Skip to main content

Romance

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Lady Catherine wants nothing more than to open a baking shop with one of her maids and be declared the best baker in all of Hearts. Her parents consider it an inappropriate hobby for a lady, but since the king loves her sweets so much, they put up with it. Unfortunately for her, the king decides he must be in love with her and that she would make a perfect queen. Not only does this derail Cath's plans, but she's been dreaming about another young man and aspects from her dreams keep popping up in her bedroom in the mornings. When the young man shows up in real life -- the new Joker to her smitten king, Cath knows she cannot allow herself to fall in love, but is constantly drawn to the mysterious man.

Heartless is a loose prequel to Alice in Wonderland - or more, it takes place in that world, slightly beforehand, without the same plot or all the same characters. The story is more love story than Meyer's other retellings (The Lunar Chronicles, beginning with the book Cinder). I loved the way Meyer placed Lewis Carroll quotes in the dialogue between characters, and puts in more subtle references to the original story than a similar plot or all the same characters. The plot remained more of a mystery than many retellings of fairy tales.  I don't know the Alice books that well, so it made me want to reread the originals to catch all the little bits and pieces.

Number of Pages: 
453

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Posted in
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything is a romantic adventure that mostly happens within Madeleine's home. She is a prisoner to her disease, SCID. And until an attractive and mysterious boy moves in next door, she is happy with her routine. She studies via Skype. She has game nights with her Mom. (Okay...she is pretty sheltered here.) But meeting Olly changes her whole internal and external landscape.

For a book about an ill teenager, I thought it was going to be pretty formulaic, but Yoon is funny and there were bits of dialogue that made me laugh out loud. And her husband drew the illustrations which are fun and peppered throughout the novel. So even though I was enjoying this read, I was writing it off as pretty typical until she through a much appreciated twist at the end and gained my respect for her story and for this book. And guess what? She has a new one out now!

Number of Pages: 
310

Nemesis by Anna Banks

Nemesis by Anna Banks

Princess Magar Sepora is the last person in the five kingdoms with the ability to create a magical glowing element with her own body. In her home, her father values her only for this ability -- it is what their country relies upon for trade, and what they will need in the war he's starting with their long time rival country. But Sepora is done with this -- she will not finance a war, and sees no option but to fake her own death and go into hiding in the country her father hopes to destroy. Here she can blend in with the descendants of slaves that were stolen from her own home generations before. Here she can keep her secret and all the kingdoms must learn to get by without the magical element she created for so long.

Tarik must begin his rule of the neighboring country after his father dies of an illness that's sweeping the city. People are dying quickly, and Tarik knows that have only an uneasy peace with the other kingdoms. His advisors encourage him to stay with tradition and rule the way his father did. Tarik knows that this isn't the best way, and that things must change.

Nemesis is told in chapters alternating between Tarik and Sepora's viewpoints. They start out separate, though, obviously, the two stories merge. The general plot and the romance are fairly predictable, but the world Banks' creates is new and exciting. Sepora and Tarik are both strong, smart characters, and though certain parts are no surprise, it's still fun to read how the characters get to each point, and the discoveries they make in their world along the way.

Number of Pages: 
359

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

Henrietta Howel feels fire in her fingers whenever she's especially upset. But she knows in her home that magicians are evil, and she must work to control the fire before anyone can discover her secret. When a sorcerer comes to check the girls where Henrietta teaches for a power with fire, she worries that she'll be dragged away from her home. And she is -- but not to be punished, to be taught sorcery, as the only female sorcerer in recent times. Thrown into this boys' club and expected to learn all the skills in only a fraction of the time, Henrietta must navigate a new society as well as control and use her newly discovered powers. The sorcerers are only willing to tolerate Henrietta because they believe she fulfills a prophecy. Henrietta herself is not quite so sure.

Number of Pages: 
407

Deader Homes and Gardens by Angie Fox

Deader Homes and Gardens by Angie Fox

Verity Long, reluctant ghost hunter, is back in the fourth book of the series! She's finally trying to embrace the powers to see spirits that an old mobster ghost, Frankie, shares with her, and make a living as a ghost hunter rather than a graphic designer. Unfortunately, her declaration of seeing spirits has done nothing for her reputation in her small southern town, and she has yet to be hired. When a neighbor afraid to live in his own family home calls her desperate, Verity feels she has no choice but to accept the job, needing whatever he can pay her. Frankie is more cautious, remembering seeing ghosts there during his living years, and Verity must strike a bargain to be able to finish the job.

Deader Homes and Gardens is the fourth book in the Southern Ghost Hunter Mystery series. The first book in the series is called Southern Spirits. Their author, Angie Fox, lives in St. Louis! The series is fun and light-hearted, making them easy reads but still highly entertaining.

Number of Pages: 
198

The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot

Posted in
The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot

Becky is living her life in her small hometown, running her father's business and dating a man her sister insists on calling "the lumbersexual." But when her high school boyfriend's parents are suddenly in trouble and scandalizing the entire town, Becky's life gets turned upside down. Her ex, Reed, hasn't been back home since he walked away ten years ago, and hasn't spoken to Becky since then either. He's a professional golfer and travels the rest of the country, carefully avoiding Bloomville, Indiana. But his family needs not just his money this time, but him, and he's finally coming home. Becky's hoping to avoid Reed at all costs, but that quickly becomes impossible when his sister-in-law hires her to help their parents downsize and move.

The Boy is Back is told in text messages, emails, scripts and newspaper clippings. This keeps it fast paced and fun to read. The plot is light and easy, and while not particularly surprising, still very enjoyable.

Number of Pages: 
357

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

When the library where Nina works has to shut down due to budget cuts, she finally asks herself what her dream is -- she wants to run a bookshop. Realizing her only experience is in matching up readers to books, and that she can't afford to buy or rent a space in the city, Nina follows her dream to Scotland to check out an old van that's for sale. As she tries to piece her dream together and find a way to support herself in her new endeavor, Nina gets opposing advice from her friends, and lots of unsolicited advice from the men in the Scottish village. Unsure of what to do, but slowly finding her confidence and expanding her comfort zone, Nina moves forward with her plan.

Like the other Colgan books I've read, this one has a romantic plot twisted in, but is more about a young woman figuring out what she needs in life. It was a light read, but thoroughly enjoyable.

Number of Pages: 
332

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

When sixteen year old Lina's mother is dying of cancer, she makes Lina promise to live in Italy with one of her friends after she dies. But Lina has never met this friend, and never even heard of him until after her mother becomes ill. She tries her best to avoid making the trip until her grandmother tells her the friend is really her father. Lina is still mad that she hasn't met or heard about him until now, but she agrees to one summer, packing a small bag and planning on going home as soon as possible.

After her arrival in Italy, Lina is given one of her mother's journals -- the one that her mother wrote during her own time in Italy. Lina follows the places her mother visited and her relationship with Lina's father until she can finally understand her mother's decisions. She also manages to make quick friends and have her own Italian romance.

Number of Pages: 
398

Imprudence by Gail Carriger

Imprudence by Gail Carriger

Imprudence is the second book in Carriger's Custard Protocol series. It begins immediately after Rue's last adventure, with her airship, the Spotted Custard, and its crew safely in London. Unfortunately, as soon as are they home, trouble begins with the werewolves of Rue's father's pack, and everyone seems very secretive. Rue is not pleased when her parents all shut her out, and her sometimes-beau seems to know far more about the matter than he should. There's a strange machine stashed on Rue's ship and her childhood friend and navigator has done something to encourage trespassers. Rue must discover what is happening, what her parents have planned, and come up with a better plan herself.

Number of Pages: 
352

The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray

The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray

Katherine and her brother have grown up working a farm in Virginia, but after an estranged relative dies and leaves the two a fortune, they have to begin a new life in England. Switched from farmgirl to lady, Katherine has trouble relating to anyone in her new life, except the servants and her brother. But when a mysterious accident takes him away from her, Katherine's new life seems much more dangerous than the old. No one believes her, and without any allies, Katherine is soon alone, looking for someone to turn to. Will she be able to find her brother's killer and save herself, or is it already too late?

Number of Pages: 
245