It is almost here people - the most romantic day of the year. Valentine's Day is mere days away and love and romance is in the air at the Fond du Lac Public Library. If reading romance is your thing, stop in and check out our "Sweet and Spicy" display, filled with romance books ranging from classic romance to paranormal romantic suspense.
The Sweetheart Sisters series by Shirley Jump combines sweet stories with plenty of heat. Set in Rescue Bay, Florida, the "sisters" are a trio of sassy, well-meaning grannies living at the Golden Years Retirement Home who think their mission in life is to play matchmaker for the town of Rescue Bay, all while giving some old-school lessons in love. Add in the elements of an animal rescue facility and numerous subplots, and these stories tug at your heartstrings while making you laugh out loud.
I have long been a fan of author Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Her romance stories are written with style and grace, and most times love conquers all when the story comes to a happy ever after ending. She certainly surprised me with her latest book, Heroes are My Weakness. Even though the title hints at a romantic setting, this one has a much darker and serious feel to it. In some ways, the beginning had elements of classic gothic romances like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.
It might be the chill in the air, or the fact that winter is right around the corner, but lately I seem to be drawn to books about food. The storyline in The Glass Kitchen: a novel of sisters by Linda Francis Lee revolves around food, but is also the story of a young woman plucked from her childhood home in Texas and dropped into the bustling world of Manhattan. Struggling to make a new life for herself, with the help of her sisters, Portia Cuthcart uses her kitchen as a refuge which allows her to forgive, forget, and open herself up to her unique gift of magical food.
The family saga first introduced in The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs continues in The Beekeeper's Ball, the second installment of the Bella Vista Chronicles. Former celebrated chef Isabel Johansen is opening a destination cooking school focusing on local produce and products at Bella Vista, her family estate in the sleepy Sonoma town of Archangel. Isabel is a reserved, organized woman and seems so together, but when renowned journalist Cormac "Mac" O'Neill arrives on the scene he certainly shakes things up.
If you like reading romantic suspense with a western setting try the Beartooth Mountain series by B. J. Daniels. Having just finished Forsaken, third in the series, I have to say I am hooked on this genre. Not your typical western story, it has elements of murder, mystery, horses and handsome cowboys - what more could you ask for? Written with intertwining story lines and the beautiful details of the Montana landscape, you can almost smell the pine trees, the frost on the air, the smell of the horses, and the smoke from the campfires.
What a fun book! Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson is a humorous contemporary retelling of the classic Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice set (of all places) in the world of dog shows. Fans of Austen won't be disappointed; Wilson has very cleverly weaved in references to the original tale and does an excellent job bringing back to life Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth while adding a fun modern twist.
It has been said that author Linda Lael Miller considers the cowboy to be the great North American myth, the ideal of honor, courage and persistence we need to live up to. After reading Big Sky Wedding, the fifth installment in her Parable, Montana series, I think I agree. The story is the perfect mix of hot cowboy and strong woman intent on ignoring their instant attraction to each other. The author's love for children, animals and nature shine through in this small town, family-oriented, western romance.
Debbie Macomber has written another feel good novel with several happy endings that reminds me of a modern-day fairy tale. In Blossom Street Brides, several lives intertwine and connect as they face the trials and triumphs in their varying stages of life. All are connected in some way to that little yarn store on Blossom Street called A Good Yarn, first featured in the second of her Blossom Street novels. The characters eventually get to their happy endings, but it sure takes some time to get there.
Author Sugar Jamison proves that love does come in all sizes in her new paperback book titled Dangerous Curves Ahead. Not your typical chick lit, the heroine of this romance novel, Ellis Garrett, is a "plusher" girl who has learned to embrace the shape of her curvy body and doesn't let pants size dictate how she lives her life. Women everywhere should read this book and learn how to be loved for who they are and not who they think they should be, whether that is thinner, smarter, sexier or funnier.