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.
I like reading historical fiction because it puts a human face on historical events. Different books that cover the same historical period have different points of view and add to understanding that period. I recently read 2 novels on the Civil War set in Washington, DC and 2 novels on Mormon life in the 19th century. All four novels feature strong female characters.
Close Is Fine is a collection of 8 short stories featuring people who live and work on farms, at blue-collar jobs, and in the forests and taverns of Wisconsin, especially the area around Antigo and Shawano, and is a good choice for people who appreciate reflective, character-driven stories with a Wisconsin connection. These are not stories of dramatic redemption or tearful endings. The appeal of the stories is in the description of one particular event that happens to an ordinary individual at one point in time.
Vince Flynn is an author I turn to when I am in the mood for action and suspense. Last Man, the author's latest installment in the Mitch Rapp series, was just what I was looking for. It is a fast paced thriller set in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and as in other books in this series, it highlights numerous challenges faced by Mitch Rapp as a CIA operative. And, I do mean numerous. First, the head of CIA operations in Afghanistan is kidnapped and his bodyguards executed. Next, Mitch uncovers a global plot to discredit the United States and expose many of the CIA's hidden secrets.
Need a little holiday spirit? Is the hustle and bustle of this time of year getting you down? Try reading a good book with a holiday theme to make your spirit bright. Two of my favorites this year are A Winter Dream by Richard Paul Evans, and Angels at the Table by Debbie Macomber. Newly released, and just in time for the holidays, both of these quick reads touch on the true meaning of caring, sharing, family and forgiveness.
Fans of Stuart Woods might enjoy reading the latest novel by Randy Wayne White titled Gone. The greatest similarity between the two authors is the Florida setting, followed by the smooth flowing dialogue. Known for his Doc Ford novels, in which Ford is a marine biologist and sometime investigator, this new novel by White introduces a stunning new character, Hannah Smith. She is a descendant of the legendary Florida Smith women - Sarah, known as the 'Ox Woman' and Hannah, known as 'Big Six'.
Like so many other authors, Karen Robards decided to follow the popular paranormal route in her latest novel, Last Victim. Charlotte "Charlie" Stone is a psychologist studying serial killers for the Department of Justice. She is definitely qualified for this profession because as a teenager she was the only survivor of a killer known as the Boardwalk Killer. Having witnessed her friend's family brutally murdered, Charlie has since dedicated her life to finding out what makes these killers do what they do.
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.