Subscription models are the new black. You can get your TV shows on subscription. Mail. Art classes. News articles. It seems that these days, EVERYTHING is running a subscription model. Authors are no different! Find out more about the Emma St. Clair subscription…
Generally speaking, I (Emma) release books several times a year. Right now, that’s around 3-4 books a year, give or take a novella or coauthored book.
But I am ALWAYS writing other things. Secret things. Things that may not release anytime soon while I work to finish series.
And now … you can have a chance to not only KNOW about those things, but to read them early.
Let me ask you a few questions.
Have you been wanting to read about second generation Love Clichés stories–books about Abby & the gang’s KIDS?
You’ve probably heard of Patreon–this is similar but on a new platform called Ream, designed FOR authors and BY authors with a better ability to read (and adjust font sizes, etc) and has a built-in private community like a facebook group.
AND I’M SO EXCITED.
Before I send you over to see all the fun, lemme talk a little about the WHY and the WHAT.
(But okay, fine, if you’re like me and want to just see stuff NOW, you can click here to go check it out.)
Having a subscription model allows YOU to:
Get to read chapters EARLY
Read along as I write
Comment on the chapters with things you love (or things you have questions about)
Engage in a private community with Emma + other readers
There are also other swag levels that come with monthly stickers, signed paperbacks, and the ability to get ARCs of full-length books.
Having a subscription model allows ME to:
Devote time and prioritize stories that are otherwise on the back burner
Build community & connect more with fans
Start to build independently of retailers
Right now… there are three things waiting for you already.
The first chapter of the Love Clichés second gen novel featuring Ella (Zoey & Gavin’s daughter) and Jasper. (New chapters arrive on the 1st of every month.)
The first chapter of Upping the Ante, a Sheet Cake novella that will likely release next month NOT on amazon but as an email freebie. (You’ll get the whole thing early, but right now, it’s just the start.)
The first chapter of the newly updated Hometown Heartthrobs featuring Sy and Amy. (New chapters arrive on the 15th of every month!)
Becoming a Sheeter isn’t going to be for every Emma reader, and that’s OKAY!
I still love you, and you can still be a SUPERFAN even if this isn’t for you.
Here’s a little more on my WHY of doing this.
Unlike Kindle Unlimited, which provides you a large QUANTITY of books for a low price, subscriptions for authors are more about exclusivity and unique, special things.
This is kind of like the difference between an all you can eat buffet (which, let’s face it, I LOVE), and sitting at the chef’s table, watching the chef cook and getting to talk about the food (which I also LOVE).
It’s about exclusivity and the experience.
If you sit at my chef’s table, you’ll get to read Emma projects early and as they are written with the ability to comment on the chapters and engage with me and other Sheeters.
This allows me to do special, extra things outside of just publishing books on Amazon.
While these are all stories I’m already working on, launching a subscription means I can prioritize them and get them done faster.
It also helps to build relationships with readers outside of books, which is something I REALLY value.
I want a career as an author. Which means I need to look at the long-term of things and how to build relationships with readers and also build outside of just Amazon.
Right now, I’m not leaving KU.
(Though a lot of authors are because of changes and instability over at Amazon this year.)
But I am looking forward and considering how I can continue to connect with fans and create a body of work we both love and get to enjoy.
Happy to answer any questions you have! I’ve got some FAQs on the page, but you can also hit reply and ask. 🙂
Think of it like Patreon but designed FOR authors BY authors. This means the reading experience will be better, and the features are those authors & readers both will enjoy!
Where can I read the exclusive chapters?
Reading will be right here on Ream or in the Ream app.
When will the exclusive content be released?
The Love Clichés Second Generation chapter will be available on the 1st of the month and the Hometown Heartthrobs on the 15th.
How do I comment?
When you are reading exclusive stories in Ream, you’ll see an option to leave comments on each chapter.
What should I comment?
You don’t HAVE to if you don’t want to! Though these will be early, unproofed drafts of my books, you aren’t being tasked with proofreading or beta reading. Instead, comment on things you like and what you’re curious about or what you hope to see. Other subscribers can also see your comments and respond. This is similar to the models like Kindle Vella or Wattpad where readers can comment and give thoughts or feedback.
When the exclusive books are done, will subscribers receive them for free?
When subscriber-exclusive content is complete and packaged as an ebook, all current subscribers will receive the full ebook via bookfunnel. (You must be subscribed for at least one month at the time of completion and will receive only the ebooks for the books at your tier.)
Can the paperback tiers be shipped internationally?
Not at this time. Costs vary too widely and make it prohibitive to me. I’m sorry!!! I really hate that this is the case with shipping.
Can I cancel my membership?
Yes! You can cancel at any time. Currently, when you cancel, you will lose access IMMEDIATELY to all content. So you might want to cancel just before the next billing cycle starts.
Will these exclusive chapters be published elsewhere?
When the books I’m working on inside of Ream are completed, they will likely be published like my other books, which are currently in ebook, paperback, and audiobook. Until they’re completed, access will only be here, for subscribers.
How is this different from Kindle Unlimited?
It’s like comparing the value buffet to a chef’s tasting menu. KU is about quantity: a single subscription allows you to read across any authors included. What I’m creating here is an exclusive experience for readers and fans who want more Emma–both in terms of access to me and access to early writing that NO ONE else sees. It’s allowing my readers to pull up a chair to the table and watch me cook while we talk about the meal. This isn’t for everyone, and I appreciate all my readers, whether they choose to join me here or not. 🙂
It’s that time of year again! And whether you’re doing a staycation or finding a sunny location, I’ve got a list of clean romantic comedy books to read on spring break!
I mean … is there anything better than a kindle full of ebooks or a crisp new paperback in your travel bag? No. (Though a great romcom plus delicious chocolate–and maybe an iced coffee–is also acceptable.)
Grab one of these warm and sunny romantic comedies for your spring break adventure! Pick a sweet romcom book that matches your travel destination or choose the destination you’ve been dreaming of. All the books on this list are clean (just kissing) and would fall into the rom-com category!
Let’s get to reading!
This post contains affiliate links! At no extra charge to you, I might earn commissions from purchases made.
Clean Romantic Comedy Books to Read onSpring Break 2023
When their grandmother leaves them her beach estate, sisters Merritt, Sadie, and Eloise have to relocate to oversee the renovations before they can sell the place. They didn’t expect to want to stay … and they definitely didn’t expect to fall in love.
Hating Cameron Hunter shouldn’t be this easy. I’m basically a golden retriever puppy. I love everyone and want everyone to love me. But Cameron is the singular exception to my “love everyone” rule, and the hatred goes both ways.
When we’re both up for a magazine feature about walking tours of Charleston, our rivalry turns into a heated competition.
A dating dare? It could turn out to be the perfect match or it could be worse than a slap on a sunburn.
Me, little ol’ Paisley Jones, envisioned glitz and glamour with my movie star fiancé until a humiliating, public scandal explodes in my life like damp confetti. I escape to the family cottage with an ocean view and am not looking for love until a dare and a crazy seagull send me next door.
Jackson needs a date for a destination wedding. And who can say no to a free Hawaiian vacation? But when he asks his old friend, April, to pretend to be his girlfriend, he never expected to be forced to do every single activity together… from yoga on the beach to kissing for the wedding photos. And pretty soon, those lines between fake and real start to get hazy.
Tiny Little Lie #1: I want the new resort in Turks and Caicos to open on schedule.
Tiny Little Lie #2:I’m not falling for Luke McKenna.
It sounds bad. But I’m not a bad person. I’m doing the right thing…I think. I’m telling myself I’m a superhero in heels, saving people I care about.
But the grumpy onsite contractor isn’t making things easy. The more I lie and try to stall the hotel opening, the harder he works to complete the project. Did I mention he’s handsome? And moody? And brooding? And my complete opposite in every way?
If the truth about what I’ve done comes out, Luke will never forgive me. Then I’ll have to face another truth: my attraction to him might actually be something more—something worth fighting for.
When I inherit beachfront property from a great-aunt I never knew existed, it’s a dream come true. There’s just one problem: my handsome new neighbor has plans to expand his own business—and he needs my building to do it. *This is a novella!
Whoever heard of starting a new job with a mandatory vacation? I didn’t know that was even a thing until it happened to me. But like most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true… it probably is.
I just met my Hawaiian tour guide for the week. He thinks he’s irresistible, and there’s no point in arguing with him because I completely agree. But as I get to know him better, I begin to see that there’s more to him than a pretty face and smokin’ beach body.
Not twenty-four hours into her dream trip, Sam meets not only one eligible bachelor, but two. Having given up on men after years of zero suitors, they’re now everywhere—like candy on Halloween, only Sam’s on a diet.
Samantha hasn’t lost sight of her goal though, she makes her case clear… She sets both of her admirers straight. She isn’t interested. She isn’t available… The problem may be convincing herself.
Every year, I’m hit with Christmas book FOMO. The adorable covers! The cozy things! The snow! The everything!
I usually tell myself no, no, no, and no.
But sometimes I give in and write a novella in a super short period just because I HAVE TO. And yeah, I did that this year–a total repeat of when I wrote The Twelve Holidates in a week and then hit publish.
I’d love to introduce you to A Holly Jilly Christmas, a Sheet Cake Novella inspired by Bookstagrammer Jillian of Read with Jillian. We were talking in dms and she said something about tropes not working in real life and BAM! I had the idea of a story.
Because I hate editing and while working on Rogue I’ve just felt exhausted and tired of writing, balancing my edits with writing something new made me super fresh.
This little story is a single POV (a departure for me), grumpy sunshine, workplace, road trip, age gap, forced proximity snack of a novella. It takes place in Sheet Cake, but with characters you’ve never met. Case and Jilly work for a production company making cheesy holiday romances. Jilly’s job is to scout locations and has been in talks with Tank Graham about using Sheet Cake. Case is along for the ride because, well–Jilly doesn’t know why. But she’s crushed on him for years, so it’s cool. Or it would be if he stopped ignoring her.
Anyway, for a woman who tries to avoid tropes, Jillian runs into a LOT of them here.
There’s even a bonus scene from Case’s POV!
Grab this little holiday novella in KU, paperback, OR in audio! Heck, get all three! It’s adorable. 🙂
TL;DR- Let’s talk about the two-year anniversary of the Love Clichés and the super special Kickstarter just for you!
Two years ago, I was breathing into a paper bag, trying to decide whether or not I should hit publish on a secret project. It was a romantic comedy, one I started writing in 2019 but finished in a quick two-week stint of writing furiously, grinning the whole time.
But … was I funny?
Would my current readers like this shift from sweet romance to sweet romcom?
I REALLY HAD NO IDEA.
So, I hit publish, then ducked under a table. (Not literally, but it felt that way.)
Two years later, this one book changed my author career. Quite literally.
Readers like you flocked to read Falling for Your Best Friend’s Twin and got obsessed with the five women at the center of these stories: Abby, Zoey, Delilah, Harper, and Sam. You didn’t mind the men, either. (Especially Thayden.)
NOW, IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE!
I had been planning some special things for this month (currently October 2022), but after attending an author conference, I realized I wasn’t planning big ENOUGH.
You may not know much about this crowdfunding platform (I didn’t either), but for a bunch of reasons, it’s the perfect place to launch what I’m calling the Love Clichés Anniversary Party!
Some things are still a surprise until the party launches on October 11th, but I want to give you an idea of what you can expect. Namely: super fun, new & exclusive Love Clichés swag, special edition books, and more!
To help you understand what I’m doing and WHY, here are some things you need to know!
WHAT IS KICKSTARTER AND WHY USE IT???
What is Kickstarter?
At its core, Kickstarter is about crowdfunding. It brings an audience in to help fund the creation or production of something, with rewards for funding.
As in … it’s NOT donations. Not charity. (It’s not like GoFundMe, for example.) What it really will be like is afan participation shopping experience. Fun. Exciting. You being PART of the experience.
Think of it as a Pop-Up Shop.
This Kickstarter will serve as an online shop that pops up for a limited time with new, exclusive, and one-of-a-kind items. (Assuming my funding goal is met–but I think I’ve set a nice baseline goal.)
At the end of October, it goes away. Some items may be available in my own shop later, but I’m debating on how to handle my online shop in general. Which brings me to the next point…
Kickstarter will help me print and stock items much more easily.
Doing this through Kickstarter allows me to see what y’all want BEFORE I order and stock items. It also keeps my house from being overrun with a LOT of stuff.
Even in the smaller orders I’ve done through my shop, it is not an easy thing to have everything in my house in stock and do all the packaging, labeling, shipping, etc. This will help me have exactly what I need and then do a big batch of shipping and packaging all at once.
This streamlines the process AND allows me to offer things that would be harder to offer if I were just doing it via my own shop.
What’s in it for YOU?
So much! The cool thing about Kickstarter is that it can kind of gamify the shopping experience. The way the site is set up makes this whole thing more exciting.
There will be stretch goals–which means that once we’ve met the funding goal needed for me to produce and print all the items, if we go higher, there will be rewards added. Some will just be a bonus onto a paid level, and some will be things in the add-on sections where you can choose to add something on.
For my international readers, this will also help with international shipping. I’m partnering with a company to help bring down those costs and the shipping costs as much as possible, though they will still be high. Shipping just is what it is, unfortunately. But! Some readers who didn’t have access to paperbacks before will have access now. (And I hope, going forward, to be able to offer this. Working on it!)
What will be offered?
I’ve had the most fun this month picking and choosing fun Love Clichés designs and more. I’ve got new artwork, special edition paperbacks, and new bonus audio. Some may be available for purchase later on in my own shop on my site, but for now (and likely through the end of 2022), you will ONLY be able to get them here.
There is also one high level EVENT that will be completely unlike anything you’ve done before. It’s only for the WILDEST of my fans, so we’ll see if we get any takers for that. 🙂
Is this, like, a discount sale?
NO. This is not like a special deals thing in terms of price, though some things (like stickers) might be slightly cheaper here, mostly due to how I’m bundling things.
This is more of a special deal in terms of exclusive, extra stuff for superfans who NEED their Love Clichés books and merch and special swag and are happy to purchase them.
What do these costs include?
Pricing accounts for things like production itself, packaging (shipping gets added on at checkout), and TIME.
The time needed to write bonus scenes; the time needed to package all this up in my house. Cost of things like my narrator to record bonus audio and my assistant who has helped set this up and will help me ship. Cost of designers to help with things like turning my illustrations into coloring pages.
I’ve looked at Kickstarters before and been like, DUDE! They made so much money! But in actuality, many barely break even. Some lose money if they don’t correctly account for things like shipping, cost of things like boxes or mailers to ship, etc.
I’m hoping to make enough to make the time I’ve spent worth it, but this will not be a cash cow thing for me. 🙂
So… why are you doing this again?
Honestly, the more I heard authors talking about Kickstarter, the more I realized this could be something REALLY FUN for my readers and for me. Kickstarters can build community and work with your existing community.
It’s an experience. An event.
You guys are awesome, and this is a fun way to celebrate the Love Clichés and the fans who really made this series what it is.
We’re doing this TOGETHER. It’s fun! There are exciting things to unlock as we reach funding goals.
You know how I love surprises and there will be some fun surprises offered in there!
What if you don’t wanna do it?
NO WORRIES! I have other fun Love Clichés things happening this month, giveaways (did you enter yet???) and some sales. Kickstarter won’t be for everyone, and that is OKAY WITH ME.
I’m excited for those who do want to take part, and if this is a good fit, we may do it again with other series when they’re complete.
I already know not everyone will participate. My expectations are that SOME of you will be all over this. Some of you might want to just see what it’s about. And others might THINK you’re not interested until we’re talking about all the fun things, and then you’re gonna jump on board.
Audiobooks are the thing! Apparently. I’m back and forth on audiobooks. I ENJOY them, but I think I prefer the ebook version (for ease of reading) and paperback (for the things I want to collect). I love audio for the car, but now I don’t go that many places! Or I have little ears. And even my books (which don’t have on-page intimacy or language) are not necessarily what I want my almost-six-year-old to be listening to.
That said, I love having the audio option for my books! Right now I’m moving all my romcoms into audio.
A FEW THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT AUDIOBOOKS (an author perspective)
Audiobooks cost more to produce than the ebook or paperback version.
Audiobooks have features out of our control (like pricing on Audible) and earn us less royalties than ebooks.
Audiobooks can take longer to produce and be a headache for authors to handle.
So, if you’re thinking–Wait, audio costs more to make but pays the author less? You’d be correct!
At least in most cases. Audio is an investment–one that’s more long term. Everything about it is just harder, especially when you want dual POV (as in, more than one narrator), which I do!
WHAT I’M DOING WITH AUDIO
While I produced my first romcom series, The Love Clichés, myself (hiring and managing the narrators and production), I am partnering with Podium Audio for my next few romcoms.
As a control freak, I don’t love having someone else controlling the production and distribution. As an author who just wants to write more books, I also don’t want to handle those things.
Podium approached me with a fabulous offer, and they have been a dream to work with. I love what they’ve done so far, and they’re able to produce a final audiobook that’s much better than what I can afford to do on my own. I am SO HAPPY to be working with them!
It also means I’m going to spend less time managing details related to audio and will put that time into writing NEW BOOKS.
WHERE TO FIND MY AUDIOBOOKS
Royally Rearranged is the first audiobook to come out from Podium and it is FANTASTIC. The quality, the production, the narrators–all of them are amazing. It’s a top-notch product that I know audio listeners will love! It’s available now, exclusively on Audible.
THE GRAHAM BROTHERS
While I’ve loved my narrators and the job they did with The Buy-In, I made the decision to take down the audiobook and it will be re-recorded with Podium, along with at least the next two installments, The Bluff and The Pocket Pair. I can’t wait to hear these final audiobooks, and am really excited to get these out to you!
THE LOVE CLICHÉS
You can snag The Twelve Holidates from me for FREE when you sign up for my email! You can listen to them wherever you buy audio, BUT you can also grab them all for the lowest price directly from my store… or just below. Use the code BLOG to get 25% off the full audio bundle!
If you follow me on Instagram, you already have seen teasers for this. Boy, do I love a good teaser! But the time has come to reveal that I’ve been working on a secret book that’s the start of a new series with …
You can grab our first book together, Eloise and the Grump Next door on Amazon or free in Kindle Unlimited!
This book is:
small town island
closed door romantic comedy
I love Jenny as a person and I love her books. She’s been my critique partner for a year and we decided to try our hand at co-writing. I’ve done this once before (love you, Courtney!) and it was a fun whirlwind. I’m not always the easiest person to work with (control freak, anyone?) but after much thought, Jenny and I talked about how this could work and dove in.
The series will follow three sisters (Eloise, Merritt, and Sadie) who inherit their grandmother’s estate on Oakley Island. At least one of them MUST live on the property’s carriage house while renovating the house into a bed and breakfast. Then they can sell and split the profits or keep the place.
Book one is Eloise’s story. The recent college grad meets grumpy lawyer Jake Fieldstone the night before the reading of the will–and let’s just say she doesn’t make a great first impression. She also doesn’t know who he is.
And now… Eloise is staying on the island in one half of the carriage house.
Wanna guess who’s in the second half???
(It’s Jake. Because: this is a romance novel.)
We had the best time writing this book and will have at LEAST three more. Podium Audio will be producing the audiobook and we’ll get you at least two other stories on this small island. Maybe more. You know how those side characters are–always begging for stories!
We hope you love this book! Go grab your copy today!
And here are some of the teasers we’ve been sharing…
As I mentioned in detail in my previous post (read it HERE if you missed it), the Hometown Heartthrob series is now NOT AVAILABLE for purchase.
Don’t worry! They’ll be back.
Back and better. Some changes–large and small–are coming to bring these books into line with my current books. Both in terms of the genre (romcom) and also in the quality. Longer. Better. More development. Solid tropes.
I’m not sure when they’ll be back (probably late 2022 or early 2023) but I’m so excited!!!
If anyone was in the middle of the series or wanted to read them as is before they shift, just shoot me a message: firstname.lastname@example.org
Several years ago, I started writing what is CURRENTLY the Hometown Heartthrob series. From the start, these books had my heart (and not just because they take place in Katy, Texas, my current hometown) but because I loved the guys. A mix of football players and cowboys, these guys were SOMETHING. Most had a past or a bad-boy streak or at least a reputation (even if it wasn’t deserved).
From the start, the series was a little rocky on MY end. The first book (now called Marrying Her Dream Groom) was part of a multi-author connected series. This meant certain plot points HAD to be followed so all the books would connect.
A little less than a year later, we all ended up taking our books out of the series and republishing, which meant some revising at the start. Once the first book came out of the multi-author series, I actually called the series the Not-So Bad Boys, which eventually became The Hometown Heartthrobs.
If you’re keeping up, that means this series really was THREE DIFFERENT SERIES at one point or another: the multi-author series, the Not-So Bad Boys, and the Hometown Heartthrobs.
I feel like the Hometown Heartthrobs really works well as far as a series name, and I’ve loved the stories, even if (just being honest here) they didn’t sell all that well as far as my books go. I’d always planned a final book in the series (following Ben and Kat, for you superfans) but had a hard time getting to it because I’ve shifted to write romantic comedies.
I LOVE writing the rom-coms. And … they outsell my older books 10 to 1. (Maybe more.)
I still get the occasional email asking if I’m going to finish out The Hometown Heartthrobs with Ben and Kat’s story.
And I wanted to … but it’s hard to go back to a series when you’re out of it. Especially when I wasn’t happy with the sales, OR looking back, some of the stories bug me.
I started to think about what I might do with this series.
As an author, I’m always balancing a lot of things. Three of the main things are:
my wants–what I want to write about
reader wants–what the readers want to read about
the business stuff–what the readers BUY
You’d think that two and three always coincide, but … not necessarily. Sometimes they line up, but often I’ve seen readers answer one way in polls or Facebook groups about what they want, but then the sales paint a different picture as far as what people BUY.
Right now, I am our primary income, which is totally a dream! I am making money from something I love, and I am so grateful.
But being that primary income also means I have to weigh number three pretty heavily. In the ideal world, all three line up together in harmony, and I’ve really found that harmony with my romcoms.
I love them.
Readers love them.
Readers BUY them.
The first full year of writing romcoms (at a slower pace than I was writing), my income more than tripled even though I was publishing LESS frequently.
Because the books have made more money, I’ve been able to slow down more and focus more on craft–something that’s always been important to me. (Did you know I have a master’s degree in fiction? I do!) I’ve also learned so much more about writing romance in particular, especially when it comes to tropes.
Confession: I didn’t know what tropes were when I started writing romance because my background was in literary fiction. #oops
Because of the shift in what I’m writing and how I’m writing (and even in how my audience has grown), I’ve often considered unpublishing my older books. Many readers still do read and enjoy, even though for me, I kind of cringe at my earlier books. I may love the stories and characters, but I feel like I’ve changed so much as an author.
I’d totally redo A LOT if I were to go back to my old books.
Which brings me to the Hometown Heartthrobs.
I wrote them just before I started the romcom books. There are some funny moments in the books. I loved the characters and the connected friendships. (There’s actually a tiny crossover where Abby goes home to Katy and lives next door to Elton and Easton from the Hometown Heartthrobs!) It really was the precursor to writing my Love Clichés series in many ways.
While I was thinking about this and reading and yet another email from a reader wanting to get Kat and Ben’s story, I had this thought: What if I did something kind of drastic?
What if I … unpublished the books, changed the POV and tense (from third person past to first person present), updated the voice to be more of my romcom voice, and added more material?
Could I transform the Hometown Heartthrobs into a series more like my current romantic comedies?
The answer is… YES. I think.
I’m currently working on this and will be for a few months, starting with the first book to see how I like it. I want to see if I can keep the same characters, but update the writing, lean more heavily into the tropes, add in the romcom voice, and even add more content. They’ll get new covers and be marketed more like my current bestsellers.
What’s the downside?
Well, first of all… READER HAPPINESS.
I’ll be honest: I liked these books when I wrote them, but I think I can make them into better books that I LOVE.
However, what’s “better” is in the eye of the beholder. Some of my current readers already read and loved this series AS IS. So, it may feel strange or uncomfortable to have me going in and messing with them. I get that.
I also think that I can make them BETTER books. Books I would be more proud of. Books more in line with my current direction. Books more readers will LOVE in a way they didn’t love the originals.
I can deviate even more from the way the series started, which was under a restriction from the multi-author series, where everything had to line up just so, from theme to timeline. Some of the story choices I made were JUST because of the way all the things had to tie together.
Now, I have freedom to take the story other places.
I also feel like I can strengthen these with better tropes. Before, when it came to tropes, I was like, “Hey, there’s a football player–it’s a sports romance!” Or, “Hey, there’s a cowboy! It’s a cowboy romance!”
I was way less concerned about actual tropes and reader expectations. I just wrote love stories that vaguely fit into a trope.
While that’s FINE, I’ve seen the strength of leaning into tropes, and I love the challenge of hitting reader expectations while also staying fresh.
I also kind of straddled a line with writing faith in my books. I didn’t really put ENOUGH to be Christian books, but they also have some faith. I plan to take a step away from that and remove the light faith elements.
This is NOT because anything I believe has changed. More because I never planned to write Christian fiction or Christian romance. It was NEVER something I wanted to do, for a lot of reasons. (Nothing against those who DO, but this never felt like my particular desire or calling.)
I let the faith bits creep into the books in what I felt like were natural ways, but it meant the books fell in a gray area–not quite Christian books, not quite plain secular.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
Big and small adjustments will be made. Some of the storylines will change. I think some of the characters will also change.
I am excited to see how I can take this series that I liked … and turn it into one I LOVE.
My hope is to keep the heart of the stories and characters, but make them BETTER and draw in new readers while still keeping in mind my readers who loved this series.
From a business side, this might also generate new revenue. Because, again–one of my three main goals is the business side of things. Right now, my book sales pay our mortgage, which means I have to make savvy choices. I will have the books in KU and will likely launch them all at a lower price–so if you paid for the first versions, I’m not just over here trying to take you to the cleaners!
I am SUPER EXCITED about getting back to these books (and hopefully finishing Ben & Kat’s story at some point) and really hope you, my readers, are excited to go along for the ride.
I’ll find a way to keep and offer the older books AS IS for those of you who love them. But I think if my readers trust me, this is going to give you BETTER books, MORE fun stories, and a GREAT new series of books to read.
This is a big shift. It’s also a risk! Most of the time, authors don’t go back and revamp old books. Or, we make minor changes and update covers and move on.
This is a pretty big overhaul–one I can’t wait to work on.
My hope is that I can make this transition in a way that makes me proud of my work, makes my readers (original & new) happy, and also is helpful to my author business as a whole.
And … now I’m going to get back to work on making these stories incredible for YOU.
Meanwhile, for NOW the Hometown Heartthrobs exist as is on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited. You can read them there while they are still there! I’ll likely take them down by the end of July. If you check them out in KU, they’ll stay on your device even after I take the books out of KU and unpublish them.
All I wanted was a quiet summer on my family’s ranch in Idaho while I planned my wedding … what I got was working in close proximity to my very hot high school nemesis who has me rethinking everything.
Not everyone’s destined to live happily ever after, right? Averagely ever after is my goal. Less hoping means less heartbreak. Then I meet Mac and Daisy. Next thing I know, I’m working as a nanny for the cutest kid and the hottest man ever. And now, I’m rethinking everything …
I hate Miles Crowe more than itchy socks, “namaste” puns on yoga tank tops, and chigger bites. Combined. The last thing in the world I want to do is work for the man. But it’s definitely not because I’m falling for him…
I left London with a broken heart, swearing off men and musicals. But when a chance encounter reunites me with my first love, I find myself unable to resist Charlie Benson. But am I about to star in yet another romantic tragedy?
Confession: I’m attracted to my student’s dad. But I CAN’T be attracted to him, because dating a parent means losing my job. Risking my job and my heart is the most foolish thing I could do. So why can’t I seem to stay away …
Merry Christmas! How would you like a free audiobook? You can grab The Twelve Holidates FREE in audiobook form. (You can also find it as an ebook or in print.) This romcom novella is laugh-out-loud funny and is a fantastic way to boost those holiday spirits. It also may inspire you to start a fruitcake dodgeball tradition…
Simply click HERE to start the download process and get your free audiobook!
The audiobook is through Bookfunnel, and you’ll need their totally free app to listen. Once you click to download, you’ll just have to follow their simple instructions to start listening within minutes!
Here’s the book description:
If someone tells you that waiting for your boyfriend in a giant stocking is a good idea, they’re WRONG.
I learn this the hard way when I discover my boyfriend is cheating on me.
Once again, I find myself crying on the very broad and sturdy shoulders of my best friend, Weston.
And even though he rejected me when we were kids, my feelings for Weston start bubbling back to the surface.
Especially when he insists that we work our way through the list of twelve holidates I had planned for my ex.
Twelve dates with my super hot and totally perfect BFF? Um, okay. You don’t have to ask me twice!
Only… the dates continue to be disasters.
The biggest disaster of all is the way I’m about to get my heart crushed AGAIN by my best friend.
Because I can’t hide my feelings anymore, and I don’t think being just friends is enough.
Winning over Weston would take a Christmas miracle …
This Christmas novella is a companion story to the Love Clichés Sweet RomCom series. You’ll see some of the same characters from Falling for Your Best Friend’s Twin and Falling for Your Boss.
If you read Falling for Your Enemy, you might have seen a sample chapter from Royally Rearranged in the back! I’ve made some tweaks (and probably will tweak this version too) but here is the first chapter of Royally Rearranged!
Note: This version will likely change on publication AND it has not gone to the proofer. 🙂
Is duty still considered duty when it’s something you want to do?
This is the question I’m pondering as I watch Prince Callum thoroughly trounce his opponent in tennis. Specifically, I’m watching Callum’s firm, athletic bum as he trounces his opponent in tennis. His thighs too. Hard not to ogle those when they look good enough to eat. Almost like two meaty Christmas hams.
Duty looks delicious.
In case you’re the judgy sort, thinking I’m just objectifying the poor man, he’s my fiancé. Well. Almost my fiancé. And I have waited my whole life for this man without so much as a kiss goodnight from him, so you’ll forgive me if my mind is a little focused on his physical attributes.
He’s also my best friend, so this isn’t a shallow crush.
“You’ve got a little drool there.”
From beside me, the incredibly irritating and decidedly devilish Duke of Weldon swipes a fingertip across my lower lip. I swat him away, feeling my cheeks heat. Callum may be my best friend and almost fiancé, but I hate getting caught ogling him.
“Keep your hands to yourself,” I hiss to Rafe. “I don’t want to even know where they’ve been.”
“Let me know if you change your mind about that.”
His grin is pure wickedness. It makes me shudder. Not in a good way.
“Why don’t you crawl back under whatever rock or woman you crawled out from under?”
His dark chuckle matches his dark eyes and even darker hair. Honestly, Prince of Darkness would be a more fitting title for the duke. I’ve never seen him look anything but smug. He doesn’t walk; he saunters. Every smile, every chuckle, every comment is useful, intended toward some purpose–that purpose usually involving a woman.
And duty? He’s allergic to the very idea.
He’s the very antithesis of me, the opposite of Callum who is the hero to Rafe’s bad boy. It makes total sense that they’re rivals, always have been. Which means Rafe is my rival too.
I’m not sure what his game is today. He’s been flirting with me, which is a first. Normally he seems to either ignore me or treat me with cool detachment while flirting the pants off any woman who has, well, pants. Or a dress. Basically, anyone with a pulse.
Today though, he’s like one of those gnats humming irritatingly near my ear. I’d like to squash him.
I didn’t really think about it, but it makes sense that Rafe would attend Elsinore’s Centennial Ball next week–everyone will be there, even dukes who have been rumored to be all but exiled. Rafe tends to pop up like a spectre, haunting royal events and (apparently) charity tennis matches across Europe. But why he’s here now, a week early, and why he’s sitting beside me to watch Callum, I have no clue.
“I promise my hands are clean, and I haven’t been under any rocks or women. Just so we’re clear, Princess.”
Kat leans her head around me to bat her lashes at Rafe. “Does that mean you’re actually single for once?”
He winks, and I roll my eyes. “Very much.”
“Let me know if you want to change that.”
“We’ll see, Kitty Kat.”
“Both of you, hush!” I lean closer to Kat, whispering, “Don’t encourage him. Never feed the strays.”
“But he’s so pretty,” she whines, smoothing a hand over her short, dark bob. “And you know how I feel about bad boys.”
“The same way you feel about all men?”
Despite our different personalities, Kat is my best–and other than Callum, only–friend. She acts as my sole source of personal information about men as she tends to enjoy them. A lot. It’s not my style, but after watching her parents divorce bitterly after twenty-seven years of marriage, three kids, and emigrating from Korea, I think Kat’s way of guarding herself against the pain.
She’s excellent at guarding–I would know. She’s acted as my unofficial bodyguard almost since the moment we met. Five-foot-two inches of Kat fury is surprisingly effective at keeping people at bay. Kat all but adopted me my first year in uni when she was the resident assistant.
I adopted her right back, and hope when she finishes law school, she’ll join me in Elsinore as part of our legal team.
“Yes, but the bad ones are so good,” Kat says.
We can agree to disagree. Talk, dark and roguish isn’t my type. I return my focus to Callum down below, who is exactly and only my type: golden hair, a crooked smile complete with dimple, and eyes the blue of the Mediterranean. My childhood best friend. My soon-to-be fiance. I can hardly wait but am going to be a ball of tightly wound nerves until things are official.
Interrupting my romantic thoughts, my stomach growls loudly, and Rafe chuckles again. “I’m going to grab a bite. Can I bring you something?”
Tempted, I glance at Rafe, but some pretty socialite-type further down the row seems to have caught his eye with a flirty wave. It’s no wonder he’s known as the Royal Rogue.
“So much for being single,” I mutter to Kat.
I wave Rafe off, glad when his presence isn’t overshadowing the moment. Why is he even here if he’s going to miss the end of the match?
I am starving, to be honest. I’ve been much too nervous to eat much for the last few days. First, I had to pass my last set of final exams at uni–check! Now, I’m here in Elsinore to publicly announce my engagement to Prince Callum–almost check!
We need to iron out the actual details of the engagement, but have almost a week before the Centennial Ball to do so. It will be strange to actually discuss this out loud.
Ever since our parents made this arrangement when Callum and I were just children, it’s been very hush-hush. The kind of thing where I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.
Callum and I have never even discussed it, though in my second-to-last letter to him after imbibing in a little wine, I came the closest I’ve ever come to mentioning it out loud. It’s an unspoken rule about something unspoken. I can’t quite remember what I wrote, but I remember enough to know it wasn’t very subtle.
When Callum never wrote back, I sent a quick apology letter, and when he didn’t respond to that either, I’ve done my best not to panic and obsess.
Did he even get the letter? Was it too forward or did he smile while reading at how ridiculous I was?
Is he looking forward to this as much as I am? Will it be strange to flip the switch from lifelong friendship to something more? Did he already pick out the ring or will we do that together? Is he planning to officially ask for my hand in private or with a grand gesture?
Kat has listened to me obsess over these questions–and more–all year as the date grew closer and closer. Finishing my course work provided a necessary distraction, but the questions and worries have been pinging around in my brain like a bunch of rubber balls.
It’s been worse this year since Callum’s letters have trickled to a stop. I’ve missed my best and oldest friend but knew it was just a matter of time. Now that I’m finally done with uni, I can’t wait to start the rest of my life with this man. We’ll have all the time in the world to catch up.
Kat fans herself with her hand. Her hair brushes over her cheeks, looking effortlessly chic as always. My light brown hair is rather wild, falling in unruly waves down my back. Without Kat’s help, I would probably pin it up in a ponytail every day. I jokingly tell her often that if the lawyer thing doesn’t work out, she could be a hairstylist.
Leaning close, Kat says, “Your betrothed looks particularly delectable in short shorts. I’ve never been so thankful for the invention of tennis. Specifically, tennis shorts.”
You and me both.
I grin. “Yes. My betrothed does look delicious, doesn’t he?”
I’d certainly like to take a bite out of Prince Callum. A love bite, obviously. I’m not a zombie or vampire, for heaven’s sake. I’m a princess.
Though at the moment, my thoughts do not in any way match the prim and proper image I’ve cultivated and maintained my whole life. No one would ever suspect the fact that Serafina the Ice Princess (the nickname given to me by the press) is all hot and bothered watching her secret, soon-to-be-official fiance.
Callum could inspire the most innocent thoughts to take a turn to the wild side. He’s that attractive. More than that, Callum is a genuinely great guy. Kind and funny–the sort of man you could be yourself around. Or, at least, I always could.
He didn’t ever mind my awkward years and he always laughed at my lame jokes. Our friendship has always been so easy, so safe. He and Kat might be the only ones who have truly seen behind my Ice Princess facade, who know that I’m not a closed-off, snobbish royal.
But in his tennis shorts, his personality is not what’s on full display. I’ll ogle his personality later.
Kat’s bad influence is probably the reason half these thoughts are floating through my head. For years, I’ve listened to her go on about the men she’s dated and the wild, free life she’s embraced. I’m grateful for my lot in life–at least, most days–but I do sometimes live vicariously through her.
I have yet to taste so much as Prince Callum’s lips on mine. Something I plan to remedy posthaste. The few kisses I’ve had over the years have been disappointing and made me feel like I was cheating. It’s hard to date around when I knew one day, I would be Callum’s. I’ve always felt like his.
And though he seems to have dated half of Europe this year, I’m choosing to believe he probably feels the same. They were simply … placeholders. Dates to events he had to attend. That’s all.
Callum wins the point after a particularly long volley and people politely clap in that reserved way they do for tennis matches. Except for the woman behind me who has been giggling obnoxiously this whole time. She lets out a loud, whoop and then whistles, a piercing sound that I’m sure has dogs howling three countries away.
She’s got an American accent, and I’m not sure how she ended up in the royal box. Maybe she won a contest? When I give her a subtle glance all I can make out is bright blonde curls and some kind of horrendous red and white ensemble. Tacky.
I try to block out the grating sound of her laugh and focus on this moment, the one I’ve been waiting for. Not literally this exact moment. I’m sure Callum isn’t planning to get down on one knee in the red clay before his next serve, or even after he wins the final point. He doesn’t even know I’m here. I thought I’d surprise him, arriving a few days earlier than planned for the ball. I’ve missed him so much this year.
Callum dives to save a ball right on the line, sending it over the net with just enough spin that his opponent can’t return it. Only one more point and it’s game, set, match.
A riot of butterflies takes flight in my stomach–or maybe that’s the hunger pains? I can’t tell the difference at this point. As soon as Callum wins, I can make my way down to surprise and congratulate him. Maybe boldly, with a kiss? The thought makes me giddy. Soon, all the waiting, all the loneliness, all the missing him will be worth it.
Before he serves, Callum wipes the sweat from his brow with a small towel.
“That towel would go for a million euros,” Kat says. “Think you could snag it for me? It would help make a dent in paying off my student loans.”
I elbow her. “Absolutely not.”
Not because that would be wrong, but because if anyone’s keeping that hand towel, it’s me. I’m also secretly working out how to pay off Kat’s student loans without her knowing. She’s ridiculously stubborn when it comes to letting me help her with anything, so I have to be sneaky.
Callum bounces the ball a few times before his serve and then pauses to glance at the crowd. My heart swells as his gaze finds mine. A wide grin takes over his handsome face, making the dimple appear in his right cheek.
For years, I’ve been fascinated with that dimple. One more thing I’ve been waiting for—to trace it with my finger, to kiss it. Maybe lick it?
Giggles and whispers behind me have Kat turning around to glare at the American. Kat mutters something under her breath that could make a sailor blush.
“Is she talking about us?” I whisper.
Kat rolls her eyes. “No. About your betrothed.”
Jealousy flares hot in me, not for the first time. I haven’t been able to avoid seeing the tabloid photos of Callum with other women, especially this past year. I’ve thought of them as necessary evils, the way Mum and Dad arranged for the pot-bellied Duke of Valdonia to be my date when Callum couldn’t come to the New Year’s Eve gala. Elsinore had their own celebration, so I understood. Mostly. If Callum had called or written to me himself rather than politely declining by way of his press secretary, I might not have been hurt at all.
It didn’t help that the Valdonian Duke whose limp hands kept trying to rove over my body, isn’t quite on par with the women Callum has been seen with. Like the leggy Swiss supermodel or that second-rate actress with the ridiculously massive fake breasts. I swear, you could hang coats on those things!
The jealousy I’ve felt from afar is nothing compared to the molten liquid fire igniting every inch of me right now as the woman whispers “Callum” on a sigh. It’s ridiculous, really. This loud American isn’t my competition. I’ve already won, and it’s simply time to collect my much-coveted prize: the prince who has owned my heart since childhood.
Speaking of winning, Callum’s opponent hits a ball wide, and I find myself getting to my feet along with the rest of the stadium, clapping. I’m eager to get down to the court and greet Callum properly. I can’t stop the spread of a smile over my cheeks.
The American giggler bumps into us on the stairs and this time, I barely restrain Kat.
“Don’t make a scene,” I hiss between gritted teeth.
“But you know I love making scenes. I’m quite accomplished at it.”
“And usually I don’t mind. You know how I do love your scenes–they’re glorious. But not here. Not. Today.”
Kat sighs, and we continue down the stairs. “Not all problems are best solved by ignoring them.”
As though to prove how wrong she is, I ignore her comment. My tolerance for ignoring is unusually high. It has to be.
I’ve learned to ignore digs from the paparazzi about my weight (no matter whether I’m up or down on the scale), my (lack of) dating life, and Prince Callum’s overactive one this year. I’ve perfected smiling primly while deflecting questions about marriage, my coronation in a year’s time, and the growing criticism for the monarchy.
Smile and nod. Ignore, ignore, ignore. It’s served me well thus far.
But all the years of decorum lessons disappear in a cloud of dust as I reach the court, waving and grinning like a fool. “Callum!”
His eyes meet mine, and my confident steps falter. Callum looks … surprised. Which can’t be right. Wasn’t he just smiling up at me?
His expression quickly shifts, replaced by a grin that’s decidedly casual. No dimple in sight.
“Mayday mayday,” Kat mutters, letting me know that whatever this strangeness is, unfortunately, I’m not imagining it.
My stomach drops, feeling like an ocean trench, dark and fathomless. I force myself to keep walking toward Callum.
“Fi,” he says, striding forward to meet me.
The sound of his nickname on my lips dispels some of the strangeness, and I close the distance between us. His smile settles into the handsome, warm look I’m familiar with, dimple on full display.
Things are fine. We are fine. It’s just been a long time. Soon, you’ll settle back into your friendship—and more. No need to panic.
Then he holds out a hand for me to shake. We stand there for a moment, frozen. His hand, outstretched formally. My arms, open wide for a hug.
It’s awkward, and the panic I just tried to shove down is suddenly climbing up my throat again. Along with—oh, don’t you dare!—hot tears of rejection, which sting the backs of my eyes.
Keep it together, Serafina. It doesn’t mean anything. We’re in public, and displays of affection are best kept behind closed doors.
It’s because of my stupid letter, I bet. I wish I could remember exactly what I said, and how hard I hinted at our arrangement. It was too bold, too honest. Callum is the kind of man who wants to wear the proverbial pants, something that at times has worried me. Did I overstep by hinting at what we’ve avoided discussing all these years?
“Sorry,” Callum says. “I’m quite sweaty.”
“Of course.” We shake hands, and it feels … wrong. Stiff. Formal. Unfamiliar. “Great match!” I say. “Quite a show.”
“Yes. Quite a show,” Kat says, letting her eyes rove over Callum’s torso. I swear she’s about to squeeze his biceps when a shrill voice interrupts the moment.
A shrill American voice. I can’t seem to escape this dreadful woman seated behind me.
Callum’s warm smile widens as his eyes shift somewhere behind me. And then, In a flash of blonde curls and—dear Lord, is that gingham?—the obnoxious woman from behind me launches herself into his arms.
The arms that were, apparently, too sweaty for me.
I watch as Callum swings her around, the tablecloth she appears to be wearing fanning out behind her. She’s tiny and gorgeous and perfect, like a miniature doll. I manage to find my royal smile, the one that’s practiced enough to fool almost anyone.
“You should have let me have a go at her,” Kat whispers to me.
“Shut up. It’s nothing. Probably just—”
Whatever words were on my tongue disappear as the fluffy blonde tablecloth-wearer presses her lips to Callum’s mouth.
I hear a loud cracking as a big piece of the iceberg that is now my heart breaks off and floats away. Gone. Dead. Irrecoverable.
Callum carefully sets the woman down before glancing at me with what appears to be guilt. Maybe a little regret. Not quite enough emotion compared to the utter devastation inside me, but it’s something.
The woman wraps an arm around Callum’s waist like a tentacle. She places her other hand possessively on his chest, stroking him.
I’m going to be sick.
She is stroking Prince Callum’s chest. My Prince Callum.
Except he doesn’t really appear to be mine, does he?
I’ve never touched him so casually, so proprietarily. I think back to when we were children, so rough and tumble together, hardly knowing where one of us ended and the other began. Back then, everything between us was easy as we climbed trees in the royal garden, snuck into the servants’ quarters in his palace, and explored that closed-off turret rumored to be haunted.
The memories leave me feeling hollow, and I can’t drag my eyes away from the sight of this woman’s polished nails, staking a claim on what–who–I always assumed was mine.
She turns her big brown eyes to me and blinks, another giggle escaping. “Oh! I’m sorry! How rude of me. I’m Brit. Callie’s girlfriend.”
Whatever was left of my heart shatters until it’s all just tiny pieces of ice, bobbing and floating in an arctic sea.
“Girlfriend.” It’s as though I’ve never said the word before. It feels funny on my lips.
I have never been anyone’s girlfriend. Because I was waiting for this man. The one looking at me with apologetic eyes. But not so apologetic, because he doesn’t shove Brit away and wrap me up in his arms instead.
If anything, he pulls her closer. I stare at his hand on her waist. It looks far too large, too powerful for this small, shrill woman. I saw plenty of photographs this year of Callum with his hands on other women. It stung, but I assumed it meant nothing. Now, with a painful sinking sensation, I realize those women might have been more.
That’s the moment when the paparazzi swarm out of nowhere like the insects they are. Photographers shouldn’t be on the court at all, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping them. Callum’s security team steps forward, blocking them as best they can. The photogs are snapping pictures and shouting questions and practically shoving me and Kat out of the way to capture shots of Prince Callum of Elsinore and his new American girlfriend.
“Prince Callum—are you officially off the market?”
“How and when did you two meet?”
“Are you in love?”
Yes, Prince Callum, do tell.
Kat takes a firm grip on my arm and leads me through the throngs of reporters as security guards scurry over.
“You’re going to be fine,” she assures me, and I think I nod, though I don’t believe it. Not for a second.
We pass Rafe as we’re almost to the private exit where a car waits to take us to the palace.
“Trouble in paradise?”
I glare, and his smirk disappears, morphing into something more like concern.
The concern in his eyes seems genuine, but there’s a lipstick smudge on his cheek the same color as Brit’s tablecloth dress.
I snort and pass right by without pausing. Rafe seems to be the only one who watches our quick exit, and we disappear into the black car as though we were never there at all.
Leaving behind her Texas hometown, widowed Anne gets a city job working for billionaire bachelor Steven. Can she set him up with the woman of his dreams — or will “the one” be closer than they realize?
She’s got big plans for her tropical bed and breakfast, but the new high-rise resort in the bay is throwing a wrench into everything. So Stacey Stapleton does what any savvy businesswoman would do—she goes to spy on the resort stealing her business and ruining the beautiful Getaway Bay skyline.
She’s owned a successful chauffeuring business for years, but one long-standing client has her questioning her ability to keep driving around Getaway Bay. So Esther Pinnett does what she needs to in order to get this client out of her head—she gives him a birthday gift.
A cranky cop who’s sworn off relationships, an event planner who invented a fake boyfriend, and the over-the-top family that thinks it’s love.
When Ripley fabricates a boyfriend to put off her family’s overzealous matchmaking efforts, she never thought it would go so far. But when she gets pulled over for speeding, the police officer gets caught up in her fake boyfriend scheme.
Cash has good reasons for swearing off the holidays and relationships. But his plans to spend Christmas alone are thwarted when he’s mistaken for an event planner he secretly admired from afar. The time spent with Ripley and her family starts to thaw his frozen heart.
Sticking a control freak with a total Scrooge should be a recipe for a Christmas disaster. But somehow, their warring personalities light up the right kind of sparks.
What will happen when Christmas ends, and it’s time to stop pretending?
Sometimes, the only way to find the road home is to get lost!
Bestselling author Amy Pinkerton is trying to escape her sudden fame and find a writing retreat for the holidays. But everything goes wrong when she gets lost on the back roads of Montana in a snowstorm. Just her luck, her rental car hits a patch of ice and skids off the road. She’s praying she can survive the night inside her car, when a man appears at her window. A man who looks exactly like her book hero!
Country music star Max McCoy hasn’t sung since his wife died. He stays on his ranch and takes care of his nine-year-old daughter. He’s isolated and he likes it that way. Until a magazine article names him “one of the country’s most eligible bachelors” and reveals the location of his ranch. Now crazed females keep showing up at his door, hoping to snag a husband.
When Max finds one of those intrusive fans stranded on his private road in the middle of a snowstorm, he has no choice but to offer her shelter. He’s shocked when Amy doesn’t seem recognize him. Could it be true, or is it all an act? Soon, Amy wins his daughter’s heart, but Max’s heart is completely dead. Or is it?
Will Max open himself to love again? Does he really know Amy well enough to trust her? Amy’s agent has already bought her a ring. Will she settle for a safe relationship or take a chance on a man she’s only known for a week?
By December first, Ava Grisham is already sick of Christmas. Unfortunately, she has to survive decorating for her boss’s wealthy clients so she can afford to quit after New Year’s. Everything is on track for her to start her own design company until she hires a new handyman and all her meticulous plans fall apart. Not only is her future business in danger, but so is her heart. Hunter is talented, strong, and charming, but falling for such a free-and-easy man will only lead to heartbreak.
Hunter Newman loves his single life with no responsibilities, but he’s always there for his family. When his brother loses his job, he drives across the country to help however he can. Then he meets Ava and realizes his brother isn’t the only one who needs help. Ava captivates him with her determination and warm heart, but she’s lost the joy of Christmas. He’s determined to put the sparkle back in her eyes, even if it means risking his heart.
Somewhere between the twinkle lights and candy canes, they’ll discover the magic of the season. But can they find a way to be together?
My Granny leaves me two things when she passes away: her dilapidated old inn and a letter encouraging me to have a Hallmark-worthy Christmas here in Woodfield.
But I’ve seen enough Hallmark movies to know this isn’t one. Because the inns in Hallmark movies? They don’t have squatters. The heroines of Hallmark movies? They never burn their gingerbread cookies. And even though all Hallmark films are about the joy of family, I’d rather stick my head in a snowbank than reconcile with my parents. Nope; Granny’s last requests are going to have to go unfulfilled.
And the town Santa Claus, who’s way younger and way more attractive than any Santa should be? He’s going to have to stop his flirting. Otherwise, I’ll never want to leave this place.
A charming small town. A secret obligation. And the girl of his dreams can never know the truth.
Garland Tate has a name that reminds her every day she lives in the Christmas-obsessed town of Thorpes. The holidays mean family time, and since her mother’s terminal illness, that’s something she wants to avoid.
The adopted heir of a wealthy Victorian-age family, Pete Darling anonymously distributes the family money to remaining relatives in need. He’s delighted to find the holiday spirit alive and well in magical Thorpes, but he never expects the sassy, independent woman at the Lava Java will distract him from his duties and give him a reason to reveal his secrets.
As snow falls and hearts melt, it may take a little extra magic meddling to help Garland and Pete believe that a Christmas romance can last forever.
Recently widowed Rae Cavanaugh just survived the worst birthday of her life. She and her two young children must now face a holiday season filled with so many reminders of what they’ve lost. But when a coworker who’s raising his young nephew moves next door, Rae discovers that the support of a good friend, and the gift of a child, can bring back some of the joy of the season.
She’s totally smitten. Too bad he thinks she’s someone else.
Alyssa Owens is used to getting talked into crazy things by her lookalike cousin, but pretending to be her so she doesn’t have to break a date is ridiculous. Reluctantly, she agrees to the scheme—spend twenty minutes with the guy, wear sunglasses to maintain the ruse, make sure he believes she’s interested so her cousin can have him back when she returns to town after New Year’s, then make an excuse to leave. At least, that was the plan.
It doesn’t take Wes Fielding long to figure out that this isn’t the same girl he met at a speed dating event. After all, as a cop, he’s trained to study faces. But if this isn’t her, who is it, and why does she have to be so funny and easy to talk to? To unravel the mystery, he decides to play along, but the more he gets to know her, the harder it is not to wish for a happy ending rather than the humiliating one they now face.
Last Christmas, nothing was going Quinn’s way. Then she met him. Their connection was intense, but the timing was all wrong—so they went their separate ways. But this year, everything in her life is better. Well, almost everything. Somewhere along the line, she lost her holiday spirit. Could it be that she left it with the handsome cowboy she never quite got over?
Jackson wasn’t looking for romance when he met Quinn. But there was something about her that grabbed his heart and wouldn’t let go. Now that they’re together again, he can’t help but wonder if she’d ever be willing to give up the bright lights of the city for country life with a simple rancher like him…
As stockings are hung and trees are trimmed, can Quinn and Jackson find a way to claim their second chance at happily ever after? Or will the magic of the season fail them yet again?
She’s a small town inn owner learning how to trust. He’s a big time singer struggling to protect the woman he loves. Together, they must fight to keep their romance alive.
Being engaged to America’s hottest pop star brings Izzy Sutton’s insecurities to the surface, making her question if she can handle life in the public eye. Complications multiply when her ex shows up on her doorstep two weeks before the wedding, with nowhere to live.
Through hard work and determination, Chase Lockhart climbed the Top 40 charts and won the hand of the only woman he’s ever loved. Helping Izzy overcome her cold feet, however, proves to be more challenging than expected, especially when he’s away on tour days before their wedding.
With their Christmas Eve wedding fast approaching, Izzy and Chase face the biggest decision of their relationship. Will they allow their circumstances to divide them or will they find enough reasons to keep holding onto love?
Holding Onto Love in Romance is the sequel to Chasing Romance, but can be read as a standalone story.
Where the broken find comfort, the prodigals find peace, and the wanderers find home.
All Jacey Steele’s life, she’s focused on one thing: gymnastics. After missing the Olympic team because of injury, and being shut out by her ‘winning is everything’ father, she’s built a career as a top notch, award-winning coach. When a serious student injury propels her to the outside of the gymnastics world, she finds herself broke and alone – until a bequest from a mysterious and unknown aunt takes her on an unexpected journey. Who was Aunt Winnie, and what does the equally mysterious and unknown Mr. Boudreaux have to do with it? Army veteran, Cole Boudreaux, has returned home a hero to Cardinal Point, Texas, but a few things went wrong with his homecoming. His fiancée cut him loose, and he lost his position as a police officer because a wartime injury left him nearly deaf. Then, the woman who was like a mother to him dies suddenly. Cole knows God has a plan, and if he could settle Winnie’s estate and grow his budding security business, he just might figure out what it is. Winnie’s niece is not making it easy. She’s rolled into town with a ton of baggage and secrets she’s not willing to share. Why is Jacey so distant, and why is she so determined to not let him in?
Holly Rhodes is in Snow Hill, PA to star in the movie of her dreams. She’s always treasured the magic of the holidays, so she’s not surprised to fall in love with this charming town—or the handsome owner of the inn. Even if he is a bit of a Scrooge.
Nick Patterson is determined not to fall for another starlet passing through town. He’s been there, done that, and has the emotional scars to prove it. Besides, he doesn’t need any distractions while he works around the clock to bring the town’s forty-fifth annual Gingerbread Ball to life.
Can the slow burn between Holly and Nick ignite into a lasting love, or will it fizzle out with the yule logs at the end of the season?
As Christmas approaches, widowed Reverend Caleb Brennan needs a wife, or his vengeful father-in-law will take his young daughters. When his mail-order bride jilts him, Caleb grows desperate.
During a storm, he finds an unconscious boy outside his home with signs of foul play. Despite his previous misfortune, obligation compels Caleb to lug the stranger inside. But as he provides first aid, he discovers more than he expected.
Bounty hunter Grace Blackwell refuses to owe a debt to any man, especially one as charming as Reverend Brennan. To repay him for saving her life, Grace agrees to pose as his mail-order bride. If their ploy is discovered, Caleb could lose his daughters. But in their pretense, the reverend and the bounty hunter might just both lose their hearts.
Three sweet Regency romance novellas set during the Christmas holidays…
Two sisters, Katie and Jane, and their impoverished cousin and companion, Sarah, struggle with life’s constraints and difficulties to find love and happiness, despite their mother’s wishes. Won’t you join them? They need your support!
Holly Kidman is determined to be the best movie-producer California has ever seen…until her mother’s broken leg ruins Holly’s plans and she must return home for the holidays. During her stay in her home town of Timberland, Montana, fate throws her with a man she’d rather not be around. And yet, once she can get past old grudges, she realizes the charming man and his large ranch inspire her more than she thought possible. Dare she hope for her dream-come-true?
Rafe Montgomery is pleasantly surprised when Holly suddenly returns to town. Still haunted by the one, less than eloquent, kiss they’d shared years ago, he’s disappointed by the haughty attitude she’s come back with. His hope is to change the stubborn and unforgiving woman he’s slowly having feelings for and to show her what Christmas is all about.
Random circumstances brought them together. Love made them family. With Jo O’Malley’s busy career as a lawyer in Chicago, she rarely gets home to Idaho, but this year is different.
Her little sister is getting married on Christmas Eve and she has two whole weeks to spend in the snow-covered mountains, with the three foster sisters she loves and Maddie, the woman who made them a family fifteen years ago.
Things get off to a rough start when the wedding is canceled, but Maddie asks them to enjoy their holidays together at the festive lodge as planned, in order to console their sister. It’s straight forward enough until Jo, through a chance encounter with a gorgeous golden retriever, runs into Luke, a boy she knew from her early childhood when she spent all her time at the local library.
Jo’s not sure how to handle the unexpected attraction and her new feelings for Luke, who is all grown up now, handsome, and as kind as ever. He’s set on staying close to his family in Granite Ridge and she has a plane ticket back to her life in Chicago after the new year. Are the sparks between them merely due to the nostalgia of the season, or will Luke open Jo’s heart to the prospect of passion for something beyond her career?
A matchmaking aunt wants her nephew to find love under the mistletoe…
All doggy daycare owner Callie Andrews wants for Christmas is to win first prize this year. The annual window display competition is a huge event in Silver Falls, and she’s determined to showcase her success when her family visits her small town. It’s time for her parents and three older brothers to realize the “baby” of the family is thriving on her own.
The last thing Brandt Winslow wants to do is rehash the past, but returning home to Silver Falls means confronting the reason he left. His vacation, however, takes an unexpected turn when his well-meaning aunt meddles in his love life, and he finds himself caught up in her misguided efforts at matchmaking.
Despite their reluctance at being paired up, Callie and Brandt discover the holidays are full of surprises…and romance. But is the magic of Christmas strong enough to keep the couple together through the new year?
After fifteen years as a widow, is it Nora’s turn for love?
Nora Cooper has spent long years running her restaurant, raising her kids, and keeping a lock on her heart. Now she’s tired—especially with Christmas coming and trying to pull her son’s wedding together in four short weeks. She can’t help but wonder how empty her life will be with the kids moving on.
When retired CEO Forrest Holt visits McCormick’s Creek, Oregon, something about the small town charms him. He’s entranced with the way strangers are welcomed, with the way townspeople pull together, and especially with the way Nora Cooper lights up a forgotten feeling inside him. But he’s used to love ‘em and leave ‘em relationships, and she’s not that type.
As her son’s Christmas wedding draws ever nearer, Nora’s life becomes a flurry of activities after long days of work. Can she make time for Forrest, who is beginning to open her heart? And is he willing to risk himself and commit to more than a fling?
She’s trying to hold on to the home and the ghost of a man who will never give her a future. He needs to close this house deal before the end of the year to stay in business. Who will get what they’re wishing for before Christmas?
After a devastating accident leaves Violet without a groom. The holiday season makes it harder for her to let go of old memories and the place they reside. Despite his attempts to sell the house, Violet finds herself falling for the persistent real estate agent. All Seth wants is to sell this house and keep from drowning in debt. So when the opportunity to make an extra commission comes across his desk, Seth can’t pass it up. But when he meets the woman living in the house, he recognizes her grief and decides on an alternative approach. Although he is determined never to trust another woman again, something about Violet has his apprehension dissolving. As Seth tries to help Violet find a new home, he realizes all the grieving woman needs is someone to care. Seth worries his faith won’t be strong enough to overcome both their struggles and soon finds a place in his heart for Violet.
They say home is where the heart is, but can Seth help Violet restore her faith and take a chance without his past getting in the way?
A ranch manager in need of a miracle. The Army soldier seeking solace at the ranch from his past. The Christmas project that might give them more than expected.
Holly Maxwell is running out of time to turn things around on the ranch. Christmas—her deadline—is two weeks away. It’s the only reason she gambles and takes on the massive Christmas Eve project she doesn’t have the time nor manpower to accomplish.
When help arrives in the form of the man she used to crush on as a teen, Holly is determined not to let feelings get involved. After all, she’s not fourteen anymore, and he’s not staying.
Sergeant First Class Mason Montgomery is desperate to kick his insomnia to the curb so he can be cleared for duty. He returns to Starlight, to the ranch he used to work on as a teenager. What he doesn’t expect is to find Lawrence Maxwell’s granddaughter all grown up and managing the ranch.
The more time he spends with Holly, the more he starts to develop feelings he vowed he’d never allow himself to have about anyone, let alone the off-limits granddaughter of his former boss.
He was looking for a missing elf, not a date with the kitten foster-mom who may have helped it disappear.
Somebody messed up and let a prototype escape from North Pole Unlimited’s top secret Toys-and-Research division. Now P.I. Decker Harkness has the contract to track it down. He’s not exactly sure what E.L.V.I.S does, but he’s hot on the trail.
Joy McCall has her hands full of foster animals and pet treats at Kitten Caboodle, but she’s not too busy to notice strange goings-on at the pet shelter where she works.
When their paths cross during a triple kitten-napping, Decker and Joy will have to work together to close their cases. Will everyone make it home to celebrate a merry Christmas together? Only Santa knows.
I love romantic comedies!! Movies are great, but I especially love a good romcom book.
Now, there are TONS of steamy reads out there, which is fine if you are looking for that, but it can be harder to find the romantic comedy series that land on the clean side. More and more authors are starting to write clean romcoms (myself included!), which means you have lots of options!
Here are some of my FAVORITE recommendations for you with clean romcom books that have series!
There are a million and one reasons why I shouldn’t fall for my BFF’s twin…
Too bad love isn’t reasonable. Zane is my total opposite. He dates a steady string of women who are nothing like me. And there’s no way I would risk Zoey’s friendship over my teensy, tiny crush on her brother.But when Zane hires me to help fix a glitch with his startup’s software, I run into two problems:
1. Someone on the inside seems to be sabotaging it.
2. Working with Zane every day sends my feelings into overdrive.
My master plan is to sniff out the rat, help Zane save the company, and get out while my heart is still intact. No biggie. But somehow, I get roped into an investors’ spa trip. Which means spending a whole weekend with Zane and sharing a room with his date.
Kill. Me. Now. This might serve to destroy my crush once and for all.
Having worked for Southern Service Paws for a few years now, I like to think I’m prepared for just about any client meeting under the sun. I am dead wrong.
The day I meet with single dad, Jacob Broaden, about potentially matching his daughter with one of our service dogs, I learn a few valuable lessons.
1) Always set my alarm clock. 2) Single dads are way hotter than I previously thought. 3) It is possible to go from fantasizing about kissing someone to wishing they would be run over by a truck in a matter of two minutes.
Unfortunately, I don’t hold that opinion of him for very long. Not when he shows me a different side of himself—one that’s sweet as maple syrup and hot as apple pie fresh out of the oven.
Too bad this guy is so far out of my league that I shouldn’t even be allowed to enter the game. Jake doesn’t seem to get that memo though. And after a few days of working closely with him and his daughter, he starts looking at me with fire in his eyes, making me dream of something I probably shouldn’t…
Faking a relationship on reality TV is harder than you think.
I applied to be on my favourite TV show, The Love Trials, as a joke. I never expected to get chosen. I mean, come on! I’m single, for one thing. It’s a couples game. And yet, here I am. In a Scottish castle––no less––and about to make a fool of myself on national television. The producers say they’re going to match me up with a total stranger. We need to fool the other couples––and the British public––that we are totally legit. Easy enough, right?
The prize money will help me quit working for my lousy boss and start up my own business. My ticket to getting out of my tiny village and move to London! I just have to make sure I don’t mess this up. And at no point, can I actually fall for the guy. Oh no. True love is off the table.
Some people drown their sorrows or overindulge in ice cream when they’ve had a bad day. Emma goes wedding dress shopping.
Emma King- I know it’s crazy. But trying on wedding dresses isn’t hurting anyone. I mean, the boutique owners know what I’m doing. Besides, it’s good publicity for them to have me in the middle of the outrageously expensive Bridal store, trying on gowns. And Heaven knows I need this.Today of all days. After being publicly humiliated during a board meeting I’d been preparing for my entire career. So, I’m innocently trying on a dress. MY dress. The one I’m going to mortgage my apartment to pay for when Mr. Right finally comes along. When Shelly Bones, my arch-nemesis from high school walks in. Our eyes meet, and for a second I don’t think she recognizes me. But her entourage of ladies twitter to each other. One of them points at me.
“Emma! You’re getting married? So am I!”
How hard is it to own up to the fact that you’re not actually getting married? Harder than coming up with an elaborate story that involves the Plaza hotel, a string quartet, caviar, and the sexiest bachelor in Manhattan apparently. What’s wrong with telling a few white lies? No harm done. It’s not like I’ll ever see Shelly again, right?Wrong.
This laugh-out-loud romantic comedy is a marriage of convenience, friends-to-lovers romance.
Neither of them wants a rebound relationship, but it’s hard to stay away when you’re next-door neighbors.
So what if the guy Addison Sparks had a crush on when she was thirteen just so happens to be her next-door neighbor when she moves across the country for a fresh start? And so what if she embarrasses herself in front of him…Repeatedly. If Ian Kendrick hadn’t grown up to be so good-looking, kind to his grandma, skilled at carpentry, and completely dateable, then it wouldn’t be so difficult to stay away from him. Addison is just getting over a breakup, though, and Ian is, too. She doesn’t need the kind of awkwardness that would come from living next to someone who would surely be just a rebound if they ever dated. Nope. What she needs is to make a list to constantly remind herself how to not fall for the guy next door.
If you like your romances with plenty of humor and heart, you’ll love How to Not Fall for the Guy Next Door. Scroll up and one-click your copy today!
When their jobs collide and their personalities clash, they never expect to fall in love. Bex Sterling knows what she wants, how she wants it, and definitely isn’t afraid to go get it. Her bold personality is how she expanded her YouTube audience to over two million subscribers. If she were to fall in love, it’d have to be with the right guy—someone who is easy-going, chill, and up for anything. So, basically, everything that Roman Powell is not. Roman is every bit as strong-willed and driven as Bex is. With him at the helm of his company, he grew it enough to earn him a spot on the cover of Business Success magazine’s Top 10 Young (and Single) CEOs edition. But he isn’t stoked about the unwanted attention on his personal life. Between Bex’s viewers begging her to interview the drool-worthy CEO and Roman’s staff being convinced that Bex has an audience that’s perfect for their new app, these two opposites agree to work closely for a four-part interview. Unfortunately, they’ve met before, and they know enough about each other that neither is thrilled about working together.
Despite her viewers’ very vocal support of the two of them dating, Bex is still convinced she’ll have no problem at all not falling for the wrong guy.
Sometimes dreams really do come true. Ryan Hudson asked me to marry him. Well…temporarily marry him.
Struggling graphic designer Kylee Morgan would do just about anything to help Ryan Hudson, her very attractive friend she’s been harboring feelings for. But, marry him? That might be taking things a little too far for this good girl.
Workaholic Ryan is finally on the cusp of success with his company when things come to a crashing halt. He needs cash fast and his grandparent’s trust fund is the perfect solution. However, there’s one small requirement to get the money, he has to be married.
Type A Madison Hudson has spent the last six years working toward the nutritionist position that’s almost in her grasp. She’s got the qualifications, the schooling, the perfect resume; all that’s left is to impress her future boss. Something a white lie about an imaginary boyfriend can achieve.
Computer nerd Eric Ward usually stays away from drama. But when his sister’s roommate needs a boyfriend for a night, he can’t find an excuse to say no. How hard can one evening be? Pity no one told him what a knockout his fake girlfriend would be.
How long before their little white lie turns into a whole lot more than these two planned for?
I needed a favor, but I knew what Damien would ask for in return—a date to his cousin’s wedding. But there was no way I’d agree. Facing his match-making mom and scheming ex-girlfriend didn’t exactly sound fun. Besides, the less time I spent around him the better. Already my neighbor and landlord, he was steadily charming his way into my life. Being his friend was tempting enough. What would happen if we pretended to be a couple for a night? No. I had to keep him at arm’s length. At least.
But Tessa had changed my life for the better when she gave me a job, and now she needed help.
Aaaaaand…that was how I ended up fake dating my boss’s fake boyfriend. Who for some reason can’t keep his shirt on.
A new-in-town bookstore owner is in for a surprise when she meets her neighbor… the gorgeous guy she shared her first kiss with ten years ago!
Old Pine Cove is the one place on earth Suzie swore she’d never return to, but then her boss asks her to manage one of their bookstores there. Since it’s only temporary, she agrees. Besides, what could possibly go wrong? Gosh, how naïve of her. Alex Denverton opening the door with that smoldering look of his, that’s what could go wrong. It’s been ten years since she broke his car and his heart. How is she supposed to focus on work knowing he’s right next door? And why did she ever agree to organize the annual Winter Walk with him?
One thing is certain, though. If Suzie wants to have a magical Christmas, she can’t ask Santa to make it happen. It’s up to her to decide: go big or go home.
Hating the guy who ruined her confidence would be a lot easier if he wasn’t so freaking sexy.
For Addy, small-town life is just perfect. She’s about to expand her inn with ten new rooms and a petting zoo, and she’s helping the mayor’s son organize his wedding. If only her pet duck would stop escaping all the time, her days would be an absolute breeze. But then Justin Miller shows up at Addy’s check-in desk. The guy went from small-town stud to lead actor in a popular series, and he’s behaving exactly like the celebrity he is. Smug grins, dimples to die for, and hordes of women chasing him all over town. Addy has no intention of letting him in her life again—not after what happened in high school. So what if he keeps trying to prove he’s changed? No amount of helicopter rides and intimate outings will change the truth:
If someone’s going to trip over her own two feet, it’s going to be Ruby. Fame and love can only get easier, right?
As a gifted songwriter with big ambitions, Ruby’s career was going nowhere. Life changed when Collin, a guy that made her go gaga, took her out to dinner. Posting a video of an impromptu performance he dared Ruby to do, a record label powerhouse took notice. As amazing as that was, the highlight was definitely kissing Collin goodnight. Ruby thought she was ready for fame but after a ruthless beautician waxed every stray hair off her body, she was put in sky-high stilettos that threatened to be her death, and an eccentric diva took her under her wing, Ruby wasn’t so sure. With Collin’s own career taking off and his cunning personal assistant seeing her chance to snake her way between Collin and Ruby, she realized stardom isn’t all glamorous. When it comes down to it, how can Ruby choose between making a name for herself or sacrificing it all for love?
Being a megastar is hard enough without trying to convince an old crush she doesn’t need protecting. He seems to think otherwise.
Kiki’s been in the music business long enough to know that she can do it on her own, without a man’s help. When her record label hires a bodyguard without asking if she wanted one, she swore to protect her independence by any means necessary, including employing her legendary pepper spray skills.
When Kiki realized her new security detail was none other than Josh Coleman, the guy she had a schoolgirl crush on when she was a shy, gangly teenager, she had to remind herself not to swoon.
She wants to hate having Josh around but she can’t. He can navigate cringeworthy paparazzi photos, handle vain male co-stars, and hold back rabid crowds like a champ. There’s just one problem: Josh is off limits or he’ll lose his job. Shining at the top of the pop charts has always been a dream come true but if it’s at the risk of losing Josh, Kiki’s not so sure fame is worth the cost.
There are three things Eve said she would never do—move back in with her parents, let her mother set her up, and date a guy with a dog. When a bolt of lightning forces Eve to move back in with her parents, she’s already going back on her ‘never’ list. As if things aren’t bad enough, a tree falls, trapping her in the bathtub. When Adam, the handsome firefighter rescues her, bubbles and all, Eve is so humiliated, she hopes she never sees him again. But as fate would have it, Adam is her blind date – Thanks Mom. Surprisingly, he is perfect … except for one minor thing. He has dogs, and she is a die-hard cat lover.
She may never get over her aversion to sloppy kisses (from the dogs), but when Eve dog sits for the weekend, things go from bad to worse. Someone is bound to end in the doghouse forever.
There is one guy Haley said she would never date—Zach Gallagher. He calls her Carrot and treats her like she’s ten. It’s irritating and makes it easy to keep her brother’s best friend on her never list.
When a Thanksgiving camping trip gone wrong forces Haley to accept Zach’s help, her long-time attraction is hard to keep hidden. Despite all the reasons she shouldn’t like him, she does.
And when the drop-dead gorgeous deputy shows a glimmer of interest, she has to figure out how to navigate the new normal. Teasing turns into flirting … until her brother figures it out. He hates the idea of his sister dating Zach.
Choosing between love and family is heart-wrenching, but breaking up a twenty-year friendship is even worse. What price is Haley willing to pay for a happily-ever-after?
A billionaire, a billboard, and a quest to find a wife.
My company’s board wants me to marry, but I’ve already tried that route. Women fall at my feet vying to become the next Mrs. Taylor, only they are always after one thing. The money. Instead of picking someone they want, I turn it into a game. My chosen bride will be placed on a budget with a strict set of rules. I have a year to turn a gold-digging diva into a domesticated housewife. What have I got to lose, besides true love? Rich men are all the same and I want nothing to do with them. I left Texas to get away from my meddlesome mother and her dreams of me marrying old money. But the first thing I see in New York is a giant billboard sporting a billionaire looking for a wife, Bachelor style. I don’t find out my mother has filled out an application for me until I am chosen to come to Edward Taylor’s penthouse.That’s when I realize my mother will never stop unless I do something drastic. If I ramp up my pageant persona there’s no way he’ll choose me to become his wife—and in the process, I’ll get my mother off my back about getting married while teaching this full of himself billionaire the way to a woman’s heart isn’t by hiring a billboard!
If the billboard doesn’t work out, marry Jackson… That’s what my billboard said, all because I lost a bet I didn’t think I would lose. I mean, who finds true love advertising themselves on a billboard? My billionaire best friend, that’s who. What started out as a game has quickly become my nightmare. I haven’t dated the same woman for more than a week since high school, and now I’m supposed to get to know and marry someone in a month? It’s not going to happen. The only reason I agree to stick it out is because of the unexpected consequences of my playboy persona. When the applicants start rolling in, they aren’t from who I expect. Women I’ve dated and burned in the past are flooding my inbox. They’re on a mission to destroy me. The only thing that can save my reputation is my past, but I’m not sure I’m ready to relive those demons.
My best friend’s intervention had better work, because player is the only label that has successfully protected my heart.
I went to Paris hoping to get a job at an art gallery. Instead, I got into a fight with a dog over a croissant and ended up in jail.
Fortunately, this really cute French guy came to my rescue. Unfortunately, his mom hates me and is doing her best to keep us apart. At one point, she even told the police that I kidnapped her poodle and demanded that they deport me.
So you can imagine how livid she was when she found out that her son and I have been secretly dating. Now that she’s threatened to disown him, I’m not sure if our relationship will survive.
Buying a house in the suburbs was supposed to be low stress: my own little haven to decorate and landscape exactly how I want. Instead I find myself locking my garbage can to keep pests out–pests that are six-foot-one, green-eyed, and far too good looking. My trespassing neighbor is rude and entitled. It isn’t long before war is declared and I find myself stooping to immature pranks. When trouble lands at my door, my unlikely neighbor starts knocking on my heart. Was I ready to answer?
I will win no matter what it takes.
I moved to this neighborhood for a fresh start. The one thing I’m not looking for is a relationship, so when I mistakenly assume my neighbor is hitting on me, I lash out at her. I didn’t mean to start the war, but now she taunts me from across the street. Our harmless pranks have become the highlight of my day. I should stay away–but I can’t. I want to spend more time with her. When a stalker begins sending Kylie a series of notes, I’m only too willing to help protect her. Maybe I’m looking for a relationship after all.
Do you love (or love to hate) reality TV shows like the Bachelor? Whether you think someone can truly find a love connection on TV or not, you won’t want to miss this sweet reality TV romcom!
THE BILLIONAIRE LOVE MATCH: A SWEET REALITY TV ROMCOM
Does real love stand a chance on reality TV?
The odds are NEVER in your favor. At least, that’s what she thought. But when Casey makes the final casting call for a matchmaking show, she holds her breath and takes a chance.
Colt Woods needs to find ratings, not romance. When the show he expected to be all-fake turns all-too-real, Colt has to rethink everything. Especially when his movie-mogul mother tries to script the ending.
In front of cameras and surrounded by fourteen other jealous women, Colt and Casey do their best to let a real relationship unfold.
Can they trust something built on live television or will their relationship run out like fifteen minutes of fame?
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE BILLIONAIRE LOVE MATCH…
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️ It had me laughing and crying and anxious to find out what happened next!
One of the best inspirational romances I’ve ever read! It had me laughing and crying. I was so into this book. I thought about the characters when I wasn’t reading it and couldn’t wait to get back to it to see what would happen next. Can’t wait to read more like it! -Amazon reviewer
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️ Sweet, funny, and no cheese!
This book was seriously so good and such a fun read. It’s like a favorite rom com that you watch over and over and the swoon worthy parts get you every time. The story between Casey and Colt was really sweet with plenty of humor. This is kind of a new genre for me. It was a “clean romance” with elements of faith that didn’t sound like a block of Velveeta. -Amazon reviewer
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A clean, quirky billionaire romance
I had other things I could have done these last two evenings but I found I NEEDED to read this delightful book by Ms. St. Clair! I’ve never before read a book about a reality TV show. The behind-the-scenes looks into production were interesting but the real interest-grabbers were the interactions between Colt and Casey. I laughed, I cried and I despaired because it looked like they had lost any chance for a HEA. It was a happy and unique ending to a love story and the epilogue was heart-warming, as well… -Amazon reviewer
WANT A SAMPLE? CHECK OUT THIS EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER ONE…
Casey ducked into the bathroom, leaning against the door. She could hear the pounding of the club’s music outside but was listening for something else—the sound of her ex shouting her name.
Nothing. She had lost him.
She sighed heavily and examined herself in the mirror, wondering how this happened. Lucas somehow found out she was at this event, despite the fact that Casey had been actively trying to avoid him for the last two months. They hadn’t dated for long before she saw his possessive side. Which went into overdrive when she called it quits. He moved quickly from annoying to aggravating and now to obsessive.
How did he even get in? This was an invite-only event for the finalists in the matchmaking reality show she had applied to be on. The month-long shooting schedule keeping her in seclusion was one of the big draws of the show. Not that she expected to make it.
The show ticked off several boxes: a paycheck, disappearing for a month to escape Lucas, and—Casey hoped—it might help her build her following to sell more books. She had been trying to make it for two years as a full-time author. People loved her cozy mystery novels and they each had at least fifty four- and five-star reviews, but they were only selling a few copies per day.
As much as she hated to admit it, any fame from the show could help her get some traction. Even though she wrote under a pen name, it would be easy to still use any of the attention she got from the show to point to her books. All she needed was to get the viewers to fall in love with her. If a guy did too, well, that was a bonus.
But that wasn’t likely. Casey doubted she could find love without the help of a reality show, much less WITH one, where everything was clearly fake. She was, as her best friend Amanda and her own parents constantly reminded her, a terrible judge of character. Maybe having matchmakers help her out would actually work. Someone else could do all the hard part of picking out the right guy for her. But falling in love within a four-week span of time? Not possible. Plus, she was a Christian. Dating shows had overnight dates and bikini dates and generally weren’t geared toward people of faith. More reasons she wouldn’t get chosen.
Speaking of, she probably needed to get back out to the announcement party. They were going to reveal the contestants in just a few minutes. Not contestants—Potential Love Matches.
What had she gotten herself into? She should probably walk out the front doors of the club right now. She didn’t need a TV show to make it as a writer. Just time and hard work.
As she was about to pull open the door, it slammed open. It didn’t hit her, but surprise knocked her back as a handsome guy flew in through the door. He had the perfect amount of stubble and hazel eyes. She couldn’t tell if his eyes were more brown or green, but they were big and framed with long dark lashes. Casey was a sucker for eyes.
He instinctively reached out an arm to steady her. The touch was momentary, but the light contact set off a chain reaction in her body, sending blood rushing in all directions. She yanked away and stepped back.
“Hey, buddy,” Casey said, crossing her arms. “I think you’re in the wrong bathroom.”
He regained his composure and brushed back his dark hair. Leaning back up against the wall next to the door, he crossed his arms, mirroring her. Only he looked amused, not annoyed. Everything about him looked somehow perfect. Too perfect. He had the kind of messy hair that she knew cost a pretty penny to get cut and styled. Even his T-shirt and jeans somehow looked expensively casual. Like he had paid big bucks to look like he didn’t have big bucks. She was used to giving people names as a barista and one came to her immediately for this guy and his perfectly polished appearance: Mr. Casual.
“You sure?” he said. With a crooked smile he gestured behind her. A row of urinals lined the wall.
Casey gasped and covered her mouth. How did she not notice when she walked in? But she knew how: Lucas. She had been in such a hurry to escape him that she hadn’t paid attention.
She swung around to face the guy, who still had an amused expression on his face.
“How do you know my name?” she asked. But he hadn’t been the one who said it. She heard it again, faintly, but getting louder, now right outside the door.
Her eyes widened and she looked around in a panic. There were stalls, but none of them had doors. She could only think of one thing to do. It was a terrible plan. But it was all she had.
In two strides she crossed the room to grab Mr. Casual by his expensive looking T-shirt. The cool look was gone, replaced with total shock as she swung him around, putting her back up against the wall and pulling him close to her.
“Sorry about this,” Casey said.
Green, she realized. His eyes looked green with brown flecks.
And then she grabbed the back of his neck and pulled him into a kiss.
For a tiny moment he resisted, but almost immediately began to kiss her back. The electric current she had felt when he touched her arm had nothing on this kiss. She felt it in places she didn’t know existed in her body. Places that didn’t seem to relate to kissing at all: the inside of her elbow, her lower back, the top of her foot. She didn’t need to keep pulling him toward her as he was now leaning even closer to her, his hands cupping her face.
She had started it, but he had taken control, his lips both tender and passionate, pulling her deeper, closer. Everything disappeared. She couldn’t feel the wall behind her back and the sound of the club faded. There was only this moment, this kiss. His fingers now touched her neck, her collarbone, back up to her cheeks.
The door slammed open again next to them and they pulled apart, both breathless. For a brief moment they locked eyes. He looked every bit as shocked and smitten as she felt. The kiss had made her completely forget the reason that she had pulled Mr. Casual close—to hide her face if Lucas came through the door. Which he now did, barreling past two burly guys who stood just outside.
And then Lucas pulled him backward by his shirt and punched him in the jaw.
Casey screamed and the two burly guys from outside burst in, grabbing Lucas. But not before he got in a second good punch.
“You slut!” Lucas shouted, spittle flying from his mouth. He looked like a wild animal and for a moment Casey felt actual fear. She had never seen this level of rage. Over time he was escalating, not slowing down.
The two big guys must have worked for the show because they were wearing earpieces. They held Lucas fast. No easy feat since he was over six feet and worked out seven days a week.
“Sorry,” one of the guys said to Mr. Casual, who was bent over, holding his face. “He pushed right by us. We’ll get him out of here.”
“Okay,” Mr. Casual groaned.
As the guys dragged a still-screaming Lucas out of the bathroom, Casey realized she had been frozen to the spot, her hands shaking. Now as Lucas’ curses and screams faded, she could only hear Mr. Casual’s groans.
She crossed the room, putting a hand on his back. He flinched and jerked away. Then realizing it was only Casey, tried to regain that practiced casual look. Only now his eye was swelling up and he had a thin cut in his jaw.
“I’m so so so sorry,” Casey said. “Can I do something? Here, let me get something for the blood.”
He stood then, and they were almost as close as they had been a few minutes before when they shared that incredible kiss. Her heart started racing, but his eyes were wary now. She backed up and wet a few paper towels from the sink.
The bathroom door swung open again and a short guy with spiky blond hair looked shocked to see them both standing there.
“GET OUT!” Casey and Mr. Causal yelled at the same time. The guy disappeared through the door.
She smiled faintly as she brought the paper towels to him. “Here,” she said, reaching up to wipe the blood from his chin.
He grabbed her wrist, sending sparks flying down her arm. Blood or no blood, she wanted a round two with his lips. It took control not to lean in again. Was he hesitating as well? But he took the paper towel and dropped her wrist. He walked away to the mirror. She reminded herself to breathe. This was crazy. She never acted like this.
Casey looked down at her shoes. She was wearing her favorite cowboy boots, a soft brown with turquoise stitching. Amanda tried to convince her to wear heels, but these were more her style. She didn’t want to pretend to be someone else for a guy or TV or anything else.
“I really am sorry,” she said.
“Yeah, you said that.”
She peeked up at the mirror. His hazel eyes locked on hers. Now they looked more brown than green. His right eye was puffy and looked terrible.
“Your face,” she whispered. She looked back down at her feet, feeling the start of tears. “This is all my fault.”
“What I’m trying to figure out,” he said, “is if you apologized first because you knew what was about to happen.”
Casey’s eyes flew open and she turned to him. He had his back to the sink now, leaning up against it with his narrow hips, arms crossed over his T-shirt. Blood spattered the front of it.
“No! I would never have done…that if I knew. I was just trying to hide from my ex and I panicked. I thought if he glanced in, he would just see a couple making out and miss that it was me.”
“That was your ex? That guy is a maniac. You should get a restraining order. Are you okay? Did he hurt you?” He took a step toward her, but stopped. His eyes were filled with compassion and a concern that sent a flush up her cheeks.
“No, I’m fine. Really. He kept his crazy locked in the closet when we were dating. Apparently I have bad judgment when it comes to guys,” she said.
“That’s an understatement, Boots.”
He nodded to her shoes. “Boots. I like them. And I don’t know your name, so …”
“Thanks,” she said, feeling a warmth spreading in her chest. He gave her a nickname. This thought made her ridiculously happy. “And again, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry for his sake. He did that all on his own. As for the few seconds just before he interrupted …”
Her head shot up and she saw that he was grinning. And looked just as good with a puffy eye and cut chin as he had before. She had a sudden urge to touch his face and realized she was staring at his lips again. His smiled widened and she looked up to see him watching her face. A blush immediately hit her cheeks.
His smile dropped, replaced almost instantly with a smoldering look. “I wouldn’t mind reliving that, Boots.” He took a step forward. “You?”
“I wouldn’t mind,” she said, her voice cracking.
Casey’s heart felt like a jackhammer. He took a slow step toward her and then another, not breaking eye contact. She wished he would hurry and yet loved the anticipation of watching him cross the room toward her.
The door swung open again and Casey jumped as the two bodyguards entered the room. The moment was broken. She could feel the attraction stretching out between them. The two bodyguards must have felt it too. They looked at her, then Mr. Casual.
What was she doing? She needed to get out of here. Casey didn’t kiss guys in the bathroom. Especially when she didn’t even know their names. She could count on two hands the number of guys she’d kissed, ever. She turned and almost ran for the door.
“I’m sorry,” she said over her shoulder as she brushed past the bodyguards. “I really am.”
“I’m not!” he called after her, even as the bathroom door swung shut behind her.
As Casey was enveloped in the sound of the club, a smile plastered onto her face. Even if nothing else came of trying out for the show, that kiss was worth it all.
And I don’t know about you, but I’m giddy at even the thought of it, especially as I’m writing in 2020, when most of us are at home. I love reading AT the beach (even though it makes my books smell like sunscreen) and I love reading ABOUT the beach.
I thought I’d do a roundup of some of my favorite clean beach reads, with a focus (of course) on romance! Some series, some individual books–all clean, all romance.
*This post contains affiliate links! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
This series takes place on the fictional Sandover Island, which I’ve based on Nag’s Head. If you love the Outer Banks, these stories will come to life in your head. They follow interconnected relationships, so are best read in order, though each can be read as a standalone if you want to jump in on one.
They’re focused on romance with light Christian themes. As with all my books–nothing too preachy! Real characters, real flaws, real faith.
Sandover Beach Memories – She never thought the island would be home again. But when Jenna returns to get her late mother’s house ready to sell, her past and future intersect in ways she couldn’t imagine.
Sandover Beach Week -Is it ever too late for a second chance at love? Even if that love is your best friend’s younger brother?
This is one of the FIRST clean romances I read. While there were some things that bothered me about it (I agree with some of the low reviews–but there are spoilers!) but it stuck with me and was such a memorable read.
On the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, in the small town of Emerald Isle…
Juli Cooke, hard-working and getting nowhere fast, marries a dying man, Ben Bradshaw, for a financial settlement, not expecting he will set her on a journey of hope and love. The journey brings her to Luke Winters, a local art dealer, but Luke resents the woman who married his sick friend and warns her not to hurt Ben—and he’s watching to make sure she doesn’t.
Until Ben dies and the stakes change.
Framed by the timelessness of the Atlantic Ocean and the brilliant blue of the beach sky, Juli struggles against her past, the opposition of Ben’s and Luke’s families, and even the living reminder of her marriage—to build a future with hope and perhaps to find the love of her life—if she can survive the danger from her past.
I loved this book! (And the whole series.) The ending is so sweet.
Can their love survive her secret?
Hannah Rhodes is determined to keep her beachfront property, even though she can’t afford to. But it’s her childhood home and she can’t bear to see it plowed down by the billionaire investor who keeps raising his offer to buy it. When the same man hires her to be his daughter’s nanny—providing her the income she needs to reject his offer—the irony is not lost on her. However, seeing him as a loving, worried father makes it difficult to enjoy her secret revenge.
For Carter Ellis, building his own resort was a massive risk, but worth it to build a new life for his daughter away from his controlling mother. Everything is going to plan except that the owner of the tumbled-down home blocking his resort view and threatening its success refuses to sell. If only his new nanny would stop distracting him, he just might be able to figure out how to solve this problem. Not only is she beautiful and vibrant, she’s helping his daughter bloom. Just when he begins to give in to his feelings, he discovers who she really is.
When their trust is shaken, will Carter and Hannah sacrifice what they wanted most for a chance at something more?
Will Katie jump into the shark-infested waters for a second chance at love?
Katie Carson is afraid of everything. Spiders. Sharks. And especially love… thanks to her ex-fiancé. That’s why her immediate attraction to the reckless Gary Lassiter scares her to death. Sure, he looks like Superman and he saved her from a giant arachnid, but he’s an adrenaline junkie.
Gary Lassiter owes his life to his best friend, Steven. But his loyalty is tested when he meets Steven’s PA, Katie. Though Steven and Katie are probably a better-suited match, Gary wants Katie for himself. He sees a lot of spunk behind her overtly timid façade, and he’s determined to bring it out in the open.
When the three spend a week at Indigo Bay, Katie starts to fall for Gary, even stepping outside her comfort zone. It’s all fun and games until her adventure brings her to a moment of life or death. Thrown into the nightmares of her past, she’s convinced they can’t have a future together. Will Gary get past her defenses?
His new business partner. Her ex. When they realize each other’s connection to the groom, will their own fledgling love survive?
Attending her ex-husband’s wedding is the last thing Lacey Wells wants to do, even if it’s happening along the gorgeous Pacific Coast where she once dreamed her own beach wedding would take place. Now that dream is coming true for someone else, and to add insult to injury, she needs to get their daughters to the wedding on time. If only her car would cooperate . . .
Noah Grady doesn’t expect to come to the rescue of a beautiful woman and her two daughters on the way to his friend and new business partner’s wedding, but meeting Lacey makes the long drive and an unpleasant visit with his half-brother worth it. Hitting it off with her makes Noah feel like he might finally be ready to begin a new chapter in his life.
But things start to unravel when Noah discovers Lacey is his business partner’s ex-wife, making her off-limits unless he wants his career to disintegrate. Can he throw it all away for a chance at true love?
Hope Ryan dreams of seeing her work displayed in top galleries again, but after a devastating betrayal destroys her career, she spends her days creating unique items for tourists and wedding couples in her hometown of Indigo Bay. To keep her heart safe, Hope refuses to venture from her comfort zone, even if she longs for…more.
Sportscaster Josh Cooper never overcame his bitterness after a football injury sidelined him for good. Finding his solace in alcohol made matters worse until he finally hit rock bottom. Now, he wants to make amends. After flying cross-country as a favor to someone he’s wronged, Josh’s path to redemption leads him to Hope.
Hope finds a kindred spirit in the former quarterback. Josh’s journey to sobriety inspires her to take charge of her own life—something she’s put off doing for far too long. But as their relationship straddles the line between friendship and romance, can Hope and Josh find the strength to overcome their pasts and build a life together? Or will the fear of repeating mistakes drive them apart?
Two rivals + five days in paradise = one inconvenient attraction
Joselyn Bell has a hundred reasons to stay away from her business rival, Luke Callaway, at their work retreat—the biggest being he dated the boss’s daughter to get ahead. Maybe it’s the magic of the surf and sand, but hanging out with him isn’t nearly as terrible as she expected. Could she have misjudged him? He’s as charming as he is maddening and makes her feel again, which is terrifying.
Luke vowed never to mix romance and business again. He’s still recovering from the fallout from his last relationship, with hopes of leaving the company completely after this retreat. But then there’s Joselyn. Her loathing for him is thawing into the most amazing friendship, and keeping his secrets and his heart from her is so much harder than he imagined.
The timing is all wrong. But what if they risked the consequences and took a chance on love?
A make-believe engagement sends their lives into chaos …
Grace Morelli lands her dream job at Ryan & Ryan only to walk in one morning to a mass exodus. Not good timing–especially with her parents’ quirky last wishes hanging over her head. She fears her long-sought career could be over before it really begins.
Chase Ryan, her enigmatic new boss, has been ambushed in both his professional and private life. When he delivers his newest recruit some very bad news, Grace finds a way to solve her problem–and his.
But while Chase and Grace join forces for the simple purpose of helping each other out, their hearts just might not get the memo. Will they be able to untangle their hearts … once the farce is over?
A woman unsure of her future, a man determined to hide his past, and the meeting neither of them can forget.
Rowan has no regrets about spending most of her adult life taking care of her younger siblings, but she can’t help feeling that she’s been standing still while everyone else has moved on. A new job takes her to the coastal town of St. Marys and brings her face to face with the man she’s never forgotten. While she’s thrilled to see Frank again, the passing of time hasn’t changed the underlying reason they can’t be together.
Frank has worked hard to dig himself out of a pit of his own making. Now a successful florist, he only wants to forget his troubled history and focus on creating lasting memories for his clients. Running into Rowan is a reminder of a missed opportunity. When they met before, their paths were going in opposite directions. Is that still true now, four years later?
He’s a marine figuring out how to be a dad. She’s out of work and moves in with her mom. A surprise reunion brings the old friends together. Will a dare turn them into something more?
Eisley Higgins is laid off and needs a fresh start. Her mother offers her the loft space at her new beach cottage. The last thing she wants to do is move to a retirement community in coastal Florida. She gets a job at a local restaurant and her coworkers insist she follow through with the new-employee ritual to go on a date with her first customer. She’s shocked when it turns out to be her childhood best friend.
Ford Armstrong spent over ten years in the military serving his country. During that time, he married, but the relationship and his hope for a family quickly fizzled. After what felt like a failure, he fully turned his focus to the Marine Corps, but then received two life-changing pieces of news. While figuring out his future, he runs into the girl from his past. Only, the first thing out of her mouth is the last thing he expects to hear.
Over a decade of friendship. Then over a decade apart. Can they overcome their hardships, get past secrets, and come together to create a future?
When a woman loses her only love, will a change of scenery and a canine connection reclaim her heart?
Lily Reed is numb with grief. After her husband died in the line of duty, she struggles daily with the emotional reminders of their shared world. So when she inherits a quiet beachside cottage property, she tries to piece her life together one wave at a time.
Losing herself in one refurbishment project after another, Lily’s surprised to make easy relationships with her new neighbors. And when she befriends a hearing impaired man and agrees to train his service puppy, she can feel her heart beginning to heal.
Will Lily’s new connections help her discover a future lined with joy?
She came to the beach to write… But she’s getting distracted by the surfer next door.
Jenna, a single mom and successful author, has five weeks to deliver her next young adult novel to the publisher. This year’s summer getaway with her kids will be a working vacation.
The only problem? Lucas, the devil-may-care surfer in the beach rental next to hers. He cranks up his music at night, hosts loud volleyball matches, and allows his dog to run around at will.
Jenna often blames him for her writer’s block. But before long, she begins to see a new side of her neighbor at the shore. Maybe opposites do attract…but will that attraction fade like a sunset once summer is gone?
NFL quarterback Dylan Manley’s life revolves around his career and the fame associated with it. He’s only back in Indigo Bay to help with a fundraiser in memory of his best friend. But then finds he has to work with Brooke—the one person who has always made him trip over his own feet.
Brooke Davenport is a far cry from the girl next door who left town years ago. Focused on her political aspirations and still recovering from the loss of her doting brother, she wants nothing more than to return to DC for good. But first she has to get through the fundraiser with Dylan, who she blames for her brother’s death.
When a family emergency pulls Brooke’s parents out of town, the success of the fundraiser depends on Brooke and Dylan. He’ll do whatever it takes to show her he’s a new man, but every attempt only makes him look worse. If he can’t make things right, he’ll lose her forever.
A widowed florist, her ten-year-old daughter, and the paramedic who delivered the girl a decade earlier… Love’s second chance on the beach!
Paramedic Andrew Herrin delivered Gretchen Samuels’s daughter on the side of the road when she and her husband couldn’t make it to the hospital in time. When their paths cross again in small-town Hawthorn Harbor, she’s a widow and the baby is ten-year-old Dixie.
Dixie gets along great with Drew, and Gretchen finds herself falling in love with the man who’s rescued her twice now. But when Drew’s ex-girlfriend comes back to town, Gretchen’s trust issues rear their ugly head. Can she and Drew find their way toward finding love in the lavender?
They’re total opposites, and falling in love was not part of the plan.
When fun-loving Elise Stevens lost her mother six years ago, she worked hard to score a job at the Royal Palm Resort–the job that would enable her to finish her mother’s bucket list. Now she’s working hard to get a shot at buying her childhood home back, but only if she can earn the money before they sell to someone else.
Billionaire Merit Casselman pours all of his focus into running his business, or at least he does until his business partner decides that Merit needs to refill his creative well and thinks a vacation at The Royal Palm might do the trick. Merit would rather hide out and work, but his business partner also hired a personal activities director to make sure he doesn’t.
But after connecting with Elise over sand castles, an unplanned couples spa day, dancing at the Midsummer Ball, and spending every day with her, Merit discovers that there might just be more to life than work.
When Merit’s business partner offers Elise a bonus that’s large enough that she’d be able to put an offer on her childhood home, it feels like a gift dropped into her lap. But when their newfound love threatens each of their lifelong dreams, can their relationship survive?
Can they both learn to love or is this leading to a wipe-out?
Winning a vacation to Hawaii during one of Chicago’s worst winters, Bridget O’Connell couldn’t imagine her mundane life getting any better…until she meets Australian surfing champion, Chase Beckett. Now life becomes a tidal wave of excitement and adventure. But what about her job, her home, and a disabled father who needs her?
Chase has spent most of his life searching for the next big wave and outrunning commitment. But then he meets Bridget and everything starts to change, forcing him to face fears that are bigger than the monster waves he rides.
When the attraction between Bridget and Chase becomes undeniable, will it lead to true love or be a total wipe-out?
Have you ever wanted to press the ‘Escape’ button on your life?
Nothing is going right for Caroline Egan. Her partner has left and she’s lost her job. The only thing that remains is a piece of property three thousand miles away. Her plan is to sell the place and use the money to move on with her life. But the house needs some work and she ends up staying in Ireland much longer than she anticipated. Soon, she’s torn between the plans she has for her life and her growing attraction for both the property and the carpenter fixing it up.
Patrick Kelly is all too familiar with loss. A single parent, he’s trying to raise his young daughters as best as he can. When he lands work at a nearby cottage, he’s grateful until he discovers who the new owner is. But as time goes on, Patrick begins to wonder if Caroline holds the key to him moving on with his life.
Both cannot deny their attraction for one another. Both are cautious. There’s an ocean between them as well as hearts that have been broken in the past. Can they overcome insurmountable odds for a chance at happiness?
How’s that for a handful of great reads for you?? From Irish beaches to Hawaii, real places and fictional, you’ve got enough clean beach romances to keep you reading all summer!
As a reader, the idea of getting books for free sounds great! Who doesn’t like free? I remember as a child, being completely AMAZED when I went into my very first used book store. They weren’t free, but trading in my old books made them seem free. I didn’t ever have to use my money! So… free.
It was called The Book Rack and I begged to go several times a week. My biggest regret was not realizing that when I turned in my old books to get credit for new books, I didn’t get them back. AND in the end, the number of books I owned went DOWN.
Seems logical, but to a fourth grader, I just didn’t quite get it.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH — OR BOOK
As an adult, I now know that there is a cost for everything, EVEN for free. I actually learned this lesson as a teenager when I went to Nature Camp. One of the big lessons we learned in terms of conservation and the way that the natural works is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. AND that this didn’t apply to eating food!
When a bear ate a fish, that cost the fish its life. When someone chops down a tree to use it for firewood, there is an impact on the creatures who lived in the tree or maybe even the smaller vegetation growing in the shade of the tree. Everything has a cost.
I am a big-time bargain shopper, especially when it comes to books. When I see cheap or free books, I get super excited! But, like the no-free-lunch rule, there is no such thing as a FREE BOOK.
As an author, I thought I’d share a bit of what goes on behind the curtain when it comes to a free book and what that cost REALLY is.
THE COST OF WRITING A BOOK
First, I’m going to break down what it costs a self-published author to write a book.
Financial costs of writing a book:
software needed to write the book (Microsoft Word, Scrivener, etc)
device you’re writing the book on (computer, tablet, typewriter)
editing (proofreading, copy-editing, etc)
formatting (for print & ebook)
These are just the basics! You might also end up with costs like childcare or coffee (if your writing “office” is not at home). A lot of these costs may vary, but for one of my books, the basic costs are at least $500.
There are also costs that aren’t strictly financial and harder to measure. I get joy from writing, but it can also be emotionally exhausting. It does take a lot of my time. For different authors, the amount of time it takes to write a book varies. But realize that there are HOURS going into every book. And these are not hours where we are getting an hourly wage, since that’s not how we get paid.
Now let’s breakdown how pricing works for books to see how authors get paid.
THE PRICE OF BOOKS
Traditionally published authors
For traditionally published authors, they will typically get an advance against royalties. That means if they get $5000 up front to write a book, they won’t get any more money unless the book sales go ABOVE that amount. The agent will get 15% of the advance and of any royalty.
If the author sells enough books above the advance to get royalties, they will receive somewhere between 10-15% of the list price of the book, maybe less for trade paperbacks. (Read this post if you want details on royalty rates!) They pay their agent 15% of those royalties. So on a $20 book, the author might earn $2.00, then have to pay the agent out of that.
For authors like me who publish ebooks themselves on Amazon or other marketplaces (Apple Books, Kobo, etc), there are no publishers or agents to pay. We will receive a commission based on the platform where we sell. On Amazon, independent authors will make 70% of the price of books listed between $2.99-9.99. Above or below that range, they will make 35%. (I’m not going to get into print, but we get less because of printing costs.)
When I launch a book at 99 cents on Amazon, I am earning somewhere around 30 cents per ebook.
Think about this for just a moment. For all those hours, all that time, all those costs, authors are earning 30 cents per ebook sold at 99 cents.
THE VALUE OF BOOKS
When I first started writing, that number made me feel sick. I value my books. I want to write quality. It’s not even just about how much I’m paying out of pocket to write a book, but how I value my work.
As a reader, I love bargains. We have five kids and aren’t living on some giant income here, so we don’t have an unlimited budget for books. But as an author, I know how much other authors are making when their books are priced low. I want to value their work as well and to pay them a fair wage.
THE STRATEGY OF CHEAP AND FREE BOOKS
If authors are putting $500 into writing a book, you might be wondering why they would ever sell a book at 99 cents or free. Usually it has to do with marketing strategies, which is probably way too boring and intense to get into here.
But in short, pricing books lower for a time allows authors to get visibility. At a lower price point (or free), authors can utilize promotional sites that will help get the word out about books on sale. (These are usually paid sites, so they factor into my marketing and advertising costs.) When books are selling more, they show up higher on the bestseller lists in categories on Amazon, which get them in front of more people.
Sales lead to more sales–assuming the books is GOOD and readers enjoy it. So free and cheap books will often help with marketing. Sometimes the best sales day I have in a month might be the day AFTER I had a book as free. (Typically I only do the occasional ONE free day on a book on Amazon.)
Free books through sites like Bookfunnel can also be a way to help an author grow an email list. Readers exchange their email for an ebook or a sample. Then the author will have the ability to email that reader about future books and sales. So offering free books is generally a way that authors can be discovered by new readers, who will hopefully become readers who buy books.
A WORD ABOUT KINDLE UNLIMITED
If an author has their books in KU, this means that the books are not available on any other platform. They are exclusive to Amazon. Readers who pay for a Kindle Unlimited subscription can pay $9.99 a month and read any KU books for “free.” (With up to ten books checked out on their device from KU at a time.)
Authors get paid by page reads, a percentage that Amazon changes every month. As a romance writer, a lot of readers use KU and 85% of my income comes from KU page reads. For a book priced at 99 cents, I will usually make more money if someone reads my book through KU. But this depends on the length of my book and the page read payout for the month.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR AUTHORS AND READERS
I wanted to write this post because I think it’s good for readers to understand what goes into the writing and how authors get paid. No, it won’t increase your book budget, unfortunately. But I hope it helps you understand a little about the business of publishing and how authors get paid.
Every week I get a few emails from readers requesting free copies of print or ebooks. Sometimes I get emails saying that my books at $3.99 are priced too high. Usually the reason is that people are on a fixed budget.
I get it! This past year, my husband has been between jobs. We don’t have a big book budget either! I have a Kindle Unlimited subscription ($9.99 a month) and we buy paperbacks at places like the Goodwill. So I very much understand book budgets!!
But look at the flip side: This past year, my income from writing has helped pay our mortgage and bills. If I’m giving away all my books for free or keeping them at 99 cents, that means a lower income for our family of seven. I can’t imagine going into a business of any kind and asking for a discount or free product because I can’t afford it.
Am I looking for pity or trying to be manipulative to readers?? NO WAY!
I am so happy to be in a time where I can write and publish my own books. I love knowing that people are reading my words! This past year, I’ve started making a full-time income which has helped since my husband was between full-time jobs. Doing something I love AND making money? This author gig is a dream come true!
But it’s also a LOT of work.
My books are all in KU, which means that if you have the means to pay $9.99 a month, you can choose to read my books and thousands of others for free. I also usually launch new books at 99 cents or at least have that price for a limited time. At full-price, my books are still less than the cost of a Frappuccino at Starbucks.
I hope that this post helps you understand a little of what goes into writing and publishing a book and how authors get paid! I value my books and want to put out the best product I can. I also value my readers and hope to have options even for people on a budget.
And if you ever thought about asking a writer for free copies (this is NOT most of you!!), consider the value of books and the cost to the author.
I’ve already shared my favorite clean billionaire romance novels, but if that’s not enough, I dare you to take on this list of clean billionaire romance SERIES. That’s right: whole series of love stories featuring a billionaire.
Side note: Can we talk for a second about how rare billionaires are? Especially the young, hot kind. I’m going to drop some billionaire facts on you before we move onto my list. Bear with me. You might enjoy these!
Fun Facts about Billionaires
In 2018 there were 63 billionaires under the age of 40. There are only nine under the age of 30.
The top way billionaires make their money is investing money. (According to a 2016 survey.)
Okay, so…the truth about billionaires is less fun than what we get in the pages of books, am I right? Let’s suspend reality for a bit and enjoy fictional billionaires, who have a lot more fun, are a lot younger, and seem to be in endless supply. 😉
This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission from your purchases.
There are five books in this series from Bree Livingston, all tied together by simply the fact that they are CLEAN. I’ve read all of them and my favorite two are Her Pretend Billionaire Boyfriend andHer Fake Billionaire Fiance. Both are about (duh) fake relationships, which aren’t always my favorite. But these two had my favorite characters and storylines. You’ll also find a broken football star, a second-chance romance, and a plane crash on a deserted island.
You’ll love this best-selling clean billionaire romance series!
There are three books in this series, one of which made my list of my favorite billionaire romance books. (That would be the Truth about Billionaires, book 2!) I’ve read all three of these and enjoyed them. I feel like Pennington does a great job layering more into her characters than I see in some clean romance novels. As a Southern girl, I also loved the settings! You’ll also read about a billionaire falling for a single mom and a single billionaire dad whose love interest is also the one hurting his resort business.
This series deals with storylines where there is some element of surprise. In The Billionaire Love Match, that surprise comes as Casey meets and connects with a stranger just before the taping of a reality show. During the first episode, she finds out that the handsome man is actually a billionaire and that she’ll be competing for him with fourteen other women. In The Billionaire Land Baron, Shelby doesn’t realize that Jake, the man renting out the Airstream trailer on her property is a billionaire developer. And neither of them realize (at first) that her property is the last one standing in the way of his newest project. (Releasing September 12th!) These billionaire books have a good mix of humor and heart!
There are two in this series with a third coming out later in 2018. I’ve read both and they are unique stories, both second chance romances. The first deals with a surprise and memory loss while the second features a really huge past conflict that the main characters have to get over. It was beautiful and painful to read about Anna Lynn trying to win Mark back.
From second chances to fake relationships to billionaire bosses, this series from bestselling author Victorine Lieske has it all! I especially enjoyed reading Her Big Fat Dreamy Billionaire Ex (book 4). It features a lovely destination, rekindling old love, and a meddling, matchmaking granny.
This series has five titles with a variety of storylines. I read Forgetting the Billionaire, which has some incredibly sweet moments as Mitchell comes to see his ailing grandmother and falls for Charlie, who is trying to keep her retirement home afloat. You’ll also find a Christmas romance, a story involving a plane crash, and a billionaire trying to atone for his past mistakes.
This isn’t a full list, but includes books that I’ve actually read so that I can better recommend them! Do you have any favorite clean billionaire romance series that I’ve missed?
Novels featuring billionaire storylines or tropes have been so hot lately!! With so many clean billionaire romance novels, it can be hard to know which ones you should read next. For some ideas, you can read my Clean Billionaire Romance Series post or my Clean Billionaire Romance Standalone Novels post.
But here are my favorite clean billionaire romance novels!
This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission from your purchases.
What I loved most about this book was that the female main character was NOT in great need of money. Many of the billionaire storylines involve women who are in dire financial straits and need the help of the billionaire–even if they don’t want it. From the start, Jill and Blake are on more equal footing. She has success and money, so when she is hired as a consultant to work with his company, there isn’t the typical boss/employee relationship either. Her sass and strength draw Blake in, but also make him confused about where they stand. I LOVED the way this story unfolded and it didn’t hurt that it took place in Texas. Did I mention that Blake is a former bronc rider??
This billionaire book rested more heavily on the trope of a second chance romance than the fancy billionaire lifestyle. Kate had always had a huge crush on her brother’s best friend Drew, but after her brother was killed in a car accident, she and Drew stopped speaking. She always assumed he didn’t return her feelings, but there was much more to their shared history and loss. This book had some more depth because of the back story and really did a great job of portraying the love between Drew and Kate as it unfolded.
I was drawn to this story because of the unique characters. Alana is a musician who set aside her time at Julliard to be at home and help her father. When she starts working for billionaire and senate-hopeful Steele, sparks fly. While I’m normally not a fan of the fake relationship trope (they just are SO HARD to believe most of the time), I liked the setup here. Steele’s father has a serious chokehold on his life and controls every aspect of it because of a painful secret. Alana becomes the light that helps set him free. (Also– doesn’t that model look a little like Chris Pratt??)
Is it bad to put my own book in here?? With The Billionaire Love Match, my whole goal was to be fresh with some of the billionaire tropes. When Colt meets Casey, she has no idea who he is. She is smart, sassy, and independent and doesn’t care about his wealth or reputation. She’s more afraid that he’s not who he says he is and that she can’t trust the growing feelings between them. Colt is struggling to gain control of his life again from his mother, who is the mogul behind their family’s entertainment empire. But to free himself, he’s got to let her control one more thing: the reality TV show meant to help him find his perfect match. You’ll find yourself surprised along the way, even though there are a lot of common tropes and elements in this novel. Find out if true love stands a chance on reality TV!
Already from the cover you might realize that this isn’t the typical clean billionaire romance novel! Ivy takes a job working for a reclusive billionaire who was burned in the fire that killed his parents. The book does a great job of weaving faith throughout without being heavy-handed or making everyone perfect. Ivy and Sawyer each have their insecurities, strengths, and weaknesses. I really enjoyed the push and pull of their relationship and watching the way they changed each other. This is a modern re-telling of Beauty and the Beast without being too cliche or stuck in that story. If you’re looking for an inspirational billionaire book, this one will be a perfect read!
This book has some of the familiar billionaire storylines–a single mom needing to make ends meet falls for her billionaire boss. Only this boss is blind and struggles with the insecurities that come from his disability. He struggles to feel like he can be loved and she is the only person who brings real calm and peace to his life. To seal a business deal, he agrees to marry a woman who makes Stephanie’s life much more challenging on a daily basis. One trip to Vegas changes everything! There was a lot of heart in this book and I love that this story hits close to the author’s home as her grandson is blind.
There are a TON of great clean billionaire novels out there, but these are my top choices and recommendations. For more, you can read my post on clean billionaire series and clean billionaire standalone novels!
If you’re like me, maybe you didn’t realize that clean romance was such a huge category. Or maybe you’ve heard people talking about sweet romance and weren’t sure what that means. We’ve all been familiar with steamy romance–the kinds of books my grandma used to read (REALLY, Grandma???)–with the bare-chested men and women in various states of bodice-ripping.
But what is clean romance? Let’s get into the definitions and where to find some great books!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive payment at no extra cost to you from purchases made.
Your Clean Romance Reading Guide
Let’s start with the definition of clean romance. Which is actually a little harder to pin down than you might think!
There are a few terms that people often use interchangeably in this niche. Let me break down some of the wide categories of romance as this can be confusing! (Author Kristin Holt talks more about the potential confusion between clean and sweet romance!)
Clean Romance – Generally means no on-page sex, limited amounts of kissing/arousal. May also mean no alcohol (or limited use by adults) and no swearing or violence.
Sweet Romance – Sometimes used interchangeably with clean romance, but may mean that the book has a bit more leeway when it comes to language, might have more descriptive kissing, and has a focus on the developing emotional intimacy.
Inspirational Romance – Clean or sweet romance with Christian themes as a central part.
Steamy Romance – Novels that have storylines and at least a few detailed sex scenes.
Why Clean Romance Can Be a Confusing Title
The confusion is that for some readers, clean may mean different things. Some readers are fine with sex happening off-the-page. As in, a couple may live together or engage in sexual activity that’s implied, but it’s behind closed doors.
Other readers expect something more wholesome– the couples do not have sex before marriage or the idea of sex isn’t even implied.
There can also be some subtle distinction between the inspirational and clean romances. I’ll sometimes see varying levels of faith being a part of books that aren’t necessarily in the Christian or inspirational categories, or books that ARE in those categories are clean, but don’t really contain themes or elements of faith.
THIS CAN BE SO CONFUSING!!
Readers can be really disappointed and share that in the comments when the book doesn’t meet their expectations of what a clean romance is. I had negative comments once about a character compromising her morals because she didn’t wear a sweater over a somewhat revealing top. Even though I made no mention of faith or her morals in the book at all.
Authors don’t always agree on definitions. Neither do readers. And Amazon? Sometimes they’ll stick a book in the completely wrong category, which causes more confusion.
Amazon has a category for clean romance called Clean & Wholesome. You’ll find a mix of clean, sweet, and even inspirational titles in this big category.
You can also find some clean romance books with more of an inspirational bent in the Inspirational Romance category. But again, these will have varying degrees of faith included in the storylines. Some are primarily about faith, while others might mention God or church or praying, but not much more than that.
Common Tropes in Romance Novels
If you aren’t a writer or English nerd, you may be wondering what a trope is. (And no, it’s not to be confused with the Scottish dish tripe…) Tropes are common themes or elements within a story. A novel might be based on one particular trope OR have multiple tropes throughout.
Here are some examples of tropes:
best friends that fall for each other
fake marriage/fake relationship that turns real
second chance at love
enemies who fall in love
marriage of convenience
You can find a great list of tropes from Victorine Lieske of the Writing Gals that covers wayyyy more. These are the common themes or storylines or devices that readers expect when it comes to romance. Tropes in clean romance often have a lot of crossover to the tropes in steamy romance– just without the steam, of course.
How to Tell a Clean Romance by Its Cover
Unlike the bodice-ripping covers from my grandma’s steamy romance novels, clean romance novels are typically a lot less about hinting at sexual tension and a lot more about romance. And depending on the tropes, you’ll find some variations in what you’ll see.
For example, here are a few billionaire covers, which typically feature a male alone.
Here are a few covers in the fake marriage covers, which often have a female alone.
I’ve read and really liked this one!
I read this whole series and this was my favorite!
In the inspirational category, you might see more couples that look very happy and romantic.
I read and enjoyed this book!
This was a fun read, especially if you like the trope of falling for someone famous!
There will be some outliers, where books may not look like they fit in a certain category. There is definitely diversity!
I’m a huge fan of NOT having faces on the covers (except in the billionaire books) because I personally love imagining the main characters myself. Sometimes I find the cover images very distracting!!
I love the covers for the No Match for Love series by Lindzee Armstrong, which also let the faces stay up to the reader’s imagination!
I didn’t even touch on the clean historical or regency romances! (I’m a more contemporary girl…) If you had any questions about clean and sweet romance, I hope that this helped give you a good idea of what you might find in the category!