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Romance is Lover-ly! February 26, 2014

Posted by stacey in Book Discussion, Book List, Genre Book Discussion, Romance.
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Romance! Full of love and affection! Who doesn’t love love? Well, I guess maybe the heartless are physically incapable of love -not having a heart and all- but if we ignore those walking medical miracles? Reading a book that features strong emotions and two individuals struggling to become a happy pair will hopefully leave everyone in a good mood! Let’s see if that’s what happened in our very own romance genre discussion, shall we? (You’ll have to base your opinion on the brief descriptions people provided..)

Megan: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg is the story of Levi and Macallan, two best friends set on proving to everyone that guys and girls can be just friends. They manage just fine for years, but then something changes. What follows is a series of missed connections and misunderstandings that could potentially ruin everything. Full of witty banter and lovable characters, readers will be rooting for Levi and Macallan long after they close the book!

Chris: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert tells the story of woman in desperate need of romance. Emma Bovary hopes to find it with her country doctor husband, Charles, but he proves to be dull beyond words. She enters into a secretive love affair with the worldly Rodolphe, but after awhile he becomes bored with her demanding affections and leaves. She then succeeds in rekindling the flame with an old lover, Leon, but soon tires of him. Will she ever find that excitement and passion she yearns for? Madame Bovary’s search for romance leads her to suffering financial woes and ill health and, ultimately, to taking her own life.

Emma: Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie is the story of two Bradleys’. One is Lucy’s ex-husband Bradley Porter, and the other is a high school friend of Lucy’s ex, John Bradley. John Bradley has stolen a sizeable amount of government bonds and Lucy’s ex is helping him hide the evidence. There is a key to a safety deposit box somewhere in Lucy’s house and it must be found. Tina, Lucy’s sister, has threatened her former brother-in-law if he ever enters the house or tries to contact Lucy. John Bradley tries to scare Lucy away from her house by blowing up her car, but she won’t leave her dogs behind. Police detective Zach Warren moves in to protect Lucy and catch the culprit. The two become a couple very quickly. Getting Rid of Bradley is a great combination of romance, humor, and a touch of suspense.

Dori: Ellen O’Farrell is a hypnotherapist, helping to guide people to change through the power of the mind eve4n though she can’t seem to hold onto a relationship of her own. Then she meets Patrick through an online dating site and the two hit it off immediately, though Patrick has a secret: his ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen, being the empathetic person that she is, is both fascinated and repelled by the idea while Saskia, the stalker, is deeply hurt and confused by Patrick’s sudden rejection. Liane Moriarty explores the inner lives of both Ellen and Saskia in The Hypnotist’s Love Story while delving into the intricacies of relationships, love, loss and just plain old dumb luck.

Donna: The Rosie Project is the debut novel by Australian Graeme C. Simsion. Don Tillman is a genetics professor who is looking for a wife. He designs the Wife Project, a very detailed questionnaire, to screen for potential perfect matches. He starts the Rosie Project when he meets Rosie who wants him to help her find her biological father. Soon, the two projects merge. Rosie and Don are two delightful, quirky characters that the reader will constantly root for in this charming, laugh out loud romance.

Steve: A Knight in Shining Armor, by Jude Deveraux, finds Dougless Montgomery stranded by her boyfriend in a medieval English church near a statute of Nicholas Stafford, an earl who died in 1564, executed for treason. She had been anticipating a marriage proposal and asks aloud where her knight in shining armor is. The earl, in 1564, hears her sobbing and travels to the 1980’s to aid her. Dougless thinks he is crazy, but grows to believe his time-traveling story and soon is helping him research who falsely accused him of treason. This is a light, funny love story with a touch of intrigue. The historical details and time travel add a nice element. All in all not too shabby.

Ann: Anyone but You by Jennifer Crusie introduces us to Nina, recently divorced and turning 40. She’s moved into her own apartment and is going to get a puppy (her ex-husband never wanted a dog). She goes to the shelter to pick out a bouncing puppy- to cheer her up. Instead, she comes home with Fred. Fred is an overweight, quirky, sad-faced basset hound-beagle mix. But when he crawls through the wrong apartment window, Nina gets to meet her downstairs neighbor, Alex. Now Nina is not looking for a new man and if she would be, it would not be Alex. Sure he is charming, great looking, and shares Fred’s love of Oreos, but he just is turning 30! 10 years is a huge age difference- isn’t it? A witty, clever romantic comedy.

Carol: A Victorian Rose by Catherine Palmer is a historical romance that takes readers back in time to Victorian Yorkshire, England. Artist and young widow, Clemma Laird, has caught the eye of Dr. Paul Baine, a man who is shunned by the community for his past amoral behavior. Despite her better judgment, Clemma is drawn into Dr. Baine’s lifework, and what she discovers about his past changes her outlook on life and her future. This book was a quick, charming, and thoughtful read about love and redemption.

Julie: Beth Harbison’s latest book grabbed me with the title, Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave him the Wrong Finger – fun, right? The story follows Quinn ten years after she left her high school sweetheart at the altar because she found out he had cheated on her. Oh, and it was his brother who told her and who she then ran away with to Vegas. She quickly ended that, but now they’re both back in her life and she has to figure out what to do about it.

Stacey: The Wedding Bees by Sarah-Kate Lynch probably falls a bit between romance and general fiction but it delivers nicely on the main points of a good romance; and so this is my book of choice! Sugar Wallace has moved once a year for the past fifteen years and each new location is chosen by the queen bee of her hive. Wherever she lands, Sugar likes to help as many people as possible and it looks like her newest home in NYC will be business as usual. Well at least until her new friends decide Sugar might need some redirecting herself, no matter what she says! Even better if that new path takes her into the arms of Mr. Right, right?

And next time, if you care to read along with our genre challenge of March, you’ll want to find a biography or autobiography! Yes, that’s right! You’re looking for a book that is written by or about one person and focuses on their life experiences. Enjoy!

— Stacey

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