Nora Roberts has another winning romance with the second title in her Inn Boonsboro trilogy. (The first in the series is The Next Always.) The Last Boyfriend continues the previous story, with the Montgomery clan renovating the old Inn. The entire community has a stake in the outcome of the success of the Inn. Owen Montgomery is the organizer of the family–running the construction company and keeping the renovation on schedule and under budget. Avery is the owner of the local pizza shop and has been friends with the Montgomery family since childhood. Her first boyfriend was Owen, and they have remained friends ever since. Owen patronizes the restaurant often during the inn construction and finds himself more and more drawn to Avery. Avery is cautious and hesitant to build a romantic relationship with Owen, for fear or ruining their friendship. Past losses make Avery afraid to commit her whole heart, and when a person from her past reappears, she wonders if she can ever fully devote herself to Owen. Filled with likeable and engaging characters, humor and love and with a friendly ghost added to the plot, The Last Boyfriend is a delightful addition to this series–Book three in the series (The Perfect Hope) will tell the story of Hope and Ryder and is due to be published in November 2012.
Lucy and her friends have decided to spend graduation night searching for Shadow, the elusive but talented graffiti artist. Ed and his friends just want to kill time until they can carry out their real plans for the evening. In the meantime, Ed joins Lucy in her quest, racing to all of Shadow’s artwork while thawing their prickly relationship through their stories and hopes. Lucy shares her obsession with Shadow and his art, unaware of how close he really is. Graffiti Moon is a fun young adult novel with great characters and an artistic twist.
Ciro and Enza, two Italian immigrants, find each other and a future in Adriana Trigiani’s epic historical novel, The Shoemaker’s Wife. in 1905, seven year old Ciro and his brother, Eduardo, are left at a convent in Italy by their distraught mother who can nolonger care for her sons. Her husband had died in America while trying to make a new life for his family. The nuns become their substitute mothers and Eduardo takes to the religious life, while Ciro wants more from life. He meets 15 year old Enza when hired to dig the grave of her little sister in a nearby mountain village. Their attraction for each other during this difficult time begins a love relationship that spans many miles and many years.
Adriana Trigiani spent twenty years writing this story that tells the enchanting love story of her grandparents, who came to America. The hardships they endure as they search for a way in this country are overcome through their determination to succeed and strength of character. The historical details of the Metropolitan Opera House in the early twentieth century, and Enza’s relationship with Enrico Caruso for whom she sews costumes and cooks traditional Italian delights add to the delight of this story.
Gwendoline, Lady Muir has long been known for her cheerful disposition in spite of her widowed status. Lord Trentham, Hugo, is a former soldier and grumpy recluse who only emerges once a year to gather with fellow war survivors. When Gwendoline experiences a moment of vexation, causing her to undertake a more ambitious walk than usual, she trips and badly twists her ankle. The imposing Hugo is nearby and ignores her protests to scoop her up to carry her back to the manor where he’s visiting. Their forced companionship leads him to question his original impression of her as a silly, vain woman and leads her to question whether she is really as content with being a widow as she originally thought. In The Proposal, Balogh creates another sweeping Regency romance that you won’t be able to put down till the very end.
Kristan Higgins has added another delightful romance to her collection of novels such as Catch of the Day and The Next Best Thing. Her latest, Somebody to Love, tells the story of Parker Welles–a single mother and children’s author whose father, a financial advisor, has provided a life of wealth and luxury. When he is involved in an insider trading deal, he goes to jail, after having bankrupted the family. Parker and her son Nicky are forced to move to a small town in Maine, where a distant relative has left her a dilapidated cottage. James Cahill, her father’s personal attorney, comes to Maine to help fix up the cottage, despite Parker’s hostility towards him. Can they each overcome past disappointments to fine love? This is a heartwarming story filled with quirky (and some familiar) local characters, witty dialog, humor and likeable characters. Another winner for author Kristan Higgins!
Librarian Julia Wright has separated herself from her eccentric family in an attempt to have a quiet, responsible, and normal life. But once Luke Maguire rides up, dressed in black and riding a Harley, Julia’s serenity starts swirling down the drain. Luke is forced to come back to Serenity Falls due to a clause in his father’s will and resents every minute there, but is starting to wonder if the cute librarian might make his stay a bit more tolerable. Julia is further troubled by the sudden appearance of the very family she was trying to avoid; a hippie mother and a free-spirited sister who’s most recent business venture leave them stuck asking the responsible Julia to let them move in.
All set in a quirky small town with great secondary characters, Good Girls Do is a delightful story that will keep you laughing and racing to the very end.
As a child, Berta tastes the pleasures of money while staying with wealthy relatives in Moscow. She is sent back to life in the Ukraine, Little Russia, as a grocer’s daughter in a small hamlet when she is no longer needed as a companion to her cousin. A wealthy grain buyer falls for Berta and life is easy once more until her husband’s secret life as an arms smuggler is revealed. Berta makes the fateful decision to stay in the Ukraine with her children when her husband flees to America. The tumultous war time and lost love reminds me of the epic Dr. Zhivago. Berta’s courage and determination to find her husband are tested in her fight for survival and protection of her children. This first novel for Susan Sherman is an impressive beginning.
Poppy Wyatt has lost it. In the midst of a hotel fire drill she manages to lose both her family-heirloom engagement ring and her cell phone, causing a near panic until she catches a glimpse of a phone in the trash can. Finders keepers, right? Sam Roxton, obnoxious businessman and the owner of the phone disagrees. Now Poppy is fielding messages and calls from Sam’s business associates and her cranky wedding planner, but still not from all the people who are supposed to be finding her engagement ring. Add to this juggling act Poppy’s attempt to impress her future in-laws while hiding her loss of ring from them and chaos is the result. Sam ends up being her conscience and support and forces her to question what’s missing from her relationship with the “perfect” Magnus besides an emerald ring.
In Kinsella’s classic style of a well-intentioned heroine who just keeps messing up, I’ve Got Your Number will keeping you cringing, laughing, and cheering on Poppy to the very end.
For the past 5000 years, one million souls have inhabited Range, reincarnated in a new body each time they die. Ana is the first newsoul in all that time, and her existence raises questions others don’t want to think about. Her own mother calls her a nosoul and removed her from civilization to raise her in the woods away from people. After years of abuse from a woman who denies her ability to experience emotions, she sets off for the city to search for answers.
Ana is not necessarily welcome in the capital, Heart, either. Her curiosity and impulsive nature don’t endear her to the many people who have lived thousands of years and are unsettled by the change she represents.
One man who finds her fascinating and welcomes change is Sam, the most well-known musician on Range. Her own love of music draws the two of them together, and she enlists him in her mission to find out why she suddenly appeared and what happened to the soul her’s replaced. Others are not as pleased about her rejoining civilization and her search for answers. When she was out of sight, those who were disturbed by her existence could forget about her.
In a hard world filled with dragons, sylph, trolls, centaurs and other dangerous creatures, Ana must also worry about humans who see her as a threat to be eliminated.
Incarnate is Jodi Meadows’ debut novel and the first book in a planned trilogy.
Visit Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in 1901 and discover what excitement and romance await along the White River Hollow.
Heartbreak and humor combine in this wonderfully written novel by French author Foenkinos. Delicacy explores the emotional life of Natalie, a young woman who falls in love and lives the perfect life until her husband is killed in a tragic accident. Natalie’s journey towards healing is told with humor and insight into the difficult process of starting over. The title reflects the sweet and delicate telling of the unlikely relationship that develops between Natalie and her co-worker Marcus. A touching story, refreshing style and appealing characters along with whimsical footnotes between chapters combine to make Delicacy a novel that is a pleasure to read and savor.
Song of My Heart takes us to Kansas in the day of prohibition. Sadie needs to provide for her family while her step-father is recovering from a mining accident in Indiana. Cousin Sid encourages Sadie to come to Goldtree, Kansas, to accept a job at the local mercantile. But, it’s the added bonus of being able to sing in the Opera House that convinces Sadie to take the offer. Sadie is happy with her new positions in Goldtree until, Asa, the opera house owner, wants her to sing questionable tunes for a new crowd. Because Sadie doesn’t want to let her family down she feels pressed to do a Asa says.
In the meantime Mayor Hanaman hires Thad, a wanna be preacher, to rouse out the moonshiners before the growing town is brought to ruin. Of course, Sadie and Thad are attracted to one another, but when Thad hears Sadie practicing bawdy tunes and also appears to be involved in the moonshining business, all romancing is cancelled.
Kim Sawyer brings us another good read you won’t want to miss.
Emma, an American emigre, lost her husband four years earlier and has done her best to earn the label of “merry widow.” But her parties, paste jewels, and ever-flowing champagne are her attempt to cover the grief for a husband that she only came to appreciate when it was too late.
Fate forces Whittlesby to deal with the biggest annoyance in his life when he needs to find a way to get an invitation to Napoleon’s house party and Emma’s commission to write a masque for the occasion is the only possibility. Spending hours together, writing and laughing, makes both of them wonder if appearances aren’t always what they seem. Augustus has a difficult time focusing on the mission and begins to question if it is worth the sacrifices he’s made for the good of his country.
The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig is another outstanding installment in The Pink Carnation Series, but works on its own just as well. Rollicking dialogue, humorous espionage, and a delightful romance make for a great read.
Kate Appleton has had a horrible year. She found out her husband was cheating on her, got a divorce, lost the custody battle over her poodle, and then she lost her job. She really needs a break. Her plan is to fix up her parents’ lake house and turn it into a bed and breakfast. This would be easier if it weren’t in horrible shape and she hadn’t lost most of her savings in the housing market crash when she and her husband’s house lost a lot of its value.
Enter Matt Culhane, owner of a successful restaurant/brewery in town who needs someone to find out who has been sabotaging his business. Matt offers Kate $20,000 to find his saboteur, which she accepts as pretty much her only option for saving the house (did I mention her parents were behind on house payments?).
Kate has a lot on her plate with trying to find out who is sabotaging Matt’s business, meet new friends in Keene’s Harbor, fix up her parents’ house, and try to resist her growing attraction to Matt.