Looking for your next great read? Well, here you’ll see five recommended books I’ve read over the past few months. As a bonus, how about a chance to win two books while you’re here?
In last week’s post, Can Romance Novels Rescue You?, we chatted about romantic stories and how the hope they provide can give you a much-needed respite from your everyday worries. Whatever your current emotional state, perhaps there’s a title or two among these five recommended books that hits the literacy spot for you. But be cautioned, my reading tastes are eclectic. Some of these stories are a tad more spicy or angst-ridden than others, and many are older releases mixed in with a few hot off the press. The two things these five recommended books all have in common, though, are the promise of a beautiful happily-ever-after…and my bookish girl stamp of approval.
Contenders for a Place on Your Keeper Shelf
The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain
Heroic bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street. There’s nothing in the bag to indicate who it belongs to, although there’s all sorts of other things in it. Laurent feels a strong impulse to find the owner and tries to puzzle together who she might be from the contents of the bag. Especially a red notebook with her jottings, which really makes him want to meet her. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?
When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenwaldt
Even after her beloved mother’s passing, 20-year-old Irma longs to stay in her Abruzzo mountain village, plying her needle. But too poor and plain to marry and subject to growing danger in her own home, she risks rough passage to America and workhouse servitude to achieve her dream of making dresses for gentlewomen.
In the raw immigrant quarters and with the help of an entrepreneurial Irish serving girl, ribbon-decked Polish rag man and austere Alsatian dressmaker, Irma begins to stitch together a new life . . . until her peace and self are shattered in the charred remains of the Great Chicago Fire. Enduring a painful recovery, Irma reaches deep within to find that she has even more to offer the world than her remarkable ability with a needle and thread.
The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn
With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He’s unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier’s life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie…
Second Chance Romance by Jill Weatherholt
Jackson Daughtry’s jobs as a paramedic and part-owner of a local café keep him busy—but the single dad’s number one priority is raising his little girl with love and small-town values. And when his business partner’s hotshot lawyer niece comes to town planning to disrupt their lives by moving her aunt away, Jackson has to set Melanie Harper straight. When circumstances force them to work side by side in the coffee shop, Jackson slowly discovers what put the sadness in Melanie’s pretty brown eyes. Now it’ll take all his faith—and a hopeful five-year-old—to show the city gal that she’s already home.
The Letter by Kathryn Hughes
The Letter follows the life of Tina in the 1970s who seeks respite from her abusive marriage by volunteering at a charity shop. One day, while sorting through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter. It is still firmly sealed and un-franked. Unable to resist the pull of curiosity, Tina opens the letter. It was written on 4th September 1939. She is so moved by the contents and bemused as to why the letter was never delivered, she embarks on a quest to find out what became of the writer and his intended recipient.
The mystery of how this love letter ended up in Tina’s hands is also uncovered through Billy’s story from the early 1940s. He writes a letter that will change his life forever, unaware that it will not be read for another 34 years, and then by a complete stranger.
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse at my keeper shelf with that list of five recommended books, it’s time to announce the winners from Week One of my second annual Christmas in July #jolysebarnettgiveaway. They are:
- Pamela Spaulding-Paterakis (chosen from my Facebook Author Page)
- PJ Sharon (chosen from last week’s blog post comment)
- Shari Bartholomew (chosen from last week’s blog post comment)
Woohoo! Ladies, I’m so excited for you! Please email or PM me by Wednesday, July 19th, and I’ll get you set up with your two new reads.
Your Chance to Win a Paperback and eBook
For your chance to be one of three lucky romance book winners this week, comment with the title of a recent fave of yours that includes that all-important HEA. I’ll select two winners here, and another over on my Jolyse Barnett Facebook Page. Feel free to enter at both sites.
Three lucky winners each week in July! If you enter, you could win one romance paperback and an ebook copy of my #1 Amazon Bestseller, Christmas Light. Just saying. Happy reading, and good luck! ox Jolyse
(International winners will receive ebooks only. Sorry.)