Honestly, who doesn’t love a love story? Who? Maybe people who don’t know a good thing when they see it? Because really, romance books have it all! You can find romance books that: 1) come in series with cross-over characters and told by different primary characters, 2) contain some of the best comedic moments being offered in fiction, and 3) reward the good plus punish the bad in satisfying ways! What more could you need? Curious now?Are you starting to think maybe you’d like to find a romance book to read? Maybe one of the books we talked about will fill the bill!
Janet: The Long Walk Home by Will North takes place in North Wales. Fiona Edwards runs a Bed-and- Breakfast out of the home she shares with her ailing husband David. Alec Hudson, an American, has walked from London, England to Wales to scatter the ashes of his late wife, Gwynne, at the summit of a mountain that they had climbed years before. Alec knocks on Fiona’s front door looking for accommodations for the night. Sparks fly, catching the two of them by surprise. As inclement weather strands Alec his is forced to delay his climb to the summit. He quickly becomes a part of the daily life in the village as he waits to climb the mountain.
Megan: The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne is the first in a charming British romance trilogy. Melissa Romney-Jones is unlucky in love and employment. She’s once again been sacked and is desperate to find new employment. After helping a bachelor friend prepare for a party, Melissa realizes that there is an untapped market of single men who desperately need a woman’s sophisticated touch to help them succeed socially. She adopts the persona of Honey and opens The Little Lady Agency. Her business is a total success until she finds herself falling for her best client, a handsome young American who has hired her to help him establish a social life in London. This debut has the winning combination: wit, humor, mishaps, miscommunications, a nutty extended family, and a hard-earned romance for the loveable heroine.
Emma: The debut novel Under the Same Sky by Genevieve Graham begins in 1746 with Maggie Johnson in South Carolina and Andrew MacDonnell in Scotland. These young people have known each other their entire lives even though they have never met. Both are gifted with “The Sight”. They are able to sense each other in their dreams and have visions about each other’s present life and future. Maggie and her sisters are kidnapped and brutalized by slavers after their father dies and their mother is murdered. The two surviving sisters are rescued by Cherokees. Andrew’s life is harsh and violent. He is the lone family survivor after The Battle of Culloden. Andrew decides to head to the New World and find the woman in his dreams. The novel includes much historical detail about life in the colonies, life in Scotland, and life in a Cherokee settlement.
Rosemary: The Proposal by Mary Balogh is the first in her new Survivors’ Club series, which takes place during the Regency period of England’s history. The Club is made up of six men and one woman who have served England during the Napoleonic Wars but survived with devastating physical and psychological wounds. The Club meets once a year, and this is the first time Hugo, Lord Trentham, has been able to attend for several years. His friends tease him that he needs a wife. They suggest that he go down to the shore and propose to the first woman he sees. Later in the day, Hugo does go to the shore to think and brood. There is only one person there, Gwendoline, Lady Muir, a young widow who has fallen and sprained her ankle. Hugo goes to her rescue and they immediately take a strong dislike to each other, but, happily for Hugo and Gwen, the story does not end there.
Steve: Anyone But You, by Jennifer Crusie, is quick and light read with a predictable plot, generic characters and a couple of steamy love scenes. Recently divorced Nina has just turned 40, and as a birthday present she buys a dog to keep her company in her new but lonely apartment. The dog, Fred, wanders into her neighbor Alex’s apartment. Alex is 10 years her junior, but of course is strikingly handsome and an ER doctor. The two become fast friends, but each is too afraid to make the first move. Eventually they connect on a physical level and things are great until Alex gets it in his head that he needs to provide Nina with the best house and rich lifestyle, since that is what her former husband did, as he was a rich doctor. Alex takes a cardiology position but is miserable, Nina doesn’t what her old high society lifestyle, and predictably he and Nina fight and break-up. Don’t fret though, they make-up and all ends happily.
Ann: A Secret Wish by Barbara Freethy. Three women, three birthdays, three wishes. Liz is turning 30, has recently broken up with her boyfriend, and she is wishing to meet someone new. Angela is turning 35, is from a big Italian family, and her wish is to have a baby. Carole is turning 40, had thought she had everything she ever wanted, but realizes that she’s not really sharing her kids’ lives and hasn’t seen her mother in ages; she’s not sure what her wish is, but her perfect life doesn’t feel perfect. Can a birthday wish change a life? This is the first in a projected “Wishes” series by the author Barbara Freethy.
Carol: In Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist, Georgie Gail, a rural Texas switchboard operator in 1903, is an independent woman who does not take kindly to taking orders from a man. When Texas Ranger Lucius Landrum goes undercover as Luke Palmer, the newly hired telephone salesman, Georgie’s feathers are ruffled. Lucius would rather be hunting down the notorious train-robbing Comer Gang but soon is forced to draw Georgie into his plan to ensnare the criminals. But then Lucius falls in love with the bird-watching Georgie. What to do? If he blows his cover, he could risk ruining his law career and he also runs the risk of Georgie rejecting him once she learns who “Luke” really is? This novel is a humorous, fast-paced and well-researched story that will offer readers a little bit of everything: a chaste romance, a historical setting, detailed information on birds and birding (Georgie’s other love) and a little bit of mystery. Perfect vacation reading, this one can be enjoyed by all adult readers.
Dori: In A Little Night Magic by Lucy March, small-town waitress Liv can’t stop thinking about the cook Tobias, but as he doesn’t seem to feel the same, she’s bought a one-way ticket to Europe. Then she meets Davinia, a mysterious woman who makes Liv aware that she has supernatural powers. As evil descends on her town, threatening her dear friends and her hometown, she has to decide whether to fight it or use her ticket to flee. And will Tobias be her ally or her enemy? This quirky but endearing read has it all: a little romance, a little mysticism, and a whole lot of fun.
Julie: Lilly is the character referred to in the title of Julie Klassen’s novel, The Apothecary’s Daughter. She helps in her father’s shop but dreams of life outside her small village and of finding her mother, who abandoned them three years earlier. Good historical novel of Regency England that gives attention to the lives of “common” folk and not just Society, as well as interesting details about the business of apothecaries.
Stacey: This is one of my favorite genres (which shouldn’t be a surprise considering the three strong reasons I’ve previously mentioned) and so I have two titles, each with a brief summary. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare is a teen science fiction story with strong romantic elements and enough action/adventure to interest the guys! This is the latest book in a long series, so you might want to start at the beginning but Clary and Jace remain the key couple whose struggle to find happiness help heighten the drama that surrounds them. The second book is The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig, also the latest in a log series that you will want to read from the beginning. This particular entry continues to develop the contemporary couple’s romance while still managing to introduce a new couple who: meet, think they might dislike each other but soon discover that they’re actually better together than apart. Two more books in two fabulous series? Perfect!
The next category of books we’ll be tackling? Religiously centered fiction! You might be thinking I’m confused and you’re sure I meant Christian Fiction, but I mean what I say! I’m tweaking the general definition of this genre a little to include more possibilities, more potential books. So if you’d like to read with us you’ll want to look for a book that is a gentle or as action-packed as you can take, but the main motivating factor within the story will be religiously based. I’m wondering what I’ll find! (Both for myself and when everyone shares the book they’ve selected!) What anticipation!