Aug 31 2017 8:30am

10 Romances H&H Reviewers Loved in August 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 August 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):

Darlene Marshall:

Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne

Sometimes I have to search for my “Best of”, but this month it was a no-brainer. Joanna Bourne’s Beauty Like the Night (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) was my favorite, and it will likely be on my short-list for best of the year as well. From her first novel, The Spymaster's Lady, Bourne treated us to what's really a family saga, a story of French and English agents whose lives cross in the most interesting ways during the Napoleonic Wars. Her writing is superb and a master class for anyone who thinks you need dialect to write a non-English speaking character. She captures a mood and a moment with rare style and makes me sigh happily as a writer and a romance reader when I see how she brings her characters to life.

Bourne does not write novels quickly, but for me, this is part of the enjoyment. They are a rare vintage to savored, not gulped, and well worth visiting again for a re-read. I will enjoy re-reading her published novels while I eagerly await the next one.


I was swept away by When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (Amazon | B&N | Kobo), a touching young adult romance, and a gorgeous example of magical realism. I particularly liked how it used both realistic situations and metaphor to consider issues around identity.

Jennifer Proffitt:

Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

My best pick of August has to be Penny Reid’s Beard in Mind (Amazon | B&N). It was such a fantastic read and once again highlights Penny Reid's mastery of quirky characters—many of whom, with a different author, would never have gotten an HEA because they're just “too quirky” by mainstream standards. This book meant so much to me. I was laughing and crying and wondering how I will ever find a book to give me these same emotions ever again. I fell head over feels with Beau and Shelly and can't wait to see them pop up again in other Winston Brothers books.

Lime Cello:

My “best of ” read for August is the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier. (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) I know, it's a series, but here's the thing: I read five books in four days. (I skipped book three on the recommendation of the people who told me to read the series.) I've been looking for adult high fantasy romances all summer, and while this doesn't exactly fit the bill, it's close, and the writing is so beautiful. It draws you in and is addicting. I spent so much time thinking about the books I've already re-read some of them, despite only having read the series last week.

Janet Webb:

Here Comes the Bride by Hope Ramsay

Here Comes the Bride by Hope Ramsay (Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

This is #3 in Ramsay's Chapel of Love series and what an opening: Professor Laurie Wilson is dumped at the altar by her forever beau Brandon Kopp. Although of course my sympathies were with Laurie...dump that rat bastard, key his car...unfortunately, she's heartbroken, or so she thinks.

Her father asks a lawyer on his staff, actually Brandon's best man, to make things right. Andrew Lyndon is beyond pissed off with his buddy (how could Brandon dump a fabulous woman like Laurie?) but he figures maybe pretend-romancing Laurie will at least have the effect of stopping Brandon from taking Laurie for granted. We can all see where this is going but it's such an enjoyable ride. Andrew Lyndon is a Really. Nice. Guy. and for once, that's celebrated! Particularly once Laurie sees beyond his cool, collected, cerebral approach to life.

But most of the time, Andrew wasn't that passionate about anything. In fact, he was the responsible guy at every party. The one you could count on to be the designated driver or to pull everyone back from the brink of stupidity. He was, always, the voice of reason.

Or he was until he started played pretend with lovely Laurie!

Heather Waters:

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) — “More horror romance” (think Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood) has topped my reading wish list for years, and while I wouldn't have guessed YA contemporary romance author Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss) would be the one to deliver, she really has! There's Someone Inside Your House, clearly inspired by teen slasher movies, somehow manages to be by turns gloriously gory and weirdly, wonderfully romantic. Probably doesn't hurt that heroine Makani has found herself a guy who will run after a serial killer in the buff for her, but you'll have to read the book to see what I mean.


A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

I've been burning through Sarah J. Maas’s Court of... books. The final in the trilogy, A Court of Wings and Ruin, (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is a door-stopper of a book with all the twists, intrigue, magic, and romance I have come to expect. The book wrapped up the series in a thoroughly satisfying manner but left enough unresolved threads for the spin-offs to come. If you like fantasy and romance, these are a must.

Anna Bowling:

My best read of August is Comanche Rose by Anita Mills (Amazon | B&N | Kobo), second in her Comanche duology. Homesteader Annie Bryce has already been through hell. She’s the survivor of an attack that killed her husband and son and has done everything in her power to stay alive and find her daughter, from whom she was separated. When Texas Ranger, Hap Walker, who did not get the girl in the previous book, Comanche Moon, negotiates Annie’s freedom from her captors, he sees his one chance to make amends for arriving too late to save her family in the initial attack. If Annie marries him, he’ll help her get her daughter back, whatever it takes. This is an emotional tale of two survivors who pick themselves up and keep on going, pushing past the impossible, to find a great love, at long last.

Jen Wattley:

Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins

My best read of the month is hands down Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins (Amazon | B&N | Kobo). I have a deep and abiding love for couples whose relationships start off contentiously. I'm a fan of great banter, and Beverly Jenkins delivers that with Mariah and Logan. They get off to a very rocky start and through it all, the undercurrent of their desire for one another is quite potent. The book is filled with standout moments and deep drama of it all set against the emergence of the West and the opportunities presented and available to black people and black ranchers. I love to be “edutained,” and Jenkins always succeeds at doing just that. I learned about Queen Calafia while falling deeply in love right along with Mariah and Logan. Also! The entire Destiny series is full of smart, strong women, and the men that win them over.

Sahara Hoshi:

My favorite for August 2017 is The Son of Sun and Sand by Elizabeth Gannon (Amazon). I really enjoyed the unique take on supervillains turned heroes and probably the most arrogant hero I've ever read succumbing to his feelings for the heroine. If you want a romance featuring a diabolic warlord and a blue fairy, go pick up this book and see why Tyrant & Rayn are two of my favorite characters this year.

H&H Editor Picks:

6 Steps to Rock a Book Sale!

9 Romances H&H Reviewers Loved in July 2017

September 2017 Romance Novels New Releases Shopping List






Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
That Elizabeth Gannon book sounds quite interesting, Sahara. I've requested a sample to try it out. I'm with Darlene in having quite enjoyed the new Joanna Bourne book!
2. willaful
Beverly does great "edutainment." Love reading historicals with real history in them!
Jen Wattley
3. JenWattley
@willaful-- Same! Wallpaper historicals are great, too, but I like learning a lot.
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