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  • Cristina Merrill 4:00 pm on 2019/10/16 Permalink
    Tags: a cowboy under the mistletoe, , debbie macomber, finding christmas, , , meant to be yours, , , , season of love, , , virgin river   

    Romance Roundup: Christmas Enthusiasts, Mystery Writers, and Rising Actresses 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a Navy veteran who needs ranching lessons STAT, a wedding coordinator who falls for her fling, and an actress who is reunited with the guy who broke her heart a long, long time ago.

    Finding Christmas, by Karen Schaler
    Our gal Emmie loves all things Christmas. Her boyfriend, Grant, however, is quite boring and just doesn’t understand what all of the fuss is about. (Dude, really? Surely you can AT LEAST enjoy the delicious food!) In order to get her man into the Christmas mood, Emmie sets up a scavenger hunt that will end in a romantic weekend getaway for two. Trouble is, her scavenger hunt is followed by Sam, a mystery writer who thought the clues were left for him by his agent. Emmie is not too thrilled when Sam ends up being the one to show up at the finish line, but then she and Sam end up enjoying all kinds of shenanigans together. (Nekkid?) When Grant finally shows his surly face, and he’s STILL not thrilled with ANYTHING (Dude, come ON!), Emmie has to wonder whether she’s wasting her time with him. (Sorry, Emmie, but…yup.) Will Emmie and Sam realize they are quite gosh darn perfect for each other? (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on October 15.)

    A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe, by Jessica Clare
    Our gal Sage Cooper has been single in her small town for…ever. What’s more is that her dad recently passed away and so life on her family’s beloved ranch is quite lonely. Then Navy veteran Jason Clements shows up at her door, looking so fine and needing a crash course in how to be a cowboy. He just got a job at a local ranch, but there’s quite a scarcity of horses on Navy ships, so he needs to learn the ranch life FAST without letting his PTSD get in the way. (Jason, some of us don’t know our cows from our horses—actually, that’s not true, cows are harder to ride, per the Google—but we’d still be more than happy to make ourselves useful in any way we can!) As for Sage, she soon understandably becomes quite taken with the tall, refreshing drink of water that is this Navy hero. Sage, you go and get your man while still remaining your wonderful self! And Jason, please realize that Sage is a keeper who will make you a nice home—and that the two of you would make a great team! This is the third book in Clare’s Wyoming Cowboy series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on October 15.)

    Meant To Be Yours, by Susan Mallery
    Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen doesn’t think the whole marriage thing is for her. That said, she is VERY good at her job. (Renee, to each her own, but please realize that even if a personal wedding isn’t your style, you are, without a doubt, totally and 100% worthy of love!) Then she meets thriller writer Jasper Dembenski, and it looks like he just might be the one to change her mind. They engage in the most delicious of flings, and it doesn’t take either of them long to 1) realize they like each other a lot, 2) want to massage each other while nekkid. Oh, and Jasper also finds Renee to be a very inspiring inspiration for his writing. Here’s hoping these two flingers realize they are perfect for each other and that they live a very happy life together that involves best-selling novels and lots of romantic, sunset kisses! This is the fifth book in Mallery’s Happily Inc. series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on October 22.) 

    Twice in a Blue Moon, by Christina Lauren
    Our gal Tate Jones fell crazy in love with Sam Brandis during a two-week vacation when they were young. It was so intense, in fact, that Tate even revealed her paternity to him: She’s the long-lost daughter of a very famous actor. This prompted Sam to do something very, very naughty. Fast forward several years and Tate is an actress who just landed her first big break. The screenwriter is none other than Sam. (Sam, you may have evolved from Cute Snotrag to Holy Tamale He’s Sexy Snotrag, but you are still a snotrag with a capital “S” and you better have evolved, personality-wise, since you last saw Tate!) Has Sam developed a moral code over the past few years and morphed into an all-around good guy? Is he willing to explore the genuine feelings he will now develop for the very awesome Tate? Will the very awesome and hardworking Tate start to get the kinds of roles for which she’s worked so hard? And, finally, will Sam make sure that Tate doesn’t overwork herself and pleasure her with every trick up his sleeve? (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on October 22.) 

    Season of Love, by Debbie Macomber
    Two reprinted fan favorites in one volume! In “Thanksgiving Prayer,” Seattle resident Claudia Masters meets Alaskan visitor Seth Lessinger and instantly has all of the feelings. (This is totally understandable. Seth has a giant heart and fills out his flannels quite nicely!) As for Seth, he wants to convince Claudia to marry him and move to Alaska, but that’s not always the easiest thing to do. (Seth, buddy, you already have all of the rippling muscles and, ahem, equipment you need! And Claudia, we’ll all come visit you in The Last Frontier state!) In “The Gift of Christmas,” Jo Marie and Andrew meet during a Mardi Gras parade, and she is instantly the smitten kitten. She later finds out, though, that he’s engaged. To another woman. Who is NOT Jo Marie. In fact, this other woman is WAY different from our gal. It doesn’t even seem like this lady and Andrew even really, truly, like each other. (Andrew, buddy, please think twice—maybe three times—before you marry this other woman, because true love is important and you do NOT want to settle down with the wrong woman!) (Available in paperback on October 22.)

    Virgin River, by Robyn Carr
    Widow Melinda Monroe is desperately in need of a change of scenery, so she replies with a resounding “Yes!” to a nursing job ad. Said nursing job is in the remote California town of Virgin River, and it involves beautiful scenery complete with redwood trees and a rent-free cabin. (Melinda, we are all SO going to visit you! Your cabin has plumbing, right?) She soon starts to regret her decision, though, because the town is a tad more rural and isolated than she expected. That said, there IS former Marine Jack Sheridan, who could easily melt away the worst of snowstorms. (Jack, drop and give us twenty—push-ups! Twenty push-ups!) Still, Melinda is ready to pack her bags and forget this move ever happened. Then she finds an abandoned baby and her plans completely change, because she is a nice person who would NEVER pass by a helpless baby. Two lonely and attractive people, plus a cute baby, plus a gorgeous setting? Melinda and Jack, it seems like the two of you have everything you need for a beautiful life together! This reprint is the first book in Carr’s Virgin River series, which is being adapted for Netflix. (Available in paperback on October 22.)

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  • Cristina Merrill 3:00 pm on 2019/10/09 Permalink
    Tags: alaskan holiday, annabeth albert, arctic heat, debbie macomber, diana biller, , janice lynn, misadventures at city hall, , , sarah smith, the widow of rose house,   

    Romance Roundup: Alaskan Rangers, Quarreling Coworkers, and Gilded Age Widows 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a wounded warrior who ends up falling for a very special lady, a cancer survivor who’s about to meet a very hunky man in the Alaskan wilderness, and a chef who just might have a major change of plans. 

    Wrapped Up in Christmas, by Janice Lynn
    Our gal Sarah Smith is really into that whole volunteer-slash-be-a-good-person thing, and one of the projects she’s just completed is making a quilt for a wounded warrior. Veteran Bodie Lewis ended up being the lucky recipient, and let’s just say he really needs a bit of extra loving. (Bodie, we all volunteer as tribute!) The Army Ranger survived a horrible tragedy that killed many of his brothers in arms. He decides to find the quilt maker and thank this person for adding some sweetness to his life. He is delightfully surprised when it turns out to be Sarah, who is a lovely lady inside and out. (Bodie, if you don’t treat Sarah right, we are all going to stand in front of your house and cross our arms and sneer at you in disapproval!) When Bodie finds her, she’s working on building her bed and breakfast and thinks he’s a handyman. Bodie decides to play along and get to hammering. (Hehe!) Here’s hoping he comes clean soon—ideally while wearing nothing but the quilt Sarah made—and that Sarah is very understanding about everything! (Available in paperback and available on audiobook.)

    Arctic Heat, by Annabeth Albert
    Investment banker and city man Owen Han has just beaten cancer, and now he’s determined to live the life he really wants. He goes to Alaska to pursue his dream of a more rugged existence, a rugged existence that involves volunteering with park rangers. (Owen, only YOU could look sexy in long underwear!) His new adventure puts him directly in the path of ranger Quilleran Ramsey, who is the kind of specimen for whom one would risk frostbite AND hypothermia. (Quilleran, would it be okay if we all just sit down and look at you for an afternoon? A day? Forever?) Quilleran does not have time for volunteers who have no idea how dangerous and risky and downright treacherous the Alaskan wilderness can be. He would rather just smolder his own way through the snow—and through life—instead of letting someone like Owen distract him. His resistance doesn’t last long, though, and he and Owen proceed to engage in all kinds of snow-melting activities. Will this budding romance last beyond the season? This is the third book in Albert’s Frozen Hearts series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK.) 

    Alaskan Holiday, by Debbie Macomber
    This reprint features sous chef Josie Stewart, who has a sweet new job opportunity lined up at a highfalutin restaurant in Seattle. Before she embarks upon this glamorous new chapter, she decides to do a six-month stint cooking at a lodge in Klutina Lake, Alaska. She soon realizes that she likes the place—like, a lot—and she also likes her new neighbor, Palmer Saxon. He is a sword craftsman, so you know he’s got that whole protective, use-all-my-resources-to-make-sure-you-don’t-starve thing going on. Oh, he’s also smoldering and silent and mysterious, which makes him even more irresistible to our gal. The thing is, our gal really had her heart set on going to The Emerald City and making her mark on the food scene there. Josie, think of the many, many nights—and the many, many ways—in which you and Palmer can keep each other warm! (Available in paperback.)

    Faker, by Sarah Smith
    Our gal Emmie Echavarre is a fun and easygoing lady, but she has to hide her softer side Monday through Friday. The thing is, she works at a power tool company, and let’s just say her burly male coworkers aren’t into the girlie girl things that she likes. (Don’t worry, Emmie! All of us ladies will just plan a super fun happy hour that involves the drink and girl talk of your choice!) There’s one area, though, in which Emmie can 100% be herself, and that’s when she’s with her coworker Tate Rasmussen. Tate and Emmie have not been on the friendliest of terms. (Like, ever.) Whenever Emmie dares to be polite and even friendly to Tate, his responses are less than enthusiastic. (Tate. Buddy. Dude. Come ON!) They’ll both need to chill, though, as they’ve been paired up for a charity construction project. Tate and Emmie, please ignore your differences and realize that you are perfect for each other! And Tate, please make sure you wear your hard hat. You look mighty fine in it! (Available in paperback and NOOK.) 

    The Widow of Rose House, by Diana Biller
    Gilded Age romance alert! (Seriously, we need more of these!) Alva Webster’s estranged and abusive husband just died (AWESOME!!!) and so she’s finally able to settle down in New York after having to deal with years of horrible gossip and media attention. (Alva, do you hear that sound? It’s the sound of all of us cracking open champagne bottles in celebration!) She decides to restore a very old house known as Liefdehuis, which would be fine under normal circumstances, but this particular abode is a tad haunted. (How bad is it? Well, the Property Brothers won’t be passing by anytime soon. Pity.) Alva ends up getting some insight from Professor Samuel Moore. He’s an electrical lighting genius and a member of the very scientific Moore family, and he’s quite intrigued by Alva and her house. But mainly by Alva. Indeed, it doesn’t take him long to realize that he would love to be in Alva’s life on a permanent basis. Samuel, buddy, you better make sure you are EXTRA BUT EXTRA nice to Alva! And Alva, please realize that Samuel is the real deal and unlike any other man you’ll ever know! (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK.) 

    Misadventures at City Hall, by Victoria Blue
    Skye Delaney really wanted to work in the Los Angeles city manager’s office, but a major scandal involving corruption derailed this particular plan. (Hang in there, Skye! Your next dream is right around the corner!) She decides to pursue a seat on the city council (Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation would be so proud!), but soon realizes that she’s not the only person with her eye on it. Kyle Armstrong is also running for city council, which is a tad awkward, because he and Skye pretty much want to help each other out of their power suits. (This is still possible, you two!) Here’s hoping they figure out who should run for city council, that they are both good sports about it, and that, whatever happens, they embark to have scandal-free political careers! This is the latest book in the multi-authored Misadventures series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on October 8.) 

    What new romances are you excited about this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Alaskan Rangers, Quarreling Coworkers, and Gilded Age Widows appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 4:30 pm on 2019/10/01 Permalink
    Tags: a mrs. miracle christmas, , christmas in harmony harbor, debbie macomber, , hidden cove, , , , poemsie, , , , the sisters cafe   

    Romance Roundup: Christmas Miracles, Royal Secretaries, and Gallery Owners 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a married couple that wants to get pregnant, a single mom who meets a very handsome (and formal) British man, and a gallery owner who’s about to investigate her friend’s death. 

    A Mrs. Miracle Christmas, by Debbie Macomber
    Wife-and-husband team Laurel and Zach McCullough are not having the easiest time this holiday season. They really, really want to get pregnant, but let’s just say the right stripes aren’t exactly showing up on the pregnancy test. On top of that, they’ve moved in with Laurel’s grandmother, who cannot take care of herself. Oh, and there are, like, zero caregivers in the area to help out. (Zach and Laurel, you are both kind and tenacious people and we all admire your commitment to family!) Then Mrs. Miracle arrives on the scene, and one of her first orders of business is to help take care of Laurel’s granny, who soon thrives under her care. (Laurel, this is perfect! Now you and Zach have plenty of extra time on your hands to join giblets! To go all the way! In other words…go and make that baby!) Here’s hoping that Laurel gets preggo ASAP, that her grandmother gets to live her best life in her golden years, and that Mrs. Miracle decides to pass by all of our houses! (Available in hardcover and NOOK on October 1.) 

    Royal Holiday, by Jasmine Guillory
    Vivian Forest’s daughter, Maddie, just got an amazing gig: to style a British royal family member. (Maddie, we must all learn your Instagram handle STAT!) Vivian decides to join Maddie on this work trip to England and do the tourist thing while her daughter works. (Vivian, may we join you? Pretty, pretty please!!!) She crosses paths with Malcolm Hudson, who’s been the queen’s—sorry, The Queen’s—private secretary for many years, a job that requires him to be exceptionally formal all the time. (Vivian, please don’t be discouraged by Malcolm’s stoic demeanor! Beneath that Savile Row bespoke suit beats the warm heart of a very kind man who wants nothing more than to kiss you silly!) Malcolm and Vivian end up spending quite a bit of quality time together over the holidays. Once they share a delicious kiss under the mistletoe, it all just goes up (hehe) from there. Will they find a way to make things last past the holidays? Can Vivian see the joyous possibilities of relocating to the UK? And, most importantly, does Malcolm have a country house we can all visit? (Available in hardcover and NOOK on October 1.) 

    Poemsia, by Lang Leav
    Fun YA alert! Verity wants to be a poet. Like, a famous poet. The kind of poet whose work resonates with many, many people and literally changes their lives. (Verity, this is an awesome, awesome dream and we have 100% faith that you can make it happen!) She’s already got at least two entities on her side. One is her best friend, who is also her best cheerleader and believes in her and thinks she’s awesome. (Three cheers for Verity AND for this wonderful friend she has!) Verity also has her cat, Zorro. He’s not much of a poetry lover, but his cuddles still play an extremely important role in her life and provide her with much-needed warmth and affection. (It’s official, Zorro: We all love you, too!) Then Verity finds a book called “Poemsia,” which helps catapult her into social media stardom—and into a world where poets are treated like the rock stars they are. (Verity, please take us all to this magical place!) Add a super duper cute guy to the mix and it looks like our gal is in for the ride of her young life! (Available in paperback and NOOK on October 1.) 

    The Sisters Cafe, by Carolyn Brown
    Originally published in 2013 as “The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society Jubilee” and later as “What Happens in Texas,” this story follows twin sisters Cathy and Marty Andrew. They live in Cadillac, Texas, and they each have very different ideas when it comes to cowboys. Marty’s attitude is all “So many sexy cowboys, so little time” (which is totally understandable), while Cathy wants someone stable who can make her white picket fence dreams come true. (Nothing wrong with this, Cathy, but please don’t settle!) Now, Cathy is engaged to an up-and-coming politician, but neither he or his mother give our gal the warm fuzzies. (Oh, and did we mention that said up-and-coming politician ALWAYS takes his mother’s side? SO not cool!) Cathy, though, will ultimately need to be the one to decide whether to cut this sucker loose. (Pity, because some of us cough me cough had a great idea that involved running and screaming after the creep while brandishing a Swiffer.) Cathy, please think really hard about this engagement and ask yourself whether you actually really love someone else. Like a local cowboy. Ain’t nothing wrong with that! (Available in paperback and NOOK on October 1.) 

    Christmas in Harmony Harbor, by Debbie Mason
    Our gal Evangeline Christmas is on a mission to save her family’s year-round holiday store. Her nemesis: the very hunky, if not entirely personable, real estate developer Caine Elliot. He’s just too powerful, and our gal is getting desperate. (Caine, buddy, do you REALLY have to bulldoze Evangeline’s shop? It provides SO much local charm. Don’t you understand the high real estate value of local charm?!) Evangeline proceeds to cut Caine a deal: If he fulfills three wishes from her shop’s Angel Tree, she’ll bow out gracefully and let him build whatever the heck he wants. This seems easy enough, but it turns out that Caine has major leftover issues from his childhood and that deep, deep down he really wants to toss away his hard hat and get into the Christmas spirit. Oh, Caine, please just let the giving spirit flow through your veins and realize that Evangeline is the woman for you and that you can build your little real estate empire just down the street! This is the ninth book in Mason’s Harmony Harbor series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on October 1.)

    Hidden Cove, by Meg Tilly
    Gallery owner Zelia Thompson has just been told that her friend died of a drug overdose. This is horribly, horribly sad, but Zelia is also WAY too smart to fall for this explanation. She knew her late friend very well and knows this is SO not what could have happened. Zelia is determined to unravel the mystery of her friend’s death and find out the truth. (Sounds good, Zelia, but first, we’re all giving you lots and lots of hugs!) She gets some help from crime novelist Gabe Conaghan. He’s come to Solace Island to take care of a small matter, but now it looks like he’s going to be in town for a bit longer than he planned. This is great for so many reasons—Zelia could use a helping hand, for one, and Gabe also brings quite the skillset to the proverbial table. (Oh, he also has a gorgeous face to go with that imaginative, clever brain of his!) Here’s hoping they solve the mystery soon, that Zelia gets the closure she needs, and that she and Gabe take a relaxing, tropical vacation together! This is the third book in Tilly’s Solace Island series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on October 1.)

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  • Cristina Merrill 3:00 pm on 2019/09/24 Permalink
    Tags: a country christmas, a macgregor christmas, a wedding in december, debbie macomber, how the dukes stole christmas: a christmas romance anthology, , , , , , , , , , the christmas sisters   

    Romance Roundup: Aspen Weddings, Revolutionary War Fighters, and Advice Columnists 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a bride who’s having second thoughts about her upcoming nuptials, a woman who reunites with her husband and children, and a Scotswoman who reluctantly falls passionately in love with an Englishman. 

    A Wedding in December, by Sarah Morgan
    Rosie White is about to get married in Aspen, and her whole family is in town for the nuptials, but she’s having some serious second thoughts. (Rosie, if you decide against the whole marriage thing, we’ll keep our car engines running and our tanks full of gas for an efficient getaway!) As for her sister, Katie, she’s not too thrilled with Rosie’s choice of husband-to-be. She wants to talk Rosie out of it, but she keeps getting sidetracked by the best man, Jordan, who is distractingly hot and would make even the most prim and proper of brides and/or bridesmaids want to participate in the garter toss using his teeth. Adding to the drama are Katie and Rosie’s parents, who are on the verge of divorce and have zero desire to be all cute and cuddly, even if their baby girl is getting married. Here’s hoping that everyone finds the happy ending they want—and that Katie and Jordan get to eat wedding cake off of each other! (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on September 24.) 

    Coming Home for Christmas, by RaeAnne Thayne
    Elizabeth Hamilton has had it extremely—but like, extremely—rough. Not only did she lose both of her parents, she also had a major bout of postpartum depression. Then she got into a car accident and lost her memory. When she did get her memory back, she doubted whether she was a good enough wife and mom. (Yes, you are, Elizabeth! On both counts! You are the best mom and wife ever and your family is lucky to have you!) Seven years later, her husband, Luke, finds her and brings her home for Christmas to fantastic results. Not only do Elizabeth’s kids adore her (because there is NO ONE like mom!) but Luke also still has that very loving feeling. (Buddy, time to, ahem, get creative and rekindle that romance!) Could this be the happy and hopeful new beginning the Hamilton family needs? Will Elizabeth realize she is an awesome person who is 100% capable of love? And does Luke still have a set of exceptionally manly biceps? This is the tenth book in Thayne’s Haven Point series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, and audiobook on September 24.) 

    A Country Christmas, by Debbie Macomber
    Two reprinted fan favorites in one volume! In “Return to Promise,” which is part of Macomber’s Heart of Texas series, rancher Cal Patterson and his wife, Jane, have just separated. Oh, she’s also left town with their kids, leaving Cal with plenty of time to think about what just happened. (Cal, buddy, we know the ranching life is hard and self-reflection may not be your strongest suit, but please, please, please think really hard about whether you are okay with losing Jane forever!) In “Buffalo Valley,” which is part of Macomber’s Dakota series, Vaughn Kyle just got out of the army and has come back home. He is engaged, but let’s just say that she and Vaughn have very different priorities in life. (He is humble. She is not. Yep. Clearly this is NOT a recipe for success.) Then Vaughn meets Carrie Hendrickson, a lovely local lady with whom he shares many values. Here’s hoping that Cal gets in touch with his more sensitive side and woos back his woman—and that Vaughn lets his fiancee down easy and embraces Carrie and life in Buffalo Valley with his entire giant heart! (Available in paperback and NOOK on September 24.) 

    A MacGregor Christmas, by Nora Roberts
    This volume features two reprinted stories from Roberts’ MacGregors series. In “Rebellion,” the year is 1745, the season is winter, and the country is Scotland. Serena MacGregor absolutely hates all Englishmen, so she’s quite peeved when her brother brings his English friend to her family’s home. As for said English friend, Brigham Langston, it pretty much just takes one look at Serena for him to realize he’d love to be the jam to her biscuit. Or, the biscuit to her jam. Either way, he really, really likes her. He’ll need to work really hard in order to get over her prejudices and win her heart, and that’s totally fine because he’s all like “Challenge accepted!” In “In From the Cold,” it’s 1776 in America and injured minuteman Ian MacGregor is at the mercy of young widow Alanna Flynn. Fortunately, she’s a kindhearted lady who is willing to nurse him back to health. (We’ll tend to your wounds, Ian! We’ve read the Outlander series and watched the TV adaptation! Claire Fraser taught us well! Also, you have penicillin, right?) Will Alanna be able to help Ian, and will they survive the Revolutionary War? (Available in paperback on September 24.) 

    The Christmas Sisters, by Sarah Morgan
    This reprint features sisters Hannah, Beth, and Posy, who lost their parents when they were kids and were subsequently adopted by their mom’s friend and her husband. In Scotland. Twenty-five years later, all three ladies are back home in Scotland for Christmas, and they are each in some desperate need of time to unwind and rethink their lives. Hannah doesn’t want to get close to anyone. She’d rather work herself to the bone. (Brace yourself, Hannah—it’s Group Hug and Vacation time!) Posy wants a life of adventure but she’s stuck helping with her family’s cafe. (We’ll take over a couple of your shifts, Posy!) And then Beth is doing the stay-at-home mom thing, but she is itching to get her career back. (Hang in there, you brave and strong ladies, and make sure you all realize that it’s totally fine to want a better life!) Here’s hoping each lady manages to live the life she deserves, and that they all enjoy each other’s company during the holiday season! (Available in paperback on September 24.) 

    How the Dukes Stole Christmas, a Christmas Romance Anthology, by Tessa Dare, Sophie Jordan, Sarah MacLean, and Joanna Shupe
    Four Christmas stories in one delicious volume! In Dare’s “Meet Me in Mayfair,” Louisa Ward has GOT to find a rich husband so her family won’t get evicted. Then she waltzes with an exceptionally handsome man, the Duke of Thorndale. Trouble is, he’s the one with the power to evict her family, so she’s feeling a tad conflicted. In Jordan’s “Heiress Alone,” Annis Bannister gets stranded in the Scottish Highlands during a snowstorm. Her only hope for survival is her neighbor, a duke who is also a bit of a social hermit. (That’s okay, because the things he does best are best done in private, wink wink!) In MacLean’s “The Duke of Christmas Present,” Lady Jacqueline Mosby returns home after an extended absence, which stirs long-standing feelings inside the blackened heart of Eben, the Duke of Allryd. Can Jacqueline unlock his softer side? In Shupe’s “Christmas in Central Park,” Mrs. Rose Walker writes a popular advice and recipe column. Never mind that she doesn’t actually, you know, cook. (Rose, we absolutely understand that it’s a tough world out there and a gal’s gotta pay her bills!) Trouble is, her boss, the hunky Duke of Havemeyer, wants her to throw a Christmas shindig using her skillset. Sounds like a fun crop of stories worth absorbing with a giant mug of tea! (Available in paperback and NOOK on September 24.)

    What new romance novels are you excited about this week?

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  • Cristina Merrill 3:00 pm on 2019/07/23 Permalink
    Tags: debbie macomber, , , , , , romance reviews, starting over, window by the bay,   

    Empty Nests Prompt Heroines to Step Outside of Their Comfort Zones in Debbie Macomber’s Window on the Bay 

    While many a parent may rejoice at getting their house back when their college-bound kids take off for the university life, some might feel a tad restless at finding themselves with an empty nest. Such is the case for one of the heroines in Debbie Macomber’s latest, Window on the Bay, who realizes she has a lot of extra time on her hands when her younger child, a daughter, moves into her college dorm. As a result, said heroine realizes she is ready to live primarily for herself again and starts trying the things she’s always dreamed of doing. A Macomber novel can stand on its own merit, but with the Fall 2019 semester coming up, this is indeed a timely story. 

    Window on the Bay introduces us to two women, Jenna and Maureen, a nurse and librarian, respectively, who have been close friends since college and were just about to take off for a dream trip to Paris when Maureen got pregnant. Sadly, that trip to Paris was put on the back burner. Both women subsequently got married, had children, and later divorced their husbands. While Jenna’s husband was a serial cheater, Maureen and her ex-husband were simply not a good match and parted amicably. Jenna has two children, a son and a daughter who are both now in college, and Maureen has a daughter in her early twenties. Unlike Maureen’s ex-husband, Jenna’s ex does not keep in touch with his kids. 

    For Jenna, everything changes when her daughter opts to move into a dorm rather than live at home. While Maureen has already lived alone without her own daughter, this is Jenna’s first time experiencing a truly empty nest. Her older son was already away at school. As a result, Jenna’s house has lost a great deal of energy and activity, and she needs to find ways to fill up her new free time. 

    To Jenna’s credit, she doesn’t want to mope around. Instead, she’s determined to make her new life work for herself. (One major step she takes is in the redecorating arena, which includes buying new dishes and towels. Even the most “What’s the big deal about THAT?” reader might feel the need to make a Target run after reading this book.) Jenna’s life takes an unexpected turn when her elderly mother sustains an injury and needs surgery. 

    Enter Dr. Rowan Lancaster, said elderly mom’s silver fox of a surgeon. 

    Now, Jenna and Maureen are not completely alien to the concept of dating. They’ve each dated their fair share of men over the years, but none of said men ever came close to making them feel real feelings. Jenna never thought she’d date another medical professional (her ex-husband was a surgeon—and exceptionally whiny and arrogant), but she soon realizes that while Rowan and her ex-husband share a profession, they could not be more different. Rowan is thoughtful and introspective. That said, he’s not boring. His kisses more than make Jenna feel like a natural woman and prove that while he has a stoic demeanor, he has a deeply passionate and sensitive soul. Jenna soon learns that Rowan is dealing with his own familial issues—and it just might take her awhile to understand his side of the story. 

    As for Maureen, everything changes when Logan, a construction worker and plumber, starts coming by her library on a regular basis requesting book recommendations. Logan is truly unlike any man Maureen has ever dated and makes her step outside of her comfort zone. (Sometimes to humorously awkward results, but still. He tries and she tries.) 

    Romance aside, Jenna and Maureen navigate other life events the best they can. One of the major challenges Jenna faces is letting her two kids make their own decisions and choose their own paths in life. Jenna’s daughter, for example, might give Jenna a run for her money as she starts navigating college life, but it’s Jenna’s son who ends up really shaking up his mother when he makes a choice she doesn’t like. As for Maureen, she finds herself being supportive of her daughter, who has been trying to get pregnant, without being too interfering. 

    Throughout all of this turmoil, Jenna and Maureen have each other, and when they manage to get together amidst all of the craziness there is plenty of tea and wine. Jenna also manages to carve out an enviable amount of “Me Time,” with her baths and her window seat that overlooks a beautiful local Seattle bay. (After raising two kids and taking care of her mom and dealing with the fallout of a terrible marriage and divorce, Jenna has certainly earned her zen time.) Indeed, this is what makes Window on the Bay so entertaining. Reading as Jenna learns to relinquish control over her children’s lives and focus on living her own best life serves as a strong reminder that we can’t control everything, nor should we want to. Jenna and her children are each finding their own sense of freedom, and while there are stumbles, everyone eventually learns how to navigate their own lives. And that’s what makes them happy.

    The post Empty Nests Prompt Heroines to Step Outside of Their Comfort Zones in Debbie Macomber’s <i>Window on the Bay</i> appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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