The Top Romances of 2016 You Should Not Miss

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Image via Riptide Publishing

Due South by Tamsen Parker

Tamsen Parker has a writing superpower: she can write filthy, filthy romance that is also sweet, tender, and moving. Parker is known for her realistic and nuanced portrayals of kink that go beyond BDSM 101, and characters that are often sharp and commanding (no, that doesn’t mean they’re Doms).

In this holiday office romance, we meet Lucy Miller and Chanoch Evans, who are both hardworking, shy, and adorably awkward; when their co-workers mess up an important project, they’re forced to cancel their respective holiday plans and fix it. After catching their boss and her husband (the hero and heroine of the first two books in the Compass series) getting freaky in the office, Lucy and Evans are, ahem, inspired, to begin a tryst of their own. I loved the sweetness of these two characters—I mean, Evans says “heck” unironically and Lucy hardly ever curses (the reader soon learns just exactly when she does curse) and takes pride in her coffee-making ability. They’re adorbs.

Workplace fraternization is a no-go in their high stress office, though, and their boss is not one to be messed with, but Lucy and Evans discover that shyness doesn’t equal vanilla, and they spend the scant hours they aren’t working exploring new aspects of their sexuality. Soon, what was supposed to be a temporary thing becomes much more. I love how Parker integrated their demanding work life, their families and the not-so-insignificant impact they have on Lucy and Evans’s decisions, and crazy hot sex (all over the place, for real) so seamlessly.

Recommended for any time of the year, despite being set over the holidays. (Available Dec. 12)