Join us for an evening of sharing the magic of the romance genre, as Alyssa Cole and Alisha Rai discuss Romance in Popular Culture, with a focus on positivity and inclusivity, with guest host HelenKay Dimon. Alyssa is an award-winning author of SF, historical, and contemporary romance. When she’s not busy writing, traveling, and learning French, she can be found watching anime with her husband or tending to their herd of animals. Her latest historical romance, A Hope Divided, is the second in the Loyal League series. The first title in the series, An Extraordinary Union, was on multiple publications’ Best of 2017 lists. Alyssa’s Off the Grid post-apocalyptic trilogy is available via Kobo.
The tag line on her website alerts readers that Alisha offers “all the heat, all the heart” in her titles. She writes hot and emotionally complex contemporary romance novels and is frequently sought as a speaker on topics such as love in the digital age, sex positivity, and inclusive representation in romance and media. Wrong to Need You, the second in Alisha’s Forbidden Hearts series, is an exploration of the conflict between passion and conventional relationship parameters. Many of Alisha’s early indie press romances are available via Kobo.
For all of the War Between the States, Marlie Lynch has helped the cause in peace: with coded letters about anti-Rebel uprisings in her Carolina woods, tisanes and poultices for Union prisoners, and silent aid to fleeing slave and Freeman alike. Her formerly enslaved mother's traditions and the name of a white father she never knew have protected her--until the vicious Confederate Home Guard claims Marlie's home for their new base of operations in the guerilla war against Southern resistors of the Rebel cause.
Unbeknowst to those under her roof, escaped prisoner Ewan McCall is sheltering in her laboratory. Seemingly a quiet philosopher, Ewan has his own history with the cruel captain of the Home Guard, and a thoughtful but unbending strength Marlie finds irresistible.
When the revelation of a stunning family secret places Marlie's freedom on the line, she and Ewan have to run for their lives into the hostile Carolina night. Following the path of the Underground Railroad, they find themselves caught up in a vicious battle that could dash their hopes of love--and freedom--before they ever cross state lines.
Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South--to spy for the Union Army.
Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton's Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he's facing his deadliest mission yet--risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia.
Two undercover agents who share a common cause--and an undeniable attraction--Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy's favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost--even if it means losing each other . . .
Alisha Rai returns with the second novel in her sizzling Forbidden Hearts series
He wasn't supposed to fall in love with his brother's widow...
Accused of a crime he didn't commit, Jackson Kane fled his home, his name, and his family. Ten years later, he's come back to town: older, wiser, richer, tougher--and still helpless to turn away the one woman he could never stop loving, even after she married his brother.
Sadia Ahmed can't deal with the feelings her mysterious former brother-in-law stirs, but she also can't turn down his offer of help with the cafe she's inherited. While he heats up her kitchen, she slowly discovers that the boy she adored has grown into a man she's simply unable to resist.
An affair is unthinkable, but their desire is undeniable. As secrets and lies are stripped away, Sadia and Jackson must decide if they're strong enough to face the past...and step into a future together.
One night. No one will know.
That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts--and the last names that made them enemies.
Until the night she didn't show up.
Now Nicholas has an empire to run. He doesn't have time for distractions and Livvy's sudden reappearance in town is a major distraction. She's the one woman he shouldn't want . . . so why can't he forget how right she feels in his bed?
Livvy didn't come home for Nicholas, but fate seems determined to remind her of his presence--and their past. Although the passion between them might have once run hot and deep, not even love can overcome the scandal that divided their families.
Being together might be against all the rules . . . but being apart is impossible.
No one expects the apocalypse.
Arden Highmore was living your average postgrad life in Rochester, New York, when someone flipped the "off" switch on the world. No cell phones, no power, no running water—and no one knows why. All she and her roommate, John, know for sure is that they have to get out, stat. His family's cabin near the Canadian border seemed like the safest choice.
It turns out isolation doesn't necessarily equal safety.
When scavengers attack, it's John's ridiculously handsome brother, Gabriel, who comes to the rescue. He saves Arden's life, so he can't be all bad…but he's also a controlling jerk who treats her like an idiot. Now their parents are missing and it seems John, Gabriel, their kid sister, Maggie, and Arden are the only people left alive who aren't blood-thirsty maniacs.
No one knows when—or if—the lights will come back on and, in the midst of all that, Arden and Gabriel are finding that there's a fine line indeed between love and hate. How long can they expect to last in this terrifying new world, be it together or apart?
When technology stopped working, the world as they knew it ended.
In a secluded cabin, John and his loved ones have survived. He should feel grateful. But his family is in his face 24/7, he has to watch his best friend, Arden, and brother, Gabriel, flaunt their love, and as a techie in a Luddite world he's pretty much useless. The cabin is brimming with people, but he feels utterly alone.
Until he catches Mr. Tall, Blond and Gorgeous raiding their garden. Mykhail is an astrophysics student, he makes John's gaydar ping like crazy and he thinks he knows what caused the devastation. He's on a journey to his university to find answers, and John invites himself along. Partly to get out of the house, and partly because he can't let Mykhail go without acting on the mutual attraction that's so obvious even John's mom is playing matchmaker.
The closer they get to campus, the more Mykhail lets down his walls. But with answers come secrets both devastating and deadly, and before they can save the world, they'll have to save themselves.
Four years after the Flare, the world is finally starting to rebuild
For Maggie Seong, that means leaving the safety of her family's cabin for college. She won't be alone, though—hunky former military cadet Edwin Hernandez, family friend and self-appointed Protector of Maggie's Virtue, will be there. Maggie would much prefer that Edwin himself dispose of her "innocence," but he's already rejected her advances once, and a girl has her pride.
Things look pretty bleak romance-wise until Maggie discovers that Devon, the pre-Flare internet boyfriend she'd assumed was dead, is not only alive but on campus. Despite the passage of time, their bond is strong, and they quickly pick up where they left off. Even as Devon aims for a chance at love IRL—everything Maggie thought she'd wanted—Edwin's desire to protect her makes her question her heart.
Maggie's torn between the future she didn't dare to hope for and the past she can't let go of. And when a group of neo-Luddite terrorists threaten the campus, everyone's loyalties will be tested. To ensure that the world doesn't go back to the dark days following the Flare, Maggie might have to sacrifice it all.
Play With Me
Playing for a night…or for keeps?
Jewelry designer Tatiana Belikov may have matured enough to curb her impulsive nature, but wickedness is still her best accessory. When family troubles bring her to Las Vegas and face-to-face with the man who knows all her darkest desires, resisting temptation is futile. A night of no-holds-barred sin? Jackpot.
Once billionaire Wyatt Caine had nothing to offer Tatiana except his heart, but time has changed his fortunes. Now he’s the king of vice, and the king always gets what he wants. Especially when all he wants is her, all grown up and ready to play every dirty game he can devise.
They ignite like fireworks on the Strip, blazing hot enough to melt the best intentions. But their roll in the sheets turns into a roll of the dice, and when morning comes, Wyatt and Tatiana are left wondering whether to walk away…or raise the stakes.
Risk & Reward
The greater the risk…
Older. Wiser. Hotter. Months after reuniting with the man who loved her—and left her—a decade ago, Tatiana Belikov is determined not to let their wicked games blind her to the danger of repeating history. If that means biting her tongue, so be it. After all, she does get to bite him.
Wyatt Caine never thought Tatiana would be back in his cards, but he’s not ready to question his luck. Between the sheets, the alpha male knows exactly how to make her naughty fantasies come true: rough and tumble, with an extra serving of dirty. Communicating outside of the bedroom? Not always so easy.
The city’s bright lights can’t compare to their passion, burning hot enough to singe them both. But when the harsh glare of reality exposes long-inflicted wounds, Wyatt and Tatiana have to decide if they want to play it safe…or risk it all.
Bet On Me
When love is at stake, all bets are off.
Fast and hard. Despite her best intentions, that’s the way Tatiana Belikov rolls, and over the past year she’s tumbled head over heels for her former ex-lover. Hot, indulgent, and ready to cater to her every dirty whim? There’s no way she could resist.
Wyatt Caine is the house, and the house always wins—but love is a precious commodity that rarely crosses his table. His game plan? Drown his woman in pleasure before she realizes he’s hardly a safe bet.
Their happiness burns brighter than the spotlights on the Strip, but when his past rears its ugly head, casting a shadow on their bliss, Wyatt has an important decision to make: time to fold…or go all in.
Security expert Matthias Clarke hunts down people who don't want to be found. His latest prey: the sole survivor of a massacre that killed his brother years ago. Kayla Roy claimed she was a victim of the carnage. Then she disappeared. Matthias thinks Kayla may have actually been the killer--and he wants justice.
Kayla Roy never stays in one place too long and never lets a man get too close. But keeping Matthias at arm's length may be impossible. Dark and enigmatic, Matthias draws Kayla in from the start. She knows nothing about his connection to her dark past, or his thirst for vengeance. She only knows their attraction feels overpowering--and very dangerous.
Matthias's suspicions about the sensual Kayla clash with his instinct to protect her, especially when he realizes her life is in danger. But Kayla's not looking for a savior--especially one who seems hell-bent on tempting her down a lethal path.
He's known only as Wren. A wealthy, dangerously secretive man, he specializes in making problems disappear. A professional fixer, Wren hides a dark past, but his privacy is shattered when Emery Finn seeks him out--and what she wants from him is very personal.
Some people disappear against their will. Emery's job is to find them and bring closure. Wren is the only person who can help solve Emery's own personal mystery: the long-ago disappearance of her cousin. Just tracking down the sexy, brooding Wren is difficult enough. Resisting her body's response to him will prove completely impossible.
Anonymity is essential to Wren's success, yet drawn by Emery's loyalty and sensuality, he's pulled out of the shadows. But her digging is getting noticed by the wrong people. And as the clues start to point to someone terrifyingly close, Wren will have to put his haunted past aside to protect the woman he loves.
Love in the time of Hamilton…
On October 14, 1781, Alexander Hamilton led a daring assault on Yorktown's defenses and won a decisive victory in America's fight for independence. Decades later, when Eliza Hamilton collected his soldiers' stories, she discovered that while the war was won at Yorktown, the battle for love took place on many fronts...
THAT COULD BE ENOUGH by Alyssa Cole
Mercy Alston knows the best thing to do with pesky feelings like "love" and "hope": avoid them at all cost. Serving as a maid to Eliza Hamilton, and an assistant in the woman's stubborn desire to preserve her late husband's legacy, has driven that point home for Mercy—as have her own previous heartbreaks.
When Andromeda Stiel shows up at Hamilton Grange for an interview in her grandfather's stead, Mercy's resolution to live a quiet, pain-free life is tested by the beautiful, flirtatious, and entirely overwhelming dressmaker.
Andromeda has staid Mercy reconsidering her worldview, but neither is prepared for love—or for what happens when it's not enough.
PROMISED LAND by Rose Lerner
THE PURSUIT OF... by Courtney Milan