The Best Romances of July

Best romances of JulySizzling summer, meet steamy romances.

Whether you like cowboys, SEALs, librarians, or dukes, we have five excellent romance novels to recommend to you. Don't forget to pack cold drinks to cool you down when you bring these excellent romances to the pool, to the beach, or to your lunch break outside in the sun.


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The Legend: A Sons of Texas Novel by Donna Grant - He's a Delta force operative who's loved only one girl and keeps his emotions closed down. She's the tough-as-nails ranch hand--and hacker--his father practically adopted years back to keep her from getting entangled in her relatives' lawless ways. When Callie and Wyatt have to fight for their lives against a shadowy organization that's targeting his family, they both realize that whatever the wounds they dealt one another's hearts in the past, they're going to need to trust each other now if they're to have any kind of future. Wyatt's close-held secrets and Callie's criminal family ties keep them from gravitating to one another too quickly, and gun battles in the Texas countryside raise the stakes. This novel will be easier to follow if you've read previous books in the Sons of Texas series, but it's not 100 percent essential to enjoying this high-stakes romantic thriller.

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Falling for Trouble (Librarians in Love) by Sarah Title - Maybe you've fantasized about a hot male librarian who wears tight running shorts, but retiree Peggy doesn't have to fantasize: She gets to see it every day as Liam Byrd jogs past her home. Liam's mild-mannered exterior masks a deep love of punk rock, so when Peggy's niece, Joanna, reluctantly returns home after breaking up with her rock band, Liam is instantly smitten. But Joanna knows she won't stay in her hometown forever, even after she starts to fall for Liam. Funny and sparky with attraction, though not burning-up-the-sheets hot, this contemporary romance will make you wonder if going home again might sometimes actually be the right decision.

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Some Kind of Hero: A Troubleshooters Novel by Suzanne Brockmann - Brockmann is a longtime favorite of mine. When I wrote my first "romances to binge-read" article for the Amazon Book Review, her Troubleshooters series instantly sprang to mind. Now nineteen books into the series, she continues to wow me with her powerful emotions, genuine characters, and high-wattage action scenes. In her latest novel, Navy SEAL trainer Lieutenant Peter Greene and his new neighbor, Shayla Whitman, form an unlikely partnership as his teenage daughter's disappearance shoves them together to find her before a crime lord does. Brockmann seamlessly welds together the thrills of a suspense novel with the heart of a family drama, giving Peter, Shayla, and his gutsy daughter, Maddie, each their own chance to be a hero as they face off against criminals who won't think twice about murder.

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The Day of the Duchess: Scandal & Scoundrel by Sarah MacLean - Historicals are my favorite subgenre, and I perhaps have too-high standards. But MacLean's latest jumps the bar easily, with a duke who regrets his hasty words and belittling actions toward his wife, who ran off to America to make her own way. When she returns to petition him--before Parliament--for a divorce, he jumps at the chance to win her back. I'm a sucker for romances in which men mend their ways, and MacLean's blend of feminism with winning historical details and a deeply resonating tension between her hero and heroine makes this one a keeper.

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Down Home Cowboy (Copper Ridge) by Maisey Yates - The small town of Copper Ridge, Oregon, is chock-full of people who've experienced more than their fair share of bad luck or being beaten down. Bakery owner Alison has made it her mission in life to help women regain their self-confidence and learn life skills, and she takes sulky teen Violet under her wing--by wrapping an apron around Violet's waist and putting her to work at baking cakes--without a second thought. But Violet's divorced Texan dad definitely causes second thoughts for Alison...enough to make Alison wonder if she can put her own bad marriage behind her and give herself the chance to have a life beyond work and her tight group of female friends. For his part, Cain knows that getting involved with his daughter's boss while his and Violet's relationship is at a crossroads is a bad idea, but plain-speaking Alison is as irresistible as one of her lemon meringue pies. An excellent read for those who like their characters to be good people trying to make a relationship work.

Other books that made this month's list include Susan Mallery's Secrets of the Tulip Sisters, Alison Bliss's On the Plus Side, Rebecca Zanetti's Wicked Kiss (Realm Enforcers), Harper Sloane's Kiss My Boots, RaeAnne Thayne's Serenity Harbor, and Marie Harte's Just the Thing (great cover!).


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