From the Reference Desk, reader's advisory

From the Reference Desk

Please enjoy some romantic reviews…

lauren reviews

Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues to be delightful. The second book, A Duke By Default, follows the adventures of Portia Hobbs, best friend of Ledi (who starred in A Princess In Theory) as she leaves behind New York and continues her quest to build a life free from her past mistakes. The book kicks off with sass and assertiveness, and it rollicks merrily along towards the end with all the ups, downs, and loop-de-loops of a roller coaster. Bonus: not only do we get Portia’s point of view, we also get Tavish’s. If you like second-chance romances, smart, capable characters aware of their flaws, and contemporary romance that not only riffs off the tropes but emphasizes the obligation of those in power to serve the people, read these. Also, Tavish’s family is multi-cultural and fabulous, and the author has so many delightfully geeky jokes in the book. (Book 3 is slated to star Ledi’s cousin Nya and the prince who comes to help Tavish deal with being a duke. All signs point to another good story on its way…and hopefully more books after that, because there are multiple other major supporting characters I’d love to read as main characters.)

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I Thee Wed by Celeste Bradley is a historical romance. However, we get a heroine who is not the only woman with a degree in her family (historically accurate), an antagonist with sadly realistic villainy, and a hero who yearns for orderly quiet only to find that he misses the chaos of his family and needs to use a social script to function in most situations. Between science, bewildering feelings (neither main character is initially pleased by the disruption of attraction), and Orion’s youngest sister Atalanta, who is a force to be reckoned with and equally at odds with society’s expectations as her brother, there’s always something happening. Plenty of drama, yes, but in the end there’s happiness to spare.

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From the Reference Desk, reader's advisory

From the Reference Desk

With February approaching, please enjoy some reviews of romantic fiction…

lauren reviews

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The description sounded fabulous – two devoted older siblings, each determined to do their best for beloved younger siblings, match wits and fall in love. Which was accurate…to a point. Alas, the Duke has a serious issue with thinking he ought to behave and then promptly giving in to his desire to kiss the heroine. In fairness, the heroine is equally inclined to be kissed; as a reader it got irksome for them to be forever going ‘I shouldn’t’ and then doing exactly that. For those seeking a heroine who takes her responsibilities and promises seriously, this is recommended, as long as one doesn’t mind frequent, steamy scenes.

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Lisa Kleypas gives us a dissolute hero whose turn to self-control makes a marked difference in his appearance and a heroine who is happy to call his nonsense exactly what it is. Be aware that the hero has some serious issues stretching back to his childhood, and blackmail is conducted by multiple characters.
Lorraine Heath’s story centers around a man with a misplaced sense of responsibility, a love that never faded, and the woman whose heart he broke. There is, of course, a happy ending.
Megan Frampton has a grand time with a faux engagement turning real, a heroine who delights in coming up with plausible definitions for words, and a house party. The commitment-phobic hero, his mama who just wants him to travel less often, and Lady Sophronia (and the prospect of chickens hanging before her) all prove charming.
Vivienne Lorret offers up a scientific Duke, his Marriage Formula, a lady who is (theoretically) only at his house party to support her friend, and a definite zing when the two meet. Bonus points for discussion of actual innovations of the time.
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This book was on my To Be Read list for a long time, and I really thought I’d love it. I was half-right: Dimple and Rishi are both brilliant, awkward, and determined to do things their own way. While Rishi starts off making a terrible impression on Dimple, he does eventually manage to win her over – not exactly surprising, since he very much wants to make her happy. The eventual plot twist is delightful. Now, for my major issues: Dimple frequently hits Rishi, hard enough to hurt him, and completely disregards his wishes in order to do what she thinks is best for him. Both of these are major relationship issues, and took the book from a fun read to a disappointment. Though it was good to see an #OwnVoices book and I am still glad that it’s available to our patrons who might wish to see themselves in the hero and heroine, I can only hope that Dimple stops these behaviors as she matures so that they could have an actual happy ending.
From the Reference Desk

From the Reference Desk

Occasionally one of our counterparts in non-fiction will come across a fiction book they can’t wait to tell everyone about.  This happened recently, and we decided to start a new series of blog posts.  Please enjoy this collaboration…

lauren reviews

Jacket

The back cover promises a heroine possessed of strong opinions and intelligence, as well as a hero who needs to work to win her over, and for once it wasn’t exaggerating. Though they share a past together (presumably mentioned in another book), and the hero is no slouch himself in intellectual matters, they start off the book on the wrong foot. Seeing them gain a deeper appreciation of each other is the main attraction here, though the hero’s dog is definitely a major player.
Note that the heroine is involved in providing a safe place for street children and suffers from some trauma due to one of them ensuring she could not interfere with the murder of the nightmare figure who abused a number of them. The living antagonist in the story is also a man to whom others are there to be used, and he does attempt to kidnap and rape the heroine in revenge for the hero and heroine making sure he could no longer easily cheat at cards and fleece people of substantial sums. She manages to successfully fight back and humiliate the villain, so it is ultimately a triumph, but not something all readers are able to read.

Jacket (1)

Available through MyMediaMall, this set of three novellas linked by a shared beginning and ending offer a lighter romance overall than Ashford’s most recent book. All three of the sisters are tossed into situations rife with potential problems and instead find comfortable, pampered lives for two of them – and even the middle sister’s theoretically disastrous heartbreak and departure from her job is salvaged by the loving interference of her sisters and their unlikely fairy godmothers (no magic, here – just wealthy, kindhearted women who use their privilege to do good). Some readers may find the final hero’s exasperated comment to his fiancee to cross a line of ungentlemanly behavior; others may be fine.

Jacket (2)

Technically a juvenile book (you’ll find it in our Youth Department), this Newberry winner is nevertheless an excellent crossover read for those who enjoy fairy tales, villains who get their comeuppances, and happy endings. There’s plenty of magic and foreboding, along with multiple points of view, but kindness and caring win the day in the end against a most insidious and selfish evil-doer.
Displays, Slideshows

February Displays

Every month, Reader’s Advisory puts out different displays in the area surrounding our desk.  For us, it’s a fun way to tie in the materials we love to the specific month or season!  Anything that is on the cubes can be checked out, just like anything else in the library!

For the month of February, there are several different exciting displays to choose from.

“You Had Me At…” located on the left book cube, is a display of fiction with intriguing first lines.  Much like our “Blind Date with a Book” of the past, this display showcases the book’s first line instead of the cover of the book to entice readers.  Check out the accompanying Billboard slideshow!

“Escape to the Sun!” located on the center book cube, is a display of fiction, music, and DVDs with summer themes.  No matter the genre, if you’re looking for books that will transport you from the chill and gloom, look no further.

“A Change is Gonna Come: Honoring Black History Month,” located on the CD display cube, is music from African-American artists throughout the ages.  From Scott Joplin and ragtime to Jay-Z and rap, come sample the various eras of African-American music.

“Don’t Judge a Romance by its Cover,” located on our corner display, is a wide selection of romantic fiction.

The fiction film wall has Oscar winning films of the past, to get you in the mood for the ceremony on Feb. 26th.  The nonfiction film wall, “That’s Amore,” features documentaries on romantic locations and more for Valentine’s Day.

Our Teen display this month is “Heart vs. Break,” romances and relationship fiction geared toward a teen audience.

Check out the slideshow below for photos of each of these displays.
We encourage you to come in and check out these displays for yourself; you can always take something home!

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Make Mine

Make Mine…Romance

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The romance novel, in its familiar form, is a celebration of falling in love.  Generally the lovers will encounter obstacles along the way, but in the end, the problems have been solved, the struggles overcome, and there is a happy and satisfying ending.  There are many subgenres to romance, including contemporary, historical, and romantic suspense.  No matter what kind of love you like to read about, there is an author or novel out there for your tastes.

If you enjoy stories of people falling in love, the following authors tend to write in the romance genre:

Victoria Alexander
Mary Balogh
Jo Beverley
Robyn Carr
Loretta Chase
Marion Chesney
Jennifer Crusie
Janet Dailey
Suzanne Enoch
Anne Gracie
Irene Hannon
Robin Lee Hatcher
Dee Henderson
Georgette Heyer
Eloisa James
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Sophie Kinsella
Mindy Klasky
Lisa Kleypas
Jayne Ann Krentz
Stephanie Laurens
Johanna Lindsey
Debbie Macomber
Susan Mallery
Linda Lael Miller
Victoria Christopher Murray
Tracie Peterson
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Mary Jo Putney
Amanda Quick
Julia Quinn
Francis Ray
Sheila Roberts
LaVyrle Spencer
Danielle Steel
Kathleen Woodiwiss
Displays, RA Programs

Summer Reading Displays – July

For the Summer Reading Program, Reader’s Advisory puts out different displays in our area that tie into the overarching summer theme.  For this summer’s theme, “Read to the Rhythm,” our book, music, and movie displays are all about music!  Anything that is on the cubes can be checked out, just like anything else in the library!

Right now, there are five different displays going.

The first book cube is a split between “Good Vibrations,” feel good fiction inspired by the Beach Boys, and “Killing Me Softly,” murder mysteries and thrillers inspired by Roberta Flack’s seminal hit.

The second book cube is a split between “Family Affair,” selections of family sagas, and “Secret Agent Man,” spy novels and thrillers inspired by Johnny Rivers’ classic tune.

The music display is “Sentimental Journey”, a collection of Big Band hits that will transport you back to the 1940s.

The movie display is “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” a selection of Christmas movies to tie in with a giveaway in honor of Christmas in July.

The teen display is “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It,” romantic coming of age novels inspired by Katy Perry’s hit song.

Come in and check out these displays for yourself; you can always take something home!

SRP display 9 - Good VibrationsSRP display 10 - Killing Me Softly SRP display 8 - Family AffairSRP display 7 - Secret Agent Man    SRP display 6 - Sentimental JourneySRP display 11 - I Kissed a Girl