Sep 15 2017 1:00pm

4 Authors That Will Have You Planning A Trip to the Big City

Penthouse Player by Tara Leigh

City life has it all for some people, but even if you prefer to experience the city at a fictional distance it can still be a fun place to visit! Tara Leigh (Penthouse Player) definitely has a soft spot for the big city—the Big Apple, in particular. She's here today to talk about some of her favorite romances set in New York City. Thanks, Tara!

Small town romances get a lot of attention… but what about finding love in a big city? For me, as both a writer and a reader, my favorite setting is New York City. Reina St. James from my new release, Penthouse Player, says it best, “Even as a kid, the glistening skyscrapers towering high above my head beckoned to me like trophies in some unknown contest. What would it take to win?”

Like Reina, I occasionally came into Manhattan as a young girl, dreaming of the day when I could finally call this city home. At first, it’s hard not to shy away from the pure sensory overload. Exhaust fumes tangle with the smell from street-side vendors—hot dogs and pretzels and roasted nuts. There's the Naked Cowboy and the Desnudas, musicians, and dancers. Beneath your feet, sidewalks rumble from the active subways. Above, architectural marvels of glass, steel, and stone draw your eye.

I fell in love with the glamour and grit of New York, the fast pace, and quick thinking that felt like a world away from the suburb where I was raised. New York City is a destination on a map, but it’s also a state of mind—the place you gravitate towards when your dreams and ambitions can’t be contained anywhere else.

At twenty, I got my wish. As a single girl in the city, “meet cute” opportunities were waiting on every corner. Ducking beneath the same doorway during a sudden rainstorm. Hailing a cab during rush hour and deciding to share it because you’re going the same way (or pretending you are). Being rescued by the cutie walking behind you when your purse strap gets tangled up in the subway turnstile. And there’s always the old standby—getting trapped in an elevator with your sexy new neighbor.

So many fabulous options. And that’s New York City, in a nutshell, a place of endless possibilities.

Reina makes it back to New York, too. In Penthouse Player, she’s all grown up, and ready to conquer the city. But inside, she feels like an imposter dressed up in lipstick and a pair of (admittedly killer) Louboutins. Tristan can either expose her charade or together they can become the perfect team. Of course, they hit plenty of potholes along the way to their HEA to keep things interesting.

For all my fellow lovers of Big City romance, here are a few of my favorites:

If you’re looking for an author who shares my passion for a man with a head for numbers and a body for sin (thank you, Tess McGill, that phrase works both ways!), look no further than Louise Bay. King of Wall Street, Duke of Manhattan, and Prince of Park Avenue are the literary equivalent of Billions and The Wolf of Wall Street. New York is a lot of things, but boring isn’t one of them. In Ms. Bay’s books, the characters are quick-witted, their stories are fast-paced, and the heat is intense.

An author that has mastered the art of writing swoon-worthy city boys is Vi Keeland. Bossman, anyone? Or how about Stuck-Up Suit? Fair warning: both contain banter guaranteed to steam up your screen.There are bike messengers and subway scenes. Skyscrapers and homeless shelters. And even frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3.

If you like your steamy NYC contemporaries with a side of comedy, Lauren Layne is your author. Her Oxford & Stiletto series is sexy and entertaining, with all the feels. Reading her books is like walking along Fifth Avenue in December. There is so much to look at, so many fabulous details to absorb, and when you get to the end, you just want to turn around and do it all over again.

And no list of favorite NYC romances would be complete without including Bared to You by Sylvia Day. Ms. Day brings Manhattan alive as if it is another character. An intricately drawn, exhaustively researched character. Watching Eva exuberantly explore New York made me fall in love with this city all over again. And as for Gideon, I could write an entire thesis on the enigmatic beast that is Gideon Cross… Wicked and willful, complex and captivating—Gideon Cross wouldn’t be Gideon Cross in any other city.

In the city that never sleeps, these books will definitely keep you up all night.


Learn more about or order a copy of Penthouse Player by Tara Leigh, available now:

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Tara Leigh attended Washington University in St. Louis and Columbia Business School in New York and worked on Wall Street and Main Street before “retiring” to become a wife and mother. When the people in her head became just as real as the people in her life, she decided to put their stories on paper. Tara currently lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut with her husband, children, and fur-baby, Pixie. She is represented by Jessica Alvarez of BookEnds.

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