>Just after World War II, Jean Paget is contacted by an attorney and learns she has inherited some money. Her plan to use some of the funds is to go to Malaysia in order to build a well in a village. As she explains to the attorney her reasons for her wish , she tells the story of her forced march across Malaysia as a Japanese prisoner of war. The men are taken to a POW camp, but there are no accommodations for women and children. They are marched through jungles and across the country, their numbers dwindling due to disease and starvation. Eventually their Japanese guard dies, and they are accepted in a village, earning their way by working in the rice paddies. The women are helped by an Australian prisoner, Joe Harmon, who steals food and medicine for them and eventually is brutally punished for his actions. Jean believes Joe died from his brutal treatment and Joe believes Jean, like the rest of the British women, is married . After the war and after learning the truth about each other, they travel to opposite sides of the world to find each other, eventually establishing a new life in Australia.
A Town Like Alice illustrates the best of the human spirit, showing resilience, caring and hope in the face of unbearable suffering and brutality–a compelling story of war, survival and love.
Grace Bagshaw Vance may look like a sweet Georgia beauty queen, but she is willing to use every weapon in her arsenal, including charm, gravel, her family, and the occasional unloaded shotgun, to keep movie maker Stone Senterra from making a mockery of her beloved late husband’s heroic story. Senterra’s loyal bodyguard, Boone Noleene is assigned to charm her into giving her blessing to the project. Boone falls fast for the beauty with a spine of steel and tries to keep the project from being disrespectful of Harper Vance and keep Grace from spoiling the dream of the man who gave him a chance when he was released from prison on parole. Full of slapstick humor, adventure, and steamy romance, Charming Grace is also a sweet story of opening broken hearts and fierce family loyalty.
Julian Monroe returns to his English home, Ravenscar, after 3 years away, time spent mourning the mysterious death of his wife Lily. There are those in Lily’s family who believe that Julian murdered his wife and are looking for revenge. His mother is overjoyed that Julian has returned home and chooses Sophie Wilkie, the daughter of a dear friend, as the woman she wishes her son to marry. Sophie and her aunt Roxanne are invited to Ravenscar, where they are joined by Julian’s friend and nephew, Devlin Brabante. Sophie and Roxanne are strong, independent women who are witty and intelligent. Devlin and Justin are intelligent, handsome and honorable men, and the four are embroiled in past mysteries and in kidnappings and plots of revenge. Julian comes to learn about his father and their relationship and why his father referred to him as The Prince of Ravenscar. Filled with witty dialog and gothic romance, Coulter’s latest novel provides an entertaining escape into the past.
>Phillipa Ashley’s new novel is a funny and entertaining romance. Carrie and Huw have been together for 10 years and are in the process of finally planning their wedding when Huw abruptly ends their relationship. Carrie is angry and hurt and creates an embarrassing scene at Huw’s wedding to someone else. Not knowing what the next steps in her life will hold, Carrie decides to head off in a small camper van on a road trip with her best friend Rowena. The plans sound great until an acting job turns up for Rowena and she backs out of the trip plans. Not wanting her friend to miss her much-needed vacation, Rowena arranges for someone else to accompany Carrie on the trip. That someone else is Matt–a handsome doctor who has been sent home from his medical mission on a Pacific island following a traumatic accident. He is at loose ends on his leave and welcomes the chance to travel with no schedule or set destination. With lots of fun dialog, touching scenes and likable characters, Carrie Goes off the Map is a lighthearted and witty romance that will warm your heart.
>Mitch Baker is a single man–a political cartoonist–enjoying life when his world is turned upside-down. His closest friends are killed in an auto accident and he and Thea Wyndham are named as guardians for three young children. Thea is no where to be found in the aftermath of the accident, leaving Mitch to make a home for the children and try to help them through their grief. When she finally arrives on the scene, she is terrified to accept the responsibility of helping to raise the children. Both Mitch and Thea are involved in romantic relationships, and their partners are not thrilled with the idea of accepting three children into their lives. As the story unfolds, Mitch begins to understand the reasons for Thea’s reluctance to become part of the children’s family, but he insists that their friends wanted both of them to be involved in raising the children. As Mitch and Thea struggle to be the parents the children need, they learn about themselves and what they truly want from life. A Place Called Home is a touching romance with lots of laughter and tears, and characters who come to realize that love is the foundation of a family–a heartwarming novel from author Jo Goodman.
It’s a good time of year to curl up with a cup of tea and a book to escape from the pressures of the world for awhile, and what better place is there to escape to than the Irish countryside. In Born in Fire, Nora Roberts tells the story of glass artist Maggie Concannon who copes with her painful past by keeping to herself and living for her art. Gallery owner Rogan Sweeney sees her potential in his plan to promote Irish artists and determinedly pursues her. You know how the story will end, but getting to know Maggie and Rogan, along with Dublin and the Irish countryside is a delight.
The United States of America no longer exists. The western states are now known as the Republic and the east is known as the Colonies. The two have been fighting for as long as anyone in the Republic can remember and all resources are devoted to the war effort. June was born into privilege and had all possible advantages growing up. She is a military prodigy and will likely achieve a high military post when her training is completed. Day was born into the slums of Los Angeles and is now a wanted criminal for his activities hindering the military.
June and Day are thrown together when June’s first assignment is tracking and catching Day. June may be certain she wants to catch Day in the beginning, but as time goes on, it becomes less and less clear to her that the Republic is always right and Day is the one committing the most serious crimes.
Legend is Lu’s debut and is a taut dystopian thriller, the first in a planned trilogy. The book has received positive reviews from The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. This one will appeal to readers who liked the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. Definitely a series to watch. Fast-paced, exciting, and has the potential to make a great trilogy.
> Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue, the first book in author Stephanie Laurens’ new trilogy about the Cynster sisters, offers strong characters, lots of steamy romance and humor along with a bit of danger and intrigue. Heather Cynster is bored with the season when she meets Timothy Danvers, Viscount Breckenridge, at a party. He escorts her outside to her carriage, only to witness her abduction. He follows the kidnappers to Scotland, where he is able to arrange a clandestine meeting with Heather and arranges her escape. The two must travel across the countryside on foot, hiding in woods and barns to avoid capture by a mysterious man who is tracking them. Heather and Breckenridge engage in a battle of wills–Heather asserts her independence while Breckenridge’s protective instincts cause him to attempt to control her. While both have feelings for the other, neither wants to admit to them. Will they be able to learn to share themselves and their feelings with each other? Laurens has created another delightful romance, with an added touch of mystery. Who is the mysterious man and why does he want to kidnap one of the Cynster sisters? The second book in the series, In Pursuit of Eliza Cynster, may offer some answers to these questions.
Newport Rhode Island, home of the summer cottages ofthe very wealthy built during the gilded age, inspired the concluding settingfor An Unlikely Suitor
a historicalnovel by Nancy Moser. This immigrant story is of the Scapelli’s, a mother andher two daughters newly arrived in New York City in 1895.
Their father, Dante Scapelli, lost his life in an accident on the docksshortly after their arrival.
Now thesmall family is scraping by as dressmakers to the wealthy.
Lucy Scapelli meets Rowena Langdon when Rowena visits MadameMoreau’s Fashion Emporium to be outfitted with a wardrobe suitable for hersummer in Newport.During a fitting, Lucy sees that she could help crippled Rowena’s clothes tofit better and hide her obvious physical disabilities. The two become friends under the disapprovingeye of Rowena’s mother. While trying toadjust to life with her wealthy friends in Newport Rowena schemes to find a way her dressmaker friend can join her.
This novel treats us to life during the Gilded Age, thesocial mores of that time, beautiful descriptive language of fashion from thatlavish era and the difficult life of immigrants at the turn of the century.
>Comfort Kennedy is shocked into silence when her oldest friend, Bram, announces their engagement. She agrees to a short engagement to save face and excuses his typical irresponsible behavior. Bram’s brother, Bode, realizes that he’s running out of time to capture the woman he’s loved for years. Bram’s injury forces Comfort and Bode to spend more time together, building a romance that will have to sustain them through dangerous intrigue and the trauma of her childhood. Gold rush San Francisco provides a exciting and shady background for this romantic and sensual story. With Kissing Comfort, Goodman has created another romance you won’t soon forget.
>Clare Brewster, a widow with three boys, has returned to her home town to be closer to friends and family and to open a book shop, unaware that Beckett Montgomery has had a crush on her since they were 15 years old. Beck and his brothers and mother own a construction company and are in the process of renovating the old Boonsboro Inn to be a town show piece. As Clare becomes involved with the changes at the Inn, she realizes Beck’s interest in her and they begin to see each other as more than just friends. The interplay between Beck and his brothers is entertaining as are the interactions between Beck and Clare’s children. The Next Always is a very sweet romance–the first in a trilogy about the men in the Montgomery family. If you enjoy this title, you may enjoy Nora Roberts’ Bride Quartet, starting with Vision in White.
>Lisa Kleypas has written a charming holiday romance in her book Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor. Mark Nolan becomes guardian for his 6 year old niece after a tragic accident, leaving him overwhelmed and unprepared for the care of a child. He and his brother Sam assume the responsibility of caring for the child and trying to build a new family for her. They meet Maggie, a widow who has moved to the area and has opened a toy shop, where Maggie forms a connection with Holly. This is a sweet story of love, hope and healing. Get into the spirit of the season with this enjoyable holiday story!
>Kristan Higgins has again provided a romance novel filled with humor and quirky characters. Posey is an interesting and strong main character–a young woman living in her home town with her own business, and with friends and family who know everything about her life. Her high school crush, former bad-boy Liam,a widower, returns to town, accompanied by his teen-aged daughter and his return revives all of Posey’s past feelings. Posey and Liam are drawn to each other despite Posey’s hesitation and Liam’s reluctance to get involved with someone while the parent of a teenager. The dialogue is crisp and funny and the relationships are believable, with lots of interesting secondary characters. Until There Was You is an enjoyable and touching romance. Other romances by Kristan Higgins include Fools Rush In and All I Ever Wanted.
I almost didn’t read this one because I didn’t like the cover (and yes, I know, I shouldn’t be judging books by their covers). I’m glad I picked it up, though, since I’m a sucker for the crop of young adult fantasy books with strong, interesting heroines that have been published in the past few years. If you liked The Hunger Games, Matched, Graceling, or Sabriel for the strong female main character, you’ll want to pick up Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Karou is a young woman living in Prague who is leading a double life. In one life she is an art student with a boyfriend who cheated on her, in the other, she runs errands picking up teeth for the wishmonger, Brimstone, the chimaera who raised her. She collects languages, has blue hair that grows in that way, three bullet scars on her abdomen and eye tattoos on the palms of her hands that have been there for as long as she can remember.
Karou is drawn into a centuries old conflict between angels and the chimaera when she runs into Akiva, an angel soldier trying to cut Brimstone off from the world. Karou and Akiva are drawn to one another, but there are secrets kept and hidden between them, and a startling revelation will drive them apart.