Didn’t get your New Year’s kiss? That’s fine, because there are plenty of kisses in our picks for the 10 best romance novels of 2016!
Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins
Rhine Fontaine is running a successful salon in the old West, but his life could be ruined if anyone were to discover his secret—he’s African-American and passing for white. But when he meets the beautiful Eddy, who is black, he may have to risk his life and livelihood to win her love.
A Season of Ruin by Anna Bradley
Lily Somerset is out to find the staid man of her—very practical—dreams during the London season. But then she meets the heart-stopping, slick Robyn, and rumors start swirling that they’re involved. He’s forced to act as her suitor for propriety’s sake, despite the fact that Lily is so not his type. But they both might be in for a surprise as they grow closer in this sizzling Regency charmer.
One Night Charmer by Maisey Yates
A rich girl finds love in a no-frills bar in this satisfying small-town read with emotional oomph. Oregon bar owner Ace Thompson has had bad luck in love, but when he hires independent Sierra West, he can’t seem to keep from flirting with her. But when flirting leads to more, both wonder if a relationship is possible, even with their scarred hearts.
The Rock by Monica McCarty
Former childhood friends struggle to find adult happiness in 14th-century Scotland in this enchanting romance. For years, blacksmith’s son turned soldier Thom MacGowan has been in love with noble-born Lady Elizabeth Douglas, but the social chasm between them seems impossible to span. This only spurs Thom into feats of derring-do in order to prove his worth, and though he has a chance to become a hero, he might still lose Elizabeth—and his life.
Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan
Mega-bestseller Feehan kicks off a new paranormal series with gritty action and scorching love scenes in this novel. Stefano sees Francesca Cappello on the streets of Chicago and knows she has his same gift—an ability to ride the shadows and move about unseen. His family uses their various supernatural powers to serve up justice, but will Francesca be able to accept this unconventional lifestyle?
My American Duchess by Eloisa James
It doesn’t look good when you’ve left two fiancés at the altar. Which is why it adds another layer of scandal when Boston heiress Merry Pelford falls in love with the Duke of Trent moments after agreeing to marry his brother. It’s a war between love and scandal in this winning, witty historical romance.
First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Romance surprises a newly retired quarterback and a spunky P.I. in this sparkling contemporary from fan-favorite Phillips. Cooper Graham is quite annoyed by quirky fledgling detective Piper Dove, but he’s also quite attracted to her. Despite their attempts to squash any burgeoning feelings, love blooms through witty banter and jibes.
Taking Fire by Cindy Gerard
Six years ago in Kabul, Afghanistan, military contractor Bobby Taggart bedded Talia Levine, a woman who was operating under a secret identity. She betrayed him, but now Bo once again encounters Talia, who has made hard choices for good reasons. There’s a target on Talia’s back, and the pair must rely on each other to survive.
Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra
Bakeshop owner and single mother Jane Clark is not looking for a man—her last relationship was disastrous and dangerous. But then sexy former Marine Gabe Murphy shows up in her bakery. Gabe knows a distrusting woman when he sees one, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to win her over. This is a top-notch contemporary romance that epitomizes the appeal of the genre.
What was your favorite romance novel of the year?