The Best Contemporary eBooks




The Red Book
by Deborah Copaken Kogan
The Red Book

The Big Chill meets The Group in Deborah Copaken Kogan’s wry, lively, and irresistible new novel about a once-close circle of friends at their twentieth college reunion.

Clover, Addison, Mia, and Jane were roommates at Harvard until their graduation in 1989. Clover, homeschooled on a commune by mixed-race parents, felt woefully out of place, both among the East Coast elite and within the social milieu of her prep-schooled beau, Bucky. Addison yearned to shed the burden of her Mayflower heritage, finding escape in both art and in the arms of another woman. Mia mined the depths of her suburban ennui to enact brilliant performances on the Harvard stage, including a heartrending turn as Nora in A Doll’s House. Jane, an adopted Vietnamese war orphan, made sense of her fractured world through words, spending long hours as an editor at the Crimson.

Twenty years later, all their lives are in free fall. Clover, once a securities broker with Lehman, is out of a job and struggling to reproduce before her fertility window slams shut. Addison’s marriage to a writer’s-blocked novelist is as stale as her so-called career as a painter, as troubled as her children’s psyches, and as mismanaged as her trust fund. Hollywood shut its gold-plated gates to Mia, who now stays home with her four children, renovating and acquiring faster than her director husband can pay the bills. Jane, the Paris bureau chief for a newspaper whose foreign bureaus are now shuttered, is caught in a vortex of loss, having lost her journalist husband — the father of her young child — to war, her adoptive mother to cancer, and quite possibly her current partner due to an errant email.

Like all Harvard grads, they’ve kept abreast of one another via the red book, a class report published every five years, containing brief autobiographical essays by fellow alumni. But there’s the story we tell the world, and then there’s the real story, as these former classmates will learn during their twentieth reunion weekend, when they arrive with their families, their histories, their dashed dreams, and their secret yearnings to a relationship-changing, score-settling, unforgettable weekend.


 



Dare to Run
by Jen McLaughlin
Dare to Run

The New York Times bestselling author of the Out of Line Novels takes readers to Boston, where one gang of criminals knows how being bad can be so good…

She knows what he’s like on Boston’s mean streets. Now she’s going to find out if he’s got some heart.

Lucas Donahue is not ashamed of his criminal past, but after a brief stint in prison, he’s ready to go legit and live a normal life. The problem is, no one leaves the gang without permission — even if he is one of the boss’s top men. Plus someone’s placed a hit on him. And then there’s that feisty little bartender who’s going to cause him even more trouble.

Heidi Greene knows to keep her distance from a ladies’ man like Lucas — even if she can’t keep her eyes off him. When he rescues her from an attack in the alley outside her bar, she’s forced to stay by his side for safety. But the longer she spends time with him, the greater her chances are for getting hurt in more ways than one.


 



Dangerous Secrets
by Lisa Renee Jones
Dangerous Secrets

Being a divorce attorney for the rich and famous isn't all it's cracked up to be. Julie Harrison has learned that love doesn't last, and she's sworn never to make the same mistakes as her mother, or her clients. She uses the games men play to keep them at a distance. The only man who managed to break down her walls was Luke Walker, a Navy SEAL who loved her and left her, and changed her forever.

When Luke arrives back in New York, running Walker Security with his brothers and having left his Navy SEAL days behind, he sets his sights on Julie, the woman he's always wanted and couldn't have. Except, she runs from him every time he gets close.

But now, one of Julie's clients, a powerful judge, gets involved with a dangerous cartel, and his soon-to-be-ex wife ends up dead. Julie's next on the list, and she finds herself on the run from those who believe she knows too much, and counting on Luke to keep her alive. In the deepest, darkest moments of the night, passion will bring them together while danger threatens to tear them apart. Can Julie and Luke trust each other and find their happy ending before they find… the end?


 



Purity
by Jackson Pearce
Purity

A novel about love, loss, and sex — but not necessarily in that order.
Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives — in other words, no "bad behavior, " no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision — to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.


 



The Language of Flowers
by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Language of Flowers

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.


 



Happy Hour
by Shey Stahl
Happy Hour

Between revving engines, smoking tires, and high speeds, two friends form a vital bond in the shadows of the blaring spotlight. Sway Reins, a track owner’s only daughter, and Jameson Riley, a gritty NASCAR rookie driver, have been best friends since they were kids. Over the years, Sway becomes his safety shield during his rapid rise to the elite levels of auto racing. A night of celebrating a victory leaves Sway believing that she can convince Jameson to fall in love with her. She becomes determined to be more than just a pit lizard trolling the pits. Little does she know that this steadfast racer has his own idea of revelry. Soon their compression ratios are timed exactly right and all the reciprocating motions have led them to happy hour. As their passion revs, the inner workings of an internal combustion engine have never been so erotic. Just a taste turns into a thirst neither of them saw coming. Can she convince this rookie he can have love and his dream?


 



Trying to Score
by Toni Aleo
Trying to Score

In a captivating novel of second chances and healing hearts, the newest member of the Nashville Assassins pulls a power play to make things right with the one that got away.
Fallon Parker’s dream has always been to turn her family’s wine company into a runaway success and eventually start a cellar of her own. Since graduating from college, she has worked relentlessly to make that dream a reality, especially after taking a chance on love — and losing. By the time Fallon becomes an official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, she feels like all her hard work is finally paying off. And then the man who broke her heart skates back into her life.
On the ice, Lucas Brooks is the NHL’s leading scorer — at least when he’s not in the box. Off the ice, he’s a mess, with all his anger and misery bottled up inside. He threw away the most important person in his life and has regretted it ever since. But when Lucas returns to Nashville in a trade, he’s determined to convince Fallon that he’s a changed man. The attraction is still there. The tension is electrifying. But the odds are stacked against them — especially after Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a devastating secret.


 



Turn to Me
by Tiffany Snow
Turn to Me

When Kathleen Turner, office runner for the prestigious Indianapolis law firm of Kirk & Trent, started dating the boss she knew the risks. Senior Partner Blane Kirk is known for being a notorious player — the Baskin Robbins of dating with a different flavor every month. Kathleen is the happiest she’s been in a long time, especially as Christmas approaches, but she’s always known there was a termination date on her relationship with Blane.

She just didn’t expect that termination to be her funeral.

A festive afternoon of Christmas tree shopping turns life-threatening when Kathleen and Blane become targets for an unknown gunman. They make it home alive, but Kathleen realizes her boyfriend has been keeping secrets. The deadly kind.

Blane’s current case is drawing heated debate and stirring the pot of public fury. Kathleen is horrified by the threats — and worse — being directed at him. A former Navy SEAL stands accused of the wrongful death of an American citizen during a military operation overseas. The case has far-reaching political and military implications. Someone with a lot of money, and even more clout, wants Blane to lose.

As dead bodies of people connected to the defense start piling up, it becomes painfully obvious that disappearing witnesses and altered testimony are no longer enough for whoever is intent on guaranteeing the SEAL gets convicted. Kathleen and Kade, Blane’s brother and ex-FBI-agent-turned-assassin-for-hire, are on the trail of the killer.

Unfortunately for Kathleen, he’s already moved for the end-game — by painting a target on her… and pulling the trigger.


 



Social Suicide
by Gemma Halliday
Social Suicide

Twittercide: the killing of one human being by another while the victim is in the act of tweeting.

Call me crazy, but I figured writing for the Herbert Hoover High Homepage would be a pretty sweet gig. Pad the resume for college applications, get a first look at the gossip column, spend some time ogling the paper's brooding bad-boy editor, Chase Erikson. But on my first big story, things went… a little south. What should have been a normal interview with Sydney Sanders turned into me discovering the homecoming queen–hopeful dead in her pool. Electrocuted while Tweeting. Now, in addition to developing a reputation as HHH's resident body finder, I'm stuck trying to prove that Sydney's death wasn't suicide.

I'm starting to long for the days when my biggest worry was whether the cafeteria was serving pizza sticks or Tuesday Tacos…


 



Chance Encounters
by J. Sterling
Chance Encounters

Caroline Weber was a normal girl who thought she had her life figured out. After graduating from college in New York, she moved to San Francisco with her boyfriend, Clay. Everything in her life felt perfect. There wasn't anything she would change…… until she met Jackson Parks. Is it possible that a chance meeting with a stranger can make you question EVERYTHING you thought you wanted? Caroline tries to carry on with her life as if nothing has changed… but the truth is, nothing can ever be the same. Chance Encounters is an emotional love story about trusting and following your heart, even when it's leading you down a difficult path.


 



Sidney Sheldon's Angel of the Dark
by Tilly Bagshawe, Sidney Sheldon
Sidney Sheldon's Angel of the Dark

It was his first big murder case — and one of the bloodiest and most violent crimes LAPD detective Danny McGuire would ever encounter. Andrew Jakes, an elderly multimillionaire art dealer, had been brutally murdered in his Hollywood home, his lifeless body tied to his naked young wife. Raped and beaten, the lovely Angela Jakes had barely survived the attack herself. Gazing into her deep, soulful eyes, Danny swore that he'd find the psychopath behind this barbarous act. But the investigation didn't turn up a single solid lead, and within days of Angela's release from the hospital, the stunning young widow — Danny's only witness — had vanished.

For ten years Danny McGuire could not forget the sweet face of Angela Jakes and the terrible crime that had shattered her life; his obsession with her nearly cost him his sanity. Now in France, thousands of miles from the past — with a new life, a new job with Interpol, and a ravishing new wife — he's happier than he's ever been… until he meets Andrew Jakes's estranged son, Matt Daley.

Curious about his father's murder, Matt has been digging into the cold case — and made some shocking discoveries. Three killings nearly identical to his father's have taken place across the globe. The victims were elderly, newlywed millionaires, their young wives assaulted. And in each case the widow, the sole beneficiary of the will, donated her newfound wealth to children's charities and then vanished. Could it be true? Had the Jakes killer struck again? If so, Danny knows he must tread carefully or risk losing everything for good.

The evidence points to a single killer — a brilliant and ruthless criminal who travels across the globe under a string of assumed identities, cleverly keeping one step ahead of the law. Joining forces, Danny and Matt pursue this intriguing shadow from Los Angeles to London, New York to Italy and the French Riviera, in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse filled with promising leads and frustrating dead ends. When another murder fitting the profile occurs, Matt heads to Hong Kong, hoping to get answers from the latest widow, Lisa Baring, and perhaps uncover the hard evidence they need.

But Matt becomes besotted with the irresistible beauty, nearly derailing the investigation, and Danny wonders whether Lisa is truly a victim or something more sinister. When a break in the case sends Danny to Mumbai, he knows he must act quickly, for the clever killer is poised to strike again.

A fast-paced story full of mystery, glamour, excitement, and spectacular twists that build to a stunning ending, Sidney Sheldon's Angel of the Dark is quintessential Sheldon from first page to last.


 



Summer of the Gypsy Moths
by Sara Pennypacker
Summer of the Gypsy Moths

Stella loves living with Great-aunt Louise in her big old house near the water on Cape Cod for many reasons, but mostly because Louise likes routine as much as she does, something Stella appreciates since her mom is, well, kind of unreliable. So while Mom "finds herself, " Stella fantasizes that someday she'll come back to the Cape and settle down. The only obstacle to her plan? Angel, the foster kid Louise has taken in. Angel couldn't be less like her name — she's tough and prickly, and the girls hardly speak to each other.

But when tragedy unexpectedly strikes, Stella and Angel are forced to rely on each other to survive, and they learn that they are stronger together than they could have imagined. And over the course of the summer they discover the one thing they do have in common: dreams of finally belonging to a real family.


 



End This Depression Now!
by Paul Krugman
End This Depression Now!

The Great Recession is more than four years old — and counting. Yet, as Paul Krugman points out in this powerful volley, "Nations rich in resources, talent, and knowledge — all the ingredients for prosperity and a decent standard of living for all — remain in a state of intense pain."

How bad have things gotten? How did we get stuck in what now can only be called a depression? And above all, how do we free ourselves? Krugman pursues these questions with his characteristic lucidity and insight. He has a powerful message for anyone who has suffered over these past four years — a quick, strong recovery is just one step away, if our leaders can find the "intellectual clarity and political will" to end this depression now.


 



What Doesn't Kill You
by Iris Johansen
What Doesn't Kill You

It’s the deadliest poison known to man.
He’s the only one who knows its true power.
She’s the only one who can stop the evil.

The chase is on…

Number-one bestselling author Iris Johansen showcases one of her most fascinating characters yet, pitted against one of the most ruthless killers, in a novel that will make you forget to breathe…

Catherine Ling was abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong at age four. Schooled in the art of survival, she traded in the only commodity she had: information. As a teenager, she came under the tutelage of a mysterious man known only as Hu Chang — — a skilled assassin and master poisoner. As a young woman, she was recruited by the CIA and now she is known as one of their most effective operatives. Having lived life in the shadows, Catherine is aware of the wobbly moral compass of her existence and even more aware of just how expendable she is to those she deals with. When her old friend Hu Chang creates a formula that’s not only deadly but completely untraceable, the race begins to be the first to get it. With rogue operative John Gallo also on the hunt, Catherine finds herself up against a group so villainous and a man so evil that she may not survive in her quest to protect those she cares about: Hu Chang and Luke — — the son who was stolen from Catherine and only recently brought home safe. Using all of her formidable skills, Catherine Ling proves the age-old belief that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Iris Johansen is at her page-turning best in this novel that takes you from the corridors of Langley to the alleyways of Hong Kong and the darkest places of the human soul.


 



Dying to Know You
by Aidan Chambers
Dying to Know You

Karl, aged seventeen, is hopelessly in love. But the object of his affections, Firella, demands proof, and poses him a series of questions regarding his attitude to the many sides of love. But Karl is dyslexic, and convinced that if Firella finds out, she will think he is stupid, and unworthy of her, and leave him.

So Karl asks a local writer to help him construct his replies — and an unlikely, but extremely touching, friendship develops between the two men. They both come to learn a great deal about about life from a very different perspective, and when an act of violence shatters their calm, they find their respective appraisal of life shifting in profound ways.

This is Aidan Chambers' Dying to Know You.


 



Frog
by Mary Calmes
Frog

Weber Yates's dreams of stardom are about to be reduced to a ranch hand's job in Texas, and his one relationship is with a guy so far out of his league he might as well be on the moon. Or at least in San Francisco, where Weber stops to see him one last time before settling down to the humble, lonely life he figures a frog like him has coming. Cyrus Benning is a successful neurosurgeon, so details are never lost on him. He spotted the prince in a broken-down bull rider's clothing from day one. But watching Weber walk out on him keeps getting harder, and he's not sure how much more his heart can take. Now Cyrus has one last chance to prove to Weber that it's not Weber's job that makes him Cyrus's perfect man, it's Weber himself. With the help of his sister's newly broken family, he's ready to show Weber that the home the man's been searching for has always been right there, with him. Cyrus might have laid down an ultimatum once, but now it's turned into a vow-he's never going to let Weber out of his life again.


 



The Fiddler
by Beverly Lewis
The Fiddler

New from #1 Bestselling Author Beverly Lewis
Amelia "Amy" DeVries, a 24-year-old violinist, is disillusioned with life and love after the collapse of her long-running romance. Weary of endless rehearsals and performances, Amy sets out on a road trip through the Pennsylvania mountains. She leaves her cell phone behind so life's demands can't intrude on her solitude. She doesn't know, nor care, where she will end up.
When her car breaks down deep in the mountains, Amy realizes the flaw in her "no cell phone" plan. She abandons her car and walks the winding roads, searching for help. Following the smell of woodsmoke and the sound of music, she finds a rustic log cabin. There she meets a young Amishman-and through him a community-that will change her life forever.


 



Walking on Glass
by Iain Banks
Walking on Glass

Graham Park is in love. But Sara ffitch is an enigma to him, a creature of almost perverse mystery. Steven Grout is paranoid — and with justice. He knows that They are out to get him. They are. Quiss, insecure in his fabulous if ramshackle castle, is forced to play interminable impossible games. The solution to the oldest of all paradoxical riddles will release him. But he must find an answer before he knows the question. Park, Grout, Quiss — no trio could be further apart. But their separate courses are set for collision.


 



Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down
by Rosecrans Baldwin
Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down

A self-described Francophile from when he was little, Rosecrans Baldwin always dreamed of living in Paris — drinking le café, eating les croissants, walking in les jardins — so when an opportunity presented itself to work for an advertising agency in Paris, he couldn’t turn it down. Despite the fact that he had no experience in advertising. And despite the fact that he barely spoke French. After an unimaginable amount of red tape and bureaucracy, Rosecrans and his wife packed up their Brooklyn apartment and left the Big Apple for the City of Light. But when they arrived, things were not eactly what Rosecrans remembered from a family vacation when he was nine years old.

Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down is a nimble comic account of observing the French capital from the inside out. It is an exploration of the Paris of Sarkozy, text-message romances, smoking bans, and a McDonald’s beneath the Louvre — the story of an American who arrives loving Paris all out of proportion, but finds life there to be completely unlike what he expected. Over eighteen months, Rosecrans must rely on his dogged American optimism to get him through some very unromantic situations — at work (writing booklets on how to breast-feed, raise, and nurture children), at home (trying to finish writing his first novel in an apartment surrounded on all sides by construction workers), and at every confusing French dinner party in between. An offbeat update to the expat canon, Paris, I Love You is a book about a young man finding his preconceptions replaced by the oddities of a vigorous, nervy city — which is just what he needs to fall in love with Paris for the second time.


 






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