“Grey” (Vintage, $15.95) by E.L. James takes a twist on her worldwide best seller “Fifty Shades of Grey” by having Christian Grey retell the story of the couple who engaged in sadomasochistic games.. James said so many readers wanted to hear Grey’s perspective that she decided she must write the book so Christian would have a chance to tell his side of the story. She devotes a good part of the book to the relationship between Grey and his brother Elliot, a minor figure in her trilogy.
“Leaving Amarillo” (William Morrow, $13.99) by Caisey Quinn is the first in the “Neon Dreams” series. The series follows a country band’s rise to stardom and the romance that develops between stars Dixie and Gavin. Part two, “Loving Dallas,” has been released and “Missing Dixie,” the final part of the trilogy, is due in October. Jay Crownover says the series includes “love, longing the requisite heartbreak” in accord with true country song writing.
“Read Bottom Up” (HarperCollins, $16.99) by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham takes a new direction and looks at love in the digital age. Elliot is a New York City sous chef whose girlfriend dumps him. His best friend David advises him to date other women and suggests he start with Madeleine, a brunette open to flirting. Elliot emails Madeleine who forwards the email to her best friend Emily for an opinion. Emily replies, “He gives good email” and Madeleine agrees to meet. Their relationship blossoms. Meantime, readers are privy to all the emails everyone is sending — Elliot, David, Madeline and Emily. The reader ends up being the one who is the most inside of this relationship, and it’s fun to learn all the things that go unsaid when friends get involved in a relationship.
“Four Nights with the Duke’ (Avon, $7.99) by Eloisa James is her latest Regency romance. Evander Septimus Brody, Duke of Pindar, agrees to marry Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington but will only spend four nights a year with her, and then only if she begs. She must marry the Duke before her uncle revokes custody of her ward and claims the family fortune, but she does not want to beg anyone.
“Bound by Flames” (Avon, $7.99) by Jeaniene Frost resumes her saga of the romance between vampire Vlad and Leila of the “Night Prince” series. Vlad’s archenemy threatens Leila, playing on Vlad’s greatest weakness, in hopes of vanquishing his foe forever.
“The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy” (Avon, $7.99) is the latest from Julia Quinn. Sir Richard Kenworthy has to find a bride within six months. When he sees Iris Smyth-Smith performing at a musicale he knows he has found the one. He is shocked to find she is not interested.
“Diary of an Accidental Wallflower” (Avon, $4.99) by Jennifer McQuiston introduces “The Seduction Diaries” series. Clare Westmore wants to marry the Duke of Harrington but her plan to impress him at the ball fails when she twists an ankle and is sidelined as her best friend seduces the duke during the evening’s dances. Dr. Daniel Merial wants to marry her but he must overcome the objections of her friends who think he isn’t good enough for her.
“Broken” (Avon, $7.99) by Cynthia Eden is the first in a romance suspense series. Gabe Vaughn looks for the missing when everyone else has given up. Eva Gray has amnesia but thinks she might be the only surviving victim of a serial killer. Can Vaughn help her recover her memories and find the killer?
“Taint” (Avon, $13.99) by S.L. Jennings is the first in what Jennings calls “sex education novels.” The instructor is a man “who knows everything about sex but nothing about love,” says Jennings.
“Back in the Game” (Avon, $6.99) by Lori Wilde is the latest in her small town romances. Rowdy Blanton, retired baseball star, sets his sites on Breeanne Carlyle, the town good girl. She’s ready to be bad, and Rowdy seems like the one to lead her on.
“In His Keeping” (Avon, $14.99) by Maya Banks features Arial, a girl with telekinetic powers who was left on the doorstep of a wealthy family when she was a baby. Her foster parents isolate her and she asks Beau Devereaux, family friend, for help in getting out in to the world. This second in the romantic suspense books keeps readers turning the pages until its end. Banks promises more to come.