Staff Picks Category: Romance

Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund []

book-jacket

view/request in library catalog

This book is part of Hedlund’s Beacon of Hope Series and is the Sequel to Love Unexpected.  Set in 1865 Michigan, Caroline Taylor has helped her father tend to a lighthouse and care for her younger siblings.  When her father dies unexpectedly, she is forced to give up the job and their home. Ryan Chambers, a wounded Civil War veteran with alcohol and drug addictions and no experience arrives as the new lighthouse keeper.  This is a story of faith, hope, healing and romance.

Tagged: , , ,

Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts []

book-jacket

view/request in library catalog

Rowan Tripp has been fighting fires since she was 18, and is the daughter of a retired forest fire fighting legend. We meet the new crop of rookies, and get to see the intense ways they train, as well as meet the surviving crew from the previous season when they lost one of their own. The fire season is difficult enough on its own, but we find that someone hasn’t let go of last year’s tragedy. The suspense is more in the people vs. fire, with a lot of details including training, equipment and on the line fire fighting. Although this definitely qualifies as a romance, I didn’t find it too over the top, and felt the steam came more from the water vs. fire than the relationships. There is a secondary romance that adds an interesting element.

Tagged: , , ,

Major Pettigrew’s last stand : a novel by Helen Simonson []

book-jacket

view/request in library catalog

Debut author, Simonson, has written a delightful and surprising love story that takes place in the beautiful English country town of Edgecombe St. Mary. Retired Major Pettigrew is a proper English widower who falls in love with kindhearted Pakistani widow, Mrs. Ali, much to the chagrin of the community. Drama and humor ensue.

Tagged: , ,

Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray []

book-jacket

view/request in library catalog

This light romance turns Romeo and Juliet on its head. Julie is struggling to keep her family’s flower business in Somerville, MA afloat after her husband of 35 years left her (for a younger woman) and moved to Seattle. She runs into her rival, Romeo Cacciamani, at a small business conference. Although he is the other florist in Somerville, and their families have been feuding for years, she finds that not only does she no longer hate him, but they quickly fall in love. In a reversal, it is their children who are against the relationship, and insist on continuing the grudge, even though no one knows why or how it began. Will Julie and Romeo find true love the second time around, or will their children prevail in keeping them apart?

Tagged: ,

Christmas Wedding by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo []

book-jacket

view/request in library catalog

Widow Gabby Summerhill invites her 4 children and their families home to Stockbridge, Massachusetts to celebrate Christmas together, their first holiday together since their father died 3 years ago. Gabby announced in a video message to her children that she will be getting married on Christmas but the identity of the groom will remain a secret until the wedding. While the book is not a typical James Patterson thriller, it has many emotional twists and turns.

Tagged: ,

Submarine by Richard Ayoade []

book-jacket

view/request in library catalog

Olivier Tate (played by young actor Craig Roberts), the protagonist in Richard Adoaye’s quiet, quirky, charming, dark and thoroughly enjoyable film Submarine is a likeable precocious Welsh boy searching for an identity and direction in the stifling climate of small town coastal Southern Wales. He tries on affectations:”I’ve tried smoking a pipe, flipping coins – listening exclusively to French crooners, I’ve even had a hat phase”. This quote is immediately followed of course, with a shot of him at the family dinner table, wearing a Blue Stetson, looking fairly ridiculous. His teenage flailing about for identity finds its focus when he discovers the dark and indifferent charms of classmate Jordana (Yasmin Paige), who lures him into more and more morally reprehensible schoolyard acts. She is outwardly resistant to his charms except when he is misbehaving, and seems most allured by his taking part in the bullying of a fellow school girl. The cast is fantastic, both Paige and Roberts inhabit their roles fully and believably, while the adult characters (Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor as Olivier’s parents), are comically stuck in their own lazy unspoken despair, too wrapped up in their own ridiculous melodramas to offer guidance to Olivier. Paddy Considine appears as an almost incongruously broad comic foil and rival to both Olivier Tate and his father. Adoaye, most famous for his work on the UK sitcom “The IT Crowd”, who adapted the script from a novel by Joe Dunthorne, directs the film with care and fills it with beautiful shots of the beaches, woods and amusement parks of the Welsh Coast. There are aspects of the film’s plot, details and cinematic style which will appeal to fans of many other refreshingly offbeat comic films (Wes Anderson’s films in particular) but the unique characters, acting performances and Welsh character give it a charm all its own.

Tagged: , , , ,

Wedding Season by Katie Fforde []

book-jacket

view/request in library catalog

Wedding Season is the story of wedding planner Sarah who secretly doesn’t believe in love. Her personal love life is non-existent as she plans the perfect nuptials of others. The book begins as she takes on two new clients who are getting married on the same day in just a few months–a celebrity and her own sister. Sarah’s friends, dress maker Elsa and hairdresser Bron have also not been lucky in love until now. This British romantic novels follows the 3 women as they meet new men and deal with demanding brides. While the story is somewhat predictable, anyone in the midst of wedding planning will enjoy the romance and comedy.

Tagged: ,

Soulless by Gail Carriger []

book-jacket

view/request in library catalog

Part regency-romance, part steampunk — “a novel of vampires, werewolves, and parasols.” Set in an alternate regency England, in which werewolves and vampires are an accepted part of society, some with positions at the top levels of government. Alexia Tarabotti is a witty spinster in a family of beautiful people without substance. She is also a preternatural, without a soul. Alexia is bored with her society life, and wants to join the Bureau of Unnatural Registry, a division of Her Majesty’s Civil Service. Although unable to work there, she is still involved in the mystery of where the new vampires are coming from and why the werewolves are disappearing. Very enjoyable read.

Tagged: , , , ,

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier []

book-jacket

view/request in library catalog

In 12th Century Ireland, Caitrin is fleeing an abusive suitor and finds work as a scribe to a struggling and crippled chieftain, Anluan. Caitrin goes through his family documents and begins to uncover an evil sorcery that has plagued Anluan’s family. With enemies approaching, Caitrin must help Anluan overcome this evil and save their budding romance. Heart’s Blood is an adventurous love story and reminded me of Beauty and the Beast, one of my favorite fairy tales.

Tagged: , , ,

Mrs. Mike : the story of Katherine Mary Flannigan by Benedict and Nancy Freedman []

book-jacket

view/request in library catalog

Katherine O’Fallon, of Boston, marries a Canadian Mountie named Mike Flanagan. Together they live a large life in the wilderness dealing with hardship and loss with their neighbors, both white and native, in an engaging and bighearted way.

Tagged: , , ,

Stay by Allie Larkin []

book-jacket

view/request in library catalog

A heartbroken woman, Van, tries to get on with her life after the man she is in love with marries her best friend. During a late night Rin Tin Tin marathon, she accidentally buys a Slovakian German Shepard while under the influence of vodka. With the dog’s help, Van works to rebuild her life and meets a handsome veterinarian.

Tagged: , ,