Want a quick fun HEA? Try these Odd Couples: Opposites Attract in Catagory Romance Novels.
My lists are never in any particular order. Enjoy!
1. Speaking of Love by Ophelia London
The matchmaker has finally met her match.
Speech teacher and successful matchmaker Mackenzie Simms decides to find a woman for her friend, handsome newspaper tycoon Rick Duffy. Though they've been each other's go-to dates for the past month, Mac and Rick couldn't be more different: she is outspoken, sarcastic, and completely loathes his privileged lifestyle. He's laid-back, unassuming, and seems comfortable at an upper-class charity function. So why can't she stop thinking about him?
Rick knows he and the opinionated-though-adorable Mackenzie are better off as friends, so he agrees to the double-date getaway Mac plans at his family cabin. But seeing Mac cuddle up with her "friendly" date rankles Rick beyond reason, and Mac regrets her matchmaking scheme the minute she sees the way her beauty-queen cousin looks at Rick. Can Mac 'fess up to what's really in her heart, when speaking her mind puts everything at risk?
2. The Midnight Rider Takes a Bride by Christine Rimmer
DO YOU…HAVE TO GET MARRIED, ADORA BEAUDINE?
That's what all the town gossips were asking—and what else could she expect? Ladylike Adora was supposed to settle down to a life of solid respectability, and instead she was about to say "I do" to a motorcycle-riding outlaw named Jed Ryder. What, everyone wondered, had gotten into her?
What indeed? She told herself she was marrying Jed so he could get custody of his little sister. For the child's sake, she insisted, she was about to give up every shred of her respectable reputation. It had nothing to do with the unrespectable way she felt when he swept her into his arms….
3. The Redemption of Matthew Quinn by Kathleen O'Brien
Ex-con Matthew Quinn has plenty of trouble in his life right now. He doesn't need to take on more. And there's no question that Natalie Granville—with her crumbling mansion and her canceled wedding—is capital-T trouble. But that doesn't stop him from accepting a job from her.
He can handle it. All he needs to do is follow some rules:
Remember she's your boss, nothing else.
Don't start letting the arrangement get all cozy and domestic and personal.
Don't notice, don't want, don't feel and definitely don't touch.
But apparently, when it comes to Natalie, rules are meant to be broken….
4. Gabe by Lori Foster
Gabe Kasper, heartthrob of Buckhorn County, could have had any woman he wanted— if he'd had a mind to settle down. Which he didn't. The freedom of being a jack-of-all-trades with no one to answer to suited him just fine. And then a prickly, uptight, red-haired college woman showed up.—
Elizabeth Parks needed Gabe to complete her thesis on heroism, but he didn't seem to think saving a couple of lives made him a hero. She was inclined to agree that he seemed like the exception to the rule. Until he rescued her heart and soul with his fearless passion.
5. Dream Nights with the CEO by Kathy Lyons
Hotel chain CEO and millionaire Wyatt Monroe is a stick in the mud. Sure, he's hot as sin, even with the tie, but free-spirited assistant Megan Bradford refuses to jeopardize their perfect working relationship. Why mess that up with sex? She knows he's the love 'em and leave 'em type, and she's determined to find a family man.
Wyatt would never cross the line between boss and employee with Megan, no matter how hard it might be to resist the temptation. But when they visit a mysterious B&B in a bid to acquire the property, he starts having erotic dreams about the sexy brunette that make it hard to resist her in daylight.
Soon the line between reality and dreams further blurs when they learn they were sharing the same erotic dreams...
6. A Convenient Arrangement: The Italian's WifeThe Spanish Groom by Lynne Graham
THE ITALIAN'S WIFE
Holly Sansom has hit rock bottom. She has no way to care for herself or her eight-month-old son. Then a chance encounter with handsome CEO Rio Lombardi changes everything. Suddenly she's living in luxury, and if she accepts Rio's proposal, all her worries will be forever behind her. But is it really the perfect life if she doesn't have his love?
THE SPANISH GROOM
Dixie Robinson hasn't been good at much. The one thing she's done right is to befriend an elderly man. She'll do anything for Jasper—except marry his godson. After all, Cesar Valverde doesn't even like her. But as Jasper is rushed to the operating room, Dixie is rushed to the altar. Is this yet another mistake, or the smartest thing Dixie has ever done?
7. Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert
Prim and proper art gallery coordinator Elle Walser is no good at seducing men. Heck, she's been throwing hints at her boss for months, but he's completely clueless. Desperate to escape her mother's matchmaking efforts, she comes up with a plan--buy some lingerie and climb into her boss's bed. The plan goes brilliantly…until she accidentally seduces a sexy stranger instead. Bad boy nightclub mogul Gabe Schultz just had the best almost-sex of his life. Too bad the smoking hot blonde thought he was his brother and bolted before he could finish what they started. Though her holier-than-thou attitude puts a serious damper his mood, Gabe's never been one to give up on something he wants. And he wants Elle. But does a man who lives on the dark side really have a chance with a proper lady?
8. Talking Dirty With the Boss by Jackie Ashenden
Marisa Clair wants to get her artist dreams back on track after a life detour. That means no partying, no shopping…and definitely no men to distract her. Should be easy, but there's something about her hot and exceedingly uptight boss and she can't seem to stop herself from ruffling Mr. Tall, Dark and Irritating.
Financial consultant Luke McNamara lives his life strictly by schedule - his OCD simply won't allow him to do anything else. And the very last thing he needs is a sassy blonde putting lipstick on his collar and messing with his routine. She annoys the hell out of him so why can't he stop thinking about the color of her panties…and how free he feels when he's with her?
Marisa and Luke's plans to steer clear of one another are shot to hell after a hot office encounter. Now the two of them will have to learn to get along as they face a much more permanent reminder of their lack of self-control - a pregnancy.
9. An Officer and a Rebel by Cindi Madsen
Doing the wrong thing has never felt so right...
The last person police officer Nate Walsh expected to discover stranded in a snowstorm is his brother's ex—and former town rebel—Kelsey Cooper. His complete opposite in every way, Kelsey’s the girl he never allowed himself to want. But when she agrees to stay with him until the storm passes, he definitely finds himself wanting the gorgeous, tattooed woman. Too bad Nate’s sure his brother is still in love with her…
Kelsey had only meant to drive through her tiny hometown, not end up spending time there. With a cop. But despite her issues with authority figures, even she can admit Mr. Serious looks pretty hot in his uniform. Unfortunately, she’s sworn off relationships—and she’ll never be the girl for a nice guy.
10. The Fall of Shane MacKade by Nora Roberts
Shane MacKade loved women. He loved the look of them, the smell of them, the taste of them—everything about them. So the last thing he expected was to become a one-woman man. And even more surprising was that it was the Ph.D.-toting academic Rebecca McKnight that had him heading for a fall. Are Shane's days as a bachelor over? It's a possibility..
Got more? Gimme! Vote on my Goodreads list: Odd Couples: Opposites Attract in Catagory Romance Novels
The Heart of Devin MacKade #3
Author: Nora Roberts
Performed by Luke Daniels
Released July 2014 by Brilliance Audio
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
'Sheriff Devin MacKade has always known his destiny was to serve and protect the small town of Antietam, Maryland—and for a long while he thought that future would include Cassie Connor. But when Cassie married the wrong man, Devin did the honorable thing and kept his feelings to himself. Now that Cassie’s divorced, Devin can finally follow his heart. Question is, can Cassie?'
It was pretty obvious that Devin and Cassie were going to end up with each other at some point even though, after twelve years of just being her friend, Devin thought Cassie was lost to him but still, I loved the story. It has a little more depth and emotion due to the subject matter of domestic violence and abuse, especially as children are involved.
'With his chin on his chest Connor turned to go outside. He knew what was coming, he was going to get whipped. His father had always done the hitting away from the house, away where his mother couldn’t see and wouldn’t know. He’d get a beating now for sure and it would be worse than his father had ever done to him…'
Nora Roberts is so good at writing scenes that pull at the heart-strings and I love the way Devin gains the trust and love of Cassie’s children. After first meeting a very subdued and downtrodden Cassie in Rafe and Reagan’s story, she has made a lot of progress since her divorce and Joe Dolin’s imprisonment. Working and living at the B&B has been especially good for her and her still emotionally scarred children. All is not plain sailing though as Joe plots and plans even as he appears to be the model prisoner.
Devin and Cassie’s story mirrors that of Abigail Barlow and the man she loves but Cassie makes sure it doesn’t end the same way. And the sad story of the two Corporals from the Battle of Antietam continues to be woven through.
Author: Nora Roberts
Performed by Luke Daniels
Released: July 2014 by Brilliance Audio
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
'Shane MacKade enjoyed everything about women—the look of them, the smell of them, the taste of them. So the last thing he expected was to become a one-woman man. And even more surprising is that it’s the Ph.D.-toting academic Rebecca McKnight who has him headed for a fall. Could Shane’s days as a bachelor be coming to an end?'
Shane, the youngest of the MacKade brothers, appeals to me as all the others have. He’s a free spirit, loves the farm, a ladies’ man who isn’t interested in settling down. He’s always tried to shut out the dreams he has and what they mean not wanting any part of the unsettling flashbacks from another time.
When Dr Rebecca Knight, Reagan’s old college roommate, arrives to research the paranormal happenings for her book, Shane is thrown into turmoil on both levels. Rebecca feels an instant connection to the farm which is reinforced by her own vivid dreams. She is the link that completes the circle and Shane falls hard.
‘I’ve never felt this way about anyone. I didn’t want to, but you changed everything.’
‘I love you, Rebecca. Oh god, I love you. And I have to sit down’
The passages going back in time to the war are haunting (forgive the pun) and described so vividly it’s heartbreaking. And the epilogue is the perfect ending.
I really enjoyed this series, the characters are very believable with real feelings. The family ties and bonds are a huge part of why I love these stories and it’s so nice to have totally male men who are family orientated and obviously loving it. Nora Roberts is so good at creating moving and wonderful scenarios that just make you love the characters.
The emotion Luke Daniels puts into his performances, especially so in Devin’s story, is outstanding and intensifies the drama and the feelings each has for their partners and the others in the family. I hope you keep on doing what you’re doing, Mr Daniels, it’s magic.
Author: Nora Roberts
Performed by Luke Daniels
Released: May 2014 by Brilliance Audio
Category: Contemporary Fiction/Paranormal
"Ten years after disappearing from Antietam, Maryland, the bad boy has come home. Cleaned up and successful now—though still dangerously good-looking—Rafe MacKade sets the town on fire…and tongues wagging. Not even lovely newcomer Regan Bishop is immune to his charms. Though Regan claims to not want to get involved with a rebel, Rafe’s pretty sure that her reaction to their sizzling kisses suggests otherwise…."
I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a while but didn’t get round to reading it yet. When I saw it released in audio format with Luke Daniels that was the only incentive I needed to purchase the audiobooks.
For all his macho maleness I liked Rafe, his confused feelings and inner fight were written so well and Regan’s misplaced need to be totally opposite to her mother made her go too far to the other extreme. Rafe and Regan both think they know what they want but discover it might not be what they need.
I wonder if the seeds for the Inn Boonsboro trilogy are in this story. An old building in Maryland being renovated for paying guests, haunted and with ties to the battle at Antietam. Not that it matters in this instance, I love the Boonsboro books and I’m really going to enjoy this series. The writing flowed well and the characters are described in such a way they're easy to like. The sub story of Cassie and the abuse she suffered was handled sensitively and has got to be a storyline that will continue.
All the elements of a classic Nora Roberts, gorgeously handsome bad boy, beautiful independent woman and a good story/romance. I like very much Ms Roberts’ formula of setting the story in a small but interesting town, the paranormal aspect and the sprinkling of humour. The way she portrays families, especially brothers, their closeness to each other offset by the bickering and some great banter.
“He’s hooked,” Jared grinned and lifted his beer. “And his heart looks so pretty, right there on his sleeve.”
"Jared MacKade believes in taking a stand, and he never turns his back on a fight. So when his work as an attorney brings him up against Savannah Morningstar, her rude behavior and strong defenses aren’t nearly enough to scare him off – quite the opposite. Thoughts of the outrageously direct and sinfully sexy woman keep Jared coming back for more. And the more he gets to know her, the more determined he is to stand by her always."
After dipping unsuccessfully into the matrimonial pool, Jared Mackade is sure he won’t try that again. Then he meets Savannah Morningstar. She isn’t the typical female protagonist found in Nora Roberts’ books but she is a very interesting character. Part Native American, she lived on the rodeo circuit with her father until he threw her out for getting pregnant at sixteen. It’s apparent the last ten years haven’t been easy ones for her and Bryan, her son. Now she’s decided it’s time to put down roots in a cabin in the woods near the Mackade farm.
Jared, a lawyer, is the more polished of the four brothers and likes things set out neat and tidy in a way he can rationalise. Savannah does anything but fit that particular bill. Nevertheless they have an instant attraction to each other and also find they share a love for the woods and a feeling for the spirits that haunt them. Their relationship is complex and difficult for them both to get to grips with because they’re both proud people. Savannah makes no apologies for her past, and why should she. Jared’s pride and yes, I have to say, touches of arrogance get in the way until he realises what an idiot he’s been.
When Nora Roberts is on form she’s one of the best. I love the way she writes the rapport between the brothers and the development of Jared and Bryan’s relationship.
"Here’s the thing, Bryan,” Jared scooted away just enough so that he could face the boy fully. ‘I figure I oughta run this by you, since you’ve been the man of the house for so long. I’m in love with your mother.”
“I’m gonna ask you to take my name, Bryan and to take me on, as your father. I don’t just want your mother you see, I want both of you so you both have to want me."
Jared found his arms full of boy……have a cigar he thought giddily. You’ve got yourself a son."
I like the continuation of the characters from the first book, Cassie and her kids still trying to come to terms with what’s gone before, Rafe and Reagan’s happiness and the sub plot about the fight between the two soldiers who met in the woods during the battle of Antietam continues to be woven into the story.
Ms Roberts’ writing can mostly always bring laughter and emotionally charged moments, especially when describing the battle scenes. And couple that with Luke Daniels’ performance and it’s win all the way. He’s just so skilled at making the characters come alive and is as good portraying females and kids as he is at alpha males. And switches so smoothly from one to the other. Great stuff. Keep doing what you’re doing, Mr Daniels, it’s magic.