'Why are your eyes so big?' A top 10 of the best contemporary romance books with innocent heroines


  • #1   Stay with Me - J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout

    At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

    But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she'd left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found... more

  • #2   Kiro's Emily - Abbi Glines

    The year is 1992, and no one on the rock music scene is hotter than Kiro Manning, the lead singer of Slacker Demon. With a multi-platinum record, total ownership of the Billboard charts, sold-out concerts, and sinful amounts of money, Kiro can have anything—and anyone—he wants.

    So when a dark-haired, conservative beauty rebuffs him at a concert after-party, his first thought is, “Who the hell does she think she is?” His second thought: “How do I make her mine?” Kiro has always loved a good challenge, but not every girl wants to get involved with a rock god. Especially this girl.

    He let her go that night, but he never forgot her. And when they met again, he vowed not to give up again so easily... more

  • #3   Playing for Keeps - R.L. Mathewson

    Done with being the world's biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn't expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won't let herself forget just what the bad boy next door is capable of.

    The last thing Jason expected was for his little shy neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruined flowers. After he decides to take her under his wing he can't help but notice that she fits very nicely in his life. Now the only thing left is to convince her that this is anything but a game... more

  • #4   MacRieve - Kresley Cole

    Uilleam MacRieve believed he’d laid to rest the ghosts of his boyhood. But when a brutal torture revives those ancient agonies and destroys his Lykae instinct, the proud Scot craves the oblivion of death. Until he finds her—a young human so full of spirit and courage that she pulls him back from the brink.

    Seized for the auction block, Chloe Todd is forced to enter a terrifying new world of monsters and lore as a bound slave. When offered up to creatures of the dark, she fears she won’t last the night. Until she’s claimed by him—a tormented immortal with heartbreaking eyes, whose touch sets her blood on fire.

    With enemies circling, MacRieve spirits Chloe away to the isolated Highland keep of his youth... more

  • #5   Hold Me - Susan Mallery

    Destiny Mills believes passion has its place—like in the lyrics of the country songs that made her parents famous. After a childhood full of drama and heartache, she wants a life that's calm. Safe. Everything that Kipling Gilmore isn't. Her temporary assignment with the Fool's Gold search and rescue team puts her in delicious proximity to the former world-class skier every day. Part of her aches to let go for once…the rest is terrified what'll happen if she does.

    Though an accident ended his career, Kipling still lives for thrills—and a hot fling with a gorgeous redhead like Destiny would be a welcome diversion. Yet beneath his new coworker's cool facade is a woman who needs more than he's ever given. With her, he's ready to take the risk... more


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  • #6   Breathe - Kristen Ashley

    In Carnal, Colorado, Faye Goodknight is the town's quiet, shy librarian. She may also be Carnal's last remaining virgin. For years, Faye has had a crush on Chace Keaton, but the gorgeous cop has always been unattainable. She's resigned to live contentedly with only her books for company-until Faye suddenly meets Chace alone in the woods . . .

    Chace doesn't think he's the good guy everyone believes him to be. He's made a lot of choices he regrets, including denying his feelings for Faye. Through his choices, he's come to believe the pretty librarian is too good for him, but after their time in the woods, Chace realizes that she may be his last chance for redemption. Soon, their long simmering desires grow to a burning passion... more

  • #7   Mackenzie's Mountain - Linda Howard

    A small Wyoming town is about to learn a few lessons from a new schoolteacher with the courage to win the heart of a man who swore he had nothing to give....

    Mary Elizabeth Potter is a self-appointed spinster with no illusions about love. But she is a good teacher and she wants Wolf Mackenzie s son back in school. And after one heated confrontation with the boy s father, she knows father and son have changed her life forever.

    Still paying for a crime he didn t commit, Wolf Mackenzie has a chip on his shoulder the size of Wyoming. But prim-and-proper Mary Elizabeth Potter doesn't see Wolf as the dangerous half-breed the town has branded him. Somehow she sees him as a good, decent, honest man. A man who could love..... more

  • #8   Acheron - Sherrilyn Kenyon

    Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. However, his human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, Acheron became the sole defender of mankind.

    Only it was never that simple. For centuries, he has fought for our survival and hidden a past he’ll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence.

    Now his survival, and ours, hinges on hers and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both.

    War has never been more deadly... or more fun... more

  • #9   Heaven, Texas (Chicago Stars #2) - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    Come heck or high water, Gracie Snow is determined to drag the legendary ex-jock Bobby Tom Denton back home to Heaven, Texas, to begin shooting his first motion picture. Despite his dazzling good looks and killer charm, Bobby Tom has reservations about being a movie star -- and no plans to cooperate with a prim and bossy Ohio wallflower whom he can't get off his mind or out of his life. Instead, the hell-raising playboy decides to make her over from plain Jane to Texas wildcat.

    But nothing's more dangerous than a wildcat with an angel's heart in a town too small for a bad boy to hide. And all hell breaks loose when two unforgettable people discover love, laughter, passion -- and a match that can only be made in Heaven... more

  • #10   All the Pretty Lies (Pretty #1) - M. Leighton

    Sloane Locke has led a sheltered life. However, with a history like hers, she can understand why her brothers and her father want so much to protect her. She has gone along with it for twenty long years, but those days are over. For the girl who never makes promises, Sloane has made a pact with herself that things will change on her twenty-first birthday. So when the clock strikes midnight, Sloane strikes out to spread her wings and break a few rules.

    In addition to inking skin, Hemi Spencer possesses many talents. Controlling himself has never been one of them. It’s never had to be. He’s lived a life of indulgence for as long as he can remember. Right up until tragedy struck. Now, he’s nothing but controlled... more