Romance

  • Book Blind Date

    We have all been there: caught by the intrigue, longing for the the possibility for love. Or just the next good read. After an excursion out to the bookshop, you carry the small stack of books you decided to buy and stand in line for the cashier. Your eyes wander, naturally still looking, and they notice a stand of what appears to be books entirely wrapped in brown butcher paper.  A piece of twine warps around the edges and makes a perfect bow on the fronts. In black marker, bullet points are listed, telling you three random details about the book hidden underneath. All you must do is go up to the counter, purchase the mystery, and start your next adventure.

    But do those kinds of dates ever really work out?

    Personally, I have never been able to commit to a blind date with a book.  It’s always seemed like a lot of commitment for a book I don’t even know. Right?

    That’s why our blind date with a book series is going to work a bit differently. If you find that you are interested in one of the fabulous mystery books below, click the link and it’ll take you start to its catalog page. There you can come face to face with the book you’ve chosen and truly decide if it is the one that you have been longing for. All the intrigue with none of the worries.

    Now, I hope you and your book have good time! 

    BLIND DATE #1

    • Murder mystery
    • First-person narrator
    • Quick read
    • Just wait until the end…

    BLIND DATE #2

    • Time travel
    • Female protagonist
    • Fast paced with plenty of action and danger
    • And who is that stranger anyway?

    BLIND DATE #3

    • Nonfiction
    • Underdogs
    • Redefining Success
    • What if our weaknesses give us an advantage?

    BLIND DATE # 4

    • Regency romance
    • Utah author
    • Difficult mothers
    • Childhood friends.
    • Will they find love?

    So, which did you choose?

    6.7 The Murder of Roger Ackroyd#1: THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD
    By Agatha Christie
    (1926)

     

    6.7 Lightning#2: LIGHTNING
    By Dean R. Koontz
    (1988)

     

    6.7 David and Goliath#3: DAVID AND GOLIATH
    By Malcolm Gladwell
    (2015)

     

    6.7 Blackmoore#4: BLACKMOORE
    By Julianne Donaldson
    (2015)

     
     

    Still looking for literary love? Check out round 2 here.

  • romance collection 01

  • yaromance

    I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a fully grown woman who loves a good Young Adult (YA) Contemporary Romance. Let me first explain what I mean by this genre. These are books set in contemporary times, but can include the recent past such as ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell who set her novel in 1986 (and, by the way, is fantastic). FYI: typically a novel is considered historical fiction if set 50 years or longer in the past. YA Contemporary Romance must also have a romantic relationship at its core. That’s the bit I especially like. There is an inherent excitement to the idea of falling in love for the first time that draws me in again and again, even if it’s easy to guess the plot sometimes. I also enjoy a happy ending but don’t require one. It’s all the swoony romantic bits in the middle that I like best where the cute boy doesn’t go for the popular, pretty girl but instead goes for the quirky one that lives next door.

    To be fair, YA Contemporary Romance can contain melancholy or emotional elements where teens must deal with real issues such as depression or the death of a loved one. These elements often enhance the story; making it bittersweet, which can be rewarding in its own way.

    So without further ado, here are my recent five favorite YA Contemporary Romances.  

    to all the boysTO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE
    by Jenny Han
    (2014)

    Lara Jean isn’t sure she’s ready for her sister, Margot, to move to Scotland for college.  But life becomes even more complicated when someone finds and mails her stash of secret, never-to-be-read letters addressed to all the boys she’s liked in the past.  One letter is sent to Josh, her next door neighbor who Margot broke up with just before moving away. When Josh confronts her, Lara Jean is desperate to convince him that she’s over her crush even if she’s not completely sure herself. Another letter is sent to Peter, a popular Lacrosse player at school. Peter suggests that Lara Jean pose as his new girlfriend to make his ex-girlfriend jealous and to help her convince Josh that she’s over him.

    geography of you and meTHE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME
    by Jennifer E. Smith
    (2014)

    Lucy Patterson and Owen Buckly meet by chance when they are trapped in their New York apartment building’s elevator during a massive power outage. When the electricity returns, so do real-life complications. Owen and his father, devastated by his mother’s recent death, decide to drive west for a fresh start. Meanwhile, Lucy moves to Scotland for her father’s work.  Separated geographically, it is their emotional connection that carries each of them through a life-changing year. This book centers on the leaps of faith that love demands.

    tell me three thingsTELL ME THREE THINGS
    by Julie Buxbaum
    (2016)

    After losing her mother, gaining a stepmother and moving cross-country, Jessie is feeling lost. During her first week in Los Angeles, she receives an email from an anonymous fellow student calling himself Somebody/Nobody (SN), offering advice dodging the pitfalls of her new prep school. After several weeks of relying on SN, Jessie wants to meet him. But will reality live up to her idea of Somebody/Nobody? This novel is sort of like YOU’VE GOT MAIL for teenagers.

    all the bright placesALL THE BRIGHT PLACES
    by Jennifer Niven
    (2015)

    An exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story, this novel is told from the perspectives of both Theodore Finch and Violet Markey.  The two meet unexpectedly on the ledge of the school bell tower where they’re both contemplating suicide. Though both troubled, they start a beautiful and unusual friendship. On a school project to experience roadside attractions in the state of Indiana, the two develop a close bond that others don’t understand as their bond begins to help heal one another. But as Violet’s world expands, Finch’s begins to shrink.

    everything everythingEVERYTHING, EVERYTHING
    by Nicola Yoon
    (2015)

    Ever since she was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or “bubble baby” disease, 18-year-old Madeline Whittier hasn’t been able to leave her house. Quite literally allergic to everything, she watches the world pass her by. When Olly moves in next door, all of this changes. With Carla, her nurse, as her ally, Maddy defies her mother by allowing Olly into her house and her heart, putting her very life at risk. This is a humorously engaging story of a girl who has to figure out how to live life and love despite her circumstances.

  • Clean Historical Romance2 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    THE SHERIFFS OF SAVAGE WELLS

    THE FALL OF LORD DRAYSON

    THE LADY OF THE LAKES

  • Clean Historical Romance 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    Edenbrooke

    The Blue Castle

    Longing for Home

  • diary historical romance 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    THE DIARY OF MATTIE SPENSER

    ON AGATE HILL

    THE LOST MEMOIRS OF JANE AUSTEN

  • Rom Com 

    There are certain things I will never apologize for and one of those is my unabashed love for romantic comedies. I grew up watching and re-watching favorites like LEGALLY BLONDE, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, and YOU’VE GOT MAIL and as a grown-up I will jump to watch any movie described as “the best rom-com since 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU.” But, if I’m being honest, there are just not a lot of rom-com movies out recently to sufficiently scratch an itch. There are dozens of online news stories about the decline (and recent resurgence) of romantic comedies since the golden age of rom-coms. Here are my suggestions for book – to – movie romances (because no one wants a CLUELESS reboot. 

    5LANDLINE
    By Rainbow Rowell
    (2014)

    Fans of the genre will know that the best rom-coms are able to bring a tear to your eye (I’ll refer again to 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU) and this one balances the emotions of a failing relationship with all the tingly, giggly laughter of young love. It’s clear that Georgie’s marriage may be at its end when her husband heads to Nebraska for Christmas with her kids and without her. Then, Georgie discovers she has a chance to reconnect with her husband Neal – through a magical rotary phone that calls the Neal of 15 years earlier. Speaking with younger Neal the week before he proposes may be just the ticket to save their marriage. It is one of life’s greatest injustices that there is no screen adaptation of this deeply satisfying romantic comedy. 

     

    5.13 Twenties GirlTWENTIES GIRL: A NOVEL 
    By Sophie Kinsella
    (2009)

    I will put Sophie Kinsella on booklists as long as I am making booklists because she is queen. And because our world is unfair, only two of her books have been adapted for the screen: CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC and the still-in-production CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? This book, TWENTIES GIRL, is the story of Lara and the ghost of her great-aunt Sadie who won’t rest until her treasured necklace is returned to her. As Lara – busy with relationship drama, a struggling business, and a busy life in London – helps Sadie to find peace, Sadie is more concerned with setting Lara up with the dreamy (but living) American named Ed. Seeing ghost-Sadie decked out in flapper wear on the streets of modern London as she meddles in Lara’s personal life (for the better) is the movie we all deserve – please, someone, make it. 

     

    5.13 The Hating GameTHE HATING GAME: A NOVEL
    By Sally Thorne
    (2016)

    This one doesn’t quite belong on this list, because a film version is currently listed as “in development” on IMDB – but until I have a cast-list and trailer I’ll be begging for a movie of this book. Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman are top-notch executive assistants to the CEOS of the new Bexley-Gamin Publishing company and they each hate everything about the other. Things start to really come to a head when both Lucy and Josh are put up for an executive level promotion and Josh takes advantage of the new tension to explore some other more romantic tension. Be advised that this book is not the “cleanest read” on this list, but it is a banter-filled riff on a classic love story - one totally ready for the Hollywood treatment. 

     

    5.13 Tell Me Three ThingsTELL ME THREE THINGS
    By Julie Buxbaum
    (2016)

    After her father elopes, Jessie is uprooted from Chicago to live in “the Valley.” Jessie is still mourning the death of her mother two years earlier when she suddenly has to cope with a stepfamily, a giant mansion, a new prep school, and mean girls at school. When she receives an anonymous email from “Somebody/Nobody” (“SN”) offering to guide her through the ins and outs of her new school Jessie is suspicious at first, until she accepts she might need help. This book lays its cards out pretty quickly, but even this familiar teenage rom-com ground is filled with heartfelt lessons about love and loss. In the same vein as SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA or YOU’VE GOT MAIL this tale of young online love would be fun to see playout on screen. 

     

    5.13 Vinegar GirlVINEGAR GIRL: THE TAMING OF THE SHREW RETOLD
    By Anne Tyler
    (2016) 

    In this retelling of a classic romantic comedy, Kate Battista is the daughter of a scientist who is convinced he is nearing a breakthrough but only if he can hold on to his research assistant Pyotr. Pyotr’s visa is about to expire and Dr. Battista is desperate to keep him – desperate enough to propose a green-card marriage between his older daughter and his thickly-accented Russian assistant. THE TAMING OF THE SHREW is familiar rom-com territory, but this laugh-out-loud-able reimaging deserves its day on the silver screen.

     
  • Sick Day

    Let’s face it. We all know what it’s like to be sick. Headaches, runny nose, chills, etc. All you want to do is curl up in a ball. You wonder if this awful feeling will last forever and if your left nostril will ever work again. It’s times like these that I enjoy pulling out a few books to distract myself from my misery, and to remind myself that I at least have a great excuse to read. 

    THE MASQUERADERS
    By Georgette Heyer
    (1928) 

    A fellow librarian recommended this book to me, and I’m so glad she did. This book revolves around a pair of siblings, Prudence and Robin. Certain circumstances require Robin to disguise himself as a woman. However, it would be most improper to have two women gallivanting around without protection. Thus, Prudence dawns the disguise of a man. The two then enter high society London and hilarity ensues.

    DEALING WITH DRAGONS
    By Patricia Wrede
    (1990) 

    This book first graced my to-read-when-sick list in the fourth grade. It is one of my favorite books ever written. What’s not to love about a sassy princess who volunteers to work for a dragon?  Princess Cimorene is not like other princesses. She is tall, dark haired, and would rather practice magic than a swoon. When her parents decide to marry her off to a prince she isn’t interested in, she decides to run away.

    STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED
    By Jeff Strand
    (2017)

    I recently listened to this book and I loved it. The story is fun, cute, and is just the thing to lift your spirits when you’re not feeling 100%. I honestly laughed out loud a few times. This book follows the life of 15-year-old Marcus. Due to a bet made by his great-grandfather, Marcus must perform an incredible magic trick in front of a large audience. There are only a few problems: he has stage fright, an evil magician is out to get him, and he needs a shark.

    NOT MY TYPE
    By Melanie Jacobson
    (2011) 

    Yes, I admit it. My guilty pleasure is Covenant Communications romance novels. I just love a clean romance with a flourish of silliness. It gives me hope for a better world. And when I’m ill, I need all the hope I can get. In this story, Pepper Spicer is unlucky in love. After two failed engagements she takes a new job to repay her accrued debts. Unfortunately, her new job requires her to experience and write about online dating (this is only available as a book on CD).

    HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE
    By J.K. Rowling
    (1997) 

    Of course Harry Potter is on this list. What better way to help soothe the soul than to be reminded of childhood? Adventures with wizards and witches will always cheer me up (especially the story of Harry Potter). An 11-year-old boy finds out he’s a wizard and leaves his extended family to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  The more he learns about the wizard world, the more secrets he uncovers.

  • rakes

     

    I have really big trees in my backyard, which is great in the summer time because they create shade and make it enjoyable to be outside. Unfortunately, I hate these trees during the fall because of the millions of leaves that drop all over our yard. And even when I get them cleaned up, the wind tries to blow them around again. This past week as I was raking up the leaves I got to thinking about rakes and how many fun romance titles I buy that have the word “rake” in them. Whenever I hear these titles, I picture the actual rake that I use to clean up leaves and it makes me laugh. After looking over these titles, I bet you’ll never look at a rake the same way again.

    Here are 10 of the funniest titles about Rakes--those addicting tales about charming bad boys changed by the power of our heroine's love--that we own in our Romance collection at the Provo City Library:

    Whatever your taste in Rakes--rougish womanizer or handy garden tool--I hope you find the perfect one to keep you company this fall. 

  • read a romance 1

    August is Read a Romance Month, so we're sharing our favorite subgenres of romance. For last week's post on romantic classics, go here, and be sure to join us next week for our favorite funny and fantastical romances!

    PROPER ROMANCE

    Proper Romances have been around for a few years now and are published by local publishing company, Shadow Mountain Publishing.  They “allow readers to enjoy romance at its very best – and at its cleanest-portraying everything they love about a passionate, romantic novel, without busting corsets or bed scenes”.  These novels have becoming extremely popular, and here are a few titles we like to recommend.

    8.22 EdenbrookeEDENBROOKE
    By Julianne Donaldson
    (2012)

    When Marianne receives an invitation to spend the summer with her twin sister in Edenbrooke, she has no idea of the romance and adventure that await her once she meets the dashing Sir Philip.

     

    8.22 Lord Fentons FollyLORD FENTON’S FOLLY
    By Josi Kilpack
    (2015)

    Lord Fenton and Alice Stanbridge's marriage is one of convenience for him, but one of love for her. When Alice realizes the truth, she matches Fenton wit for wit until they both learn to see the truth of each other's hearts and find love beyond the folly.

     

    8.22 Beauty and the Clockwork BeastBEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST
    By Nancy Campbell Allen
    (2016)

    A plea from a desperate relative brings Lucy Pickett to Blackwell Manor, where she meets the estate's resident "Beast," the brooding Lord Blackwell. This series opener boasts an intense (but chaste) romance and a supernatural Victorian setting that blends Gothic atmosphere and Steampunk trappings.

     

    HISTORICAL ROMANCE

    I believe some of the best historical fiction includes a good dose of romance. Here are a few recent historical fiction titles that I think qualify as romances, though you will probably find them in our general fiction collection.

    8.15 Carnegies MaidCARNEGIE’S MAID
    By Marie Benedict
    (2018)

    Engaging, richly-detailed, biographical, and historical fiction. In 1860s Pittsburgh, Clara, an Irish immigrant takes a job working as a maid for Andrew Carnegie, with whom she falls in love, and then goes missing.

     

    8.15 Love and RuinLOVE AND RUIN
    By Paula McLain
    (2018)

    After meeting and falling in love while she covered the Spanish Civil War in Madrid, Martha Gellhorn is forced to choose between her marriage to Ernest Hemingway and her career as a war correspondent.

     

    7.22 Everyone Brave is ForgivenEVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN
    By Chris Cleave
    (2016)

    When war is declared Mary North signs up at the War Office, where she is made a teacher. Tom Shaw and his roommate Alistair enlist. When Mary and Alistair meet love and war tests them in ways they could never imagine.

     
  • read a romance 1

    When it comes to literary genres, I feel like Romance gets a raw deal.  It can be very stigmatized since a good number of us automatically think of books whose covers feature bare chested men embracing partially dressed women with flowing hair…actually sometimes the men have flowing hair as well. And while that does describe a subset of the genre, there are so many other types of romances.  It isn’t hard to find a romance that would feel at home on anyone’s reading list.

    August is Read-A-Romance Month!  For the next few weeks, we'll share Romance subgenres that you may want to check out. Make room for a little love this month and hopefully you’ll discover a new author or genre you can dive into throughout the year.

    ROMANTIC CLASSICS

    If you are in the mood for something timeless check out one of these classics.  They have withstood the test of time and proved themselves worthy of our attention. 

    8.15 North and SouthNORTH AND SOUTH
    By Elizabeth Gaskell
    (1855)

    Through Margaret Hale, a middle-class English southerner who moves to the northern industrial town of Milton, Gaskell skillfully explores issues of class and gender in the conflict between Margaret's ready sympathy with the workers and her growing attraction to the charismatic mill owner, John Thornton.

     

    8.15 Jane EyreJANE EYRE
    By Charlotte Bronte
    (1847)

    In early nineteenth-century England, an orphaned young woman accepts employment as a governess and soon finds herself in love with her employer who has a terrible secret.

     

    8.15 Gone with the WindGONE WITH THE WIND
    By Margaret Mitchell
    (1936)

    A spoiled young Southern belle vows to rebuild her family plantation home after the Civil War and is swept off her feet by a man who infuriates her.

     
    Next week we'll be sharing some of our favorite proper romances and historical romances. Which ones do you love?
  • Beach Reads

    For me, one of the best things about living in Utah is appreciating a dramatic change in seasons. I love bundling up to see the Midway Ice Castles in Winter and cooling off at the Provo Rec Center poolside with a Diet Coke in the summer. The downside of seasons, though, is that even though I mostly love the winter – it’s cold, it’s snowing, and my cabin fever is bad enough that I might be willing to sell my most prized books in exchange for a 90 degree day at the pool. 

    What I’m trying to say here is – I wore a cardigan over a sweater to work today and I am dreaming of summer vacation. Here are some choices for beach reads to help us all escape the snow if only in our dreams

    For Middle Grade Readers 

    3.18 Secret Sisters of the Salty SeaSECRET SISTERS OF THE SALTY SEA
    By Lynne Rae Perkins
    (2018)

    For the first time in their life, Alix and her sister Jools are going on a real-life vacation. One where they aren’t just going to visit cousins and stay with family – and they even get to go to the real ocean for the first time. This is an episodic novel that focuses on the extraordinary ordinary things that happen over a summer vacation and the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of the beach are perfectly described in this quick read. 

     

    For Young Adults 

    3.18 The Summer I Turned PrettyTHE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY
    By Jenny Han
    (2009) 

    ***A quick round of applause for the master of YA Romance Ms. Jenny Han.***

    Fans of TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE will love this summer-centric trilogy about Belly and the boys she loves at the beach – Jeremiah and Conrad. If you take the time to look up “YA Beach Reads” this book will often show up on the list because it is so synonymous with summer. Each book in this series focuses on summers at the beach house owned by Belly’s mother’s best friend Susannah because as Belly reminds us – everything important happens from June to August. This book has some emotional depth (divorce, parents with cancer, etc.) but it is filled with the kind of warm, poignant writing that makes a beach read satisfying. 

     

    For Fans of Light and Fluffy 

    3.18 My Not So Perfect LifeMY (NOT SO) PERFECT LIFE: A NOVEL
    By Sophie Kinsella
    (2017) 

    Listen, Sophie Kinsella is the Queen of Chick-Literature and whenever I want a nice romantic-comedy to make me think of warmer times she is the first lady I turn to. This book is the story of Katie Brenner who quickly learns that a “perfect” life might not actually exist after she is fired from her London advertising job and forced to return to her family farm – where her parents are attempting to create a luxury “glampground.” Then of course Katie’s former boss Demeter shows up at the family farm causing Katie’s two worlds to crash and collide with hilarious results. It we want to get technical, this book is more of a spring-farm than summer-beach read, but I’ll allow it. 

     

    For Fans of the Dark Side 

    3.18 First We Were IVFIRST WE WERE IV
    By Alexandra Siroway
    (2017)

    Sometimes you just want to read a dark, pulpy, page-turning thriller and this is the book for you. Four best friends form a secret society to call out misbehaving adults in their small sea-side community and solidify their bond as a group. The group of four soon learn that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and something good can easily turn catastrophic. This is a jet-black mystery thriller with an ocean setting that makes for a perfect dark beach read. 

     

    For Celebrity-stalkers 

    3.18 This Will Only Hurt A LittleTHIS WILL ONLY HURT A LITTLE
    By Busy Philipps
    (2018)

    As is my advice with all celebrity memoirs, I probably wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who isn’t at least a casual fan of Busy Philipps. But if you are a fan of Busy – from DAWSON’S CREEK, FREAKS AND GEEKS, or her remarkably relatable Instagram – her autobiography is filled with the best (and at times worst) of Busy. She is well-known to her internet fans for her impressive candor and this book is lacking none of that – she shares her personal experiences with betrayal, body shaming, and bullying in a voice that is totally and undeniably her own.