Romance for the End of Summer
By Rhonna Hargett, Adult and Teen Services Manager
Summer is fading quickly, so grasp what little is left by settling in on the screen porch, dipping your feet in the pool, or stretching out on the hammock to enjoy a delicious romance.
Kristan Higgins has established a sterling reputation as a writer of humorous contemporary romance. Her last few novels have dug a bit deeper into other aspects of women’s lives without losing her reliable ability to deliver a memorable story. In Now That You Mention It, Dr. Nora Stuart is starting to question her life in Boston as a successful gastroenterologist and her relationship with her boyfriend, when an accident clarifies that she needs to do something different. She heads home to small-town Maine even though she knows that she will not be welcomed by everyone. Coming to terms with her past and finding connections in unexpected places open up new possibilities for a fresh start on life.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang tells the story of Stella Lane, an autistic statistician who doesn’t appreciate many aspects of dating, especially kissing. Bowing to pressure from her mother’s nagging, Stella decides to take a practical approach and hires a male escort to teach her how to date. She soon realizes that there’s more to the gorgeous Michael than a pretty face and patience with her awkward ways. The author is autistic herself and enjoyed the opportunity to add some authenticity to depictions of autism in fiction. This sweet and spicy romance is a delightful read.
In An Extraordinary Union, Alyssa Cole takes readers back to the Civil War. Freed slave Elle Burns risks her freedom by spying for the Union Army in the South. Disguised as a mute slave in a Southern senator’s home, she discovers that her contact from the Pinkerton Agency is a dashing Confederate officer paying court to the spoiled daughter of the house. Working together in secret to serve the Union cause, they develop mutual respect and trust. Cole has a talent for developing rich characters and doesn’t shy away from the complications of an interracial romance in Civil War South. An Extraordinary Union will keep readers captivated while also educating about a critical point in our history.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory starts off with the classic meet-cute of getting stuck in an elevator. Drew is dreading the wedding of his former girlfriend and his best friend when he is trapped with Alexa. In desperation, he asks her to fake a relationship with him and be his date for the wedding. The farce becomes real when they realize they can’t stop thinking about each other. Alexa is smart and resourceful woman dealing with a difficult family history. Drew is a pediatrician avoiding the ghosts from his past. Guillory infuses their story with humor and heart to create a truly enjoyable story.
Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky is an inspirational story of Isabella Grayson, an aspiring news writer whose father just wants her to marry well, and James Drake, a pilot working to be the first man to fly across the English Channel. When James crashes on the Grayson estate, he is enraptured by Isabella and the status of her family. Disaster brings them closer to each other and strengthens their faith. Packed with adventure and gentle allure, this thoroughly-researched Edwardian Christian romance is a good read-alike for fans of Downton Abbey.
It wouldn’t be a proper romance fiction list without at least one Regency title. Tessa Dare provides an enchanting and humorous twist on Beauty and the Beast entitled The Duchess Deal. When seamstress Emma Gladstone goes calling on the Duke of Ashbury, wearing the bridal gown that his former fiancé refuses to pay for, little does she know that she will receive an offer of marriage. The duke needs an heir and any bride will do. Her ability to stand up to him and his hidden honorable kindness transform a marriage of convenience into a love match. Strong characters and Dare’s trademark wit make for a vibrant novel.
You can find out about all the latest and greatest fiction by subscribing to email newsletters from our website, www.MHKlibrary.org. Choose from your favorite genres or bestsellers to find your next great read.