Have you ever looked at a book cover and wanted to crawl right in and be part of the setting? That was my first thought when I spotted The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs. The cover pictures the perfect summer scene of a white, casually laid table with mismatched white chairs set among apple trees loaded with succulent looking apples. I could almost hear the bees buzzing around the beautiful pitchers filled with colorful wild flowers gracing the center of the table.
The lazy days of summer are finally here. Time to grab that sunscreen, beach chair and umbrella and relax with the perfect beach read. My top choice for this summer is Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews. Set on the sunny beaches of Florida, it has the perfect combination of romance, mystery and comedy. Though it is a tale of divorce and betrayal, the author tells it with her trademark humor and mixes a bit of revenge and sweet justice in for good measure. This one is chick-lit at its best.
Robyn Carr is one of those contemporary romance authors I just never get tired of reading, and her new book The Wanderer is an amazing start to her new Thunder Point series. I loved her long running Virgin River series, and I am happy to report this new book had all the elements I have come to expect from this author - small town charm, quirky characters, wonderful romance, and a little mystery thrown in for good measure. As the story line progressed and I met each character, I found myself identifying them with people I know, or know of, in real life.
Susan Wiggs is my go-to author when I need a lift. I'd been feeling a bit under the weather for the past week so I scooped up Return to Willow Lake, her latest in the Lakeshore Chronicles series. You can tell from the majority of my blog posts that romance is my favorite genre, but Return to Willow Lake is so much more than just a romance novel. This is a book about family and what's really important in life. Sonnet Romano has always been an overachiever. She works in New York at a worldwide agency that helps underprivileged children.
With Valentine's Day just a few days away, I thought it would be a perfect time to highlight what I consider one of the best romantic trilogies I have read in a long time, The Rosewood Trilogy by Laura Moore. I read the first of the trilogy, Remember Me, last summer. The first book introduces you to the Radcliffe sisters, Margot, Jordan, and Jade, with the focus on Margot. At 18 years of age, Margot leaves home to become a model after her father refuses to let her help manage Rosewood, the family horse-breeding farm in Virginia -- and the man she loves has cast her aside.
Another great story by one of my favorite authors. As with her other books, reading Porch Lights made me long to visit the South Carolina Lowcountry, specifically Sullivan's Island, the setting for most of her books and where the author was born and raised. The way she describes the grasslands, amazing sunsets, and the gentle ocean breezes make it sound like paradise.
Silver Sparks by Starr Ambrose is a contemporary romance with lots of "sparks". The story begins with Maggie Larkin being groped by arrogant Hollywood playboy Rafael de Luca (Rafe) in a posh Alpine ski resort in Two Bears Mountain, Colorado. Little does he know that he picked the wrong fiery redhead to try and dazzle with his so-called irresistible charms. When grinding her three-inch heels into his toes doesn't work to fend off his unwanted attentions, Maggie is left no choice but to drive her palm up into his perfect, surgically enhanced, nose to get her point across.
If you like your romance with a paranormal/fantasy twist this is the book for you. Sweet little Annie Lou Riddle left Mississippi and headed to New York with high hopes of breaking into the fashion industry. Little did she know that to get her dream job at Hot! Magazine she would have to literally sell her soul to the devil. Now Annie is stuck working as assistant/personal slave to Finola White, the owner and chief editor, and an impulsive and arrogant demon.
The Singles is a quick, funny read by Meredith Goldstein, Boston Globe "Love Letters" columnist. In this debut novel, the wedding saga begins with Beth "Bee" Evans stressing out on how to fit her five friends, who decline to bring a guest to her lavish Chesapeake Bay nuptials, into her seating chart. She dubs them the "Singles".