For July, 3 Romance Heroines Who Want It All : NPR

So many romance novels reveal what we would do for love — but here are three that also explore what entrepreneurial heroines will do for their business ventures, whether that means an ancestral estate, an art gallery, or a food truck in San Francisco. Of course, being romance heroines, they don’t do it alone — they tangle with a friend-turned-lover, a mysterious benefactor and a professional rival for their happy ever after.

Fans of friends-to-lovers romance will swoon for Theresa Romain’s Scandalous Ever After, the second book in her Romance of the Turf series. Lady Kate Whelan was widowed when her scoundrel of a husband fell in a steeplechase race; two years later, she’s doing her best to manage the estate, but debts are mounting and she risks losing her ancestral lands and her son’s inheritance.

Enter Evan Rhys, antiquities dealer and friend to the late earl and his countess. Though Evan has long nurtured a deep and abiding love for Kate, he’s done the noble thing and stayed away. But now she’s ready to cast aside her mourning dresses, wear color, and take a lover. They return to her Irish estate, where romance isn’t the only thing to occupy them — there is a mystery in this novel too, involving smugglers, secrets, more than a few villains and a tangled web of relationships for Kate and Evan to unravel together.

Evan is a perfect beta hero, dedicated to the heroine and relentlessly kind and romantic, even when he turns the tables on Kate: “If you want me, you need to court me good and proper, like the fine gentleman I am.” Spoiler alert: She does.

Tiffany Reisz’s The Red pairs a woman in need of money with a man who has plenty of it — and an intriguing proposal. Mona’s mother’s dying wish was for her daughter to anything to save her failing art gallery, The Red. Enter…

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