By Eric G.
Every season is a great season for romance books, but there’s something especially enjoyable about reading them as the leaves change, the days shorten, the temperatures drop and the holidays approach. All that’s missing from the following books is a blanket, a fireplace and a hot beverage – preferably pumpkin-flavored.
In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins
On the surface you have probably heard this one before: insecure woman gets dashing local man to accompany her to her ex-fiancee’s wedding. It might be a trope at this point, but with Higgins every story is fresh, charming, witty and absorbing. She is a master of crafting smart but flawed characters who must navigate bumpy roads to self-discovery and romance. This is part of her ongoing Blue Heron series, though you do not have to have read the others to indulge in it.
The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan
This is the rare historical romance that deserves to be shared with both historical fiction and romance fans alike, due to Milan’s meticulous detail and smart social commentary. I loved reading about Free Marshall, the fearless editor of a paper devoted to advancing women’s rights (including the right to vote), and her burgeoning relationship with Edward, a self-described scoundrel with a secret past. This whip-smart book deserves heaps of praise and exclamation points (an in-joke you will get once you read it). Don’t forget to pick up the other titles in this noteworthy series as well. Huzzah!
Love and Let Spy by Shana Galen
Galen delivers a fun, thrilling mashup of James Bond-esque spy stories and historical romance with her latest. The protagonist, Jane Bonde (no, really), has enough problems with which to grapple, not least of which is a villain bent on destroying Britain’s spy network. Further distracting her is a plea from her uncle to marry someone she’s never met, an intriguing mystery man named Griffyn. You’ll be flipping the pages fast in order to get to the resolution of both plots.
Heroes are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Phillips isn’t afraid to venture past the familiar settings of contemporary romance, taking readers to the desolate coast of Maine in this standout stand-alone novel. If you’ve read her other books, you might be surprised by some of the dark twists, but you won’t be surprised by the well-written story and slow-building relationship between a luckless puppeteer and a somewhat menacing man from her past.