Winter 2018’s Must-Read Romances: 10 Naughty and Nice Reads

Winter 2018’s Must-Read Romances: 10 Naughty and Nice Reads

Unlike a certain red-suited gift giver, we don’t mind a bit of naughtiness, as long as we’re left with a nice happily ever after in the end. We say bring on the characters who drive each other mad, who allow mistaken identities to go uncorrected, and who toy with our hearts. What can we say? We can’t resist a bad boy with a soft side. This season brings readers all of that and more. So set the mood: mull some wine, light a fire, and prepare to fall in love.


Don’t busk with my heart

Holland Bakker experiences every New Yorker’s worst nightmare when she’s pushed onto the subway tracks. She’s rescued by Calvin McLoughlin, a knight in shining armor with a wicked Irish accent and a gift for music. It’s his musical ability, and maybe his good looks, that drive Holland to recommend him when her uncle’s Broadway show is in need of guitarist. It’s Calvin’s dream gig, but there’s one problem: He’s overstayed his student visa and is living illegally in the Big Apple. But that’s nothing a quick fake marriage can’t fix. For ride-or-die Christina Lauren fans (like those on the Bookish editorial staff), this is one of the year’s most anticipated reads and it does not disappoint. As the Irish would say, Roomies is great craic.

On shelves: December 5

It Takes Two to Tumble

Love and grow forever

Salty sea captains, endearing vicars, and Cat Sebastian’s historical romances—these are a few of our favorite things. We put life on hold whenever Sebastian releases a new book, and this was no exception. Her latest, which playfully references The Sound of Music, kicks off her Seducing the Sedgwicks series. Phillip Dacre can whip a crew of ragtag sailors into shape with merely a look, meanwhile his own children have driven off so many governesses and tutors that they’ve been left in the care of the local vicar, Ben Sedgwick. Phillip is prepared to fire the vicar and find a suitable replacement, but before he can, he finds himself charmed out of the idea and into bed. This novel left our hearts bursting with happiness and it is a must-read for fans of historical romances.

On shelves: December 12

A Distant Heart

In a heartbeat

Like a princess from a fairy tale, Kimaya has spent most of her life in a pristine tower in due to a rare illness. It’s a lonely life for a young girl, until a boy scales the walls to wash her windows and sparks a friendship. The years pass and friendship turns to love, though Kimi doesn’t see a future for her and Rahul until she’s given the opportunity to have a heart transplant. Like any surgery, the operation is risky, but that isn’t the only danger Kimi is facing. A crime lord who deals organs on the black market is tracking her, and Kimi and Rahul will need to travel from Mumbai to Hong Kong to find out why. Sonali Dev delivers a stunning novel about second chances and how far people will go for the ones they love.

On shelves: December 26

Heart on Fire

Blaze of glory

Amanda Bouchet brings her Kingmaker Chronicles to a thrilling close this winter. The fate of Thalyria rests on the shoulders of Catalia Fisa and Griffin Sinta. Together they must unite the three divided realms of their world so that Cat may take her place as queen. But dangers lurk around every corner and winning battles often comes at a high cost. In a starred review Booklist raves, “this entry delivers breathtaking romance, riveting action, mythology, and high-stakes political games… Bouchet continues to not only set the bar for fantasy romance but to crash over it.” New readers, head back to book one. Fans, hold on tight: This is a wild ride of a finale.

On shelves: January 2

Promise Not to Tell

Cross your heart, hope not to die

As children, Virginia Troy and Cabot Sutter survived a fire set by cult leader Quinton Zane. They’ve each spent years attempting to forget the past: Virginia became an art gallery owner and Cabot became a private investigator. But it appears as though Zane is back to haunt them. When a fellow survivor dies in an apparent suicide, leaving behind paintings that suggest Zane is alive, Virginia and Cabot decided to work together to unravel the mystery and keep each other safe. This installment in Jayne Ann Krentz’ Cutler, Sutter, and Salinas series builds on the events of book one, When All the Girls Have Gone, but also serves as a standalone for new readers.

On shelves: January 2


An unexpected connection

When Dr. Colton Lee meets his mail-order bride, he’s expecting a gentle greeting, not a bullet in the arm. He had advertised for a woman willing to care for his daughter, and the fiery Regan Carmichael doesn’t seem to fit the bill. Still, he finds himself drawn in by her strength, intelligence, beauty, and the love she shows to his daughter, Anna. Regan feared when she first arrived that she might be unhappy with a man who had closed himself off to love after his wife died, but with each day they spend together his heart opens a little bit more and soon she can’t imagine herself anywhere but at his side. Fans of Beverly Jenkins’ Old West series and new readers alike will fall hard for these characters and be swept up in their romance.

On shelves: January 30

The Wedding Date

Something new

Pediatric surgeon Drew Nichols is not looking forward to spending the weekend at his ex’s wedding, especially since he’s going stag. But when a fateful power outage leaves him trapped in an elevator with Alexa Monroe, he decides to take a chance and ask her to go with him. Alexa, chief of staff to Berkeley’s mayor, is surprised when she agrees to go to a wedding with a stranger. She’s even more surprised when they go their separate ways and she can’t stop thinking about the time they spent together. Jasmine Guillory’s interracial love story explores the challenges of long-distance relationships, especially when both partners have demanding jobs. Roxane Gay gave this book five stars, calling it “a charming, warm, sexy gem of a novel… One of the best books I’ve read in a while.”

On shelves: January 30

A Princess in Theory

Royal treatment

Can’t stand the wait for the next royal wedding? Alyssa Cole has you covered with this series starter. Naledi Smith can’t help but roll her eyes when she receives yet another email informing her that she’s betrothed to an African prince. But this is no spam email. Unbeknownst to Naledi, before she was in foster care, she was a princess. When Naledi doesn’t respond to email, Prince Thabiso of Thesolo decides to find his bride himself. He’s prepared to sweep her off her feet and back to Thesolo, but when she mistakes him for an ordinary man, he can’t resist the chance to experience life without his title. Readers who grew up dreaming of discovering their secret royal roots won’t want to miss this romantic adventure.

On shelves: February 27

Hello Stranger

Barely even friends, then somebody bends

Dr. Garrett Gibson stole readers’ hearts from her first appearance in Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenels series, and they aren’t the only ones captivated by her. Ethan Ransom has struggled to stay away from Garrett since their first meeting. She’s unlike any woman he’s ever met, and not simply because she’s the only female physician in England. Their mutual attraction culminates in one passionate night, though in the morning they agree to go their separate ways. Fortunately, fate has other plans. When Ethan’s life is put in danger and Garrett comes to his aid, they’re swept up in a deadly government scheme. Ravenels fans have been anticipating this release all year. Though it can be read as a standalone, we’d highly recommend starting at the beginning to enjoy every moment of this breathtaking series.

On shelves: February 27

The Sins of Lord Lockwood

Guess who’s back

Meredith Duran is a master at crafting characters who bring out the best in each other and plots that keep readers hooked to the page. Her latest is the sixth installment in the thrilling Rules for the Reckless series, though new readers will have no trouble diving right in. Four years ago Liam Devaliant’s future was stolen from him and now he’s out for revenge. The last thing he needs is a distraction, yet he gets one in the form of Anna, his wife. Anna isn’t pleased when her first sight of her husband in years involves three other women clinging to him. But she traveled to London from Scotland in search of answers, and she refuses to leave his townhouse until she’s received them. As readers who follow our staff reads know well, the editorial team adores Duran and we’ve been itching to get our hands on this title for months. Is it February yet?

On shelves: February 27


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