In this edition of Indie Spotlight, our monthly thematic roundup of BookLife titles, we’re celebrating romance and relationship books by indie authors.
The Boxer and the Blacksmith
Edie Cay, ISBN 978-1-73443-973-1
About the book: The sequel to When the Blood Is Up, The Boxer and the Blacksmith is a Regency historical that showcases the titular boxer’s love story and relationships with her chosen family.
Author statement: “When I discovered Elizabeth Wilkinson Stokes, the best boxer, regardless of gender, of the 18th century, I felt like saying: ‘I knew it!’ Because women have always been athletic—we’ve had to be. From birthing babies to hauling water, milking cows, chopping wood, and baking bread!”
Brains and Brawn
R.L. Merrill, ASIN B08DC8VDT8
About the book: When Chief Petty Officer Paul McNally comes to the aid of a fallen rock star, Billy “Brains” Brennan, it sends his life spiraling on a trajectory he never planned for.
Author statement: “Brains and Brawn features two characters who fall into an easy love but can’t ignore the pressing issues in their lives that threaten to keep them apart. When I created these characters for the first book, Summer of Hush, I couldn’t wait to dive into their relationship in the sequel. Some characters just stay with you, and these two definitely deserved a loving happy ever after.”
Layovers Collection Volume 1
Saskia Laine, ISBN 978-1-988293-13-4
About the book: Three hot novellas in one sexy binding: Sins of Omission, Sweet Deceit, and A Taste of Temptation.
Author statement: “The Layovers series combines my love of travel with my desire to portray strong, professional women in relationships with sexy men who don’t just desire women, but really like them too.”
My Own Personal Rockstar
Kristy McManus, ASIN B08S2RY9B3
About the book: Single mother Natasha Northwood has her life sorted. With a beautiful daughter, a dream career, and a bestie for company, she doesn’t need anyone or anything else. That doesn’t mean she can’t lust after a celebrity every now and again.
Author statement: “I’d just finished watching a reality singing show and wanted to explore the idea of what happens to a contestant once they leave.”
Once Upon a Prince
Laurie Winter, ASIN B08P1KLWC2
About the book: A frazzled wedding planner hires a prince in disguise as her temporary business manager and learns the perils of mixing love and duty.
Author statement: “My heroine, Amelia, was inspired by my work with CASA, which is a nonprofit organization that pairs volunteer advocates with children under the protection of the court. I adore the kids I have and currently advocate for, and I wanted to give them a story in which they could see themselves have a happy ever after. In Once Upon a Prince, Amelia, a former foster child, gets her fairy tale ending with a prince!”
Sidelined: The Contract
Bianca Williams, ISBN 978-0-9985146-4-2
About the book: Bryn Charles is planning her biggest event yet after signing a love contract with her boyfriend, NFL superstar Shane Smith. Find out who makes it to the altar at the end of the explosive Sidelined romance series about love, friendship, and half-truths.
Author statement: “My contemporary romances are inspired by my dating adventures in my hometown in Baltimore County, Maryland.”
Sit a Spell
Angela Fletcher, ASIN B08RRFXTTT
About the book: Sarah Sanders’s life has fallen apart, and an invitation to visit her aunt is exactly what she needs. But all in Cat’s Eye Cove is not as it appears.
Author statement: “Sit a Spell is about getting to know other people—friendship and the possibility of romance—but also about doing the work of getting to know yourself and learning that what you really want might not be what you expected.”
Two in the Bush
Judith Hale Everett, ISBN 978-1-73606-750-5
About the book: When lively Genevieve Breckinridge meets a cynical widower, her last thought is of love.
Author statement: “I love the wit, elegance, and propriety in the writings of the Regency period, and strive to recreate them in my writing. I hope to create a milieu so authentic that my readers feel transported into the era.”
Dawn Brotherton, ISBN 978-1-939696-53-3
About the book: The last thing Jamie Woods needs is another distraction. Her career in D.C. is booming as she takes the lead at her new office, even as her personal life demands ever more of her attention. Then she meets Ben—charming, sexy, and on her mind no matter what she does. But he’s not the only complicated relationship in her life, and the timing couldn’t be worse for Jamie.
Author statement: “If you like suspenseful, surprising, and steamy novels, I think you’ll be delighted by the twists and turns of Jamie and Ben’s journey to find happiness with each other at last.”
Whispers in Washington
Jennifer Wilck, ASIN B08B5J66BN
About the book: When Naomi Adelman’s crooked politician husband was arrested, her life, and that of her daughters, was destroyed. Divorced and rebuilding her life, Naomi is wiser, stronger, and determined not to let anyone hurt her or her family again. Her plan doesn’t include falling for her charming and good-looking neighbor.
Author statement: “I’m an author of Jewish romance books. Whispers in Washington combines Jewish characters, the political backdrop of D.C., an older heroine trying to pick up the pieces after her ex-husband betrays her and their children, and a reporter determined to get the story of his career. Add a little magical spring water to help them fall in love, and a number of parking tickets that throw them together, and you have an emotional, sexy story.”
Workaholics Adrift: Transformation in the Pacific Islands
Judy Martin McCandless, ISBN 978-1-5439-7229-0
About the book: This action-packed memoir depicts the evolution of a couple’s relationship when they abandon stressful careers in midlife for extended travel at sea. Together, they experience nature’s glory and fury, cultural clashes, and addiction recovery, which rebuilds their bruised marriage with mutual support, trust, confidence, and passion.
Author statement: “The book contains three segments of travel with comparisons to my workaholic life as I awaken to my humanity. I employed my travel journals to supply emotional depth, vibrant description, and dialogue for this story—such that a reviewer said it reads like a good novel.”
Romance Around the World
These three titles feature international settings and characters.
Kings of Midnight
J.Q. Anderson, ISBN 978-0-578-77822-8
About the book: In Argentina, a young ballerina finds romance.
Author statement: “This novel explores the world of ballet, the twisted ways of love and erotic passion, and the price of following our dreams.”
Frances Mensah Williams, ISBN 978-0-9569175-4-6
About the book: Facing lies, betrayal, and shattered illusions, three couples in Ghana must confront the truth of who they have become and the arrangements they have enabled. Against the backdrop of a shifting culture, each woman must decide what—and whom—she is willing to sacrifice for the perfect marriage.
Author statement: “This novel offered an opportunity to explore the impact of culture on love and relationships, celebrate the uplifting power of sisterhood and friendship, and show the perspective of both women and men in search of their happy ever after.”
Rozsa Gaston, ISBN 978-1-73258-990-2
About the book: Manhattan businesswoman Kati Dunai lives a life of international glamour. Unfortunately, she’s too busy to enjoy it. But when she visits Budapest to settle her father’s estate, the city’s leisurely culture speaks to Kati’s soul.
Author statement: “This contemporary romance is about two foreigners finding each other in the thermal bath spas of Budapest.”
Love After Divorce
Three books take on love, loss, and moving on.
Cake in Bed
Sheri Fink, ISBN 978-0-9864468-1-8
About the book: After eating cake in bed—alone—on what would have been her one-year wedding anniversary, Julie embarks on a delightfully humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, and often unpredictable journey in her quest to find true love in the modern world.
Author statement: “With Cake in Bed, I wanted to empower women to be their authentic selves and to not settle for less than they deserve in life or in love.”
In and Out of Love
Kim Nguyen, ISBN 978-1-73494-370-2
About the book: This book of poems offers a provocative, intimate view into the complex emotions surrounding being in and out of love.
Author statement: “About a year ago, I started to write about the roller coaster of emotions that followed being in and out of love after my divorce. I knew I couldn’t be the only person to have experienced these deep reflection points after a breakup of a relationship.”
Relationship Solutions: Effective Strategies to Heal Your Heart and Create the Happiness You Deserve
Sonia Frontera, ISBN 978-1-73356-954-5
About the book: This guide leads readers step by step through a journey of self-discovery and personal transformation so they can create the happiness they deserve.
Author statement: “People contemplating or going through a divorce feel like it is the end of the world and can’t envision being happy again. But what they don’t realize at the time is that life does get better and that they can take simple steps to speed up the healing process and spare themselves needless suffering.”
A version of this article appeared in the 02/22/2021 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Indie Spotlight