Try as they might to avoid it, the hapless and headstrong individuals in the following tales are about to fall headlong in love. Step away from the stresses in your life, curl up in a comfortable chair, and join them.
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
After overhearing her slimy ex-boyfriend bet his good-looking friend Cal that Cal couldn’t sleep with her within a month, sensible shoe-fanatic Min decides to date Cal – and make both Cal and her ex look like fools in the process. If only revenge (and love) was that simple! Snappy dialogue, a loveable and intelligent main character, and amusing rom-com scenarios fill the pages of this well-deserved RITA award winner. Bet on this one.
Hope’s Folly by Linnea Sinclair
This book’s title comes from the name of the decrepit spaceship under the leadership of steely Phillip, an admiral in a rebel alliance. New to his team is a potential romantic interest he met long ago: Rya, the daughter of his deceased best friend. As Phillip and Rya grow to respect and value one another, perilous situations, espionage, and Phillip’s guilt over Rya’s father’s death threaten to end the relationship before it has a chance to begin. A sci-fi romance that doesn’t shy away from detailed world-building and a good read-alike for fans of Lois McMaster Bujold.
Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins
When her trust fund dries up after her father is busted for insider trading, single mom Parker moves to a crumbling cottage she inherited in Maine. Enter her father’s attorney and right-hand man James, who arrives to help fix things. Reluctant to accept his help at first due to her estranged relationship with her father, she eventually concedes to letting James stay. Parker soon realizes that the house isn’t the only thing needing some love. Higgins has received many accolades for her warm, witty stories, and this one continues her winning streak.
South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami
Married with children and the owner of two successful jazz clubs, Hajime seems to lead a pleasant, content life. When his childhood crush Shimamoto resurfaces after many years, Hajime finds himself adrift in his desires and wishes from the past. Here is a key line:
“Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I’m gazing at a distant star…it’s dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago. Maybe the star doesn’t even exist anymore.”
This is a thoughtful meditation on memories, love, and connection from a master wordsmith.