What an interesting experience it was to see and hear how uncomfortable it made people to choose a romance. Ooo, the wailing and gnashing of teeth! Well, maybe not gnashing or wailing but there was definitely grumbling, “I don’t read that kind of book, I can’t find anything I like, there aren’t any good ones to read,” and similar comments, but you could say that about any genre really. They all have: the good, the bad, the clichéd, and the super stars –thank goodness! There are cookie cutter thrillers and poorly written mysteries and super snooty fiction, but those aren’t the books you’d choose to read anyway, right? I’m not sure anyone changed their opinion about picking up a romantic read the next time they’re looking for a book, but maybe they will… I have to admit I’m unlikely to run off to the thrillers for a good read, but maybe I’ll change my mind too. That’s the point of these book discussions, right?
Anyway, these are the books people shared at our meeting and they kindly sent me a brief blurb so I could share them with you…
Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart
Kate Herrick comes back to the village where she grew up to gather her Grandmother’s belongings from Rose Cottage. Gran is particularly interested in having Kate empty the secret wall safe, which has family papers and heirlooms. When Kate finds the safe already open and empty, the suspense begins to build. Thankfully, childhood friend Davey is around to offer his support. And maybe more?
I read the “Everything But” trilogy by Holly Jacobs.
In Everything but a Groom, Vancy Salo is left at the altar. The press, desperate for the story of how her Grandmother cursed her wedding has her followed by a slew of reporters. Vancy takes refuge in helping her landscaper, Matt Wilde, who has just become the guardian of his two uncontrollable four-year-old nephews. The boys soon win their hearts and Matt and Vancy find there’s room in their hearts for each other as well.
In the second installment, Everything but a Bride, Noah Salo’s high school sweetheart Julianna and he are about to tie the knot when she gets cold feet and ends things.To escape his prying family, Noah asks his best friend, Julianna’s stepsister Callie, to go on the honeymoon just for fun, but once there, the lines between friendship and love begin to blur.
Everything but a Wedding is my favorite. Architect Bill Hastings presents himself as fancy-dressing, interior designer Carter William “Bill” Hastings IV in order to land an account with the Salo’s family building company. When Bill falls for unmarried contractor Dori Salo, he fears his duplicity will ruin his chances.
Everything But a Wedding by Holly Jacobs
In this third installment of the “Everything But” series, youngest child Dori becomes Nana Vancy’s last hope of breaking the family wedding curse. Jilted once and determined to never marry, Dori’s stance begins to waver after she meets architect Bill Hastings. Bill has, against his better judgment, promised his cousin to pretend to be slick designer Carter Hastings in order to secure a contract from Dori. Will his deception ruin their chances at romance?
Palomino by Danielle Steel
When Samantha Taylor and John divorce, Samantha heads to California to a friend’s ranch. There she meets and falls in love with ranch foreman Tate Jordan. Tate feels they have no future together based on their different backgrounds. He disappears. Eventually they reunite after Samantha is paralyzed, inherits a ranch, creates a place for disabled children and adopts a young boy.
Consequences by Penelope Lively
A chance encounter on a London park bench in 1935 starts a love affair that spans the generations for Lorna and Matt, two young people from different backgrounds. This is a literary romance, historical novel and saga by Booker and Whitbread Prize winning writer, Penelope Lively.
In Ransom My Heart by Meg Cabot the youngest and most adventurous of sisters, Finnula Crais, promises to capture a man and demand ransom for his release in order to help her sister regain her dowry. Finnula captures a soldier who is returning from the Crusades. What is the true identity of this man? What surprises await Finnula and the soldier as they travel together? An interesting and delightful story awaits the reader of “Ransom My Heart.”
Women by T. C. Boyle
A novelization of the life–especially the love life–of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Narrated by one of Wright’s apprentices, Tadashi Sato, the story presents an entertaining look at love and/or marriage and the bargains men and women make to keep the relationships going. Meet Wright’s three wives and one mistress, all very different from one another, yet all sufficiently captured by his spell.
Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton
Weird things are happening in Sugar Maple, and in a town populated with vampires, poltergeists and trolls, that’s saying a lot. After a woman turns up dead, it’s up to the only non-magic resident of the town, Chloe Hobbs, to make sure the secret lives of its residents stay secret. A task that becomes much more difficult when the sparks fly between her and the cop sent to investigate, Luke MacKenzie.
What I Did for Love: A Novel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is set in the glitzy world of Hollywood stars. Georgie York and Bram Shepard are two young stars that have lost their glitter. When they find themselves legally married after a wild Hollywood party, Georgie seizes the opportunity for the publicity it will bring them both. But Georgie’s plans don’t stop with just reviving their careers, she has a proposal for Bram that involves their hearts.
Sweet Talkby Susan Mallery
Famous concert pianist Claire Keyes takes a sabbatical to go home to Seattle and care for her twin sister, Nicole, as well as the family bakery. She finds Nicole full of jealousy due to what she assumes is Claire’s life of luxury. Nicole is also after finding their younger sister in bed with her husband Drew. Eventually each sister sees that they each have troubles and both learn they shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Claire and Nicole bond as they help each other overcome problems and give up the sibling rivalry.
Sweet Spotby Susan Mallery
Nicole, the “responsible” sister of the Keyes family, has always sacrificed her own needs to run the family bakery. Now Jesse has betrayed her trust and Nicole, still emotionally fragile from reuniting with her fraternal twin Claire, locks horns with the high school football coach after catching one of his players stealing donuts. Learning the player has no family and is living in an abandoned building, Nicole offers him a job and a place to stay. Suddenly she has a houseful of teenagers, as well as an interesting man in her life.
Sweet Troubleby Susan Mallery
It’s been five years since sisters Nicole and Jesse Keyes have spoken to each other after Nicole caught Jesse “in bed” with her husband Drew. Jesse left town pregnant and alone, while Nicole remarried. Jesse’s son Gabe has been asking about his father, so Jesse returns home to face her sister and her true love Matt who abandoned her when he heard the rumor about her and Drew. Jesse has grown up, but can she make the others believe that she didn’t sleep with Drew?
Why don’t you try one of these and see what you think?
Next up? Westerns my friend! Wide open spaces, big dreams, and maybe a cowboy or two…