A handful of romances to start the season off right
When it’s sunny one minute and we’ve got tornado warnings the next, you know spring has officially arrived. This season can also be marked by the number of daylilies and tulips the deer have snarfed out in my yard, or by the uneven grass on our lawn, signaling that my older son has begun attacking his weekly chore on the riding mower again. (We’re hopeful that he’s beginning to see that doing this in circles might not be the best plan.)
If spring brings insects and animals out of their hidey-holes, it must do the same for romantic-comedy writers, because there is a whole crop of fantastic books blooming at the moment — lighthearted and bright, as the season should be.
Here are a few of my rom-com recommendations:
Whisked Away by Melanie Summers (Indigo Group). A hilarious romp through an island-resort destination, and a great follow-up to Summers’ last, The Honeymooner. Though they share characters and a setting, these books stand alone, and each will have you cracking a smile and wishing for a vacation of your own. Whisked Away follows a chef whose plans have always involved working at her family’s resort after culinary school, but while she was off finishing her education, things at home changed, and now she’s being tapped to run all things food-related at a partner private island, Eden — catering to the rich and famous (and spoiled). Emma, our heroine, is not pleased, and soon she finds herself forced to spend time with Pierce, the famous author of the still-unfinished Clash of Crowns series. (He’s desperately trying to figure out how to conclude the popular fantasy books before the television writers get ahead of him — sound familiar?) Hilarious, sweet, and romantic.
Relatively Sane by Whitney Dineen (33 Partners Publishing). This is the second book in a series, too, but again, you can pick this one up on its own without missing a thing. Big-city girl Cat is moving home to her small town to be with her family and her new boyfriend. Sounds simple, but since Cat’s family includes the most hilarious grandmother ever written, along with a supporting cast that adds to the humor, simple isn’t what happens. The family home is being renovated as part of the popular television renovation show “House to Home,” and, in the process, Cat’s boyfriend is going to ridiculous lengths to keep his greatest secret hidden from her. If you’d like a funny family tale with plenty of Scottish flair, this is it!
America’s Geekheart by Pippa Grant (Amazon Digital Services). I will dub Pippa Grant the queen of the snort-laugh. Drink hot beverages while reading her if you dare, but don’t wear white if you do. A great twist on fake-relationship and celebrity tropes, America’s Geekheart boasts perfectly imperfect characters, charming quirks, and unpredictable wildlife cameos. At its core, this is a sweetly sexy romance with lots of laughs. Full of pop-culture references and an appreciation for all things food-related, this book left me hungry and happy.
And, finally (shameless plug ahead):
Scoring the Keeper’s Sister by Delancey Stewart (Amazon Digital Services). This is the first book in my Mr. Match series, which is finishing up this week with the fourth and final book. The series centers around pro soccer player Max Winchell, who happened to discover the mathematical formula for love. He used it to build a matchmaking website and became the anonymous matchmaker everyone in San Diego is talking about. The first book is an enemies-to-lovers tale involving the star forward on Max’s team (the San Diego Sharks), Fernando Fuerte, and Erica, the PR rep for the team — and they are not exactly pals. When the site declares them soulmates, neither has much confidence in the match. But when Erica’s brother talks her into a date-related bet with Wensleydale cheese as the prize, she’s all in. Who can resist Wensleydale? Not Erica. And not me, either. Each of these books follows a different couple as Mr. Match helps his teammates and friends find love. And the last book, naturally, will find a match for Mr. Match himself.