Nora Roberts concludes her Boonsboro Inn trilogy (The Next Always, The Last Boyfriend) with The Perfect Hope, the story of the third Montgomery brother Ryder and the innkeeper Hope. Hope has come to Boonsboro after losing her heart to the wrong man and her hotel manager job in Washington, D.C. She loves the restored Inn Boonsboro and runs the inn with care and attention to detail. Her close friends Avery and Clare are in relationships with two of the three Montgomery brothers who worked to restore the old inn to it’s current grandeur. Ryder has always been a mystery to her–a man of few words who appears short-tempered and not particularly sociable. When her former boyfriend appears with a less than respectable proposal, Ryder comes to Hope’s defense, and both realize the unavoidable attraction between them. Roberts writes with humorous, witty dialog and touching family interactions. The entire family becomes involved in trying to solve the mystery of the inn’s ghost Lizzy’s “Billy”–who was he and why is she waiting for him? This is a charming story with likeable, strong and independent characters, a sweet love story and a strong-willed ghost–a perfect ending to this trilogy.
In Tempting the Bride David Hastings, haven fallen in love with Helena Fitzhugh when he was 15 years old, does anthing he can to gain her attention, including torment her and make rude comments. His pride keeps him from disclosing his true feelings, and Helena grows into a vibrant, independent, well-educated business woman who wants nothing to do with Hastings. When Helena makes a decision that could result in scandal, Hastings is there to save her reputation,and the couple is forced into marriage. Helena despises Hastings until an unfortunate accident erases her memory of the recent past. Hastings finally has his chance to make his true feelings known and to court the woman he has loved for most of his life. The characters in this romance are strong personalities–both are arrogant and obstinate but also vulnerable, dialog is witty and the love story is believable and touching–a charming and entertaining story.
When Frankie Pratt graduates from high school in 1920, she receives a scrapbook and her father’s old Corona typewriter. She can’t wait to leave her small New Hampshire home town and take on the world as a writer, but of course complications ensue. Frankie’s experiences include education, heartbreak, encouragement, and decisions both misguided and brave. We get to be there every step of the way as she types up her journal entries for her scrapbook and includes letters, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, and ticket stubs for our archival pleasure. The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt is a quick and delightful read with images that bring her and her era to life.
by Kristin Billerbeck
Her life in Paris as a perfume creator, given up, for what? An embarrassing moment at the altar with no groom. Daphne Sweeten left Paris for the man she thought she loved. When he neglected to make their wedding, she was devastated. Now she must endure life in Dayton, Ohio, where she and her missing fiance were suppose to work together, creating household fragance. After being jilted at the altar, she soon realizes she has also lost her sense of smell. How can she keep a job that hired her for her nose, when she has lost it?
Jesse Lightner, soon to be Daphne’s new boss, didn’t want to add the expense of a “nose” into the budget. But, he had no choice in the matter. Now, he not only has to balance the already tight budget, find something for Daphne and her nose to do, but also come to Daphne’s rescue. The Scent of Rain is a quick engaging read and Billerbeck throws in a few twists to the plot. Of course Jesse and Daphne get it all worked out and live happily ever after.
Diana Wells has nowhere to turn. She’s on the run from both sides of the law when she is run off the road by a horse. Along comes rough-around-the-edges hero, Shepherd Jones, who escaped a difficult past of his own to hide out on his inherited ranch. Together they figure out how to move on from the past and have faith to carry them into the future. Filled with action and humor, Along came Jones is a delight.
In the town of Wall, there is a stone wall with a gap that leads to a meadow where the Faerie Realm begins. Every 9 years, there is a fair in the meadow where once Dunstan Thorn fell in love with a beautiful woman from the other side of the wall. 9 months later, a baby, Tristan Thorn, is left at the wall. Dunstan raises the boy and Tristan falls in love with Victoria Foster. As they walk hand in hand , they spot a falling star and Victoria agrees to marry Tristan if he brings her the star. Tristan crosses through the wall and his adventures begin. He encounters deadly trees, a unicorn, talking animals, faerie sprites and he finds the fallen star, who turns out to be the daughter of the moon, Yvaine. As they make their way back to Wall, they are pursued by the Lords of Stormhelm, who want a jewel that Yvaine is carrying, and by an evil witch who wants Yvain’s heart to find eternal youth. When they reach Wall, Tristan realizes that what he thought he wanted isn’t what his heart wants, and that he is not who he always thought he was.
Stardust is a charming story, filled with wonderful images, good and evil characters and a very likeable main character who learns about life and himself on his quest for love–a terrific fairy tale for adults!!!
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.
Sandra Brown has created another fast-paced, convincing suspense novel with her latest title Low Pressure. Bellamy Price was 12 years old when, during a picnic, a tornado struck and after the storm cleared, the body of her murdered older sister was discovered. Haunted to her adulthood by her flawed memories of the event , Bellamy has written a novel based on the circumstances around her sister’s murder, in the hopes of finding closure for the incident. Denton Carter was her sister’s boyfriend at the time of the murder and was a suspect at the time. Years later, he is a pilot, and he and Bellamy are brought together and work together to find the truth about the murder and who is the real killer.The story is filled with lots of twists and turns,and Bellamy and Denton must race to find answers before the killer stalking them can catch up. Filled with romance, great characters and lots of suspense, the plot will keep you guessing about the killer until the very end–an exciting suspense novel !!
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.
Montana wilderness guide, Angie Powell, never dreamed that she might become Prey as she set out to guide one last pair of hunters before reluctantly selling her business to her competition, Dare Callahan. On this hunting trip to bag a black bear, Angie witnesses a murder and before the killer can turn on her, a man-eating bear invades the scene. An old friend of Angie’s has asked Dare to watch over Angie as the hunters seemed suspicious. Dare is camping nearby and hears the shots–He finds Angie, exhausted and nearly dead crawling away from the camp. Forced together for their very survival, Angie and Dare find a growing attraction as they are stalked across the mountain by a desperate killer and a man-eating five-hundred-pound beast.
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.
Having recovered from a serious childhood illness , Olivia Mackenzie is determined to live the rest of her life with her 3 close friends, also survivors of illness, as her only relationships. Her goal is to see her father, who is running a ponzi scheme, put in jail. Olivia unwittingly becomes involved in an FBI sting operation, where she meets agent Grayson Kincaid. After attempts on her life and despite her objections, Kincaid takes on the job of protecting Olivia. Several suspects could be the assailant, and the plot twists and turns lead the reader from one suspect to another. Sweet Talk is a blend of complicated mystery and a satisfying romance, with likeable, complicated, strong characters and a fast-paced plot.
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.