2020 was an excellent year for Indie Romance. It was difficult to select the ones I enjoyed the most, but here goes.
Science Fiction Romance
Vast and corrupt empires. Exotic aliens. Daring heroes and heroines. Rogues and criminals. Faster than light speed travel. Strange worlds. Space stations. Star ship armadas. All these elements are present and more in Greta van der Rol’s Conspiracy.
Peace in the Galaxy hangs in the balance.
Amid rising inter-species tensions, brilliant systems Engineer Allysha Marten takes one last job to rid her of debts and her cheating husband. On the mysterious planet Tisyphor she meets a security guard who wins her trust and her affection. Like her, he suspects that there’s more to the operation on Tisyphor than reopening an abandoned mine. Together, they uncover a plot that threatens to plunge the Galaxy into inter-species war.
As they scramble to prevent the coming holocaust, Allysha is horrified to learn that her new lover is ex-Admiral Chaka Saahren, the man the Ptorix call Chozhu the Destroyer, the man responsible for the death of her father, along with millions of other innocent civilians.
In a race against time, Saahren must convince Allysha to set aside her conflicted emotions about him to help him prevent the coming conflagration. And perhaps while he’s doing that, he’ll win back the only woman he’s ever loved.
As a fan of Carol Van Natta’s science fiction romance, I was thrilled to discover she also delves into paranormal romance. Her Ice Age Shifters series has all the creativity, charm, action, and romance of her science fiction. The series title refers to the type of shifter — not the time period. Mixed in with the fated-mates trope is a unique vision of the fae, magic, and dark forces that is a page-turning delight.
A lonely bear shifter meets his mate. She’s running for her life and doesn’t have time for romance.
Pregnant Jackie Breton just escaped from a corrupt feline pack intent on selling her half-shifter baby to the highest bidder. She’s smart, independent, and has a desperate plan to keep her baby safe: Get away from the pride as fast and far as possible.
Trevor Hammond, prehistoric bear shifter, has been rejected by everyone in his life for… being born, basically. Well, except for the beloved aunt who raised him. He’s built a career as an independent trucker, but life would be much better with someone he can hold in his arms and claim as his own.
When Jackie meets Trevor at a truck stop, his bear demands he help her. His aunt even calls with a dire warning: Get Jackie to the magical sanctuary town in Wyoming before she’s killed.
Jackie thinks he’s sexy as hell, but too good to be true. She doesn’t trust shifters. With the feline pride hot on her trail, however, Trevor and the quirky town of Kotoyeesinay might be her only chance for survival. Even Trevor’s indomitable bear may be no match for the dangerous enemy seeking retribution.
Weddings are a staple back drop for romantic comedy or rom-com and, it in that setting, can be a bit predictable. Set it in a paranormal wedding planner company and throw in a more than a touch of suspense? There is nothing predictable about A.E. Jones’ Paranormal Wedding Planners except the the HFN between the main characters.
Take 1 wedding. Add fangs, fur, and fairy dust… stir.
A wedding phobic in a family of wedding planners… Alex Bennett’s life is complicated enough, until she discovers their clients aren’t exactly human. Paranormals exist, and when weddings are sabotaged, Alex will stop at nothing to save the business — even partnering with a sexy investigator with secrets of his own.
A paranormal with no powers… Devin Cole is guilty until proven innocent. His powers have been placed in a supernatural time out until his upcoming trial. He doesn’t have time to investigate a runaway bride case. But the bride is a supermodel who also happens to be supernatural, so he has to handle damage control. His biggest concern — a tempting woman who insists on being part of the investigation.
Can a wedding phobic and a powerless paranormal work together to solve the case while finding their own fairy-tale… or faery-tale… happy ever after?
Historical romance often features nobility, whether ancient roman senators, medieval highland lairds, or regency lords. Alyson Chase’s Lords of Discipline is set in Regency England among the powerful nobility. In an enjoyable twist, it tends toward the darker side with the the lords engaged in counter espionage and becoming involved with women from the gentry who have fallen afoul of a misogynistic and often corrupt legal system. The involvement includes both passion and a taste for kink with both the heroes and heroines having distinct personalities and quirks that prevent the stories from falling into cookie-cutter tropes.
The day her sister murdered their abusive father, Elizabeth Wilcox stopped being a gentleman’s daughter. Willing to do anything to save her sister from the hangman’s noose, now she is a spy… A servant. A liar. A thief. A submissive.
Masquerading as a parlor maid and entrenched in the Duke of Montague’s estate, Liz is willing to risk all to uncover the secrets that would save her sister. But submitting to the duke’s peculiar brand of discipline surprises her with a heady mixture of pleasure and pain. Eager to relinquish control of her messy life, Liz soon craves the rough hands of Montague and his powerful, passionate attentions. Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness of his kisses without revealing her true identity and darkest secrets? And what punishment will she face when he realizes her betrayal?
*** Pricing reflects time of posting.
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