Springtime for romance

What are you reading on these fine spring days?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

I’ve been having the best time, sighing and laughing as I make my way through some of the best romances I’ve read in a long time.

I binged on Bridgerton—you’ve heard of the Netflix/Shondaland series, right?—and then sat down with all of Julia Quinn‘s books upon which the series is based. No, they aren’t the same stories. Season two changes lots of important plot points. But I’m here to say if you haven’t read Julia’s books, why not? The characters are lovable. The plots quite varied. And I still can’t say which of those Bridgerton siblings I like the best. Maybe Benedict…Or Hyacinth…Like I said, I don’t really have a favorite.

My favorite romance so far this spring has to be Beach Read, by Emily Henry. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer and this is a story about rival writers who challenge each to write in the other’s genre. Romance versus Literary Fiction. It’s more than that. January has such a quick wit and Augustus is so brooding I fell in love with both with no hesitation. Let’s just say I better go finish the laundry that’s been languishing in the dryer for the past week.

My daughter recommended Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto. I have to tell you, I read it with a hankie. Not because it’s a tear jerker but because the humor is so good and the situations Meddelin finds herself in so absurd, I couldn’t stop laughing. There are weddings and a murder and four aunties who can’t resist a good squabble. So fun.

Ramon and Julieta was just as irresistible. Written by Alana Quintana Albertson, and set in gorgeous San Antonio, it brings together a fast-food empire scion and a chef. Of course they’re enemies because of family history…and that’s what makes it so enjoyable. Loosely based on Shakespeare, but only loosely.

Farrah Rochon will release the third of The Boyfriend Project series this summer and I’m ready for it. I’ve read both The Boyfriend Project and The Dating Playbook. I loved the sexy, smart and beautiful characters but I have to say I really enjoyed the settings. In the first Samiah is a genius in the world of computers. In the second, Taylor is a personal trainer with an NFL star for a client. Farrah clearly does a lot of research to make the scenes come alive. Can’t wait for London’s story.

I love Regency romance like Julia’s books and I probably read contemporary love stories more than anything else. But I like to get a taste of different sorts of romance. Recently, I pulled a paranormal off the proverbial shelf, Dead Witch Walking. Though I have to say the quality of the writing doesn’t measure up to that of Julia, Farrah or Emily, Kim Harrison has created extremely likable characters—including a sexy witch named Rachel, her friend, a feisty pixy named Jenks, and a vampire named Ivy. Kim’s Cincinnati is quite different from what Ohioans might expect, dark and dangerous, but the story is surprisingly light-hearted. Imagine, fairies on a rampage. A quick and enjoyable read.

I’m reading more than romance. I’m in the middle of the fantastical The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, BY V.E. Schwab, and historical fiction, Unravelled by M.K. Tod. I’ve started Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead and The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, and Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr.

I read Richard Rhodes’ Hedy’s Folly, about movie star Hedy Lamarr’s war contributions as an inventor, historical writer Erik Larson’s first novel, which came out only in audiobook, No One Goes Alone. It mixes true history and the paranormal and what fun it was to read.

So, book lovers, what books do you recommend I read this summer? I’m always looking for something wonderful.

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