B&N’s Bookseller Picks: February

New & Noteworthy in Romance

Barnes & Noble buyer Jules Herbert is a driving force behind the excellent selection in Barnes & Noble’s romance section. Here’s his list of recommendations for the month of February. Prepare your bookshelf for the most romantic month of the year!

 

Missed last month’s picks? Check out January’s list here. 

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01

If the Duke Demands

Anna Harrington

A LESSON IN SEDUCTION . . .
 
Miranda Hodgkins has only ever wanted one thing: to marry Robert Carlisle. And she simply can’t wait a moment longer. During the Carlisle family masquerade ball, Miranda boldly sneaks into his bedchamber with seduction on her mind. Soon she’s swept into rock-hard arms for the most breathtaking kiss of her life. But when the masks come off, she’s horrified to find herself face-to-face with Sebastian, the Duke of Trent—Robert’s formidable older brother.
 
Shocked to find Miranda in his bed, Sebastian quickly offers her a deal to avoid scandal: He’ll help her win his brother’s heart if she’ll find him the perfect wife. But what begins as a simple negotiation soon spirals out of control. For the longer this reformed rake tries to make a match for Miranda, the more he wants to keep her all to himself.
 
(Grand Central, 2/28)

02

Too Wild to Tame

Tessa Bailey

Sometimes you just can’t resist playing with fire . . .
 
By day, Aaron Clarkson suits up, shakes hands, and acts the perfect gentleman. But at night, behind bedroom doors, the tie comes off and the real Aaron comes out to play. Mixing business with pleasure got him fired, so Aaron knows that if he wants to work for the country’s most powerful senator, he’ll have to keep his eye on the prize. That’s easier said than done when he meets the senator’s daughter, who’s wild, gorgeous, and 100 percent trouble.
 
Grace Pendleton is the black sheep of her conservative family. Yet while Aaron’s presence reminds her of a past she’d rather forget, something in his eyes keeps drawing her in. Maybe it’s the way his voice turns her molten. Or maybe it’s because deep down inside, the ultra-smooth, polished Aaron Clarkson might be more than even Grace can handle . . .
 
(Grand Central, 1/31)

03

Forged in Desire

Brenda Jackson

Strong enough to protect her. Bold enough to love her.
 
When good girl Margo Connelly becomes Lamar “Striker” Jennings’s latest assignment, she knows she’s in trouble. And not just because he’s been hired to protect her from an underworld criminal. The reformed bad boy’s appeal is breaching all her defenses, and as the threats against her increase, Margo isn’t sure which is more dangerous: the gangster targeting her or the far too alluring protector tempting her to let loose.
 
Though Striker’s now living on the right side of the law, he’s convinced his troubled past keeps Margo out of his league. But physical chemistry explodes into full-blown passion when they go on the run together. Surrendering to desire could be a deadly distraction—or finally prove that he’s the only man qualified to keep her safe and win her love.
 
(Harlequin, 1/31)

04

Seven Minutes in Heaven

Eloisa James

Witty and elusive Eugenia Snowe has all of society begging for one of her premier governesses—except the powerful Edward Reeve, who bursts into her office with his arrogant demands.
 
No question that Eugenia enjoys crossing wits with the brilliant inventor, but Ward wants far more than a governess. He wants Eugenia, and he’ll stop at nothing to have her—including kidnapping.
 
Will Eugenia lose her heart in the most reckless gamble of her life, or will she discover the sweetest pleasure she’s ever known?
 
All it will take is seven minutes . . .
 
(HarperCollins, 1/31)

05

Strawberry Wine

Darly Jamison

How do you know if a first love is made to last?
 
Addison Monroe was eighteen when she fell for Jake Grady, a college student working on her family’s farm for the summer. With his sapphire eyes and killer smile, Jake could have had any girl in Lakeside, Georgia. But he wanted Addy, and for those brief, wonderful months—before circumstances drove them irrevocably apart—they belonged to each other.
 
Ten years later, Addy is engaged to a doctor and working in Atlanta as a physician’s assistant. Life feels full and satisfying. Yet memories of that long-ago summer and wine-flavored kisses are hard to shake. On a return visit to Lakeside, Addy crosses paths with Jake again, and soon finds herself at an unexpected crossroads. So much has changed, and Addy has chosen another route. And the magic of first love can never be rekindled . . . can it?
 
(Kensington, 1/31)

06

Someone to Hold

Mary Balogh

Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune and a scandalous secret that will forever alter the lives of his family—sending one daughter on a journey of self-discovery . . .
 
With her parents’ marriage declared bigamous, Camille Westcott is now illegitimate and without a title. Looking to eschew the trappings of her old life, she leaves London to teach at the Bath orphanage where her newly discovered half-sister lived. But even as she settles in, she must sit for a portrait commissioned by her grandmother and endure an artist who riles her every nerve.
 
An art teacher at the orphanage that was once his home, Joel Cunningham has been hired to paint the portrait of the haughty new teacher. But as Camille poses for Joel, their mutual contempt soon turns to desire. And it is only the bond between them that will allow them to weather the rough storm that lies ahead . . .
 
(Penguin, 2/7)

07

At Close Range

Laura Griffin

New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin “delivers the goods” (Publishers Weekly) again with the eleventh title in the gritty, heart-pounding Tracers series.
 
When a lakeside tryst ends in a double murder, police detective Daniele Harper arrives on the scene determined to get answers. Clues are everywhere, but nothing adds up. Dani turns to the Delphi Center crime lab for help, but soon regrets it when her secret attraction to their chief firearms examiner threatens to distract her from the most important case of her career.
 
As a ballistics expert and former Navy SEAL, Scott Black knows firearms, and he knows he can help Dani unravel her case. Scott has managed to hide his interest in his best friend’s younger sister for years, but when her investigation brings them together, the sparks between them quickly burn out of control. Scott resolves to keep his hands off Dani and his eyes on the goal—identifying a killer. But when that killer zeroes in on her, all bets are off. There isn’t a line Scott won’t cross to convince Dani to trust him so that he can help her take down a ruthless murderer who has her in his sights.
 
(Pocket Books, 1/31)

08

Under Her Skin

Adriana Anders

Battered by a life determined to tear him down.
 
This quiet ex-con’s scarred hands may be the gentlest touch she’ll ever know.
...if only life were a fairy tale where Beauty was allowed to keep her Beast
 
Ivan thought the world was through giving him second chances. Who’d want a rough ex-con with a savior complex and a bad habit of bringing home helpless strays? Everyone in Blackwood, Virginia knew he wasn’t good enough for the fine things in life; they knew he was too damaged to save. He just needed to keep his head down, work himself to the bone, and pretend he was content with the lot he was given.
 
Until she came into his life. Until she changed everything.
 
Until he realized he would do anything, fight anyone, tear the world apart if it meant saving her.
 
(Sourcebooks, 2/7)

09

Beauty and the Wiener

Casey Griffin

A TAIL AS OLD AS TIME...
 
Addison Turner has scripted a perfect future for herself, complete with a fairytale ending. She will become the name in doggie fashion design and live happily ever after with the husband of her dreams—and her dachshund, Princess, by her side. Just when her plan is on track and she’s gaining recognition at the local dog show, Addison is hit with some Oscar-worthy drama. A group of prize-winning show dogs is stolen from under her nose, and she’s stuck asking for help from Felix Vaughn, an infuriatingly hot bartender who is the exact opposite of Prince Charming.
 
When more dogs go missing—and Felix becomes a suspect—the two team up to clear their names. Although Felix and Addison fight like cats and dogs, there's an undeniable spark between them. And as the trail to the missing dogs heats up, so does their red-hot chemistry. Can Addison be persuaded to throw away her script to find an ending that just might be better than she ever expected?
 
(St. Martin’s Press, 2/7)

10

Born of Vengence

Sherrilyn Kenyon

A fate worse than death . . .
 
Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won’t rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves.
 
Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman—the sister of the very woman who testified against him.
 
Major Ember Wyldestarrin joined the outlaw Tavali the day Kirovar fell into the hands of a tyrant, and she and her sister-team were left on an outpost to die under the barrage of enemy fire. The last thing she wants is to be involved in politics again. But the one thing she wants more than anything is revenge on the tyrant who murdered her parents and forced her and her sisters into exile. Carrying a secret she knows Bastien will annihilate her over, she must find some way to trust her former wingman before he catches on and kills her. Even so, treachery doesn’t come easy to a woman who took a loyalty oath to protect her homeworld and comrades-in-arms, especially when Bastien is much more to her than just a former wingman.
 
Yet as she tries to do right for her family, she learns that Bastien doesn’t just hold the key to the fate of Kirovar, he is vital to The Sentella-League war, and to The Tavali. If she doesn’t ensure he survives this mission, three nations fall, and time for all of them is quickly running out.
 
(St. Martin’s Press, 2/7)