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For Readers

Romance Novels to Begin the Year With

By: Hidden Gems on January 10, 2023

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on January 10, 2023


Whether you’ve set a reading goal for the new year or not, we want to help you add to your TBR. If you’re a regular on the Hidden Gems blog, you’ll know that romance is the most popular genre in the Hidden Gems ARC program. Our readers know that no two love stories are the same, so they scoop up new books every chance they get. We’ve got one for everybody on this round-up of top rated love stories from recent months.

Rescue Mission

Rescue Mission by Kendall Talbot

With 150+ ratings and a 4.6 star average, Rescue Mission is the third in the four book Alpha Tactical Ops series. Talbot flips the script on most rescue romance tropes; this time, the heroine is the rescuer, and the hunk is in need of rescue in this thrilling military romance series.

Sophia R. writes in her five star Amazon review, “Each entry in the Alpha Tactical Ops series is a burst of adrenaline and a rush to the finish. There is no taking one’s time once the book is opened and the pounding pace that rivets the reader in place doesn’t let up until the last page flutters shut. And, this latest was no exception. Rescue Mission is the third book of the standalone yet connected adventures in the Alpha Tactical Ops romantic suspense series…Action and adventure loving romantic suspense fans who want the exotic locales and situations really need to take the plunge into this book/series.”

“… If you are waiting for a book where the woman is not a victim or sexual object, but a strong, capable, sexy woman, this is your book!” Kathleen M. writes in her five star Amazon review. “The action is fast and exciting, and the characters Maya and Neon are compelling. I thoroughly recommend this book…”

Opal Contagion

Opal Contagion – The Complete Series: Books 1-3 by Stephanie Fazio

With 25 ratings and a 4.5 average star rating, the Opal Contagion series is a paranormal romance, which follows Liss, a Soul Sorter, and Rhett, the assassin sent to eliminate her. In a world ravaged by the namesake contagion, this three book series is a tale of danger, action, and romance.

“This trilogy is one of the best I have ever read,” Annie555 writes in her five star Amazon review. “The concept is truly unique and the author has done an utterly amazing job of creating a world that is equally wonderful and awful depending on what which side of the line you find yourself on. The characters are exceptionally well-crafted and each is unique and complex. The plot flows seamlessly from book to book and will keep you glued to the pages throughout so make sure you set aside some time for a marathon reading session as you will not be able to put it down. It will grab you from the first page and take you on a roller coaster filled with adventure, danger, magic and intense emotion…”

Alias11 writes in their five star Amazon review, “I really enjoyed this creative and unique fantasy series. It’s exciting and fast-paced with well-developed characters, stellar world-building, and an engaging plot. Full of magic, drama, danger, action, and romance, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you turning pages to see what will happen next. I’m so glad I got the box set, so I didn’t have to wait for the next book in order to continue the story. I highly recommend this series if you like magic and fantasy mixed with romance…”

Dark Mission

Dark Mission by Charlene Tess and Judi Thompson

With 45 ratings and a 4.7 star average, Dark Mission is the final book in the eight book Angel Falls series. This series follows Jay on his frantic search to find his missing sister. Along the way, he encounters DEA agent Samantha, and the two of them end up on a heart-pounding race to uncover the truth.

Renee H writes in her five star Amazon review, “This has been an excellent series. Jay is on the hunt for his missing sister and Samantha is the DEA agent determined to close the case on human trafficking and drug dealings. There are some pretty sketchy characters involved, murder, and intrigue. Jay and Samantha have the right stuff to be a power couple, but too many commitments keep them apart. The romance is slow and sweet. The attraction is electric. I loved the closeness of family and friends. Great story. Easy read.”

Diane writes in her five star Amazon review, “…This is a thrilling, interesting, riveting, intriguing, intense drama, twists that have you on the edge of your seat such an addicting read…”

The Beauty of Us

The Beauty of Us by Liza Jonathan

With 30+ ratings and a 4.7 star average, The Beauty of Us is part of The Sirensong Falls Romances series. It follows Lexi as she uncovers her stepmother’s secret: a child she gave up for adoption many years ago. Lexi wasn’t expecting to do more than make his acquaintance…

Michelle writes in her five star Amazon review, “This story by an author I’ve never read before was a very pleasant surprise. The emotions were so potent you could feel them oozing from the page, grabbing you and making you feel incredibly invested in how the dramas played out. The sex scenes so steamy I had to fan myself quite vigorously…The entire romance was so sweet and vulnerable on both sides you could feel the tentative steps they each took towards each other and they happened, recalling a time when you also felt that vulnerable. So yes, I totally fell in love with this couple, the side characters, the town, all of it. And I’m usually not much for small town romance. I guess this one just hit me right…”

“Liza Jonathan has done it again,” Kathy writes in her five star Amazon review, “The Sirensong books are amazing, and this one is no exception. Somehow, she manages to weave the compelling story of the two main characters, Jake and Lexi with the amazing cast of characters that make Sirensong special. You’ll find yourself rooting for Jake and Lexi to figure it all out before it all falls apart. Truly another great read by Liza Jonathan!”

A Lady Made for Mischief

A Lady Made for Mischief by Robyn Chalmers

With 30 ratings and a 4.6 star average, A Lady Made for Mischief is part of the Spirited Spinsters series. For those who are fans of regency romance, this tale follows Charis as she is invited to redecorate the home of Lord Ashcroft. What starts as a straightforward arraignment quickly turns into a tentative beginning together, only to be threatened by ulterior motives.

“This was a wonderful story that had a great storyline and the characters were perfect!” Marilyn S. writes in her five star Amazon review. “It has an interesting story that has a journey that will pull you in!…”

Narci writes in her five star Amazon review, “This was an amazing story…I loved the plot and how well it was written; the character’s kept me entertained…I loved the story, the suspense, scandal and toxic rumor…kept us all on the edge of our seats…”

Hidden Gems readers got to read these varied romances first, so if you want more happily ever afters to spend the new year with, sign up today! Subscribers to Hidden Gems receive invitations to read books like these – plus other titles from any of up to 15 other genres – for free. All authors want is for you to consider leaving an honest review of them on Amazon when you’re done reading!

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