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Romance winter roundup

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Romance novels

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Here are some titles from Avon, a division of HarperCollins publishers. The romances should interest those who want something to read while they curl up by the fire or snuggle into the blankets in these cold winter months.

"The Sum of All Kisses" (also available as an ebook) by bestseller Julia Quinn is the third of the planned four Smythe Smith romances. Hugh Prentice, a disabled mathematician, and Lady Sarah Pleinsworth cannot stand each other. Pleinsworth's cousin wounded Prentice in a duel and was forced to go into exile. Fate puts the two together for a week, and unexpected romantic sparks fly. Will they resolve their hatred?

"Suddenly Royal" ($5) by Nichole Chase is the first of a planned trilogy about the royal family of Lilaria, a small country in Europe. Samantha Rousseau is a ornithologist who also cares for her ill father. She has no idea she is also a royal. An invitation by a duchess reveals Rousseau's real identity, but does she want to enter that world?

"The Wedding Favor" ($7.99) by Cara Connelly is the first of a planned series by this new writer. City girl Victoria Westin meets cowboy Tyrell Brown. The two hate each other. Then they are forced to sit together on a flight to a wedding in France. Can they blame their hot affair on airline cocktails?

"Summer Is For Lovers" ($5.99, also available as an ebook) by Jennifer McQuiston brings childhood friends together in the beach town of Brighton. David Cameron's mother, desperate for her son to marry, lures him home by letting him believe she is gravelly ill. Caroline Tolbertson, who never left home and isn't interested in marriage, runs into him on the beach. They agree to deceive everyone with a false courtship. What happens when their romance turns real?

"No Good Duke Goes Unpunished" (also an ebook) is the third book in Sarah MacLean's popular "Rules of Engagement" series. Four exiled aristocrats rule over a gaming enterprise, the Fallen Angel, in the London underworld. This book introduces Temple, a boxer who protects the interests of the aristocrats. Anyone who loses can challenge Temple and if they win their losses will be returned to them. Who is this brutal man and why is he willing to fight anyone?

"Rodeo Queen" is the first romance by T. J. Kline. Kline was herself a rodeo queen, rough riders with gloss and glitter. In this debut novel, Sydney Thomas, a champion rider, desperately wants the attention of her boss. Scott Chandler, leery of rodeo queens, isn't interested. Both know any relationship would be superficial, and both want more.

"Up From the Grave" ($7.99, also an ebook) by Jeaniene Frost, unites paranormal vampire lovers Cat and Bones for the final time. A CIA agent is trying to raise tensions between the undead and humans, and is having great success. Can Cat and Bones save their friends?

"Wildest Dreams" ($7.99) by Toni Blake sends Stephanie Grant into the underworld of New Orleans in search of her missing sister. In the Chez Sophia brothel Grant sees the darkness of the city and is about to give up all hope when she is befriended by former police officer Jake Broussard. How will she handle the passion he raises in her and still keep looking for her sister?

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