The best first books of great romance series

Who am I?

I’m the best-selling romance author of 29 books which span six series. I love creating whole worlds for readers to enter and spend time with smoking-hot bodyguards, motorcycle club members, ex-military bad boys, sexy cowboys, and MMA fighters. Although I love pretty much everything about writing for a living, I do get special joy from having characters from one series wander into a different series and interact with a totally different group of people – keeping track of all the relationships definitely keeps me on my toes! I have three new books coming out this year, so I’m really looking forward to sharing some new stories with my wonderful readers.


I wrote...

Enemy Within

By Marysol James,

Book cover of Enemy Within

What is my book about?

When Emma gets some very (very) bad health news, she heads to a bar, intent on having her first-ever one-night stand. There she meets Dean, whose life is all about ‘just one night’ and zero commitment. The next day, Emma sneaks away and they both assume that’s it: neither expects to see the other again. 

A month later, a chance encounter brings them back into each other’s lives, along with their private secrets and fears. It also brings together their groups of friends: Dean’s ex-military buddies and Emma’s girlfriends supporting her through her medical crisis. As they all grow closer, the realization comes to every one of them that truth, forgiveness, and love can arise from even the most horrible, life-altering events.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Ignited

Marysol James Why did I love this book?

Cross writes some of the best romantic military suspense out there and after reading Ignited, I was immediately inspired to write my book that's mentioned above. While I love all of Cross’ sexy, fast-paced collections, her six-book Titanium Security series will always be my favourite. Full of nuanced characters with rich back-stories, gritty, well-researched real-life war zones, and sex scenes that smash the Heat o’ Meter, the books leave me breathless for all the best reasons. The Titanium crew is comprised of bad-ass, ex-military security experts (both male and female) but it’s Khalia, the heroine of Ignited, who remains my number one girl-crush. Smart, independent and passionate, she wins over the glowering hero Hunter with her determination to fulfill her father’s legacy in Pakistan.

By Kaylea Cross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ignited as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When her father is murdered by a Taliban cell in the tribal regions of Pakistan, Khalia Patterson reluctantly steps into his shoes to carry on the legacy of Fair Start Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to furthering the education of girls. There she meets Hunter Phillips, the former SEAL and head of her Titanium security team, and quickly learns that coming to Pakistan might prove to be a deadly decision. Battling demons of his own, Hunter grudgingly leads Khalia’s protective detail as a favor to his boss. From their first meeting it’s clear she’s going to be trouble, and that…


Book cover of Zander

Marysol James Why did I love this book?

I always find it ironic (and amusing) when critics sneer that romance writing is formulaic, emotionally shallow, and focused on sex only. Thankfully, Jordan shows them how it’s done right: in every one of her 10+ series, she writes with gut-wrenching emotional depth and her characters are complex, imperfect human beings. Zander introduces us to a group of eight men raised together in a single foster home and who now consider each other brothers. Rough around the edges and on different life paths as adults, they’re all gallant heroes at heart. Zander is the gruffest, least-affable of the brothers, a man who seems unlikely to own up to a mistake or show emotion… but Jordan brings him to life in ways that are simultaneously beautiful and heartbreaking.

By Maryann Jordan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Zander. Serious to a fault, he had no time for anything other than focusing on running his bar, Grimm’s. Until he saw her… and pushed her away… right into danger.Racked with guilt over what happened, he could not stay away from her hospital room. Hoping Sleeping Beauty could hear him and know that he was near.What started as guilt, became so much more. But, when Rosalie awoke, would she remember the night he pushed her away? Or just remember the man who rescued her?A Heroes at Heart novel. These men, raised in the loving foster home by the benevolent Miss…


Book cover of Masters at Arms & Nobody's Angel

Marysol James Why did I love this book?

While BDSM is not everybody’s cup of tea, curious readers might consider the Rescue Me saga an introduction to both the lifestyle and genre. The series highlights the key aspects of domination and submission, especially informed consent by all participants. It also grapples with the controversial question of whether a lifestyle that stresses clear rules, self-discipline, and absolute trust between Master and submissive can help heal survivors of trauma and abuse. Masters at Arms is a collection of short stories that introduces the male characters (they’re all ex-military and run a club/dungeon together) and Nobody’s Angel expands on Marc’s story. I read Masters’ saga when researching for my own books, and found it eye-opening and surprising in terms of the complexities of BDSM relationships.

By Kallypso Masters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Masters at Arms & Nobody's Angel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three men.Three paths to recovery.One unbreakable bond.And one very hot club. …So begins the Rescue Me Saga in the Masters at Arms introduction.In Nobody’s Angel, private BDSM club co-owner Marc d’Alessio loves being in business with the men he served beside in the hell that was Iraq. Working at their club has its perks, but Marc keeps women at bay. He’s seen his fair share of danger, but women have proven to be hazardous to his heart.But when he saves Angelina Giardano from a disastrous first encounter at his club, he can’t shake the attraction and desire he feels for…


Book cover of Reckless

Marysol James Why did I love this book?

Let me sum it up for you real quick: Jordan writes some of the hottest sex scenes ever. Like ever. If you aren’t fanning yourself halfway through, then you need to check for a pulse! Joking aside – if you’re looking for unapologetic and unabashed sensuality with great writing and strong stories, the eight-book Renegades series fits the bill. The core cast is a group of Hollywood stunt doubles – so yes, they’re all muscular, gorgeous, and fit – and Jax is the company owner and hero of Reckless. Wary of L.A. gold-diggers who zero in on his money and fame, he’s open to an anonymous (and totally ‘in the dark’) encounter with Lexi – and is nothing but surprised when she’s completely into him just for himself.

By Skye Jordan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reckless as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A couture wedding dress designer to the rich and famous, Lexi LaCroix's image means everything. Raised on the wrong side of the tracks, her years of polish and hard work are finally about to pay off. But crossing paths with a sexier-than-sin, bad-boy biker who makes her realize how much living she's sacrificed for her success, one touch is all it takes for Lexi to turn reckless. Jax Chamberlin has been screwed over by gorgeous gold-diggers one too many times. Though he runs his own stunt company, all of America knows his Hollywood face even years after he's given up…


Book cover of Burning Up

Marysol James Why did I love this book?

Is there anything hotter than a man willing to launch himself into a wilderness fire to save complete strangers? If you think there isn't, may I direct you to Marsh’s three-book series with action, suspense, drama – and scorching-hot men risking everything to help others. Burning Up introduces the reader to a close-knit group of smokejumpers, vengeful arsonists, regrets, and lost love… and reminds us that the riskiest jobs often result in heartbreak. I doubt that I could handle the stress of loving someone who lays down their life every single time they go to work, but I do find the psychology of the risk-taker fascinating and sexy: real heroes are rare and maybe that’s what makes them so irresistible… even if they are fictional.

By Anne Marsh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Burning Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It takes a special kind of hero to be a smoke jumper. To take the greatest risks. To live or die in the raging heat of the moment. And it takes a special kind of woman to love him. . .

Where There's Smoke. . .

For Jack Donovan, smoke jumping is a way of life. He lives for the adrenaline rush--the thrill of flying over the burning California hills, the intensity of diving straight into the inferno, the glory of taming the forces of nature. Love is a distant ember compared to the feeling he gets fighting fires--until an…


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Book cover of The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven

Jennifer Ivy Walker Author Of Winter Solstice in the Crystal Castle

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author French teacher Avid reader Lover of medieval romance European traveler

Jennifer's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

As the sole heir to the crown of Ireland, Issylte must flee her stepmother (the wicked queen who seeks her death), finding shelter with a fairy witch who teaches her the verdant magic of the enchanted forest. Fate leads Issylte to the otherworldly realm of the Lady of the Lake and the Elves of Avalon, where she must choose between her new life as a gifted Celtic healer or fight to save her ravaged kingdom.

The chivalrous hero of this medieval romance is Tristan of Lyonesse, a Knight of the Round Table who must overcome the horrors of his past and defend his uncle, King Marke of Cornwall, against the Morholt, the indomitable Black Knight who commands the Viking forces of the ruthless Irish queen. When Tristan becomes a warrior of the ancient Tribe of Dana, a gift of Druidic magic might bestow upon him the power he needs to ally with Issylte and confront the Black Widow Queen, who threatens them both.

Haunted and hunted. Entwined by fate. Can their passion and power prevail?

By Jennifer Ivy Walker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this dark fairy tale adaptation of a medieval French legend, Issylte must flee the wicked queen, finding shelter with a fairy witch who teaches her the verdant magic of the forest. Fate leads her to the otherworldly realm of the Lady of the Lake and the Elves of Avalon, where she must choose between her life as a healer or fight to save her ravaged kingdom.
Tristan of Lyonesse is a Knight of the Round Table who must overcome the horrors of his past and defend his king or lose everything. When he becomes a warrior of the Tribe…


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