It seems that no matter what part of the country you’re in there is going to be some kind of wild weather this weekend.  If you’re on the East Coast like most of my family, you’re probably stocking up on rock salt, making sure your shovels are within inches of your door, and checking the batteries in your flashlights.  If you’re in Northern California like me, you’re heading to the supermarket for some last minute bread, milk, and wine to wait out the El Nino infused rainfall that is going to hit tonight and go on straight through Saturday.  All I have to say is thank your lucky stars that we’re not in snow country because we’d be up one nasty creek without a paddle.

While you’re stockpiling for whatever weather is coming your way, stop by your local library and pick up some books.  You could fill your e-readers, but when power outages are a distinct possibility, you don’t want to drain your batteries, especially if those tablets are the only connection you have to the outside world (assuming they’ve got 3 or 4G).  Don’t know what to read?  Well, I’m here to help.

PRINCESS BRIDEThe Princess Bride by William Goldman: Sure, this is a fairy tale, but you’re never too old to read an old fashioned fairy tale, especially when it is chock full of “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Revenge. Giants. Monsters. Chases. Escapes. True love.
Miracles.”  Who can turn that kind thing down?

Bet MeBet Me by Jennifer Crusie: This is the second Crusie novel I ever read and I still remember spotting that cover sitting on the shelf at the Target on Queens Boulevard.  Those shoes just called to me and I am not a shoe person by any means.  The thing that I liked the best about this book was that it is so body positive.  Long before Meghan Trainor told us it was All About That Bass, Ms. Crusie told us that it didn’t matter that you’re not a size 0 because someone is going to love you (and love to feed you).

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig: Crimson Rose is the fourth book in Ms. Willig’s Pink Carnation Series and to be honest it was not one of my favorite books the first time around.  That changed when I re-read it over the summer in preparation for the release of the last book, which was came out back in August 2015.  I don’t know why it didn’t work for me the first time around, but when I sunk into this time, I didn’t want to give it back to the library.  There was just something about seeing Mary and Vaughn fall for each other, especially when neither of them really wanted to do so (or in Mary’s case–couldn’t afford to fall for him…at least at first) that got me.

something about youSomething About You by Julie James: The first book in Ms. James’s FBI/US Attorney series is one of my favorite books.  It set up the series perfectly by introducing us to Cameron and Jack, who is probably one of the hottest heroes I’ve ever read.  I love the chemistry from the two of them that practically flies off the page from the very beginning of the book and smolders straight through to the very last page.  Plus, it is a Second Chance romance, which is my absolute favorite trope to read (a close second is Friends-to-Lovers).

The Sum of All Kisses

The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn: The third book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet is quite honestly the best of the series.  Taking place before and during the weddings for the two prior couples in the series, Sarah and Hugh are thrust together despite not liking each other.  I loved seeing them slowly realize that all the hatred and mistrust they had for each other was turning into a once in a lifetime type of love.

Sea Swept

Sea Swept by Nora Roberts: First released in 1998, Sea Swept introduced the world to the Quinn brothers, Cam, Ethan, and Philip.  Many people prefer Ethan for his quiet calm and his love for Grace, but I’m all about Cam and Anna.  I loved how they were immediately drawn to each other even when they shouldn’t have been (she was his brother’s social worker and was involved in the decision to allow they brothers to stay together).  He was one of those good guys with rough edges that hadn’t quite smoothed out completely over time.  What always gets me about him is how much he loved his adoptive parents and how loyal he was to his family and eventually to Anna.  The scene after Seth fell from the roof of the building they were rehabbing to house their boat building and the way Cam reacted?  Priceless.

The Passion of the Purple PlumeriaThe Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig: The book that should have been second to last in the series is amazing.  It focuses on Jane’s chaperone/righthand woman, Miss Gwen and Colonel William Reid.  Miss Gwen was a fun character right from the very start of the series, waving her parasol around the way The Doctor brandishes his Sonic Screwdriver.  Somewhere along the line, her parasol began to mask a deadly sword, which she uses to save William when they’re attacked by footpads, looking for the Jewels of Berar.  What is so special about this book, other than Miss Gwen’s wit, is that despite being about 20 years older than all of the other heroines in the series, Miss Gwen was treated the same way all of the other women were.  No one condescended to her because she was on the shelf.  Not that there’s a shelf anywhere in the world that could contain Miss Gwen.Head Over Heels

Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis: I recently reviewed this book and like Crimson Rose, this was a book that worked better the second time around.  Chloe and Sawyer were perfectly matched despite all of their differences.  There is just something about Shalvis books; rarely does she have a bad one.  They’re full of wit and enough feels to keep the most emo person happy.

it happened one wedding

It Happened One Wedding by Julie James: I loved this book so much that I could barely wait six months before diving into it for a second time.  The chemistry between Sydney and Vaughn was palpable and I thought that the friends with benefits storyline was perfect for those two characters.  The way Ms. James had them falling for each other was so slick that neither of them were even aware anything had changed until it was almost too late.  The best part was watching them become friends as well as lovers.  (It was awesome how she’d text him about the dates she was going on and he would translate the guy’s manspeak.)

Heaven and EarthHeaven and Earth by Nora Roberts: For a long time, this was my favorite Roberts novel.  Ripley’s fear of losing herself to her magic (not to mention her love for Mac) was extremely relatable despite the fact that outside the pages of a book people can’t call upon the elements.  The thing that made me love this book so much was not Ripley’s relationship with Mac, but her relationship with Mia, her former best friend, who she pushed away years earlier when she gave up her magic.  Some of the best romance novels are not about the heroine’s relationship with the hero, but about her relationship with her girlfriends.  That was the beauty of the Three Sisters Island Trilogy (as well as many of Roberts’s other trilogies).

I could go on and on about my favorite books, but I think ten is a nice round number at which to stop, so there you have it.  Whether you’re inundated with snow, rain, or sun this weekend why don’t you sit back with one of these (or one of your favorites) and let the world go on without you for awhile.

Elizabeth

Romance novels have been a part of my life since I was 14 years old and one of my neighbors dropped off a laundry basket full of Harlequins. From that day on, my nose was always in a book. I started my first review site in 2013, but took some time off for personal issues in 2018.

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