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Book Beat: Book Club Recs, Shifters, & More

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Welcome to Book Beat!

Book Beat aims to highlight other books that we may hear about through friends, social media, or other sources. We could see a gorgeous ad! Or find a new-to-us author on a list of underrated romances! Think of Book Beat as Teen Beat or Tiger Beat, but for books. And no staples to open to get the fold-out poster.

A Reluctant Attraction

A Reluctant Attraction by Rosanna Leo

Author: Rosanna Leo
Released: April 20, 2021 by Totally Bound Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Series: Handymen #3

He was looking for an escape. In her, he found his home.

Contractor and Handymen host Nick Zorn needs a change. He’s been feeling listless, and when his ex-girlfriend embarrasses him in a viral post by sharing private details of their sex life, he’s downright ready to escape. When an opportunity to reinvent his career arises, Nick takes it, even though it might mean the end of Handymen. However, the team has one more project to tackle together first—a struggling cat sanctuary in dire need of renovation.

When Nick arrives at the shelter and meets its owner, a lovely widow named Claire, his life is once more thrown into disarray. Neither of them is looking for a relationship, but the attraction is fierce. As he helps Claire fix her workplace, he realizes he wants to help her in other ways too. Their flirtation sizzles, flaring into a friends-with-benefits arrangement.

But the more time they spend together, the more reluctant these ‘friends’ become to fight their deepening connection, even though they know their inevitable break will devastate them…

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of cyberbullying and harassment, mentions of animal hoarding, bereavement and mourning. There are also references to male impotence and erectile dysfunction.

Source: @LeoRosanna on Twitter

What caught my attention about Rosanna’s tweet is that the hero has erectile dysfunction, which I don’t see a lot of these days.

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Devilfish by Anna Kensing

Author: Anna Kensing
Released: October 30, 2019 by Kensing Books
Genre: Historical: American, LGBTQIA, Paranormal, Romance
Series: Octopian Shifters #1

Prosperous merchant Elliot Bishop has built a safe life in Port Townsend, Washington. The family business is thriving, he’s engaged to be married, and he’s not about to let his rogue stepbrother’s sudden return home disrupt his plans. But when his fiancée disappears under the same mysterious circumstances as his mother did years ago, and his childhood nightmares about octopuses reoccur, Elliot senses someone—or something—took both women, and now it’s after him.

Captain Declan Fitzgerald finally has his own ship and crew, but he’s still governed by his father’s obsession, hunting the thing that took his stepmother, and now Elliot’s fiancée. Declan will protect Elliot from whatever’s calling him from the ocean’s depths, even as doing so reignites his feelings for Elliot.

As Elliot surrenders to the call of the moon and tides, he gives in to Declan, who anchors him while Elliot changes in ways his childhood nightmares never prepared him. Sex with the new Elliot is better than Declan imagined, if a little different than he expected. Declan has always been willing to sacrifice everything for Elliot, but what must Elliot give up to choose Declan?

Source: Twitter

Saw this one going around on Twitter. Step brother romance and there are also octopus shifters.

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Queen’s Ransom

Queen’s Ransom by Layla Reyne

Author: Layla Reyne
Released: March 8, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA, Romantic Suspense, Romance
Series: Fog City #4

Everyone leaves.

Love is risky business when you’re an assassin.
Helena Madigan has lost loved ones to the family business before. Now that she’s in charge, she’s determined never to risk her heart again.
Except every time Celia enters the room, she takes Helena’s breath away.

But the one time someone stays…

Celia Perri likes to be helpful.
She just wants to run the family auto shop, raise her kids, and help her brother plan his wedding.
But when a drive-by shooting targets the garage, Celia’s simple life is upended.
Now ensconced within the Madigan family, there’s no escaping Helena, the blonde bombshell she’s been crushing on for months.

It could cost her everything.

As the Madigans investigate, Celia witnesses their love and loyalty up close.
And their business.
Instead of being afraid, she sees a place for herself among them. She could be a confidant and caregiver—if only Helena would stop pushing her away. If only she’d admit their mutual attraction might lead to more.
And if only someone would stop shooting at them long enough to find out.

Queen’s Ransom is the fourth book in the Fog City romantic suspense series. It can be read as a stand-alone but is best enjoyed after reading books one through three of the series.

Source: HEA book club

This was recommended in our latest meeting! A princess and mechanic f/f romance!

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Rescue Me

Rescue Me by Sarra Manning

Author: Sarra Manning
Released: January 21, 2021 by Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance

Margot and Will cross paths at the local dog rescue centre where – after a series of misunderstandings and a lot of consternation – they agree to foster Blossom (a staffy with a giant head, soft, floppy ears and kohl-rimmed brown eyes) together: one week on, one week off.

Margot and Will don’t get off to the best of starts: he thinks Margot is demanding and needy and Just So Much. And she thinks Will is emotionally unavailable, slightly brittle and very mistrustful. They’re both right.

But the more they bicker, the worse Blossom behaves, and they realise they have to form some sort of truce in order to dog-parent (or “pawrent” as Margot calls it, to which Will rolls his eyes) her together. It’s almost as if Blossom has plans of her own…

Source: HEA book club

I remember one of our attendees talking about how adorable this one was, especially with the hero and heroine sharing custody of a cute dog!

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