Posts Tagged ‘Romance’

LJ’s Best Romances 2013

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Check these out!  Click on a title and go straight to our catalog.

Balogh, Mary. The Arrangement

Brockway, Connie. No Place for a Dame

Carr, Robyn. The Wanderer

Dare, Tessa. Any Duchess Will Do

Gracie, Anne. The Autumn Bride

Higgins, Kristan. The Best Man: A Blue Heron Novel

MacLean, Sarah. One Good Earl Deserves a Lover

McMaster, Bec. Heart of Iron

Thomas, Sherry. The Luckiest Lady in London


RITA Awards

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

The winners of the 2013 RITA Awards, sponsored by the Romance Writers of America, have been announced.  They include:

Best First Book: The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James.  “In 1920s England, a young woman of limited means and even less experience confronts the ghost of a mysterious serving maid…. Sarah Piper’s lonely threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis–rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed by ghosts–has been summoned to investigate the spirit of the nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is said to haunt the barn where she committed suicide. Maddy hated men in life, and she will not speak to them in death. But Sarah is unprepared to go alone into a haunted barn looking for the truth. She’s even less prepared for the arrival of Alistair’s associate, rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, also a veteran of the trenches, whose scars go deeper than Sarah can reach. Soon, Sarah is caught up in a desperate struggle. For Maddy’s ghost is no hoax–she’s real, she’s angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Matthew discover who Maddy was, where she came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance…before she destroys them all?”– Provided by publisher.

Contemporary Single Title Romance: The Way Back Home by Barbara Freethy.  “Ex-Marine Gabe Ryder has lost a lot in his life. His mother died when he was a toddler. His father succumbed to alcoholism. And a week before their last day of service, a horrific firefight takes the life of his best friend and brother-in-arms, Rob Hayden. Now Gabe must fulfill his friend’s dying wish by helping Rob’s twin sister, Alicia. Alicia has been reeling since her brother’s death. She’s lost a part of herself that she isn’t sure she can get back. On top of that, her eight-year-old son is longing for a father, who she thinks she’s found in her boyfriend Keith. Then Gabe shows up, moving into Rob’s house, helping with the family’s river rafting business, and looking into her love life, and Alicia is resentful. But when Alicia’s son and his best friend run away, Alicia and Gabe realize they must face their deepest fears and work together to bring them back, before the river rises.”

Historical Romance: A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean.  “A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance-including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury. A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to an unexplored world of pleasures. Bourne may be a prince of London’s illicit underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness-a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them…even her heart.”–P. 4 of cover.

Inspirational Romance: Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden.  “Lydia Pallas, a translator for the U.S. Navy, is hired by Alexander Banebridge, or “Bane,” a man who equally attracts and aggravates her, to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, and finds herself in the middle of a secret war against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast.”



Paranormal Romance: Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole.  “When he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore’s most fearsome villains, swordsman Trehan Daciano, a.k.a. the Prince of Shadows, is determined to have her and must survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife.”(Baker & Taylor)




Classic Romances

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

According to Romance Writers of America, purchases of romance novels outstrip every other fiction genre.  Here are some older but still classy romances you may have missed.  Click on a highlighted title to go straight to our catalog.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig.  “Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard’s Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803. Eloise has found the secret history of the Pink Carnation—the most elusive spy of all time, the spy who single-handedly saved England from Napoleon’s invasion. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation , a wildly imaginative and highly adventurous debut, opens with the story of a modern-day heroine but soon becomes a book within a book. Eloise Kelly settles in to read the secret history hoping to unmask the Pink Carnation’s identity, but before she can make this discovery, she uncovers a passionate romance within the pages of the secret history that almost threw off the course of world events. How did the Pink Carnation save England? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly find a hero of her own?”

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie.  “This is New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Crusie’s novel about long shots, risk management, true love, and great shoes. . . . Minerva Dobbs knows how to work the odds. Calvin Morrisey always plays to win. But when they face off, neither one is prepared. Because when real life meets true love, all bets are off. . . . Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet, even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs, even if she does wear great shoes and keep him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again. But fate has other plans, and it’s not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon they’re dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all—true love.”

The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna M. Bourne.  “She’s never met a man she couldn’t deceive…until now. She’s braved battlefields. She’s stolen dispatches from under the noses of heads of state. She’s played the worldly courtesan, the naive virgin, the refined British lady, even a Gypsy boy. But Annique Villiers, the elusive spy known as the Fox Cub, has finally met the one man she can’t outwit.”


Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  “Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard is the luckiest man in the world: a bona-fide sports superstar and the pride of the NFL with a profitable side career as a buff billboard model for End Zone underwear. But life in the glory lane has started to pale, and Dean has set off on a cross-country trip to figure out what’s gone wrong. When he hits a lonely stretch of Colorado highway, he spies something that will shake up his gilded life in ways he can’t imagine. A young woman . . . dressed in a beaver suit. Blue Bailey is on a mission to murder her ex. Or at least inflict serious damage. As for the beaver suit she’s wearing . . . Is it her fault that life keeps throwing her curveballs? Witness the expensive black sports car pulling up next to her on the highway and the Greek god stepping out of it. Blue’s career as a portrait painter is the perfect job for someone who refuses to stay in one place for very long. She needs a ride, and America’s most famous football player has an imposing set of wheels. Now, all she has to do is keep him entertained, off guard, and fully clothed before he figures out exactly how desperate she is. But Dean isn’t the brainless jock she imagines, and Blue-despite her petite stature-is just about the toughest woman Dean has ever met. They’re soon heading for his summer home where their already complicated lives and inconvenient attraction to each other will become entangled with a charismatic but aging rock star; a beautiful fifty-two-year-old woman trying to make peace with her rock and roll past; an eleven-year-old who desperately needs a family; and a bitter old woman who hates them all. As the summer progresses, the wandering portrait artist and the charming football star play a high-stakes game, fighting themselves and each other for a chance to have it all. Natural Born Charmer is for everyone who’s ever thought about leaving their old life in the dust and never looking back. Susan Elizabeth Phillips takes us home again . . . and shows us where love truly lives.”


New Romances

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Romantic Mystery

  So Damn Lucky by Deborah Coonts. “Lucky O’Toole–Head of Customer Relations at The Babylon, premier mega-resort on the Vegas Strip–thinks it’s just another night in Las Vegas. But then a magician pulls a disappearing act, right under Lucky’s nose. Is it a stunt? Or something worse? While Lucky chases leads, someone is trying to put her off the scent. As if this wasn’t enough to ruin her day, Lucky’s relationship with The Big Boss is coming to a head–past hurts can no longer be denied. Of course, she is already on shaky emotional ground: Teddie, her live-in, has been touring with a young and lovely pop star. Paxton Dane, former coworker and would-be suitor, is still circling, hoping to find a chink in the armor of Lucky’s resolve. And then, there’s this French chef, who is proving to be too hot to handle…. Las Vegas expert Deborah Coonts thrills again with this third installment in her dazzling series focused on casino “fixer” Lucky O’Toole.”

Historical Romance

  A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare. “When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin, time is not on their side. Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland. Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be…anywhere but Spindle Cove. These unlikely partners have one week: to fake an elopement; to convince family and friends they’re ‘in love’; to outrun armed robbers; to survive their worst nightmares; to travel four hundred miles without killing each other. All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night. What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls. Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble. And maybe….just maybe…everlasting love.”–from cover

Contemporary Romance

  Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery.   Michelle Sanderson, an army vet, is walking with a cane after being wounded in Afghanistan.  She has returned to her home on Blackberry Island to reclaim the local Inn which belonged to her family. “This poignant tale of family dynamics, the jarring impact of change, and eventual acceptance and healing is sure to please Mallery’s many, devoted fans.”

Classic Romance

  Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis. “LOVE CAN HAPPEN IN A HEARTBEAT Grace never thought she’d be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh’s lovable mutt to caring for his rambunctious son. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad . . . With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family-until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “good bedside manner.” Josh and Grace don’t know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day . . .”


Editor’s Picks – Time Travel Fantasy

Monday, June 18th, 2012

  Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (Find in our catalog)

“”Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown”–the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Discovery of Witches.”  Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon.  The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.  Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh.  Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.  Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.”

  Outlander by Diane Gabaldan (Find in our catalog)

“Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another… In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon–when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles.  Suddenly she is a Sassenach–an “outlander”–in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743.  Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire’s destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch.  She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life …and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.”  From the Trade Paperback edition.


The Aristocrat’s Lady by Mary Moore

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

  The Aristocrat’s Lady by Mary Moore (Find in our catalog).  Moving about in London at the height of the social season is difficult at the best of times but add an personal accident then it seems nearly impossible to do.  Nicole has endured an accident that is not readily apparent.  She has learned with the help of a faithful servant, Toby, and her mother and sister navigate the ins and outs of society.

While taking a breath of fresh air on the terrace while at a ball she and her mother are attending she meets Lord Devlin. Lord Devlin is a well-known notorious flirt who sees only her beauty and wants to know her better.

Because of Nicole’s secret she believes God has prepared her to never marry, but still she enjoys this time of getting to know Lord Devlin.  Nicole also wonders how and when she should tell him of her devastating secret.  This secret has already turned one man from her.  As Lord Devlin, who has been hurt in the past by distrust, tries to learn more about  Nicole Beaumont he senses that despite her wit and outspokenness she is hiding something.

Will the Aristocrat’s Lady’s devastating secret be a blow to both of their futures, or will God bring them to a second chance at forgiveness, faith, trust and love?  Let Mary Moore’s novel lead you down the path of second chances and love and a new beginning.

Posted by Christy

Escape by Barbara Delinsky

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Delinsky’s latest novel (Find in our catalog) is a charming, easy read with heart. Emily Aulenbach is a young lawyer who is burnt out by her fast-paced & stressful job. On a day when she can no longer take it, she packs her bag & leaves her husband & home. She loves James but not her life & wants to try to figure out her future. She reconnects with an old friend from the past & rediscovers that people & relationships are more important than work. This novel is set mostly in a small New Hampshire town where Emily’s friend Vicki  runs a Bed & Breakfast. When Emily’s old boyfriend Jude, who is also Vicki’s brother, arrives in town, Emily must face the man who once broke her heart. Delinsky adds depth to this story of escape & relationships in the form of Lee, Vicki’s baker, who is being cheated out of a trust fund left her by her deceased husband. Both Emily & James become involved in a legal battle that turns threatening & adds tension to the story.  A local animal refuge, some wild woods & a coyote, add non-human interest. This is a good summer read & gives the reader something to think about. What are life’s priorities? Where would we go if we wanted to escape?

Go to Barbara’s website for a list of her extensive titles, biography, news & other information.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Diana Bishop is a historian doing research at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England.  She is also a witch who has turned her back on magic. When she requests a book from the stacks she gets more than she imagined. It is bewitched & sets off a series of events that will turn her world upside down. The future not only of witches, but also of vampires & daemons will be called in to question. Diana becomes involved with Matthew, a vampire who is interested in the genetics & origins of the world’s creatures, & together they try to find answers. The action flows from England, to France, to upstate New York. Elements of the past, including the history of the Crusades & the Knights Templar, the American Revolution & World War Two mingle with the present. History, science, magic, alchemy, love & passion make this well-written book a feast of ideas & secrets. The action & tension increases throughout until you turn the last page & wish for more. This book is the first part in the All Souls trilogy, part 2 is due out in 2012.  Many readers will be waiting for it.  Some reviews were critical of Diana’s character, that she was too good at too many things, or too knowledgeable, but remember this is fantasy & she is a witch & Matthew a vampire, & they have abilities beyond those of a normal human. So suspend disbelief and enjoy the story. (Find this book in our catalog)

Posted by Julia

The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Two years after the death of her husband, Heidi is unable to move forward with her life. Still grieving, she is a source of concern to her family. Her seven-year old son is also affected & is beginning to display symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. When a fire destroys the kitchen of a family home in Provence, Heidi’s mother offers to pay for her & Abbot to travel there & for Heidi to work on renovations. Charlotte, Heidi’s sixteen year-old niece travels with them.  She is having problems with her father, an artist, & her step-mother, Heidi’s sister. Heidi, Abbot & Charlotte all have emotional baggage they are carrying with them & are not convinced when Heidi’s mother tells them that the house in Provence can heal them as it has been a place for love through time. Through stories, new friendships & the revealing of family secrets Heidi, Abbot & Charlotte will begin to find hope for the future in this appealing, romantic tale. A lovely summer read with the flavor of Provence.

This book also includes, a readers’ guide, some wonderful recipes, & teasers of two other books. (Find the book in our catalog)

Bridget Asher is also the author of My Husband’s Sweethearts & The Pretend Wife.

Posted by Julia

Books You May Have Missed II – Staff Recommendations

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

More good books not to be missed!

  Beneath the Sands of Egypt by Donald P. Ryan

“Ryan, an archaeologist, Egyptologist, and writer who teaches in the humanities division at Pacific Lutheran U., provides a memoir of his experiences excavating sites in Egypt, including his rediscovery of Egypt’s famous female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, in the Valley of the Kings. He recounts his adventures from his first trip in 1981 as a graduate student to his discovery of Hatshepsut in 1989 and subsequent discoveries, as well as his education and experiences in Egyptology, the process of becoming an archaeologist, working with eccentric colleagues, and presenting archeology to the public.”

  Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

“Tender, passionate, and moving, Daphne Kalotay’s debut novel about ballet, jewels, love and betrayal is also a delicious form of time travel. I loved it.”–Jenna Blum, “New York Times”-bestselling author of “Those Who Save Us.”

  Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

“Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart — and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed — a dark subculture flourish in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city — a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known…Richard Mayhew is a young businessman with a good heart and a dull job. When he stops one day to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk, his life is forever altered, for he finds himself propelled into an alternate reality that exists in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations below the city. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.”

  Sunshine by Robin McKinley

“They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to the wall of an abandoned mansion-within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight. She knows that it is a vampire. She knows that she’s to be his dinner, and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet, when light breaks, she finds that he has not attempted to harm her. And now it is he who needs her to help him survive the day…”

  Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

“Dr. Peter Brown is an intern at Manhattan’s worst hospital, with a talent for medicine, a shift from hell, and a past he’d prefer to keep hidden. Whether it’s a blocked circumflex artery or a plan to land a massive malpractice suit, he knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men. Pietro “Bearclaw” Brnwna is a hitman for the mob, with a genius for violence, a well-earned fear of sharks, and an overly close relationship with the Federal Witness Relocation Program. More likely to leave a trail of dead gangsters than a molecule of evidence, he’s the last person you want to see in your hospital room. Nicholas LoBrutto, aka Eddy Squillante, is Dr. Brown’s new patient, with three months to live and a very strange idea: that Peter Brown and Pietro Brnwa might-just might-be the same person …Now, with the mob, the government, and death itself descending on the hospital, Peter has to buy time and do whatever it takes to keep his patients, himself, and his last shot at redemption alive. To get through the next eight hours-and somehow beat the reaper.”

 Soulless by Gail Carriger

“”Buffy the Vampire Slayer” meets Jane Austen in this wickedly funny debut novel, which kicks off Carriger’s new series set in an alternate 19th-century London that not only knows about vampires and werewolves, but accepts them into the upper tiers of society.”

  His at Night by Sherry Thomas

“From the most powerfully original historical romance author writing today (Lisa Kleypas) comes a lush, seductive new romance about a lord and lady who seem a perfect match–until they discover each other’s secrets.”