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Romance: A most elegant affair
Fans of “Downton Abbey” will find much to enjoy in Sharon Page’s The Worthington Wife, set in 1925 England. After tragic luck in love, Lady Julia Hazelton has given up on thoughts of marriage. But then she meets the brash American Cal Carstairs, who has inherited the title of Earl of Worthington and the estate next door to Julia. Cal is attractive, passionate and not at all interested in keeping to the customs of his illustrious yet stuffy family. As Julia tries to impress on him the traditions and values of the estate, they find an undeniable passion. Cal curses himself for his keen interest in the aristocrat’s cool beauty, yet finds himself admiring her kindness and caring. Julia tries to keep her distance, knowing Cal might break her heart––but she wants the man enough to challenge an old family curse. This romantic read is filled with drama and style.
HEARTS ON FIRE
Fantasy intertwines with romance in the exciting Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet, the second book in her Kingmaker Chronicles. Cat “Kingmaker” Fisa may have her love, Griffin, by her side, but can their pairing last? He doesn’t know the alarming prophecy that she’s the harbinger of the end of their world––and she dares not tell him. Instead, the two set out with a small team with the ultimate goal of uniting three kingdoms into one and ruling it in a just manner. Their resolve is put to the test time and again as their group comes up against mythical creatures and terrifying magic. Through it all, Cat hopes that her powers can save the day, but it’s the entire team and the steadfastness of Griffin’s love that balance her reckless spirit. Still, Cat worries about the harm she may cause, and as danger closes in, she must learn new things about herself as well as commit wholly to Griffin if they’re to survive.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
Ben Sterling is looking to build a family in Mulberry Moon by Catherine Anderson. At his ranch in Mystic Creek, Oregon, Ben seeks the perfect animal-loving woman to become part of his life. His eye is caught by pretty café owner Sissy Bentley, who, unfortunately, makes it quite clear that she can’t stand him. But a chicken’s escape, the mysterious disappearances of shiny items and one sweet puppy bring the two together. Soon Ben realizes it’s not that Sissy doesn’t want him—she doesn’t want to want him. The woman has trust issues, big time. But Ben is a patient man, and he’s determined to chip away at Sissy’s shell. Sissy worries she’s not good enough for handsome, golden-boy Ben, but it’s hard to stop her wayward heart. His deep empathy and gentle ways finally break down her barriers, and their future seems secure—until the past shows up to shake Sissy’s foundations. This is the second book in Anderson’s Mystic Creek series, and it’s a tender, feel-good read that’s perfect for every romance lover.