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Romance: Day by day
Small-town romance is sweet and sexy in Jaci Burton’s Love Me Again. Single mom Loretta Simmons returns to Hope, Oklahoma, with her daughter, determined to show her how to be independent and strong. She buys a ranch, opens a bookstore and is happy with the life she’s building when she encounters the man whose heart she hurt 12 years before—construction business owner Deacon Fox. They manage to keep things polite, but when Deacon and Loretta keep running into each other, they find that their old chemistry is not so manageable. Soon the pair is a couple again, and Deacon begins helping out with home repairs and Loretta’s daughter. Deacon quickly forgives Loretta for his past wounds, but she struggles to let go of her guilt and worries that she’s losing her treasured independence. While working through everyday trials and tribulations, can they find their way to becoming a family? Burton’s latest is a smile of a story.
A woman starts her life over in Any Day Now by Robyn Carr. Encouraged by her big brother, Sierra Jones travels to Colorado and settles in a cabin at Sullivan’s Crossing campground, picking up part-time work to pay the bills. She’s left behind a troubled past, and this new place seems perfect for her—clean air, friendly locals and a chance to bond with her brother and his pregnant wife. She’s beginning to truly like herself and isn’t interested in dating, until she crosses paths with hunky firefighter/paramedic Conrad Boyle. He’s attracted, she’s attracted, but they’ve both made bad choices before, so they try not to start a romance. But this couple can’t stay away from each other, and when Sierra’s old troubles catch up with her, she must ask for help—something she finds new and scary. But rewards can be found in change, and as Sierra and Conrad learn to trust each other, a happy future looks possible. Peopled with very human and well-defined characters, this is a heart-fulfilling read.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
Amanda Quick offers an engrossing and entertaining mystery/romance set in 1930s California in The Girl Who Knew Too Much. Fledgling reporter Irene Glasson finds herself in the middle of a murder as she chases down a lead about an up-and-coming movie star, who is currently residing at the famous Burning Cove Hotel in Southern California. This brings her to the attention of the glamorous hotel’s enigmatic owner, former magician Oliver Ward. As more deaths pile up, the pair decide to work together despite their wariness—their pasts have made them reluctant to place their faith in others. But as they dodge danger and gather clues, Irene and Oliver find themselves of like minds and hearts. Suspects and sinister happenings still stand in the way of a happy-ever-after, and the pair must unravel more than one mystery before they can rest easy. The Girl Who Knew Too Much is stylish fun and a great escape.