From the grey days of January into the grey days of February, (in my part of the world at least!) it’s the ideal season to curl up with a good book, your favourite snacks and tipple and settle down for a really good read! AAR staffers have picked the titles they’re most anticipating next month – among them a number of new historical romances from some of the biggest names in the genre, Lisa Kleypas, Lorraine Heath, Theresa Romain, and a very welcome return from Julie Anne Long.  As usual, though, we’ve got a fairly good mix of genres for your consideration including paranormals, mysteries, contemporaries, and inspirationals, so there should be something for everyone!  Have a look through our suggestions and then join in the discussion in the comments and tell us which books YOU’RE most looking forward to reading over the next few weeks.


Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long (26 Feb)

After a pretty lacklustre year for historical romance in 2018, I’m hoping for better in 2019, and fingers crossed that Julie Anne Long’s return to the genre will herald an upturn! – Caz

I got an early peek at this one and friends, it was worth the wait. IT’S EXCELLENT. I’ll be reading this one again in February, and gushing about it all over again.- Em

I am delighted that Julie Anne Long is returning to historicals again! – Keira

Friends, we are blessed. I have read this and it is the bomb. – Dabney

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Not Dead Yet by Jenn Burke (4 Feb)

I’ve been gravitating towards paranormal/cop stories lately, so Not Dead Yet was right on the money.  I read an advance copy, and it’s terrific – a couple of engaging principals, some fun secondary characters, an intriguing mystery and lovely slow-burn romance. – Caz

Since Jenn Burke is the co-author (with Kelly Jensen) of my favorite sci-fi romance series, Chaos Station, I’ll pretty much pick up anything with her or Kelly’s name attached. Luckily she also happens to be writing a paranormal mystery romance which is definitely an intriguing mix. I’m looking forward to this start to her new series! – Maria Rose

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole (26 Feb)

The Loyal League is back! A freeborn black hero seeking vengeance for being temporarily sold into slavery, and a part-black, Cuban heroine working against him… it’s going to be exciting. – Caroline

Alyssa Cole’s Loyalty League series returns; The plot sounds amazing, with a spoiled society heiress called to spy for her father’s freedom and her partner on a mission, a man who’s lost his first love to another man and been subjected to the nightmare of slavery. – Lisa

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Appetites & Vices by Felicia Grossman (18 Feb)

I haven’t read many American historicals that weren’t Westerns, so I am looking forward to Grossman’s take on Philadelphia high society in the 19th century. Specifically, how Ursula, as a Jewish heiress, finds her place among the wealthy gentiles. – Haley

This sounds captivating; a faux engagement between a banking heiress trying to repair her reputation and the ex-libertine she becomes engaged to.  The heroine is Jewish, and I’m incredibly excited to try it out! – Lisa

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Scoundrel in her Bed by Lorraine Heath (Feb 26)

I enjoy books where the two knew each other before, and then when chance brings them together again, they discover that passion blazes between them just as strongly as before. – Keira

I’ve liked this series so far, and this is Lady Lavinia’s story!  So looking forward to it. – Lisa

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas (19 Feb)

Every new Kleypas is my favorite. – Em

It’s Kleypas and it’s a Ravenels book, what more do I need to say? – Lisa

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli (5 Feb) 

This multicultural romantic comedy involves a modern girl and a traditional grandmother who wants to arrange the girl’s marriage. One is trying to find love amidst all the eligible bachelors being cast her way. A witty and warmhearted book about the clash between cultural norms and progressivism is right up my alley. I can’t wait to read it! – Keira

The story of a modern woman dealing with her matchmaking-obsessed grandmother, this sounds like it’s packed with charm. – Lisa

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Fearless King by Katee Robert (Feb 5)

Since I read just about everything Robert writes, I don’t plan to miss The Fearless King. The first installment in The Kings series was sexy and interesting, and I’m interested to see what she does with Journey and Frank’s story and the family business drama continues. – Haley

Hot on the heels of the author’s successful O’Malley’s mafia romance series is her new one, The Kings. No mafia this time though, the Kings are oil tycoons and Journey is determined to keep her father, ousted from the family business, from doing any more damage with the help of a dangerous, but necessary ally. I expect drama, action and steamy sex in this one. – Maria Rose

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Lady Notorious by Theresa Romain (26 Feb)

Although I wasn’t wild about the last book in Theresa Romain’s Royal Rewards series, she continues to be one of the strongest authors in the genre, able to create multi-layered characters and satisfying romances.  The heroine here made a brief appearance in Lady Rogue, where she worked alongside her brother as a sort of ‘unofficial’ Bow Street Runner. In Lady Notorious she has to stand in for him and help solve a string of murders… which sounds like it’ll make for an intriguing read! – Caz

The series has been a bit uneven – it started out strong and hasn’t really improved on the first book – but Ms. Romain writes witty, smart love stories I enjoy reading. I like the idea of an intrepid lady investigator and Cass sounds intriguing. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping Ms. Romain delivers the perfect mix of humor, intrigue and romance this time out. – Em

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Dukes are Forever by Bec McMaster (12 Feb)

This fifth and final book in the London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy series promise to be a real humdinger of a story!  The cool and enigmatic Duke of Malloryn, compromised into marriage with a woman he dislikes, discovers she may be working with the enemies conspiring against him, the Company of Rogues, London and the Queen herself… but you can bet nothing will turn out to be quite what it seems.  This series has been consistently fabulous, with intelligent, intricately constructed plots, clever humour, great, well-defined characters and relationships, and sexual tension hot enough to peel the paint off the walls!  I’m sorry to say goodbye to this world and these characters, but I’m sure Ms. McMaster is going to take us all on one helluva ride before it all ends! – Caz

To say I want to read this book (I’m looking at you, Goodreads!) is the understatement of the year thus far. I have ADORED this series–this is really book ten (there are two series that make one larger series) and I’ve read all nine and enjoyed them all. McMaster is a whiz at word-building, romance, and suspense. I will be so so sorry for this set of books to end–they’ve been marvelous! – Dabney

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo


Em:

The Risk by Elle Kennedy (18 Feb)

I was thrilled when Ms. Kennedy refocused on hockey at the fictional Briar U in 2018. Unfortunately, the first book wasn’t quite as good as the books that preceded it in the Off-Campus franchise. I’m still a fan! Hockey + sexy romance + hot players = HAT TRICK.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Love by the Letters (anthology) by Grace Burrowes, Kelly Bowen, Vanessa Riley (19 Feb)

I’ll be honest, I’m really mostly here for the Bowen novella. A black sheep and the female steward who stands in the way of his plans…one-click. – Em

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Keira:

The Military Wife by Laura Trentham (Feb 5)

What a wonderful premise of a story. A former military wife is still in love with her dead husband five years on. In order to help military spouses deal with life, she decides to launch a string of coffeehouses around military bases. In pursuit of her business, her path crosses with a military comrade of her husband and sparks fly. Can they both forget their sorrow and find happiness with each other?

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Lisa:

Crazy on You by Crystal B. Bright (12 Feb)

The story of a background singer known for one provocative line and the country star she’s paired with for a comeback, this sounds like a fun one!

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The (Half) Truth by Leddy Harper (19 Feb)

A sous chef lies that her best friend’s handsome cousin has swept her up in a hot relationship and has to scramble when it turns out their “long distance relationship” is now a short-distance one; he’s moved to her town.  Sounds funny!

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Maggie:

A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden  (5 Feb)

This is book 3 of the Empire State series and our newest couple will be Eloise Drake and Alex Duval. This has been a strong set of books so far and I’m anxious to see where the author plans to take her story.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin (5 Feb)

I’ve loved all of Ms. Sundin’s WWII romances and am anxious to see what she has planned for pilot Lt. Adler Paxton and Violet Lindstrom, a lovely Red Cross volunteer.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Never Tell by Lisa Gardener (19 Feb)

Gardener’s D. D. Warren series contains some of the most compelling mysteries I’ve ever read and I can’t wait to dig into this tale about a woman with a dark past who is the suspect in the murder of a man who had secrets of his own.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Maria Rose:

Crashing Into Her by Mia Sosa (Feb 19)

The latest romance in Mia Sosa’s Love on Cue series follows the classic ‘one night stand becomes more’ trope in this story about athletic Eva training to be a stuntwoman only to discover her instructor is the man she slept with at her best friend’s wedding. Whoops! Sounds like a fun ride!

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Sugar and Spice by Christina D’Abo (Feb 26)

I enjoyed the first in this author’s Sugar series, about a website that pairs older men with younger women and vice versa for companionship ‘or more’. This time it’s a wealthy older woman looking for some no-strings attached sex who finds it with a younger man fresh from finishing his pHd who signs up to the website on a dare. Looking forward to seeing how they go from a contracted relationship to a real HEA.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Bad Influence by Stefanie London (Feb 26)

Bad Bachelor narrowly missed my top ten list of 2018, so I am excited to continue this unique contemporary romance series about the Bad Bachelor dating app that warns women about fickle men. This third story in the series is a second chance romance for the couple whose initial breakup was the cause of the app’s creation. It will be interesting to see how the hero is redeemed in this one!

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Shannon:

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff (5 Feb)

Pam Jenoff has written several spectacular historical novels set during the second world war, so my hopes are high for The Lost Girls of Paris. It’s the story of a group of female secret agents who were sent to Europe to aid the resistance and who never returned home. February 5th can’t come soon enough for my liking.

 Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Lost Man by Jane Harper (5 Feb)

A stand alone thriller from author Jane Harper is definitely something to celebrate. I adored her previous two novels, and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on this one.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray (19 Feb)

This novel has been receiving a ton of positive buzz, and I definitely want to add my voice to the mix. It’s being compared to books like Little Fires Everywhere and An American Marriage, and I’m literally counting down the days until it’s released.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose (12 Feb)

No one writes romantic suspense like Karen Rose, and this first installment in a brand-new series is sure to cement her place at the top of my list of favorite authors. Her villains aren’t at all two-dimensional, and her deep understanding of human nature shines through in every relationship she creates.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo


PLEASE NOTE: This is not a comprehensive list of available titles, just a selection made by AAR reviewers according to their personal tastes.  Purchase links are given where available at time of writing.

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