B&N Top Picks for August

Barnes & Noble buyer Jules Herbert is a driving force behind the selection in Barnes & Noble’s romance section. Escape the fact that summer is almost over by diving into one of August’s top romance picks.

 

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01

Good Luck Charm

Helena Hunting

Experience the hilarity and heartache of first love and second chances in a sexy new romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series.
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Lilah isn't sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she's no longer that same girl and never wants to be again.
 
Ethan wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that.
 
Just when Lilah might finally be ready to let Ethan in, though, she finds out their reunion might have nothing to do with love and everything to do with improving his game. But Ethan's already lost her once, and even if it costs him his career, he'll do anything to keep from losing her again.
 
(Grand Central, 8/7)

02

A Duke by Default

Alyssa Cole

Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way…
 
New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.
 
Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.
 
Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?
 
(HarperCollins, 7/31)

03

Darkest Night

Megan Erickson

USA Today bestselling author Megan Erickson turns up the heat in her sexy and thrilling Wired & Dangerous romantic suspense series.
 
Bodyguard Jock Bosh has one job: keep Fiona Madden safe. Safe from the men who've been hunting her. Safe from the bastard responsible for ruining her life. And with the attraction sizzling white-hot between them, that means keeping Fiona safe from him too.
 
Fiona has spent the past decade on the run. Her survival is the single greatest weapon she's had against the men out to destroy her. Until Jock. Now, with him by her side, she finally has a chance to bring them down. But when her enemies make their next move and Jock puts himself in the line of fire, Fiona realizes that there's more at stake than just her life-she's also risking her heart.
 
(Grand Central, 7/31)

04

Desperate Girls

Laura Griffin

“I love a strong, smart heroine, and defense attorney Brynn Holloran is exactly that. Desperate Girls is a nail-biting read from the very first page to the final, shocking twist. I could not put this book down.” —Melinda Leigh, Wall Street Journal bestselling author
 
New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin’s Desperate Girls is a tightly wound, fast-paced romantic thriller that follows a desperate woman on the run as she hides from a killer’s symbolic revenge spree.
 
Defense attorney Brynn Holloran is right at home among cops, criminals, and tough-as-nails prosecutors. With her sharp wit and pointed words, she has a tendency to intimidate, and she likes it that way. She’s a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom, but in her personal life, she’s a mess.
 
When a vicious murderer she once helped prosecute resurfaces and starts a killing spree to wipeout those who put him behind bars, one thing becomes clear: Brynn needs to run for her life.
 
When the police come up empty-handed, Brynn turns to a private security firm for protection. But when she defies advice and gets involved in the investigation, even the former Secret Service agent assigned to protect her may not be able to keep her safe. With every new clue she discovers, Brynn is pulled back into the vortex of a disturbing case from her past.
 
As the clock ticks down on a manhunt, Brynn’s desperate search for the truth unearths long-buried secrets and reignites a killer’s fury.
 
(Gallery, 8/7)

05

Dune Drive

Mariah Stewart

New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart returns to her beloved Chesapeake Diaries series with a charming beachside romance that is “everything you love about small-town romance” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Freethy).
 
Always believing she was an ugly duckling, Chrissy Jenkins thought she had finally turned into a swan when her real-life Prince Charming swept her off her feet. But as his true character began to crack his perfect facade, Chrissy realized that not only was she better off without him, but that she was the only one who had the power to transform her life.
 
Returning to her ancestral home on Cannonball Island for a family wedding, Chrissy is reintroduced to a legacy she’d all but forgotten. In choosing to stay on the island, she reboots her life, successfully reinventing herself as a chef at Blossoms, an up-and-coming restaurant in St. Dennis. But despite her newfound self-confidence, she still doesn’t trust her taste in men. So when she meets Jared Chandler, a handsome ship salvager staying at the inn while he conducts a nearby recovery operation, Chrissy’s certain she can keep him as a friend—even though he’s everything any woman would want in a man. As fellow newcomers, together they discover the charm of the historic bayside town and explore the idyllic island.
 
But when Chrissy agrees to be Jared’s date for his father’s wedding, they embark on a weekend that will find them each seeing the other in a completely different light, one that will change their lives forever.
 
(Pocket, 7/31)

06

Good Luck with That

Kristan Higgins

New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins is beloved for her heartfelt novels filled with humor and wisdom. Now, she tackles an issue every woman deals with: body image and self-acceptance.
 
Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults.
 
For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it's coming to terms with the survivor's guilt she's carried around since her twin sister's death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it's about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother's and brother's ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.
 
But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson's dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.
 
A novel of compassion and insight, Good Luck With That tells the story of two women who learn to embrace themselves just the way they are.
 
(Penguin, 8/7)

07

Highland Betrayal

Alyson McLayne

"Witty banter, adventure and passion!"—ELIZA KNIGHT, USA Today bestselling author
 
A betrothal.
 
A betrayal.
 
A love threatened by treachery.
 
Laird Callum MacLean vowed to marry Maggie MacDonnell. But when his father's apparent suicide makes him Laird of his clan, Callum must unmask his father's killer before bringing Maggie into his dangerous new home.
 
Maggie's home isn't any safer. When Callum fails to return, Maggie does what any resourceful Highland lass would do. She escapes—and finds herself toe-to-toe with Callum, who's determined to fulfill his promise. Maggie can't bring herself to trust him with her heart again. But with a traitor still at large, they must rely on each other in every way, or their clans—and their love—will be destroyed.
 
(Sourcebooks, 8/7)

08

In Shadows

Sharon Sala

To protect her, he must remain a ghost…
 
Jack McCann has been in love with Shelly since they were teens. They married just out of college and right before he went to work as an undercover agent for the FBI. When he can, he slips away from his assignments to see her.
 
Jack has been undercover on his latest case for months, investigating a weapons-smuggling business. But just as the FBI is set to make the bust, Jack’s cover is blown. The last thing he feels as he crashes through a warehouse window and into the open water is a bullet piercing his back. The last thing he hears is Adam Wu promising to destroy everyone Jack loves.
 
Shelley’s worst nightmares come true when the FBI arrive at her doorstep to bring her the news. But she doesn’t know the truth: Jack survived the shooting and will do anything to keep his beloved wife safe—even if it means hiding in shadows…
 
(MIRA, 7/31)

09

Stygian

Sherrilyn Kenyon

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon brings us back to the astonishing world of the Dark-Hunters in Stygian, with a hero misunderstood by many…but most of all by himself.
 
Born before man recorded time, I lived for thousands of years believing myself to be something I’m not.
 
Someone I’m not.
 
Lied to and betrayed by gods, Daimons and Dark-Hunters, I’ve struggled to find my way in a world where I’ve been cursed since the moment I was prematurely ripped from my mother and planted into the womb of an innocent woman who thought me her son.
 
Trained as a slayer and predator, I learned to fit in and stay low. To become a tool for evil. Until I was sent to kill the one woman I couldn’t. My hesitation cost her her life.
 
Or so I thought. In an act of betrayal that makes all the others pale in comparison, I’ve learned that this world is an illusion and that my Phoebe still lives.
 
Now I will have to travel into the very pits of Hades to try and save her, even as everyone around me attempts to steal what little soul I have left. There’s only one person at my back and I’m not sure I can trust her either, for she was born of an enemy race. Yet sometimes the road to redemption is one that singes us to our very core. And if I fail to find the answers I need to save Phoebe, more than just my wife will die.
 
We will lose the world. Both human and Daimon.
 
(Tom Doherty Associates, 8/28)

10

To Have and To Harley

Regina Cole

You may now kiss the biker.
 
Bethany Jernigan owes her bestie. Big time. So when wedding planning overburdens the bride-to-be, Bethany steps in to handle the nitty-gritty. But the guy in charge isn't anything like she imagined. He's gruff, tattooed, and 100% male. His staff is even rougher around the edges, and it's not long before she feels as if she's stepped into some kind of crazy alternate reality.
 
Are those...bikers? Arguing about wedding favors?
 
Trey Harding never wanted this to get so out of hand. One little lie somehow snowballed into a world of dresses and flowers and food and holy-hell-he's-in-over-his-head. But it's not like he can confess he's not the wedding planner he's pretending to be—especially now that he's falling for the maid of honor! His charade is becoming a farce, and as engines rev and ribbons fly, Trey's running out of time to figure out how to tell the truth without losing his new family, his crew...or the woman of his dreams.
 
(Sourcebooks, 8/7)