A look at what’s steaming up the shelves this month.
I know spring doesn’t officially start for a couple more weeks, but I’m so ready to put the cold weather behind me and bask in the sunshine again. In the meantime, here are two romance novels that have warmed my heart (if not my cold, cold hands) recently. They both have “Stars” in the title, they’re both set in the Pacific Northwest, and they both have a swoon-worthy relationship at their heart. Other than that, they couldn’t be more different — and I highly recommend them both! Happy reading!
Catherine Cowles delivers a poignant and suspenseful tale of redemption and second chances in Tattered Stars (PageSmith).
It’s been over 15 years since the traumatic week that forever changed 11-year-old Everly Kemper’s life. Now she’s back in Wolf Gap, Oregon, with plans to start an animal sanctuary on her family’s land. She sees her return as a chance to start over, do some good for the community, and maybe put her guilt to rest — but Sheriff Hayes Easton has other ideas.
Hayes also carries a lot of guilt over what happened all those years ago, and he has never been able to put the past to rest. Everly’s arrival is a painful reminder of how he failed and the helplessness he felt. He wants to convince Everly that there’s no place for her in Wolf Gap anymore, but he doesn’t count on her iron-willed determination or the unexpected flutter of attraction he feels when they’re together.
As the connection between them blossoms into friendship and then something more, someone emerges who intends to destroy any chance at happiness or peace they may have. They weren’t responsible for the tragedy of the past, but they still carry the weight of it in ways neither has ever fully addressed. The only way forward is by trusting each other. But how can Everly and Hayes move forward when somebody is determined to make sure the past never dies?
Tattered Stars is the first book in Cowles’ Tattered & Torn series, and this heartwarming small-town romance sets a high bar for the books to come!
Alexandria Bellefleur never fails to deliver a satisfying story filled with romance, humor, and memorable characters, and fans will fall in love with her newest romcom, Count Your Lucky Stars (Avon).
Margot Cooper is happily single in Seattle, thank you very much. She has plenty of friends and runs a thriving astrology business, Oh My Stars. Sure, her closest friends are all paired off, but no matter — life is good! And then an old friend and one-time lover shows up out of the blue, and Margot can’t help but wonder if life couldn’t be just a little bit better…
Divorced event planner Olivia Grant is new to Seattle. One of her company’s star clients is getting married in a few weeks, and Olivia needs to make a good impression. Things take an unexpected turn when the groom’s friend turns out to be Olivia’s high school best friend and first love, Margot. Olivia hasn’t spoken to Margot in a decade — not since they spent a romantic week together.
Margot and Olivia are both determined to get through the wedding planning with as little drama as possible — which means burying the past and keeping things between them professional. That’s easier said than done, though. A plumbing snafu leaves Olivia without a place to stay, and Margot comes to the rescue and offers her a room. The forced proximity means they’re going to have to deal with their history once and for all.
Count Your Lucky Stars follows Bellefleur’s previous romantic comedies, Written in the Stars and Hang the Moon. Readers of the earlier books will be delighted to reconnect with familiar characters, while new readers will get a taste of the author’s signature snark and sizzle in this second-chance love story.
Kristina Wright lives in Virginia with her husband, their two sons, two dogs, a cat, and a parrot. She’s a regular contributor at BookBub and a lifelong fan of romance fiction. Find her on Twitter at @kristinawright or on Bookshop, where she features other book recommendations.