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October 31, 2022

Don't Miss These 4 Romantic Tales

by Susan Roberts

I've had a lot of tragedy in my life in the last several months and found that the genre that kept my interest the most during this time were romance novels.  Yes, they are pretty predictable but they always have a happy ending and characters that you feel like you know in your life.  Here are some of my favorite romances from the last several months

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The Desert Flowers - Mistletoe & Holly by Judith Keim

book cover of women's fiction novel Mistletoe and Holly by Judith Keim
November 2022; Wild Quail; 978-1954325340
ebook, print (129 pages); women's fiction

Alec has died and to honor him, the Desert Flowers - Rose, Lily, and Willow along with Willow's mom Juanita, decide to open Juanita's Kitchen.  This is a charitable organization that provides food and hot meals to those in need.  They decide to hire people who are down on their luck to run the kitchen.  One of their first hires is Ivy,  Because she is the manager, she's provided with an apartment with her seven-year-old son Benjy.  Juanita and her husband Pedro spend a lot of time with Benjy because along with working, Ivy is also attending college.  As Christmas approaches, everyone gets excited about Santa - everyone that is except for Ivy and Benjy.  He knows that Santa has never visited him in the past and doesn't believe that he will now.  Juanita and Pedro work hard to let Benjy know that Christmas is all about giving and that spirit is alive and well.  Ivy has no intention of getting involved with a man - she has more than enough to fill her life - but gradually a man who brings an elderly person to dinner wants to get to know her better and sparks begin to fly between them.  Will Benjy learn that the spirit of giving is what makes Christmas?  Will Ivy be able to relax and get her happily ever after?

Mistletoe & Holly is the last planned book in the Desert Sage Inn series but based on the past, there may be another book or two in the future about the desert flowers and the people that they love.

This is another wonderful series by Judith Keim about strong women coming together to help each other and the people they love.  It's a series about love and family, strong women learning to overcome problems and finding their happily ever afters in their lives.  

Buy Mistletoe and Holly at Amazon

Wedding Season by Michelle Major

book cover of southern romance novel Wedding Season by Michelle Major
April 2022; HQN; 978-1335480002
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); southern romance

Let's head on back to Magnolia, NC, and catch up with our friends from books 1 and 2 at the Wildflower Inn. Wedding Season highlights Mariella.  She had been one of the premier wedding dress designers but after a major meltdown that was recorded and watched over and over on social media, her business died and she fled to Magnolia to try to get her life back in order and to hide from the media. She has a small shop in Magnolia and helps her friends plan weddings at the Wildflower Inn.  Just as her life is starting to feel more normal, Alex shows up in town to open a new business.  Alex was the groom to be at the wedding where she had her meltdown and they dislike each other intensely.  The more time that they work around each other, the more their feelings for each other begin to change.  Can they forget the past and move forward to the future together?

Along with the drama between Mariella and Alex, there is also a very interesting relationship between the former wedding gown designer and Heather, Alex's office manager.  This book is more than a typical romance and offers the reader a unique plot with several major things going on at the same time.  There were times that I liked Mariella and times that I just wanted to shake her but dealing with a public fall from grace would make someone very wary of other people.  This new book is an interesting romance with well-written characters, a fast-moving plot, and a beautiful setting in North Carolina.  

NOTE:  This is book 3 in the Carolina Girls series.  It can be read as a standalone with no confusion.  However, the series is so good that you should start with book 1 and read them in order.

Buy Wedding Season at Amazon

Home to Cypress Bayou by Susan Sands

book cover of romance novel Home to Cypress Bayou by Susan Sands
May 2022; Tule; 978-1956387810
audio, ebook, print (298 pages); southern romance

It’s not true that you can’t go home again, but do you want to?

Home to Cypress Bayou was a great book of Southern fiction that takes place in Louisiana.  The family is well-written, the plot is crisp and lots of secrets are brought to light.  Along with the wonderful characters, there are beautiful descriptions of the bayous and New Orleans that made me feel like I was on a mental vacation.

Leah is the part owner of an art gallery in Paris.  She had signed up for the bone marrow registry when her best friend in Paris died but she's in shock when she gets a phone call from her home state that she is a match and they need her to come home as soon as possible to help this unknown person stay alive.  The patient can't be revealed due to HIPPA regulations but the match with Leah is almost 100% and the doctors think there must be a family connection - but the only family is Leah, her sister, and her parents.  So Leah heads home and finds out that her first love Jake is back in town.  He is a doctor who works at the local hospital and is assigned to handle Leah's initial paperwork and blood draws.  He would love to get their relationship back together but Leah has plans to return to Paris and she has no plans to rekindle their relationship.  When they first see each other again, the spark is still there.  The story is built around two major questions - who is the person who needs the bone marrow and how is she connected to Leah and her family?   Second, will Leah and Jake give in and return to the wonderful relationship that they had in the past?

This was a great new book about family - both old and new,  love - lost and found, and long-time secrets that are revealed and need to be dealt with so that marriages and families are not ruined.  It has a bit of mystery, a surprise discovery, and love rekindled.

Buy Home to Cypress Bayou at Amazon

A Starlight Summer by Michelle Major

book cover of romance novel A Starlight Summer by Michelle Major
May 2022; Harlequin Special Edition; 978-1335408600
ebook, print (288 pages); romance

'Do you know any women not like you? You know, smart and pretty but nice?' 

Ella grew up in Starlight.  Her mother died when she was a teen and she couldn't wait to get out of town and away from her father and brother.  She took a job as a traveling nurse and worked all over the world in some of the poorest places.  She needed to re-think her life so she went back to Starlight.  She's been there for two years working odd jobs and spending time with her friends.    She's known Josh since high school and doesn't like him much.  He's back in town with his eight-year-old daughter, Anna.  Anna has had a difficult life.  First, she had to beat cancer and then her mother left her to live with her father.   She's Josh's whole world.  She asks Ella to help her find a girlfriend for her dad because she knows that he's lonely.  Ella is reluctant but agrees to help Anna.  The only problem is that there are sparks between them that they are both trying to ignore before she agrees to be his girlfriend.

Starlight Summer is another fun romance by Michelle Major.  Her books have great characters that you feel like you know plus they deal with real-life problems.  It was great to go back to Starlight and catch up with some of the characters from earlier books.  You can read A Starlight Summer as a standalone with no confusion but it's such a great series that you might want to read all six books.

Buy A Starlight Summer at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  You can connect with her on Facebook.

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