5 Hockey Romances You Don’t Want to Miss

So, I write paranormal romance, right? And I looooove to read it. But every now and then I get an itch to read a sports romance, and hockey is my go-to sport. I know absolutely nothing about it, and that doesn’t seem to matter!

Here are five books that I loved!

The Score, by Elle Kennedy

This one is third in a series, and every book in the series is super super great. In order, they are The Deal, The Mistake, The Score, and The Goal. I can’t recommend them strongly enough! The Score, however, had a hilarious scene that I have read multiple times because I laugh out loud over it. Even thinking about it now, I break into a grin. This book also made me cry, and I don’t often cry at books, so…good work, Ms. Kennedy.

The Year We Fell Down, by Sarina Bowen

You know how I said I don’t usually cry over books? Well, this is another exception! The heroine in this book was in a terrible accident and now uses a wheelchair. Her journey, along with the hero, was really touching. Go read this one. Like, drop everything and do it now.

Dominic, by Kat Mizera

Sometimes I want some good ol’ suspense in my romances. This one wasn’t a new adult book like the other two, but the suspense in the story line kept me going. Also, there’s an age difference where the heroine is older than the hero (yaaass!) and a bit of a Cinderella, make-over vibe, which is one of my guilty pleasures.

Hard Hitter, by Sarina Bowen

Yeah, I know Sarina Bowen has another book listed above, and I thought of leaving this one off the list, but…I can’t. This was such a great hockey romance. Steamy, funny, touching, with an element of healing because the heroine is a massage therapist. Also a suspenseful element, which I’m almost always a fan of!

Hot as Puck, by Lili Valente

This one I read just a few weeks ago. What I liked about it was that it was a super sexy friends-to-lovers story and just aaahhhhh. So enjoyable. Most of the conflict here is internal, so expect quite a bit of angst. If angst isn’t your thing, well, the super sexy sexytimes will more than make up for it.

6 Shifter Heroines I Love

paranormal shapeshifter romance heroines

Shifters in Love

Usually (but not always–see my book Savage Bliss), a shapeshifter romance novel features a hero who can turn into an animal. It’s very often the case. More variable is the heroine’s powers. Often, she’s human, so here’s a post to celebrate the leading ladies who can turn furry.

Badass Shapeshifter Heroines

Here they are, in no particular order–

Patricia Briggs’s Moon Called

As a coyote shapeshifter, Mercy Thompson has had to be cunning to survive. She’s strong, she’s smart, and she can carry a tune. She also does things like leave a junker car in her yard just to annoy her domineering (and sexy-as-hell) neighbor, Adam.

T. S. Joyce’s Axman Werebear

Dragon shifter Diem Daye is quiet, obedient, and yet immensely strong. Her arranged marriage is pretty much the worst news ever and for the first time, she’s fighting against her father’s wishes. Her interactions with Bruiser, a grizzly shifter, melted my heart.

Tori Knightwood’s Savanna Dance

Inira Makeri is a giraffe shifter, and that alone has me bouncing in my seat & clapping my hands. How freaking cool is this? She’s wild at heart despite the fact that her family’s expectations have always weighed on her. I loved watching her blossom over the course of this book.

Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten

Elena Michaels was turned into a werewolf in a way that still pisses me off, but there’s no denying she is wears her fur in style. This lady is so smart and capable, she almost makes me want to get off the couch and do a couple laps around the track (almost).

Keira Blackwood’s Pierced

Hannah Lewis is not only balancing her experiences as a wolf shifter with managing college–and living in the dorms! She’s also an amazing friend who will stop at nothing to ensure her friends are safe. I would count myself super lucky to have a buddy as loyal as Hannah.

Ophelia Bell’s Dragon Equinox

Numa’s so strong, she has to search among the elite in order to find a partner who is powerful enough to not only mate her, but help her save the freakin’ world. This is one bad-ass dragon.

Some Shapeshifting Ladies in My Books

There are quite a few shifter heroines in my own books. Two of my favorites are book blogger Nina Vidal in Savage Heartache, and potty-mouthed Hayley Jaynes in Wild Atonement. In fact, Nina has her own blog, and I’ve already written about Hayley, here.

Paranormal Romance Tropes

While I always adore reading the shifter books with the alpha shifter male and the human woman who is shocked and surprised by not only the existence of shifters but the fact that her beloved is one of them, I also like these romances that explore the shifter dynamic in other ways. Have you read any of these ones, or do you have other favorites? I’d love to hear about them!

 

5 Great “Best Self” Books

I used to think I hated January. It’s cold. Dark. Rather bleak. But the past couple of years, I’ve gotten through January by going gangbusters on the self-help or, as I like to call them, “best self” books. Below are five of my favorites. They keep me going so I can keep working on my hottie shifter novels!

self-help book covers

  1. Deep Work, by Cal Newport
  2. The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg
  3. You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero
  4. Focus, by Daniel Goleman
  5. In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan

Have you read any of these? Or maybe you have others to recommend?

The Riders (duology) by Veronica Rossi

 

Riders was the kind of book that I really could not stop reading. Once I started, I didn’t want to stop, and heaven help any poor soul who tried to interrupt my reading. Chores didn’t matter, I think I ate whatever food was easily made while the book was open on the counter, and I literally could not sleep until I’d finished the novel. I both hate and love books like this. I love them because I fall completely under their spell. I hate them because I get absolutely nothing done.

Riders is about a boy, Gideon, who literally dies but comes back to life as War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. He soon meets the other three horsemen, as well as a girl, Daryn, who has a mysterious ability to find them and bring them together.

I don’t want to spoil any of the mysteries in here, but let’s just say the writing is flawless, the plot fast-paced, and the characterization takes my breath away. This was a beautifully written book.

Seeker was also un-put-downable. I started it early in the afternoon and ignored everything around me just so I could keep reading! I love Gideon so, so much, and Daryn, too. I really needed this glimpse into her head. The ending was surprising and fulfilling, and man, Rossi’s dialogue. She’s a master.

I highly recommend these books to any lovers of contemporary fantasy.

Secrets of a Soprano, by Miranda Neville

secrets of a soprano cover

This little gem of a book was a delight! It’s about an opera singer and the guy she fell in love with years ago. Teresa Foscari, the heroine, is serious about her art and performing. She’s well-known and admired, and her presence in any opera house would elevate that house in reputation and earnings.

Her former flame, Maximilian Hawthorne, both resents and yearns for her. His internal conflict, and hers, at being thrust together once more are simply delicious.

And the historical detail! Wow! I read this some time ago and I’m still captivated by the setting–I might have to give this one a second read, just to return to those opera houses and the music, and the side characters who made my heart happy.

Trigger warning–the heroine suffered some sexual trauma before the start of the novel.