’re also looking forward to…
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
Ms. Kinsella always makes me laugh. Her new book looks like it will continue in the same vein. A couple who have been married for ten years try out various ways to keep their marriage from going stale.
The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen
This looks to be a standalone novel by Ms. Bowen (she has various series going) set in 1944 WWII and 30 years later when a daughter discovers her father’s secrets.
Buy it at: Amazon
Shot On Gold by Jaci Burton (13 Feb)
Ms. Burton’s hockey romances are always fun, and the idea of a figure skater/hockey player romance instantly makes me harken back to one of my favorite 90s comedies, The Cutting Edge
The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin (6 Feb)
I’ve read every novel Ms. Sundin has ever written. This WWII Naval romance is sure to be as delightful and sweet as her other books. The story of a naval lieutenant and a Wren, it takes place in London just before D-Day.
Island of Sweet Pie and Soldiers by Sara Ackerman (13 Feb)
This is a new to me author but the plot and setting intrigue me. In WWII Hawaii Violet Iverson’s husband disappears. People are questioning his loyalties but she’s just concerned with putting food on the table for her daughter Ella. When she and some friends build a pie stand near a military base, accusations of treason quickly surface. Desperate to find out what happened to her husband and get on with her life, Violet begins an earnest search for the truth.
One and Only by Jenny Holiday (27 Feb)
Since Jenny Holiday had two of my favorite romances of 2017 with Famous and Infamous, I’m looking forward to seeing what she has in store this year. Her Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series sounds like a set of fun, romantic comedies and One and Only features a bridesmaid tasked with keeping track of the bride’s unruly brother. I’m ready for some laughs!
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (6 Feb)
Kristin Hannah has written some really stellar stuff, and The Great Alone promises to be just as amazing as its predecessors. It takes place in Alaska in the 1970s and tells the story of a family struggling to survive in an untamed, unforgiving land. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Sunburn by Laura Lippman (20 Feb)
I love books featuring complex heroines who may or may not tread on the wrong side of the law, and this latest offering from Laura Lippman, looks right up my alley. It’s the story of a woman who walks out on her family, and it doesn’t look like this is the first time she’s done it. I was hooked from the moment I read the synopsis.
As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner (6 Feb)
I’m pretty much always ready to lose myself in a historical novel, and I’m particularly excited about As Bright As Heaven. It takes readers back in time to 1918 Philadelphia, when the Spanish Flu hits American shores. It looks like just the kind of heart-wrenching story I love, and I’ve already pre-ordered it.