<em>The Queer Principles of Kit Webb</em>, by Cat Sebastian

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb, by Cat Sebastian / Avon

Love is love is love. In Romancelandia, love in all its variations comes with joy, hijinks, sexy times and happily ever afters. These three novels are full of all that and more — including highway robbery, murder mystery, and princesses on the high seas. Because another universal truth of Romancelandia is that the journey to true love is never boring and in romance, love always wins.

Nothing says romance like plotting a highway robbery together in Cat Sebastian's latest, The Queer Principles of Kit Webb. Edward Percy, Lord Holland, is heir to the Duke of Clare — maybe. A blackmailer threatens to reveal the duke as a bigamist, thus delegitimizing Edward. In order to ensure survival for himself, the current duchess (a childhood friend) and her daughter, he needs leverage. In fact, he needs a certain book that the duke always keeps on his person. To get that book, he needs notorious highwayman Kit Webb.

There's just one problem: Kit is retired. Not only that, he's pleasantly retired, despite a leg injury, and running a coffeehouse. At first he refuses Percy. But then he starts to fall, first for Percy's proposal and then the man himself. As they plot and prepare for the robbery, they become more than just co-conspirators, they become friends and lovers. There are lots of secrets and plot twists to complicate their burgeoning love — and to keep the pages turning.

Even if princesses aren't your thing, don't miss How To Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole, the second book in her Runaway Royals series. Makeda Hicks is a people pleaser, often to her detriment. After losing her job, apartment and girlfriend, she's determined to change and put herself first, starting with saying no to Beznaria Chetchevaliere, the mysterious investigator who turns up to persuade Makeda that she's the long lost princess of Ibarania and she needs to return to claim the crown.

This isn't breaking news to Makeda: her family has long suspected they are the lost descendants, and it's actually been a source of pain for Makeda and her mother. Eventually Makeda agrees to go — only to prove everyone wrong and to put the matter to rest once and for all. But getting there is not quite that simple. For reasons, Bez has booked them passage on a container ship. And for reasons, they must pretend to be married. And because romance, there is only one bed. The majority of this novel isn't about what happens when Makeda gets to Ibarania, it's about the journey, particularly her relationship with Bez as they learn to trust, communicate and give in to their attraction for each other. This is a charming novel and readers who love the forced proximity trope and deeply drawn characters will especially love this one.

KJ Charles's Subtle Blood is a sexy, elegant and romantic murder mystery. It's part three in a series, so Kim Secretan and Will Darling are already together when they discover that Kim's loutish older brother Chingford appears to be very, very, very guilty of murdering someone at his exclusive gentleman's club. Lord Chingford not only publicly fought with the victim just before the crime, but his fingerprints are all over the murder weapon. Kim must prove his brother's innocence — or else he'll be next in line to inherit, and as marquess, a low-key life with his true love Will just won't be possible.

And so Kim and Will embark on their mission to find the real murderer. It's not only difficult and dangerous, it also puts a strain on their relationship as Will, a former soldier, resorts to his fists in unfortunate places, Kim has to deal with his nightmare of a family, and they don't always agree on the best way to proceed. Their cause is helped by the arrival of their dear friends, Lady Waring and her lover, and together the foursome put together the clues that lead to the truth — and a breathtaking climax. This novel also includes witty banter, cocktails at the Savoy, smooth drives in expensive automobiles to country estates, 1920's style and Charles's elegant writing. The romance between the two men shows that there are always new layers of love and understanding to uncover in one's partner — and that happy ever after can be a work in progress.

Maya Rodale is a bestselling author of historical romance. Her next novel is a work of historical fiction about Nellie Bly. Connect with her on Twitter: @mayarodale

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