This post can be found at USA Today’s Happy Ever After.
As the end of summer looms, it seems everyone is scrambling to fit in a last-minute vacation, including myself. Before I leave on any trip, I always load up my e-reader with romances I’m excited to read while lying by the pool, sitting on a plane or hibernating in my hotel room. There’s something special and particularly decadent about these books, because I know they’ve been carefully and thoughtfully chosen beforehand.
These must-read romances are a few of the books I’ve designated as ready to travel.
Beneath the Truth by Meghan March
Meghan March combines smoking-hot romance with gripping suspense in Beneath the Truth, and this story is an emotional and thrilling ride that I didn’t want to end. Ariel Sampson has always been in love with her brother’s best friend, Rhett Hennessy, but he’s never given any indication that he sees her as anything more than a little sister. She’s accepted his lack of interest, but her feelings for Rhett have never faded. When his father dies under suspicious circumstances, they are brought together again after years apart, and she’s shocked to discover that Rhett desires her.
Rhett’s father’s tragedy is a catalyst for him to reevaluate his life, and he’s decided to seize what he wants, and he wants Ariel. He’s swoon-worthy and sexy in his resolve and determination to romance her, and their friendship morphs quickly from comfortable companions to passionate lovers. He’s balancing his new and intoxicating feelings for Ariel while dealing with the devastation of his father’s death when Ariel’s own safety is threatened. All his alpha instincts roar to life as he strives to protect her, but he also discovers she has a spine of steel and makes a worthy partner as they seek to quell the chaos surrounding them. Ariel and Rhett’s fall into love is swift and breathtaking, and there is no way to forecast the twists and turns of their journey. If you are looking for a tender and steamy romance entwined with an unpredictable and perilous mystery, you do not want to miss Beneath the Truth.
Wrecked by JB Salsbury
Wrecked is a highly emotional and deeply moving story that lingered in my thoughts for weeks after reading it. Aden Colt and Sawyer Forrester are both dealing with the brutal realities of life. Sawyer’s twin sister is terminally ill, and Aden is being pursued by the demons of war. He feels responsible for the devastating loss of friends and comrades in Iraq and suffers with near-debilitating PTSD. He has isolated himself and is now living on a boat, fishing and serving as the part-time caretaker for his uncle’s rental properties. He’s coping, but barely.
Sawyer’s sister lived in one of those rentals, and she’s asked Sawyer to go there to gather her things. She reluctantly agrees to the request, and she encounters the moody, gruff and emotionally unavailable Aiden, whom she feels immediately drawn to. He feels the same magnetic pull and potent sexual chemistry, and both cannot resist seeking each other’s warmth and finding a brief reprieve from their suffering. Both Sawyer and Aden have heartbreaking stories, and I found myself choked by emotion knowing that neither could avoid the pain confronting them. I felt everything. Wrecked is a raw and honest look at life and death, and it is a powerful testament to love’s ability to reignite hope during profound sorrow. This happy-ever-after is memorable, gut-wrenchingly and simply beautiful.
Something So Perfect by Natasha Madison
Something So Perfect is a lighthearted, fun and utterly charming sports romance, and it’s the perfect beach read. Matthew Grant was a National Hockey League first-round draft pick at 17, but bad decisions and excessive partying landed him with a poor reputation and without a team by 23. He’s now 25, committed to making a comeback and fighting for a second chance. He gets an opportunity when the New York Stingers agree to a one-year contract, but they’re assigning him a chaperone to ensure he behaves. Matthew’s willing to do whatever it takes, but he never expected to be attracted to his new babysitter, Karrie Cooney.
Karrie’s father owns the Stingers, and she’s not excited to watch over Matthew, believing she is going to have her hands full, but he is nothing like she expected. He’s motivated, dedicated and serious about hockey now, and he is also a little goofy, a lot likable and extremely sexy. He falls hard for her and has no reservations about his swiftly growing feelings, and he’s endearing in his willingness to reveal his affection and try to win hers. Matthew and Karrie share playful and flirty banter infused with sizzling sexual tension, and Something So Perfect will have readers laughing, sighing and smiling at the hilarious shenanigans, fan-worthy moments and heartfelt interactions in this feel-good romance.