Choose this delightful movie when your spirits need a lift. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a story with a ridiculous premise- but haven’t we all heard of some pretty far out accomplishments that sheikh money have produced, such as the world’s largest indoor ski resort. Author of the book by the same name, Paul Torday, has a very rich sheikh desiring to be able to salmon fish in the desert of Yemen. Nothing will stop him from finding someone to accomplish this. He hires a financial and land management group with lovely Ms. Harriet Chetwode-Talbot to lead the project. She in turn contacts the National Center for Fishiers Excellence in England to work out the difficulties. No one can dream that this will be possible, but plans begin to fall into place. This is a story with humor, romance, faith, intrigue, delightful characters, and much charm.
Scandal Wears Satin is the second title in Loretta Chase’s Dressmaker series, following Silk is for Seduction. Sophy Noirot is one of three sisters with an exclusive London dress shop Maison Noirot. Their most prominent and valuable customer, Lady Clara, is caught in a compromising situation with an impoverished and unlikeable gentleman and she chooses to run away rather than be joined in a loveless marriage with a fortune hunter. Sophy and Lady Clara’s brother, Earl of Longmore, must join forces to find Lady Clara, avoid any scandal, and find a way to discredit Clara’s suitor so that she is not forced into marriage. As they travel together, Sophy and Longmore discover that they have much in common and friendship grows into love. But can a mere dressmaker marry an Earl? Chase has created engaging, likeable characters with dialog filled with wit and humor. This is a delightful addition to the series.
Elena is finally free of her mean stepmother and stepsisters, but isn’t sure what to do without any family or position to go to. Fortunately her fairy godmother swoops in to clarify the situation. Apparently, Elena was supposed to be a “Cinderella”, but the kingdom’s prince was only a child, so she has been reassigned as a fairy godmother. Elena takes quickly to the role, only regretting the loneliness of the position, when she encounters the rudest man she ever met and punishes him by turning him into a donkey. As he learns humility, she ponders whether she has the strength to question tradition. The Fairy Godmother is a delightfully funny tale filled with magic, adventure, and romance.
Exhausted of being in the public eye, recently widowed First Lady Cornelia needs some time away. Slipping away from her security detail she finds herself traveling across country in a yellow RV with a cranky steel worker and two crazy and lovable children.
Mat is taking a break from his disappointing job when he discovers that his ex-wife has left him with the guardianship of two children that aren’t his. He takes them across the country to find their grandmother and picks up a woman after her car is stolen. She’s odd but helpful and seems vaguely familiar.
Stuck in a RV with a surly teenager and a cranky baby, they learn to depend on each other and eventually appreciate each other even as they wittily bicker. First lady is a book that will tug your heartstrings and your funny bone.
Meredith Hayes feels she must warn the Archers of the plot she overheard her, so called, fiance planning. He wants the land and would do anything to run them off. The Archer land is gated and locked. They may shoot before a person gets a chance to tell them their business. But, because of an encounter years earlier, Meredith wants to give them information to help them save their land.
After sustaining an injury on Archer land, Meredith is nursed back to health with the care of the four Archer brothers. When her Uncle finds out she’s been with them unchaperoned, he insists that one of them takes her as their bride. The brothers draw straws to determine which one of them must marry her. Travis, the oldest of the four, ends up with the short-straw and the responsibility of Meredith.
With trouble from greedy land grabbers and trying to keep his new wife safe, Travis has his hands full. Meredith wants to help, but Travis wants to keep her in the house out of harms way. When her cousin, Cassandra, is in danger, Meredith sneaks out to help, putting them all in danger. The characters from Short-Straw Bride are fun to get to know and Karen Witemeyer has entwined the story with much adventure.
In the latest installment in her popular Friday Harbor series, Dream Lake, Lisa Kleypas tells the story of Alex Nolan, whose past demons haunt him and prevent him from developing a close and loving relationship with anyone, including his brothers. He is an alcoholic coping with divorce when he meets Zoe Hoffman, a chef at the local inn whose culinary expertise has been known to create food that can comfort and heal. Zoe has given up on believing in love after being hurt in the past. She is devoted to caring for the grandmother that raised her and now suffers from Alzheimer’s. Alex returns to Friday Harbor to help renovate his brothers home, where he becomes aware of the presence of a ghost. The ghost appears only to Alex and needs Alex’s help to discover who he was and why he is unable to move on. The relationship between Zoe and Alex is touching and believable, and the presence of the ghost adds humor. This is a satisfying and magical romance and a wonderful addition to the Friday Harbor series, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor and Rainshadow Road.
Doc Martin is a surgeon that develops a fear of blood! So begins this British television drama that has won numerous comedy awards. Martin Clunes stars as Dr. Martin Ellingham, a brilliant vascular surgeon who must give up his successful career in London. He begins a new career as a general practitioner in the sleepy seaside village, Portwenn, where he spent his vacations as a child with his aunt. Martin is a doctor without a warm bedside manner. His impossibly cold, gruff and no nonsense manner is the mainstay for much humor as he deals with eccentric backward villagers and falls for the pretty, local school teacher. If you like to laugh, you will love following this really funny British series. Manhattan Public Library owns all five television series plus the made for tv movies produced in 2011.
It is the quietest time of year in Manhattan. Most of the summer activities have come to an end and we still have some time before the energy of returning students and school starting up. The recent heat has caused us all to be a bit wilted. A good laugh can help you through the end-of-summer doldrums so you can be cheerful when all our new residents come pouring in.
You might have heard of Lisa Scottoline’s suspense novels. What is less well known is that she partners with her daughter to write nonfiction that will crack you up. Her latest, Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: the Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter talks about the close and challenging relationships in families, while making sure to see the humor in life. Another nonfiction favorite is Bill Bryson, known best for his travel memoirs. Whether he’s on a trip across the pond in Notes from a Small Island or traveling back in time with The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid Bryson’s work is known for causing annoyance to those near readers because of the constant chuckling and the repeated phrase “You’ve got to hear this.”
Romance is a genre ripe with scenarios of people making idiots of themselves for our reading enjoyment. In Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D’Alessandro, Jamie Newman escapes New York for the beach in an attempt to regroup after a failed relationship, only to face a run-down shack, an ever-present family, and a difficult (but of course attractive) neighbor/landlord. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig takes us back to the French Revolution with the story of Amy Balcourt. Amy heads out to France with hopes to become a spy with the league of the Purple Gentian. Secrets, misunderstandings, and clumsy spying attempts don’t bode well for her career, but the Purple Gentian finds that he wants her close by anyway.
If you like your romance heavy on the humor but light on spice, you might like these Christian authors. A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist tells the story of Washington settler Joe Denton who needs a wife to keep his land and Ana Ivey who unknowingly signs off as a bride when she just hopes to escape to the west to find a job cooking. Full of witty dialogue and likeable characters, Gist’s books are a treat. In Fancy Pants by Cathy Marie Hake, Lady Syndey Hathwell escapes to her long lost uncle’s ranch disguised as a man. Ranch manager Tim Creighton is disgusted by his new ranch hand’s hardworking but inept and weak attempts to live up to his expectations.
For humor with a more mysterious turn, you might try The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, takes up the case when characters suddenly begin to disappear from great works of literature. A mix of fantasy and mystery is delightfully witty. Alan Bradley takes you into the world of the engaging Flavia de Luce, eleven year old chemist in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. When she discovers a dying man in the garden, she revels in the joy of investigation.
Some of us like our humor to be a little otherworldly. In A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, neurotic hypochondriac and recent widower, Charlie Asher, is faced with the challenges of a new baby and a new and unwanted job as a merchant of death. Scott Rockwell has adapted Terry Pratchett’s Discworld into Graphic Novel format, maintaining the bizarrely humorous feel from the original novels about a parallel world that rests on the backs of four elephants balanced on a giant turtle hurtling through space.
When the hot, slow days start to get you down, just remember the words of MarkTwain, “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
We’re often told by parents (and librarians) not to judge a book by its cover. I’m apparently a terrible librarian because I choose what to read by its cover on a regular basis. God Save the Queen is one example of a book I chose for the cover. That smirking, red haired, steampunk-wearing woman on the cover couldn’t fail to catch my eye at the very least. When I realized it was set in an alternate 2012 in England where Queen Victoria still ruled as a near-immortal vampire, I simply couldn’t resist.
Xandra Vardan is a member of the Royal Guard, the organization charged with protecting the vampires and werewolves who make up the Aristocracy in this alternate Britain. When her younger sister, Drusilla, goes missing, Xandra uses all the resources at her disposal, including going to the goblin prince for information, in order to find her. What she finds shakes her belief in the structure of British society and the right of the Aristocracy to rule and everything she thinks she knows about the people in her world.
God Save the Queen is an exciting blend of horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, mystery, steampunk and alternate history. With a flawed main character and conspiracies that run deep, this is a fun read for people who like urban fantasy.
Lucy Jorik, daughter of the President of the United States and a daughter who wants to always please her adoptive parents, decides at the last minute that marrying the perfect man–Ted Beaudine–isn’t for her. She runs from the church and hops on the back of a motorcycle driven by Patrick “Panda” Shade–making her Great Escape from her well-planned life. In her search to discover the person she would like to be, Lucy follows Panda to his home on an island in Lake Michigan, much to his dismay. There, they both search for trust and love, surrounded by secondary characters that all have emotional obstacles that they are trying to overcome. Like Call Me Irresistible, Phillips fills this story with witty dialog, touching characters and lots of love–a wonderful romance!.
by Mary Connealy
A country that is “no place for a woman”. A woman that loves the country: the cavern with it’s mystery and fossils, and the freedom it gives her to explore. Because her father usually provided a small home in secluded spots for the family of four, Julia took to wandering while her step-mother & baby sister rested in the afternoons. Here in the mountains of Colorado Julia’s dream comes true, for the mountain is full of caverns that house tons of fossils for her to study and write about. Even when she finds herself trapped in the cavern, with no light, and a missing rope, she has such fascination with her study that once she is rescued, she must return.
Rafe, a cattle ranch owner, never wants to enter the caverns again because of a childhood accident that severely damaged his youngest brother. Yet, when he hears a woman yelling for help from the depths of the cavern, his fear is set aside to rescue her. Finding Julia, returning her to her home, finding the home an unfit place to live, and the father dying from a cut on his arm that is infected beyond healing, he feels the need to “take care” of this family.
The question is, who moved Julia’s rope that trapped her in the cave and why would anyone stoop to such low-down maneuvers? One thing is for sure, someone is hiding in the mountains and caves. Someone that is either crazy or just plain mean. Out of Control, set in the mid 1800′s, is a fun read that was too good to put down. I was glad that I had picked up the second book of the Kincaid Brides Series, In Too Deep, so that I could continue the story. I’m happy to say that the third book of the series, Over the Edge, is coming August, 2012.
Sometimes nothing will do but a classic. Listed as one of the top 100 romances of all time on the All About Romance web site, The Bride by Julie Garwood is the sweet, passionate, and witty story of Alec Kincaid, Scottish laird and Jaime, the youngest daughter of an English baron. Both of them forced into marriage, they struggle to find common ground between her healing strength and his domineering warrior ways. A delightful journey back to historic Scotland is classic romance.
by Liane Moriarty
Ellen, the hypnotist, is in love with a widower that is being stalked by his last love. Saskia, the stalker, cannot let Patrick and his son Jack go. She spent three years of her life raising Patrick’s son from a toddler. How could he just say it’s over. Saskia won’t let Patrick get by with pushing her out of his life. Ellen, is intrigued with Saskia’s behavior, but when she shows up at the foot of her bed in the middle of the night, that is just a little bit too bizarre. Patrick’s love for his first wife, Colleen, seems to still be fresh. Ellen isn’t sure she can compete with his sentiment for her. Will Ellen be able to live with a stalker pursuing their every move and the fact that Patrick hasn’t left his first love behind? The Hypnotist’s Love Story, set in Australia, is an intriguing read, with several interesting characters in the sidelines.
Nora Roberts has another winning romance with the second title in her Inn Boonsboro trilogy. (The first in the series is The Next Always.) The Last Boyfriend continues the previous story, with the Montgomery clan renovating the old Inn. The entire community has a stake in the outcome of the success of the Inn. Owen Montgomery is the organizer of the family–running the construction company and keeping the renovation on schedule and under budget. Avery is the owner of the local pizza shop and has been friends with the Montgomery family since childhood. Her first boyfriend was Owen, and they have remained friends ever since. Owen patronizes the restaurant often during the inn construction and finds himself more and more drawn to Avery. Avery is cautious and hesitant to build a romantic relationship with Owen, for fear or ruining their friendship. Past losses make Avery afraid to commit her whole heart, and when a person from her past reappears, she wonders if she can ever fully devote herself to Owen. Filled with likeable and engaging characters, humor and love and with a friendly ghost added to the plot, The Last Boyfriend is a delightful addition to this series–Book three in the series (The Perfect Hope) will tell the story of Hope and Ryder and is due to be published in November 2012.
Lucy and her friends have decided to spend graduation night searching for Shadow, the elusive but talented graffiti artist. Ed and his friends just want to kill time until they can carry out their real plans for the evening. In the meantime, Ed joins Lucy in her quest, racing to all of Shadow’s artwork while thawing their prickly relationship through their stories and hopes. Lucy shares her obsession with Shadow and his art, unaware of how close he really is. Graffiti Moon is a fun young adult novel with great characters and an artistic twist.