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Romance

It's February, and Valentine's Day is a perfect time for Romance! Here are some reviews of books you might enjoy. Printer Friendly Version


Zel

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Napoli, Donna Jo(1996)
Zel
Young Adult

Zel and her mother live on a remote farm in the mountains of Switzerland. On one of their infrequent trips into town, Zel meets and intrigues Konrad, the son of a local nobleman. Zel's mother, who can see into the future, fears losing independent Zel to a husband. Mother tricks Zel and locks her in a tower, hiding her away from Konrad and the rest of the world. Konrad cannot forget this mysterious girl and vows to find her. Based on the fairy tale "Rapunzel", Zel is a story of epic love and misplaced motherly devotion.

Reviewed by Sarah H., Independence Regional

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Practical Magic

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Hoffman, Alice(1995)
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Practical Magic

Sally and Gillian Owens are looking for a way to run away from their witchcraft heritage. They just want to live a normal life. Gillian does so by running away and having fun all the time. Sally does it by marrying and working at her daughters' school. They believe they don't need any of the other Owens women. They think that until Gillian kills her boyfriend and Sally's husband dies. The book takes off from there. Everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. This is a great book, no matter what you normally read. I was turning pages faster than I did with Harry Potter! If you are looking for a good romance, a ghost story, or just a book to read, try Practical Magic.

Reviewed by Matt, South Charlotte Middle School

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Thwonk

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Bauer, Joan(1995)
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Thwonk
Young Adult

AJ, senior photographer for The Oracle, has a cover shot due. Assigned to capture teenage love, AJ feels more like photographing melted candy hearts than hand-holding couples. Her love life has been in the dumps since school started. If only Peter, the love of her life, would come to his senses. When AJ stumbles upon a battered cupid doll, the perfect cover shot, she doesn't know that his arrow will change her life. Jonathan, a cupid out for redemption, can make Peter fall in love with her. In this humorous novel, AJ finds out that you must be careful what you wish for--it might come true!

Reviewed by Sarah H., Independence Regional

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Reader's comments about this book

An interesting and thought-provoking story that makes you rethink many things... including what you wish for.
-Erin, Charlotte, NC

Thwonk is a book of love. A.J. wants love. She wishes for it, but what she gets isn't what she wished for. Now she has to do something to redo it. At the end of the book she realizes something important, something that everyone should realize. 'Be careful what you wish for.'
-Sara, Barrington, RI

This novel uses humor to express the sheer torture of teenage love. When A.J. wishes for Peter to love her, she doesn’t realize that she is wishing for disaster.
-Nona, Albequrque, N.M.

I just started reading Thwonk and AJ is a lost teen looking for love, but when her and her friend are driving she comes upon a raggedy cupid doll and she finds out that the doll is real. Jonathon is the cupid’s name and AJ wants to make Peter fall in love with her until Jonathon tells her that Peter’s heart is hard and the arrow might work or might not so I’ll read the rest and tell you the outcome.
-Tayler Jones, Maple Hts, Ohio

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If You Come Softly

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Woodson, Jacqueline(1998)
If You Come Softly
Young Adult

Can there really be love at first sight? Both Ellie and Miah begin to believe so. They are perfect for each other. So why does it seem that the whole world is staring at them when they are together? Why is it that Ellie feels like she has no one to talk to about how happy she is when she and Miah are together? Ellie never thought that the color of her boyfriend's skin could bother so many people. With gentleness, Woodson opens up many questions about what it means to be black, white, young, and in need of understanding.

Reviewed by Tony T., Main Library

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Reader's comments about this book

This book was really good and it showed the struggle of two people of different races in a relationship.It just goes to show how much the United States is still very much prejudiced.
-Aurora, Charlotte, NC

This book was so good. It shows the good times and the bad, between Miah and Ellie.
-Taylor, Alpharetta,GA

All-Time Favorite.
-Ashley, Newportnews, Virginia

Being in love has nothing to do with the color of your skin (and your sweetheart's for that matter). Yet in this book people put more attention to the color of the skin than to the deep color of a shared feeling. What a shame!
-Blanca, Charlotte, NC

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In a Heartbeat

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Adler, Elizabeth(2000)
In a Heartbeat

Ed Vincent has it all: money, power, business, and someone he loves. In a Heartbeat he is about to lose it all when a sniper guns him down as he leaves for his private airplane at LaGuardia. The search for the gunman takes homicide detective Marco Camelia and Ed's love, Melba, from New York, to the South, to California and back to New York as they begin to peel away the mysterious layers of a man's life that doesn't really exist. After an attempt at Melba's life, they know the killer will try again. A page-turner proving that love conquers all.

Reviewed by Natalie M., Morrison Regional

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Welcome to Temptation

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Crusie, Jennifer(2000)
Welcome to Temptation

Sophie and Amy Dempsey come to Temptation, Ohio to make an audition tape for their old friend Clea, an aspiring actress and former porn star. Their arrival and film make the locals suspicious. They have good reason - the tape has become an erotic video. Sophie expects to leave town in a few days, but things like gossip, small-town politics, a sexy mayor, and murder keep getting in her way. With interesting characters, snappy dialogue and exhilarating situations, Crusie's newest will make you laugh and blush at the same time.

Reviewed by Julie B., ImaginOn

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Temptation

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Deveraux, Jude(2000)
Temptation

In 1909, Temperance O'Neil is a 29 year-old women's rights activist in New York who has no room in her life for marriage. In Jude Deveraux's Temptation, Temperance's world turns upside down when her new stepfather informs her that, not only does he control the funds she needs to continue her work, but she must play the role of the dutiful, unmarried daughter and return to Scotland with him and her mother. After failing many attempts to find a way back to New York, Temperance agrees to live with Angus McCairn, the insufferable and overbearing Laird of Clan McCairn, and find him a wife while posing as his housekeeper. Once again, Jude Deveraux has created a romance novel that will sweep readers off their feet as her characters struggle with true love.

Reviewed by Christine B., South County Regional

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Reader's comments about this book

Temptation is by far the best novel I have ever read. Miss Deveraux knows exactly what her readers want. It is a romance novel like none other. It will seriously send chills down your spine, and tears to your eyes.
-Kristin, Brandon, Florida

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Night Magic

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Emery, Lynn(1995)
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Night Magic

This fast-paced multiple-plot novel is set in southern Louisiana, famous for its magnolia trees, antebellum houses, exotic cuisine, mixing of black and white blood, and the age old practice of voodoo. In `Night Magic,` Lynn Emery weaves a tale of love found between Paul Honore, an environmental engineer, and Savannah St. Julien, a former corporate attorney. A perfect match, these two struggle to keep their love afloat while being constantly confronted with deep dark family secrets, jealousy and conflicting professional obligations. Will their love prevail, or will the ever present conflicts play havoc with their strong love and desire for one another? Emery keeps her readers guessing the outcome until the very end.

Reviewed by Vickie C., West Boulevard Branch

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Deception

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Hill, Donna(1996)
Deception

Things are not always as they appear in Donna Hill`s `Deception.` Terri Powers is a successful advertising agent who has a torn childhood, a failed marriage, and a child lost before birth. Clinton Steele is a successful developer who blames himself for the death of his wife and who has a child he doesn`t know how to raise. The only true good thing for Terri and Clint is their love for each other. Can their love survive the people who are so set against them? Passionate love and thrilling suspense make this an exciting and quickly read romance.

Reviewed by Russell M., West Boulevard Branch

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Winter Fire

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Lowell, Elizabeth(1996)
Winter Fire

At the ripe old age of twenty, Sarah Kennedy has already been orphaned, married, and widowed. Sarah desperately wants to find the Spanish treasure that she's convinced is hidden near her home, hoping that it will help her provide a better life for her brother, Connor. Case Maxwell is a man determined to extinguish the entire Culpepper clan, a group of murderers and thieves, for what they did to his family during the Civil War. When Case is shot by one of the Culpeppers, Sarah takes him in and nurses him back to health, leading to a heated collaboration that could bring Sarah to her treasure as well as a broken heart. In Winter Fire, Elizabeth Lowell has written a steamy romance that will capture your heart.

Reviewed by Christine B., South County Regional

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Winter Solstice

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Pilcher, Rosamunde(2000)
Winter Solstice

This book is an adventure. Not like the epic-long Greek tragedies, but full of sudden travel and unexpected, interesting characters, moments of introspection and impulsive grand decisions. Elfrida Phipps was a London actress and has now retired to a small Hampshire village. But, contrary to her expectations of easing quietly out of the limelight, the play of life continues to cast her in new roles she can relish. She makes friends and enjoys her small cottage, but while away visiting her cousin in Cornwall, tragedy strikes. The scenes change dramatically to the highlands of Scotland in the solicitude of winter where she helps her friend Oscar deal with tremendous grief. Then, little by little, the scope enlarges once again with nieces and strangers and memories and plans. This book doesn't drive you to read it all at one time, but you care what happens next, enjoy the spontaniety, and applaud the ending.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Main Library

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Until There Was You

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Ray, Francis(1999)
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Until There Was You

Seeking respite from his matchmaking mother, Luke Grayson, a 34 year-old private investigator, retreats to his mountain cabin outside Sante Fe. He is greeted by a beautiful woman in a silk nightgown pointing a gun at him. Catherine Stewart, a children`s author and UCLA child psychology professor, has come to the cabin at the invitation of Luke`s cousin, Daniel. She wants some solitude to prepare for her Santa Fe speaking engagements. A stalker has followed her and she hires Luke to protect her. Luke is determined to keep their relationship professional. Ray captures the flavor of the Southwest. `Until There Was You` is a fast-paced suspenseful romance that is hard to put down.

Reviewed by Megan M., Main Library

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A Reason to Love

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King-Gamble, Marcia(2001)
A Reason to Love

Niki Hamilton is approaching burnout from working as a pediatrician in the San Francisco Bay area when her friend, Kim, calls and invites her to New Jersey for some fun, rest and relaxation. Niki jumps at the chance and begins to relax, when Kim is suddenly called away to attend a family emergency. Niki is thrust into running a dating agency for Kim, where she meets Cary, a sexy looking single dad who happens to be a landscape designer. Niki does not think Cary is the right one for her but she is drawn to him. Cary knows that Niki is the right woman for him, but trying to convince her is going to require major work for him. Through it all, threatening letters for Niki and an ex-girlfriend for Cary, they find A Reason to Love.

Reviewed by Lanette J., West Boulevard Branch

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Rosie Dunne

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Ahern, Cecelia(2005)
Rosie Dunne

Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart have been best friends since elementary school. When Alex’s family is transferred from Ireland to America the two friends vow to go to college together in the States. But, when Rosie experiences an unexpected event right before college starts she must change her plans. So, for the next 30 years Rosie and Alex go back and forth with missed opportunities, marrying the wrong people and basically being too afraid to tell each other how they feel. This novel is written as a series of correspondences between Rosie and Alex and other family and friends. Rosie Dunne is a unique, original story that proves the old adage `Better late than never`, especially when it comes to true love!

Reviewed by Jessica B., Mint Hill Branch

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Hissy Fit

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Andrews, Mary Kay(2004)
Hissy Fit

When Keeley Murdock catches her fiancé doing the deed with the maid of honor during their wedding rehearsal dinner, she pitches the mother of all hissy fits. This instantly earns her a dangerous reputation, causes her father to lose his country club membership, and has her former fiancé's banking family blacklisting her interior design business. But help comes riding into town in a yellow Cadillac in the form of Will Mahoney, the new owner of the failing local bra plant. Will has just bought an antebellum mansion and wants Keeley to decorate it in hopes of winning the heart of a woman he's never even met. The odds are stacked against Keeley, but she’s ready to reclaim her heart and rise to the occasion in Mary Kay Andrews' dishy and delightful Hissy Fit.

Reviewed by Amanda D., Sugar Creek Branch

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Jane Eyre

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Bronte, Charlotte(1999)
Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre has had a difficult life as an orphan and later as a working, unmarried woman in the early 1800s, but she has spirit and humor that have made her quite the survivor. Written in 1847, the characters and story in this novel are still very believable. Jane goes to work as a governess for the brooding Mr. Rochester, then her world seems to fall apart after she and Mr. Rochester fall in love. This is a wonderful read in which you experience Jane’s great losses and joys in one of the best all-time romances in classic literature.

Reviewed by Heidi F., North County Regional

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Reader's comments about this book

This is one of my favorite books. I first listened to it on CD from the library. I usually have a hard time with classics, but not this one. It is exciting, heartfelt, and interesting. I recommend it to girls looking for a classic that is not too difficult.
-Ann, Yakima, Washington

It's a book I would really recommend to girls especially teens. It's a really good book and everyone should read it. A girl leaves her house in which she was being tortured. She studies abroad and falls in love.
-Ayesha, Karachi, Pakistan

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Charmed and Dangerous

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Havens, Candace(2005)
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Charmed and Dangerous

Sure, being a witch sounds like it would be wonderful, and for the most part it is, but there are days when you just can’t conjure up everything you need. Bronwyn seems to be having one of those days (weeks, months?). She loves her job, the new house she just recently moved to, and seems to have men falling all over her. Just one small problem, she has never had any luck with love and can’t seem to trust herself in that department, especially when her new client won’t take no for an answer. As Bronwyn records her exciting life as bodyguard to the British Prime Minister in her journal, we glimpse various uses of power and the risks she’s willing to take for love.

Reviewed by Linda K., North County Regional

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The Border Hostage

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Henley, Virginia(2001)
The Border Hostage

Loyal Scotsman Heath Kennedy will do anything for those he loves, even impersonate kin in danger so their families will not grieve. Sadly, Heath, born a bastard with no wife or children, has nobody to grieve for him. Enter Raven Carleton, a proper English young lady. No sooner than he sees her, Heath knows she is to be his for all time. Taken as a hostage for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Raven has no idea that this wild Scotsman will show her that things Scottish are not all bad. Adventure ensues when Raven finds out Heath was not born out of wedlock and is actually heir to an earldom. A must read for any lovers of romance!

Reviewed by Jennifer M., Cornelius Branch

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Lost In Your Arms

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Dodd, Christina(2002)
Lost In Your Arms

Enid MacLean married Stephen MacLean for love, but three months later he left her alone and penniless. Now, nine years later, he has been in an explosion, and as his wife, Enid must bring him back from the brink of death for he alone knows secrets that the government desperately needs. But is this man really Stephen? Why are there secrets and lies at every turn? Why is Enid falling in love with this man? This man turns out to be Stephen’s cousin Kiernan, Lord of the MacLean’s. Together, Enid helps Kiernan regain his memory and catch the men who are after him. With the revelation of Stephen’s death, Enid can now be with her true love Kiernan, but can she overcome her pride to accept his offer of eternal happiness?

Reviewed by Jennifer M., Cornelius Branch

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My Favorite Bride

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Dodd, Christina(2002)
My Favorite Bride

Colonel William Gregory knew how to fish, hunt, and protect his family against spies, but he never saw her coming. Miss Samantha Predregast comes into Colonel Gregory’s life as his family's new governess, but she is no ordinary governess. Young, intelligent, very outspoken (and not to mention beautiful!), Colonel Gregory has his work cut out for him -- first trying to maintain order, then trying not to seduce her. Finally, he is able to overcome the death of his first wife knowing that she was the past and Samantha is his and his children's future. But what is in Samantha’s past that could stop everyone’s happiness? Christina Dodd continues the Governess Brides series with all of the wit and charm of her other books.

Reviewed by Jennifer M., Cornelius Branch

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Some Enchanted Evening

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Dodd, Christina(2004)
Some Enchanted Evening

Fleeing the civil war at home, three princesses come to England searching for safety. Unbeknownst to their family, the man sent to bring them home after the war is over wants them dead, so they run. The eldest sister is taken, her whereabouts unknown to the others, but Clarice is able to keep herself and her sister Amy safe by outsmarting their pursuers until they come to Scotland and meet Robert MacKenzie, the earl of Hepburn. Robert can see through a disguise and knows that something isn’t as it seems with this mysterious Princess Clarice, but why is he having such a hard time fighting his attraction for her? Clarice, also fighting against her feelings for Robert, must overcome her past and move on. Robert and Clarice are a classic love story in which there will always be a happily ever after.

Reviewed by Jennifer M., Cornelius Branch

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A Girl with No Name

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Dunn, Carola(2004)
A Girl with No Name

What is Richard to do when, riding his horse along the mountain ridge, he comes across an unconscious girl who later awakens with no memory of who she is or where she came from. Nicknamed Miss Clara Fell, because she was found near the place called Daws Fell, Clara finds herself adopted by Richard's family with whom she finds love and happiness. Worried about what society will say if she turns out to be from beneath his class, Richard holds back professing his ever-growing love for her. When Clara starts to remember her past, can Richard’s love for her last until Clara is well enough to see him? He need not have feared. When Clara remembers everything, she remembers her own feelings of love for Richard. A wonderful romantic tale!

Reviewed by Jennifer M., Cornelius Branch

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The Men I Didn't Marry

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Kaplan, Janice and Lynn Schnurnberger(2006)
The Men I Didn't Marry

Hallie is shocked when her husband of twenty-plus years announces he is leaving her on the way home from dropping their youngest child off at college. Hallie always assumed that this would be a new beginning for their marriage, but now she is facing the future alone. A chance meeting in a park sparks an idea for Hallie; she decides to look up all the men she loved before marrying her husband. The Men I Didn`t Marry follows Hallie`s crazy adventures as she tries to track down all her previous boyfriends. Along the way Hallie discovers some things about herself and realizes there is still hope for true love in the future.

Reviewed by Jessica B., Mint Hill Branch

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A Love of Her Own

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Hodges, Cheris(2004)
A Love of Her Own

Dana Ellison’s family are the “Rockefellers of education” in Columbia, South Carolina. Her mother started the African American Studies Department at the University of South Carolina. Her father was the superintendent of schools. Dana, a 29 year-old single African American woman became a middle school teacher. Her mother chose her fiancee, Andre, an African American studies professor at USC. She is tired of living her life to please her parents. She is determined to pursue her love of cooking and a relationship with Chris Johnson, a construction worker. Will she find a love of her own? Hodges’s romance is a steamy, romantic page-turner that is hard to put down.

Reviewed by Megan M., Main Library

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Reader's comments about this book

I read this book, it was good. I enjoyed reading it. The author was really great at telling a story that you could actually visualize. Good work! Can't wait to read her other books.
-Tina, Charlotte

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Cautious Heart

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Hodges, Cheris(2004)
Cautious Heart

Caprice Johnson, an African-American police detective, wants a fresh start. She moved from Chicago to Charlotte, NC to escape painful memories of her philandering ex-fiance, Damien King. Unfortunately, King follows her in hopes of winning her back. Next thing Caprice knows, she is charged with his murder. Caprice works for the narcotics division of the Charlotte Police Department and has arrested a major drug king pin. Nathan Wallace, Caprice’s former partner is determined to prove her innocence. Hodges incorporates several landmarks in Charlotte like the McDonald’s Cafeteria on Beatties Ford Road into the plot. This suspenseful romance is a great beach read.

Reviewed by Megan M., Main Library

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The  Bachelor's  Bargain

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Palmer, Catherine(2006)
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The Bachelor's Bargain

Housemaid Anne Webster thinks she is dying after being shot by an unknown gunman. So to aid her family, she accepts the proposal of a marquess, even though he irritates her. When Ruel, Marquess of Blackthorne proposed to Anne, he mainly did it in jest and is surprised when she accepts on her deathbed. When she starts to recover he realizes he can use her lace-making talent to his family's monetary advantage. This unlikely pair clash on more than one occasion. But for the sake of public appearances in England's early 1800s, they must pretend to be happy newlyweds. The spirited dialogue and the mixture of characters make this enjoyable Christian fiction for both suspense and romance lovers.

Reviewed by Jeanenne R., Steele Creek Branch

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Catch Me If You Can

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Kauffman, Donna(2004)
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Catch Me If You Can

As an Anthropologist, Tag Morgan is used to digging in the past, just not his own. The letters his father left upon his death sends Tag to Scotland on an adventure to his past. Who was the woman in the letters? Why is it so important for him to meet her before going back to his South American Jungle? When his rental car gets stuck in the snow on a wintry Scottish night with a woman he can’t resist, things heat up. In the morning, she is gone. How was he to know she was Maura Sinclair, the reason for his trip? What other relics from his family’s past will he find? Donna Kauffman spins this delightful, quick moving romantic tale of cat and mouse.

Reviewed by Linda K., North County Regional

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The Painted Veil

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Maugham, W. Somerset(1925)
The Painted Veil

What should be the price for committing adultery? For Kitty Fane after having an affair with politician Charles Townsend, the price her bacteriologist husband Walter decides upon is traveling by his side into a remote area of China affected with cholera. Poor, vain Kitty finds that when confronted with the horrors of death and suffering, suddenly the superficialities of society don’t seem to matter as much. A classic about the ability to change, the importance of life and the struggles of both. With the mystic peace of China and the rigorous demands of London society, Maugham created a masterpiece that has proven its ability to endure.

Reviewed by Courtney A., South County Regional

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The Redemption

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Tyndall, M.L.(2006)
The Redemption

In 1665, Edmund Merrick is a pirate who sails for the King of England. But he is also a Christian and these two identities often conflict with each other. When he encounters a lady in distress on a deserted island, his life gets more complicated. Lady Charlisse Bristol is looking for her long-lost father when she becomes shipwrecked. She begrudgingly accepts Captain Merrick’s help and he both frustrates and fascinates her. Merrick, in turn, is drawn to Charlisse, but when he learns the identity of her father, he refuses to her help her find him. And not just to spare her pain, for he himself has unpleasant, unfinished business with him. A fast read with enough romance and adventure to make it thoroughly satisfying until the end.

Reviewed by Jeanenne R., Steele Creek Branch

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Sleeping with the Fishes

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Davidson, Mary Janice(2006)
Sleeping with the Fishes

Fredericka hides secrets from the rest of the marine biologists that she works with at the New England Aquarium. Fred cannot swim and she happens to be half mermaid. When Artur, the High Prince of the Black Sea, comes to Boston and enlists her help in finding dangerous toxins in Boston Harbor, she resists helping him because she doesn’t want to be found out. But she soon realizes that she can not ignore the crisis facing her fellow sea creatures. Fighting off the advances of both Artur and fellow marine biologist, Dr. Pearson, she begins her quest to find the source of the toxins. Fred enlists her best friend Jonas and the four begin a hilarious adventure to locate the site of the illegal dump.

Reviewed by Sherry J., Sugar Creek Branch

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The Second Mrs. Darcy

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Aston, Elizabeth(2007)
The Second Mrs. Darcy

Any woman in possession of fortune must also be in possession of a husband or so most men would have you believe. So begin the trials of Octavia Darcy after becoming a widow and inheriting a vast fortune from an unknown relative, she is thrust into London Society as an eligible heiress. A strong and unconventional woman, she must fight her way through suitors while trying to keep both herself and her fortune intact. While not a true Austen creation, the work still provides a glimpse into the world made famous so long ago. In continuing the family line, Aston once again provides a brief respite into the world of the Darcys.

Reviewed by Courtney A., South County Regional

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Redemption

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Thomas, Jacquelin(2007)
Redemption

While keeping the gospel message up front and center, Jacquelin Thomas masterfully embraces the messages with a realistic and edgier tone. Despite the differences in their careers, Renowned Televangelist has met the woman of his dreams, Marin Alexander, an actress who is blessed with both beauty and deep faith. After marriage Marin gives up her celebrity for motherhood. However, the gratification of fame is too tempting to leave behind. You will find this Christian romance to be invigorating, thought-provoking and entertaining. Mrs. Thomas brings a twist that will surprise the reader with the power of love and forgiveness.

Reviewed by Tina C., University City Regional

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Taming Rafe

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Warren, Susan May(2007)
Taming Rafe

Professional bull rider Rafe Noble seems carefree until a tragic day in the ring. The grief from the tragedy leads him to yet another disaster and into the life of Katherine Breckenridge. Katherine’s encounter with Rafe in New York ruins plans for the foundation she runs for children in medical need around the world. After one failed attempt to get Rafe to help her raise the lost funds, normally calm Katherine decides to track him down to his family’s ranch in Montana. But when she encounters him again, things between them start to change. Not just a "girl meets cowboy" novel, this Christian faith-based novel, (second in a series) contains important secondary characters, a villain, and family secrets.

Reviewed by Jeanenne R., Steele Creek Branch

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The Notebook

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Sparks, Nicholas(1996)
The Notebook

The Notebook is Nicholas Sparks’s first novel – a simple love story between Noah and Allie that survives the complexities of life. They spent one fabulous summer together in their youth, but they were from two different worlds. As the summer ended so did the couple. For fourteen years, they lived separate lives. Then a dream and newspaper article brought them back together. The reader learns the story of Noah and Allie as it is read by a kind gentleman to a lady suffering from Alzheimer’s living in a nursing home. He reads this story to her every day; but why? Love has the power to heal. Read The Notebook and believe in miracles and the power of love.

Reviewed by Cassandra H., Mint Hill Branch

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The Convenient Groom

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Hunter, Denise(2008)
The Convenient Groom

This book was fantastic! I picked it up because I'm getting married soon, and I thought it would be fun to read a fiction story about getting married. It is a lovely story about Kate Lawrence, a famous marriage counselor, who ironically gets dumped on her own wedding day. To avoid her career crashing down on her, she gets Lucas Wright, her handyman, to act as her stand-in groom to replace her would-be husband, although she is certain he could never be right for her. Little does she know, Lucas Wright may just be Mr. Wright after all. This book is everything a love story should be and I recommend it to brides of all ages!

Reviewed by Amy H., Steele Creek Branch

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The Lucky One

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Sparks, Nicholas(2008)
The Lucky One

This is a great story told by my favorite storyteller, Nicholas Sparks. Logan Thibault, in his third tour of Iraq with the U.S. Marines, finds a photograph buried in the Iraqi desert of a young woman. He doesn't think too much of it until a fellow marine suggests it may be the photograph that helped him survive 11 different attacks in Iraq. After he returns home, he sets out on a cross country journey to find the woman in the photograph, believing that somehow she may hold the key to his destiny. This story is filled with romance and suspense, and a surprise ending that I think any Nicholas Sparks fan will enjoy.

Reviewed by Amy H., Steele Creek Branch

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Excellent book with a great love story and some adventure to boot! Nicholas Sparks manages to capture our hearts once again!
-Amanda, Charlotte, NC

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Vision in White

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Roberts, Nora(2009)
Vision in White

Mackensie "Mac" Elliott is living out her dream working as a wedding photographer. She helps capture the hopes and dreams of newlyweds on their special day. Making her life even better, Mac and her three childhood friends are wedding planners and run a business together called Vows. Her life seems ideal; but, just like her unorganized closet, her personal life needs some attention. Problems with her parents, especially her controlling mother, keep Mac from the one thing that's missing in her life: love for herself. Then Carter Maguire walks through her door and literally collides with Mac! In the first of the Bride Quartet, Nora Roberts tells a heart-warming story of how friends can be family and love is where you least expect to find it.

Reviewed by Carrie M., Myers Park Branch

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The Blue Enchantress

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Tyndall, M. L.(2009)
The Blue Enchantress

This is book two in Tyndall's second series of sails, passion, and faith. The beginning of the novel finds beautiful Hope Westcott being sold to the highest bidder at a sea port. How did she get into this situation and how will she get out? Captain Nathaniel Mason has a love-hate relationship with Hope. He can't help being attracted to her, but he hates being attracted to her! With reluctance he bids on her freedom, losing his best merchant ship. As Nathaniel and Hope find their way home, they experience shipwreck, pirates, and love. How the selfish and flirty Hope and the steadfast, level-headed Nathaniel form a bond is at times amusing with very serious moments intertwined. A Christian-faith must-read for romantic adventure lovers.

Reviewed by Jeanenne R., Steele Creek Branch

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Benny and Shrimp

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Mazetti, Katarina(2009)
Benny and Shrimp

It all started with a smile in a cemetery in Sweden. Desiree, a 35-year-old widowed librarian, met 37-year-old Benny, a bachelor dairy farmer, because her husband’s drab grave was next to Benny’s parents’ gaudy plot. Benny, whose nickname for Desiree is Shrimp, thought she was “beige” in appearance. Benny and Shrimp alternate narrating chapters and share their views on each other. They are opposite in their interests and lifestyles, but are fiercely passionate about each other. Katarina Mazetti’s novel, translated from the Swedish, shares an insightful, humorous look at human nature and the compromises relationships require. Will their romance last or be a flash in the pan? Read the book to find out.

Reviewed by Megan M., Main Library

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 The Restitution

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Tyndall, M.L.(2007)
The Restitution

In The Restitution, Lady Isabel Ashton has given birth to her illegitimate son, and has been shunned by her family and friends. When her son Frederick is kidnapped she is forced to ask for help from the one person she hates, her child’s father, Captain Kent Carlton. With this one chance to win the love and forgiveness of the woman he seeks, Kent must chose between her and the one thing he’s been working towards. Will he chose the Brethren of the Coast or his child? And will Isabel forgive the man she has every right to hate?

Reviewed by Elizabeth, Charlotte, NC

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Bed of Roses

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Roberts, Nora(2009)
Bed of Roses

Emma Grant dreams of her happily-ever-after; since her parents have theirs, she isn`t going to settle for anything less. Emma is a florist and runs a wedding planning business called Vows with her three childhood friends. Spending everyday with beautiful flowers and creating the perfect floral arrangements for each bride makes her feel very lucky. As the wedding season grows busier, Jack Cooke, who`s almost like a brother to the four women, suddenly becomes more than just a friend to Emma. Will their friendship bloom into something more? In Nora Roberts` second book in the Bride Quartet, we have another glimpse into the special friendship and lives of these four women.

Reviewed by Carrie M., Myers Park Branch

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The Perfect Christmas

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Macomber, Debbie(2009)
The Perfect Christmas

When Cassie Beaumont receives a Christmas card from Jill showcasing her perfect family, she couldn't help but be jealous. Cassie wants to meet someone perfect, but doesn't know where to meet a man that's up to her expectations. Then her friend Angie recommends that Cassie hire a matchmaker. For thirty thousand dollars, Dr. Simon Dodson is the best. But before Cassie can meet her match, Simon requires Cassie to complete three tasks. With each challenge, Cassie grows closer to meeting the mysterious John; but along the way, things change for them all. Debbie Macomber brings us a heart-warming story filled with laughter, love and holiday spirit.

Reviewed by Carrie M., Myers Park Branch

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The Education of Mrs. Brimley

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MacMeans, Donna(2007)
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The Education of Mrs. Brimley

Teaching young ladies about loving husbands would be so simple for Emma to do, if she had ever been married. Hired to discuss poetry, literature, and not to be afraid of men, Mrs. Brimley must strike a deal with the handsome recluse Lord Chambers. While learning the ways of intimate relations, Emma learns that it might be best to learn through hands-on experiments. Lord Chambers wants to paint Emma into his masterpiece, but discovers that getting into the Royal Academy might not be worth losing the woman he loves. Though the book is slightly predictable, the story is unique in its relationships between believable characters.

Reviewed by Sally W., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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Rainwater

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Brown, Sandra(2009)
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Rainwater

In a departure from her usual romantic and suspenseful bestsellers, Sandra Brown’s Rainwater is a short and touching novel. In 1930’s Texas, Ella Barron runs a boardinghouse and has an autistic nine year old son named Solly. Her boarder David Rainwater is dying. Despite his condition he decides to become involved in the community’s plight, spend time teaching Solly, and fall in love with Ella. Although David’s end is known from the beginning of the story, an unforeseen event leaves readers with insight of what true love, honor, and sacrifice really are. Some interesting facts about the Dust Bowl and this tragic era of American history are also interspersed in this fast, heartwarming read.

Reviewed by Sandra S., North County Regional

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Savor the Moment

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Roberts, Nora(2010)
Savor the Moment

Laurel McBane spends her time baking cakes and pastries for weddings as part of her extension of Vows, a wedding planning business she and her childhood friends run. She enjoys creating beautiful cakes that enhance the weddings they plan. Laurel's life changes though once she kisses Del Brown, her best friend's brother! She's always loved him but never thought he'd feel the same way. Now she and Del can't get enough of each other. Will Del ever admit his true feelings for Laurel? In the third book of the Bride Quartet, once again the characters have wonderful chemistry and the story emphasizes the strong bond these four women have. When you enter Nora Robert's world of love and family, you'll never want to leave!

Reviewed by Carrie M., Myers Park Branch

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Insatiable

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Cabot, Meg(2010)
Insatiable

Meena Harper knows when people are going to die. Being psychic is definitely not all that great sometimes. But then life becomes even more complicated for her. Meena loses a great promotion at work. She finds out that the soap opera she works for is going to have a vampire storyline. (Meena hates vampires!) Then she's attacked by bats! Luckily a handsome stranger protects her. This same man turns out to be a Romanian prince, Lucien Antonescu. But what is he the prince of? Lucien seems too good to be true. Meg Cabot gives us a fun and surprising story that pokes fun at the vampire craze. Once you read Insatiable, you'll hope Cabot is planning a sequel!

Reviewed by Carrie M., Myers Park Branch

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Happy Ever After

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Roberts, Nora(2010)
Happy Ever After

Parker Brown runs a wedding planning business with her three childhood friends, Mac, Emma and Laurel. While they run the different branches of Vows, Parker handles all the details of their business. Parker is also the one who deals with the brides at any hour of the day or night! But, with Mal Kavanaugh, she's not sure how to handle him. Parker and Mal weren't exactly looking for love, especially with one another. Will they be able to find their happily ever after together? Fans will adore this final chapter of Nora Robert's Bride Quartet, which is filled with the love and camaraderie we've come to expect from these four wonderful friends. Seeing the story end is bittersweet; but remember, you can always revisit the series again!

Reviewed by Carrie M., Myers Park Branch

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Marked

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Cast, P.C. and Kristin Cast(2007)
Marked
Young Adult

Zoey Redbird thought that her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend's drinking habits were the worst of her problems. As she talks with her friend Kayla in the hallway, suddenly a Tracker "Marked" her. The moon-shaped tattoo that appears tells anyone who sees her that she will become a "vampyre". Now Zoey must attend the House of Night, a school for vampyres, where she will wait to undergo the "Change". If she survives, that is! Then Zoey meets her roommate Stevie Rae and her friends and finally finds a family. Soon Zoey discovers that she isn't just a vampyre, but one that has extraordinary abilities. This is the first in P.C. and Kristin Cast's exciting series that fans of paranormal romance will devour!

Reviewed by Carrie M., Myers Park Branch

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A Summer in Sonoma

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Carr, Robyn(2010)
A Summer in Sonoma

In the glorious setting of northern California, four dynamic women share their lives during one pivotal summer. Cassie, Julie, Marty and Beth have been best friends for eighteen years and now they are all facing pressing challenges presenting life-altering changes. Distressing crises have led Cassie and Beth to lose all trust in men; will they be able to love again? The chemistry is hot between Julie and her husband; but can their love survive financial ruin? Ineffective communication is pulling Marty and her husband apart; she talks and he might hear but he doesn`t listen. Embrace these women as they struggle through these obstacles. Robyn Carr weaves a captivating story of strong friendship, romance and the surprises living brings.

Reviewed by Debbie G., Morrison Regional

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Scoundrel In My Dreams

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Bradley, Celeste(2010)
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Scoundrel In My Dreams

As far as romance authors go, Celeste Bradley ranks at the top of my list. Series after series, she creates stories that make the reader feel involved in the lives of the characters. The conclusion to “The Runaway Brides” is no different. We finally learn who Melody’s (the child left at the gentleman’s club) parents are after going through two other fantastic couples to get there. A one night stand and many miscommunications lead to a drama for the ages. Involve members of the Ton and you have a fancier drama. With lovable characters who both want to find happiness, you can’t put down this book until you find out who will live happily ever after!

Reviewed by Sally W., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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The Hot Box

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Zane(2010)
The Hot Box

Zane’s new book, The Hot Box, is a sure page turner. Being based in Kannapolis, North Carolina makes it even more enticing. The characters are all extremely memorable. Milena and Lydia, two best friends who take you on a wild ride from creeping to manipulation to everything in between. Milena who meets a homeless man on the side of the road, Lydia who is sneaking and creeping with two best friends , one of whom has a secret all of his own. Jacour who should be every woman’s dream is nothing but the complete opposite. So sit back and enjoy as these, the ones your mother always warned you about, and all around off-the-hook characters make your heart race and your jaws drop in this entertaining, action-oriented, knee-slapping tale.

Reviewed by Candy H., Freedom Regional

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The Lover's Dictionary: a Novel

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Levithan, David(2011)
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The Lover's Dictionary: a Novel

With the trademark wit, lyrical voice, and original style that has earned his huge teen fan base, David Levithan now offers a novel for adults. A unique love story, told in a structured format of dictionary entries, follows the joys and pains of a relationship. Going from A to Z, from aberrant to zenith, the story unfolds with carefully chosen words and definitions which examine the emotions and everyday experiences of love. The unnamed narrator asks if `obstinate...is more stubborn, the love or the two arguing people caught within it?` And then tells his lover to `rest...rest with me for the rest of this.` An entertaining read, The Lover`s Dictionary proves that love, like words, can be simple or complex, brief or timeless.

Reviewed by Kim W., University City Regional

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The Next Always

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Roberts, Nora(2011)
The Next Always

Is the Inn BoonsBoro haunted? Beckett Montgomery knows it is. It`s rumored that when the ghost is present, the smell of honeysuckle will permeate the air. Beckett also knows when he and his family are finished renovating the Inn BoonsBoro, it will be stunning. Everyone in town is waiting to see the finished product, including Clare Brewster, the woman he’s loved since high school. When Beckett takes Clare on a tour of the inn, they almost kiss. Beckett and Clare soon move from being just friends to wanting something more. But they both have very busy lives. Will they find enough time for love? The Next Always is the first in Roberts new series about a charismatic family and the home they love!

Reviewed by Carrie M., Myers Park Branch

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The Bungalow

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Jio, Sarah(2011)
The Bungalow

A letter her granddaughter found brought back all of Anne Galloway’s memories. She shares the story of her youth. Just months away from marrying Gerard Godfrey, Anne and her best friend Kitty Morgan join the Army Nursing Corps in the South Pacific. It is an adventure that changes their lives forever. Anne falls passionately in love with a soldier, Westry Green and they meet in a secret bungalow where they become Cleo and Grayson Hodge. Westry is assigned to Europe and Anne returns to Seattle and is married The letter is a plea for help in solving a murder at the bungalow. In her debut novel, Sarah Jio unites the past and the present in this suspenseful romance.

Reviewed by Megan M., Main Library

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Kissed by a Carrington

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Hudson-Smith, Linda(2010)
Kissed by a Carrington

In this Kimani Series book, Houston Carrington meets a lovely lady who just might be enough woman to make him change his ways. Although he likes to be able to play the field, he knows that if he lets her get away it would be a huge mistake. His brothers tell him to follow his heart and let his boyish ways go, but he finds temptation at every turn. Kelly on the other hand feels the same: she is not looking for love, but when she meets Houston her views change. These two will take you on a love rollercoaster out of this world.

Reviewed by Candy H., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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The Flight of Gemma Hardy

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Livesey, Margot(2012)
The Flight of Gemma Hardy

Whether you’re a long-time Jane Eyre fan or appreciating this classic tale for the first time; you’ll be swept away in Livesey’s contemporary rendering, The Flight of Gemma Hardy. Gemma’s story takes place during the 1950’s and 60’s in Scotland, where she arrives as a young girl following the death of her parents, and concludes in Iceland, where as an adult, she searches for her true birthright. The landscapes and history of these two sea-swept, European countries play a primary role in the story. With slight departures from the original plot, Livesey produces the same brazen yet honorable heroine Brontë first introduced into the literary world. Filled with well-developed, instantly recognizable characters, the reader will lose themselves again in a tale as old as time.

Reviewed by Cynthia M., ImaginOn

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A Rogue By Any Other Name

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MacLean, Sarah(2012)
A Rogue By Any Other Name

A life can be changed with just one hand of cards. That is what the Marquess of Bourne learned when he lost everything in a game of cards. His property, wealth and faith in those around him vanished. Now on his quest for revenge, he forces his childhood friend into marriage to gain back his property. Lady Penelope recognizes the boy she once adored, but quickly learns that this man will need help reclaiming more than just property. Sarah MacLean weaves a romantic tale that gets your heart pounding and wanting to know, which character will fall in love in the sequel? Highly recommended for Regency romance readers!

Reviewed by Sally W., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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Fifty Shades of Grey

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James, E.L.(2012)
Fifty Shades of Grey

Anastasia Steele (Ana) is graduating from college, moving to Seattle with her best friend, and starting her very first relationship. The suitor is a handsome man of means and wants to give her the world, only he`s not that romantic at all. She is completely taken off guard by his affections and is confused as to whether to continue a completely physical relationship with a man who embraces a different world than she has ever known. While she wrestles with that dilemma, she has to contend with her male best friend who is in love with her, while she only wants to be friends. Ana becomes wrapped up in a world of sexual experimentation that threatens her innocence and her sanity.

Reviewed by Angel T., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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This book was unexpected to say the least. I was skeptical at first, but it`s a must read.
-Jessica, Charlotte, NC

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Fifty Shades Darker

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James, E.L.(2012)
Fifty Shades Darker

Anastasia (Ana) Steele has moved into a great apartment in busy Seattle, was hired as an intern in her dream job, and yet she is extremely depressed. `Fifty Shades Darker,` the sequel to `Fifty Shades of Grey` continues the story of young Ana and her quest to find out exactly what she wants or needs from the mysterious Christian Grey. How can a domineering billionaire curb his urge to control everything and everyone around him? Why is the elusive Christian Grey full of resentment and self loathing? E.L. James introduces a lot more suspense in the second book of her trilogy and she reveals more of Christian`s lurid past. Ana wrestles with either accepting or rejecting Christian`s ways and whether to compromise her own in the process.

Reviewed by Angel T., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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Fifty Shades Freed

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James, E.L.(2012)
Fifty Shades Freed

Anastasia (Ana) Steele always felt that being with the handsome, rich Christian Grey was too much to handle, and in `Fifty Shades Freed,` the conclusion to the `Fifty Shades` trilogy, she is confronted by the true realities of his world. While she understands and has full comprehension of his past and his controlling ways, Ana still struggles to find a balance. E.L. James once again builds the tension of this complicated tale with major internal and external obstacles to end the sexy trilogy. As the couple learns to navigate a life together, fate has its own plans and they are faced with yet another danger that threatens to tear them apart.

Reviewed by Angel T., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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The Last Boyfriend

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Roberts, Nora(2012)
The Last Boyfriend

Nora Roberts returns to the Inn BoonsBoro with the wonderful story of life-long friends Owen Montgomery and Avery MacTavish. Everyone knew Avery had a crush on Owen as a child. Owen was even her first `boyfriend` when she was five! But nothing very romantic ever happened until Elizabeth, the resident ghost at the Inn BoonsBoro, gives them a little encouragement to jumpstart their relationship! While the Montgomerys are preparing to open the Inn, Owen and Avery enjoy seeing one another in a new light. But will Avery`s past keep them apart? Roberts has done it again giving her readers wonderful characters and a cozy, small-town setting. After reading this book, you`ll wish you could make a reservation at the Inn BoonsBoro yourself!

Reviewed by Carrie M., Myers Park Branch

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The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service

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Kendrick, Beth(2012)
The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service

Lara Madigan specializes in helping people find that very special someone, but only if they`re looking for the perfect rescue dog! Lara`s pet matchmaking skills quickly grow in popularity after she`s interviewed on a television show. Pretty soon, people want to unload their dogs on her so she can find them a new home. Lara already fosters five dogs, but after three more puppies move in, Lara`s boyfriend, Evan, reaches his breaking point. Evan gives Lara some shocking (and relationship ending) news: he hates dogs! Suddenly homeless with a hoard of dogs, Lara is forced to move in with her overbearing mother. How will Lara survive? Will Lara ever find her perfect match? Filled with humor and heart, Kendrick`s book is a real gem.

Reviewed by Carrie M., Myers Park Branch

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Bared to You

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Day, Sylvia(2012)
Bared to You

Eva Tramell is looking forward to her first day on an exciting job, in the greatest city in the world, New York; but a chance encounter with the attractive Gideon Cross disrupts her shaky equilibrium. As Eva settles into her new life in the big city, she has a bevy of characters to distract her from a growing attraction with the enigmatic Gideon. But Eva has a mysterious edge to her as well and this past keeps her running from the handsome billionaire while it drives her mother to suffocate her. Gideon and Eva may seem perfect for each other but the bond that brings them together, promises to tear them apart. If you liked the Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy, Sylvia Day`s Crossfire series is your next read.

Reviewed by Angel T., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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Last Night's Scandal

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Chase, Loretta(2010)
Last Night's Scandal

Loretta Chase does it again. The characters in her book, Last Night’s Scandal, are complicated but lovable. In this quick paced romance thriller, Olivia Wingate-Carsington, our heroine is a spitfire debutant who knows her responsibility to her family, but wants to have one grand adventure before accepting the inevitable, boring marriage. Living and working in far off Egypt, the Earl of Lisle has avoided Olivia’s adventures since they were children. A family dilemma for the Earl provides Olivia with a great opportunity for her adventure. Add in a possibly haunted castle with buried treasure, a town of misfits and some nosy chaperones and you get an entertaining Regency romance you can’t put down!

Reviewed by Sally W., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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Love in the Afternoon

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Kleypas, Lisa(2012)
Love in the Afternoon

Finally, the youngest Hathaway sibling is ready to fall in love. In the fifth book in the Hathaway series, Beatrix, lover of all animals, stumbles into a long distance courtship with a soldier while writing as her friend Prudence Mercer. Before he began risking life and limb for the country, Beatrix and Capt. Christopher Phelan did not enjoy one another’s company (to put it politely). Out of compassion, Beatrix gives this soldier a reason to live, and he shows Beatrix that people can change. Once he knows the truth, can Christopher forgive Beatrix for her deception? Regardless of if you read the other Hathaway stories, if you like small twists and complex characters, this is an excellent book to read.

Reviewed by Sally W., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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Reflected in You

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Day, Sylvia(2012)
Reflected in You

Sylvia Day continues the Crossfire series with the steamy Reflected in You. Eva Tramell is juggling her family, her whirlwind bi-sexual best friend, and a new hot love with millionaire Gideon Cross. When it comes to flight or fight, Eva has a tendency to run from hard situations, but she starts to face her problems head on in this fast paced sequel. As Gideon demands more of her time, space, and body; Eva fails to carve a separate identity from her high-profile relationship. Both have deep seated emotional sensitivity and when that surface is scratched, the one similarity holding them together, may be the ultimate reason they drift apart. Until the final page Reflected in You continues to follow in the Fifty Shades trilogy footsteps.

Reviewed by Angel T., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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The Perfect Hope

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Roberts, Nora(2012)
The Perfect Hope

As the innkeeper at the Inn BoonsBoro, Hope Beaumont`s life is close to perfect, except for surly Ryder Montgomery. The rest of the Montgomery clan welcomed her with open arms, but not Ryder. Hope can`t understand it; Ryder actually goes out of his way to avoid her! Soon, Hope and Ryder are forced to explore their unrecognized attraction after Lizzy, the Inn`s resident ghost, locks them in a room until they kiss. As Hope and Ryder delve into their own relationship, the Montgomery family must also solve the mystery surrounding Lizzy and her long lost love, Billy. Nora Roberts has this uncanny ability to explore different familial relationships, while also helping her characters find that perfect love. A wonderful ending to the Inn BoonsBoro trilogy!

Reviewed by Carrie M., Myers Park Branch

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The Memory Thief

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Colin, Emily(2012)
The Memory Thief

Mountain climber, Aidan James falls to his death in Alaska, at the same time that North Carolinian Nicholas Sullivan crashes his motorcycle. When Nicholas wakes from a twelve hour coma, the only memories he has belong to Aidan. Aidan’s wife, Madeline has to come to grips with her grief over Aidan’s death and her growing feelings for Aidan’s best friend, J C, while Aidan drives Nicholas to contact Madeleine. In each chapter we hear from the perspective of Aiden, Madeleine, their four year old son Gabe, Nicholas, and J C. Will there be a reunion? The Memory Thief is a multi-faceted novel that includes a premonition of disaster, a ghost, an amnesiac, and unrequited love. However, this book`s steamy love scenes may not be for everyone.

Reviewed by Annette N., Main Library

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This book contains lots of graphic sex, so if you are not comfortable with that content, this book is not for you.
-Annette, Charlotte, NC

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Playing the Hand You're Dealt

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Hickman, Trice(2012)
Playing the Hand You're Dealt

Emily Eloise Snow from Atlanta, Georgia was raised by her widowed mother to be sweet and responsible, but when her mother dies Emily`s world is shattered and she yearns for a fresh start. Her wild, carefree and reckless best friend, Samantha encourages Emily to move to Washington, D.C. so she can search out her heart`s desire. Samantha has always taken what she wants from life so why not Emily? Unknown even to Samantha, Emily has longed for a man who does not follow the rules and when she arrives in D.C., she is faced with a decision that could destroy not only her good girl image, but her life. If you`re looking for raw, gut-wrenching emotion and an explosive ending that you`ll be hard pressed to figure out, then this one`s for you!

Reviewed by Barbara C., Morrison Regional

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The Diary

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Goudge, Eileen(2009)
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The Diary

The Diary offers an ultimate case of a “what if” in a family story about the choice a young woman makes in marriage. Elizabeth Marshall is gravely ill in a nursing home when her daughters, Sarah and Emily, discover her diary written during her late teens. The sisters cannot resist reading it and are astounded to discover their mother had a relationship with another man, named AJ, close to the time when she married their father. They believe their parents loved each other but as Emily notes, “According to this, he wasn’t the only man she loved.” The diary reveals the details of Elizabeth’s story and includes her close connection to AJ. Aptly touching family stories of secrets, romance and endurance, this novel resonates.

Reviewed by Lawrence T., South County Regional

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Scene of the Crime: Bridgewater, Texas

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Cassidy, Carla(2009)
Scene of the Crime: Bridgewater, Texas

When her best friend is murdered, Special Agent Jenna Taylor goes to Bridgewater, Texas to find out who did it. She first fights with; then assists Sheriff Matt Buchanan in his investigation. It becomes apparent they are dealing with a serial killer. It`s even more complicated when it also becomes apparent that Matt and Jenna have feelings for each other. Love and murder go hand in hand in this romance novel. A small town murder limits the suspect pool, but the love affair is big town hot. Will the FBI and the sheriff`s department join forces off and on the job? Read this fast paced novel to the end.

Reviewed by Thea J., South County Regional

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The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope

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Riley, Rhonda(May 2013)
The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope

This is an otherworldly romance tale of a love that is ageless and totally self giving. The title character, Adam Hope is literally born formless of clay and then formed by love. The story is solid and real, but beyond explanation, it captures your imagination and won’t let it go. A first novel by Rhonda Riley, it is tenderly narrated by Evelyn Roe, who becomes Adam’s wife. A terrible tragedy strikes the family revealing to the community Adam`s unique gifts. Misunderstanding breeds fear, and the family must leave all they have ever known to start a new life. As the family matures and grows, Adam`s difference becomes more apparent with disturbing results. Is the result choice or accident? Only you can decide.

Reviewed by Annette N., Main Library

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A Royal Pain

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Mulry, Megan(2012)
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A Royal Pain

“Oh, you just wait and see.” That is what her boss, Carol said when Bronte Talbott, 28, asked what lesson she would learn when she quit her advertising job and gave up her rent-controlled apartment to follow “Mr. Texas” to Chicago without a commitment. Within months, he told her their relationship was “fading out.” She met Max Heyworth in the aisles of a used bookstore. He is a doctoral student in Economics at the University of Chicago who is finishing in July and returning to England. She sees him as the perfect candidate to be her “transitional man” -- sex with no strings attached. Mulry’s debut contemporary romance is a steamy page-turner filled with humor, sex, and secrets as the characters discover each other and themselves.

Reviewed by Megan M., Main Library

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If The Shoe Fits

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Mulry, Megan(2013)
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If The Shoe Fits

The novel opens in London with the wedding of Max Heyworth, Duke of Northrop and Bronte Talbot, an American publicist, from her debut novel, A Royal Pain, the first of a trilogy. However, the focus is on Max’s playboy younger brother, Devon, who barely makes the rehearsal dinner because he is partying in Vegas.When he arrives late, he meets his match in Sarah James, an American shoe designer and Bronte’s best friend. She promises she is “a sure thing” for the weekend and sneaks out on him on Sunday. Preoccupied with her business, Sarah resists Devon’s overtures and leaves him wondering if he will see her again. Mulry captivates readers with her steamy storytelling and witty banter in this contemporary romance.

Reviewed by Megan M., Main Library

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The Longest Ride

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Sparks, Nicholas(2013)
The Longest Ride

Ira Levinson, 91, looks back on his life, as he is injured and trapped in his car after his car struck a tree in the snowy North Carolina mountains. He dreams of his wife and shares their courtship and life together to distract himself from his predicament. He and his wife, Ruth, collected art. Sophia Danko, an art history major at Wake Forest, is coming off a bad breakup with an abusive boyfriend who is stalking her. Luke, a bull rider, comes to Sophia’s aid when Brian follows her. Sparks alternates chapters sharing Ira, Luke, and Sophia’s lives as they navigate “this longest of rides, this thing called life` in this romantic page turner.

Reviewed by Megan M., Main Library

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A Season of Love

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Clipston, Amy(2012)
A Season of Love

This final installment in the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series gives us the delightful tales of young Amish love. Katie Kauffman loves being a part of her Amish family and community. Her life is going down the path she always hoped for until she notices that all of her friends seem to be moving into couples; first Lizzie Anne and then Lindsey find love leaving Katie to question her future. When Jake Yoder, a Mennonite boy who works at the family furniture store, starts causing her heart to flutter, a whole new set of problems arise. This is a great addition to the series with plot twists and character development that would interest teens and adults. Highly recommended for any reader of inspirational romances.

Reviewed by Sally W., Mint Hill Branch

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A Wedding in Springtime

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Forester, Amanda(2013)
A Wedding in Springtime

Set in Regency England with the threat of Napoleonic spies everywhere, Miss Eugenia Talbot just wants to make it through her societal debut without incident. All it takes is one rogue gentleman to throw her completely off course. William Grant cannot stay away from Genie once he learns his friend’s association to her family. With some small intrigue involved, the book mainly focuses on the lords and ladies relationships to each other; three separate couples appear throughout the book. This book is full of quips and is a lighthearted read. If you like Regency romances with lots of character development, then Amanda Forester is a great author to start following.

Reviewed by Sally W., Mint Hill Branch

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In Love Again

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Mulry, Megan(2013)
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In Love Again

Claire Heyworth is the focus of the third novel in the Unruly Royals series. She is in the middle of a divorce from her husband, Freddy, who has stolen her fortune. She gets help starting over in New York from her sisters-in-law, Bronte and Sarah . She works as a home designer. Her first client is Ben Hayek, an old boyfriend she met on a summer exchange trip to France. He and his ex-wife are selling their house in Connecticut. He is very aloof to her as they discuss the repairs. Claire is making a fresh start and rebuilding her life. Will Ben want to be a part of it? This steamy romance makes a great beach read!

Reviewed by Megan M., Main Library

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R is for Rebel

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Mulry, Megan(2014)
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R is for Rebel

When Abigail Heyworth, the youngest daughter of the Duke of Northrop, returns from Africa, she is at a crossroads in her personal and professional life. She meets Eliot Cranbrook at her nephew’s christening and again at Devon and Sarah’s wedding in the Caribbean. He is an American businessman and friend of the couple. After a romantic weekend in Paris, Eliot tells Abigail he loves her and she thanks him in return. Eliot is devastated. Flash forward six months, Abigail finds out Eliot is engaged. Is it possible to salvage their relationship? Mulry captures the problems and the passion Abigail and Devon experience when two powerful people are drawn to each other in the fourth title in the Unruly Royals series.

Reviewed by Megan M., Main Library

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The Hypnotist's Love Story

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Moriarty, Liane(2012)Recently Added Review
The Hypnotist's Love Story

Everyone knows that embarking on a new relationship brings joy, compromise and lots of baggage. Ellen suddenly finds herself enjoying a great career as a hypnotist while dating a boyfriend who has an adorable son. To top it all off, he has his own stalker! Things get even more interesting when Ellen decides to start looking into her new boyfriend’s life and finds out who the “stalker” is. But what she doesn’t expect is the biggest surprise of all. Told by both Ellen and the deranged stalker, this story will both amuse and baffle you as you begin to wonder why you’re rooting and sympathizing with “the bad guy”! Part comedy and part romance with a few twists, this book is an entertaining light read.

Reviewed by Alex O., Main Library

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