Jul 28 2017 12:00pm

9 Romances H&H Reviewers Loved in July 2017

Our reviewers give us the scoop every day on the books they're loving and share their opinions here on Heroes and Heartbreakers. However, each month, we ask them to make a tough decision and recommend the best thing they've read over the last month! It doesn’t have to be a new book, as evidenced below; just something that made the month sparkle a bit more.

Without further ado, here’s the installment for July 2017 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out past recs via the Related Posts section at the bottom of the post):

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Rachel Kramer Bussel:

I was utterly charmed by YA romance When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) When the title pair meet at a summer camp for computer programmers, he's expecting to woo his future wife; she throws coffee on him. From there, the story is filled with each of them figuring out, separately and together, what role art and duty and love play in their lives. This is such a fun and sweet story that I was almost sad to see it end.

Darlene Marshall:

My Best of July is The Red by Tiffany Reisz (Amazon | B&N | Kobo):

Some erotica just hits all the right notes: the sex is smokin', the writing is crisp, the characters are engaging and the story is engrossing. The Red is one such novel. The always entertaining Tiffany Reisz has done it again, proving that she can transition between stand-alone novels, short fiction, fantasy, erotica and erotic romance while still maintaining her unique voice.

The Red is absolutely not for the faint-of-heart. Mona Lisa St. James promised her dying mother she'd run the family art gallery, but The Red is in the red and it's going to take a miracle to save it. But instead of an angel, what Mona gets is a devilish offer: become a man's whore (his words) for one year, allowing him to use her sexually in whatever fashion suits him, and he'll pay off the debt. She's tempted by the mysterious Englishman, but how far is Mona willing to go to save her legacy?

Reisz calls the book “a fantasy” and there's a hint of the paranormal as well as the fantasy sex, but it's masterfully done. I highly recommend The Red for readers who aren't afraid of adult themes and situations, and who like their sex scenes written for an intelligent audience.


Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

My favorite read for July (and all of 2017 so far) is Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai (Amazon | B&N | Kobo). It's an angsty, sexy book full of secrets and emotion. I cannot wait for more.

Wendy The Super Librarian:

Before she was a big deal suspense writer, Tess Gerritsen wrote several romantic suspense novels for Harlequin Intrigue. Never Say Die (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is a time capsule gem from 1992 with a unique story line. With her mother battling terminal cancer, the heroine makes her way to Southeast Asia looking for answers about her father, an Air America pilot whose plane went down near the Laos border during the Vietnam War. He's presumed dead, but listed as MIA, and there have been rumors that his last mission wasn't up to scratch. It's on the first leg of her trip when she meets the hero, former Army now working as a civilian contractor to help the US and Vietnamese governments identify newly discovered remains. When he learns who the heroine's father is, he has is own dubious motives for sticking close to her. Now to convince her she needs his help, a tricky proposition since she doesn't trust him as far as she can throw him.


Impossible Things by Kate Johnson

I've been on a huge fantasy romance kick lately. I read a lot of epic fantasies as a kid, and needed a slight change so I decided to try the niche of fantasy romances. There aren't many, but there are a lot of really good books out there. One of them is Impossible Things by Kate Johnson (Amazon | B&N | Kobo). This book is a hidden gem. I read it on the recommendation of a friend, and it seems like nobody else knows about it. It's well written with a truly kick-ass heroine. It's a great fantasy story on its own, and also a fabulous romance. It's the total package when it comes to fantasy romance, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Sahara Hoshi:

My pick is Emperor's Arrow by Lauren D.M. Smith (Amazon | B&N | Kobo), it was recommended to me by Jenn Proffitt. What I love are fantasy stories where an unlikely person is thrown into court intrigue and that's exactly what you get with Smith's novel. I liked the blending of pseudo-Roman empire with the Amazons - known as the Amazi in this book, pretty perfect for someone looking for a cool romantic fantasy especially after the release of the Wonder Woman movie.

Miss Bates:

Clean Breaks by Ruby Lang

July brought one of the best romances I've read in any month (a contender for 2017's best) - Ruby Lang’s Clean Breaks (Amazon | B&N | Kobo). Hero and heroine, Jake Li and Sarah Soon, make this contemporary romance novel stand out. The qualities that bring them together are unique and engaging; and, the obstacles keeping them apart, believable and heart-tugging. Jake and Sarah share a fraught high school past of betrayal and humiliation. When they meet again, they're still smarting from a mutual past and vulnerable from present circumstances: Sarah because of a recent bout with cancer and Jake, newly-divorced. Angst doesn't figure in this romance, however, and is to Lang's credit. Jake and Sarah are thrivers. They work at life: to make it better, to bring meaning and joy into it (also, a delightful puppy), no matter what vagaries they're subject to. They're strong and funny, sexy and vulnerable. They're great on their own and learn and grow to be better together. And nothing is more romantic than that in my books (pun intended).

Mary Dubé:

Dr. ER by Max Monroe (Amazon | B&N | Kobo)
Max Monroe continues their phenomenal St. Luke’s Docuseries with the second, stand-alone book in the series, Dr. ER, and it is another brilliantly funny, heartfelt, and drop-dead sexy romance from the dynamic author duo. Emergency room physician Dr. Scott Shepard meets his match with gossip columnist Harlow Paige, and for the first time ever, he wants more than just casual sex. While Harlow feels the same magnetic pull towards Scott, she’s emotionally guarded and hesitant to give into his charm. She makes him work for her regard, and readers will fall in love with Scott’s patient yet persistent wooing. Harlow and Scott have sizzling chemistry and a delicious repartee, and they are both likeable and relatable characters. Their journey to happily-ever-after is a fantastic adventure with tender moments, hilarious shenanigans, fiery interludes, and endearing secondary characters. Dr. ER is a thoroughly satisfying romance and should not be missed.

Janet Webb:

New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan

New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) came out earlier this year but I can’t let it disappear without a shout out. Daniel is a delectable lawyer hero but I was hooked on his two sisters. They run a dog-walking/dog-therapy/dog-everything business and they really have it going on. New Yorkers are particular about who takes care of Fido! Hence sister Fliss’s reaction when Daniel asks for a dog, any dog, to walk in the morning. How come she wonders—is there a woman involved?

“She’s single.”

“So?” Fliss scowled. “Even if she is single, that doesn’t mean she wants a relationship. It bugs the crap out of me when men assume a single woman is only single because she’s waiting for a man. Get over yourselves.”

Daniel studied his sister. “Which side of bed did you climb out of this morning?”

“I can climb out of any side I like. I’m single.”

“Lend me a dog, Fliss. And don’t give me anything small. It needs to be a reasonable size.”

LoL, what can you tell about a man vis–à–vis the size of his dog?! Morgan excels at dialogue—and family/friend relationships. And heads up, Fliss’s story is coming soon in Holiday in the Hamptons.

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