Top 10 – Romance

This is the time of year where sometimes all you need is a sofa, a blanket, a hot chocolate and a book that provides pure escapism. These are the top 10 romance novels that went out from Leeds libraries in December.

Can I tempt you with a little love?

Tempting of Thomas CarrickThe Tempting of Thomas Carrick by Stephanie Laurens

Thomas Carrick is determined to make his own life in the bustling port city of Glasgow, far from the demands of the Carrick clan, eventually with an appropriate wife on his arm. But disturbing events on his family’s estate force Thomas to return to the Scottish countryside – where he is forced to ask for help from the last woman he wants to face. Thomas has never forgotten Lucilla Cynster and the connection that seethes between them, but to marry Lucilla would mean embracing a life he’s adamant is not for him.

Mastered by LoveMastered by Love by Stephanie Laurens

As the mysterious leader of the Bastion Club, Royce Varisey, 10th Duke of Wolverstone, served his country for decades, facing untold dangers. But as the holder of one of England’s most august noble titles, he must now take on that gravest duty of all: marriage.

second chance summerSecond Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

When it comes to search and rescue, Aiden Kincaid is one of the best in the Rockies. And never has he seen anyone who needs rescuing more than Lily. She just doesn’t know it yet … Lily left their small Colorado hometown right after her sister’s fatal accident. She couldn’t face the guilt, couldn’t face the mountain, couldn’t face the heartbreak of falling hard for the only guy her sister ever loved: Aiden Kincaid. But now she is back home, and Aidan is as hot as ever. How does she deal with that? By playing it cool and casual, of course. So cool and casual, in fact, that she doesn’t realise she’s fallen hard for his sexy charm until it’s too late.

Let Love find youLet Love Find You by Johanna Lindsey

Beautiful, titled and charming, Lady Amanda Locke doesn’t understand why love eludes her. So Amanda’s family hire Devin Baldwin to help find her a match. Soon she is being courted by the dashing Viscount Altone, but in his efforts to help find her a husband, Devin himself becomes the object of Amanda’s affections.

This matter of marriage

This Matter of Marriage by Debbie Macomber

A woman and her handsome neighbour come together to share their experiences as single people. He helps her to develop a one-year plan to find Mr. Right, but their scheming is tempered by the romantic connection that slowly builds between them.

Claimed by the LairdClaimed by the Laird by Nicola Cornick

An old maid – that’s all Lady Christina McMorlan, daughter to the Duke of Forres, is to society now that she’s past thirty. She hosts her father’s parties and cares for her siblings, knowing she’ll never have her own home and family. She has no time to pine, however. By night, she’s The Lady, head of a notorious whiskey-smuggling gang that supports her impoverished clan. They’re always one step ahead of the revenue man – until Lucas Black shows up. Rejecting his title and the proper society that disparaged his mother, Lucas earns his living running a successful gambling house. He’s also a spy, charged with bringing down the Forres Gang. He thinks The Lady’s just a bored society spinster. She thinks he’s a lost child playing at rebellion. And when the truth comes out, it’s not just their love on the line.

Cowboy Xmas TreeA Cowboy Under my Christmas Tree by Janet Dailey

Sam Bennett left a snowbound Colorado ranch for the glittering steel canyons of Manhattan – temporarily. Hard work was never this much fun as he sets up Christmas trees all around town. And now that he’s met Nicole Young, a gorgeous window designer, four weeks won’t be enough to romance her the way he wants to.

when i met youWhen I Met You by Jemma Forte

‘When I Met You’ tells the heartwarming story of Marianne, whose father is suddenly back in her life – but with the news that he’s dying, and with a rather gorgeous male nurse in tow.

in the shadow of winterIn the Shadow of Winter by Lorna Gray

The Cotswolds, 1947. The relentless winter holds post-war Britain in its deadly grip, and Eleanor Phillips rides out from her beleaguered Cotswold farm to rescue a stranger lost in the storm. But the near-dead man is no stranger and when she recognises Matthew Croft, the old ties of a failed romance tug deeply. Her sweetheart has returned from the war. Suspicion, the police and the panicked flight of a desperate man beat a path to her door. And with a wanted man hidden in her home and stealing back into her heart, Eleanor must be on her guard – for the net is closing in on them both and enemies are all around.

slightly sinfulSlightly Sinful by Mary Balogh

Injured on the battlefield, Lord Alleyne Bedwyn awakens in a ladies’ brothel, with no memory of who he is, in the care of the lovely Rachel York, who decides to use the dashing soldier she rescued to try to reclaim her stolen fortune.

 

Poem of the Week – To Caroline (1) by Lord Byron

Byron Selected PoemsI love finding poems for the poem of the week on this blog. I will admit that although I enjoy poetry I really don’t read enough of it. However in doing this blog, and perusing the poetry shelves at Central library to find poems to add, I have come across some real gems. I would count this poem amongst them. It comes from the Selected Poems of Lord Byron and it is beautiful.

To Caroline (1)
Think’st thou I saw thy beauteous eyes,
Suffused in tears, implore to stay;
And heard unmoved thy plenteous sighs,
Which said far more than words can say?

Though keen the grief thy tears exprest,
When love and hope lay both o’erthrown,
Yet still, my girl, this bleeding breast
Throbb’d with deep sorrow as thine own.

But when our cheeks with anguish glow’d
When thy sweet lips were join’d to mine,
The tears that from my eyelids flow’d
Were lost in those which fell from thine.

Thou couldst not feel my burning cheek,
Thy gushing tears had quench’d its flame;
And as thy tongue essay’d to speak,
In signs alone it breathed my name.

And yet, my girl, we weep in vain,
In vain our fate in sighs deplore;
Remembrance only can remain, -
But that will make us weep the more.

Again, thou best beloved, adieu!
Ah! If thou canst, o’ercome regret;
Not let thy mind past joys review, -
Our only hope is to forget!

It is Valentine’s Day this week. Romantic Novel awards shortlists

Return to MandalayThe spice merchant's wifeWe’re rooting for  Return to Mandalay by Rosanna Ley and The Spice Merchant’s Wife by Charlotte Betts –  both titles have had many 5* ratings by our readers.

But you might want to try novels by the three male authors who’ve made the Romantic Novel Awards 2015 shortlists. Stephen Burke has been shortlisted for his novel The Good Italian and David Atkinson’s Love Byte is shortlisted alongside The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me by Jimmy Rice and Laura Tait  in the Romantic Comedy Novel category.

Barbara Taylor Bradford will present the 2015 awards at the Gladstone Library in London on 16th March. The winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year award will receive a cheque for £5,000.

Chairman Pia Fenton commented: “The shortlists show that romantic fiction covers an amazing array of different sub-genres, all equal as far as we are concerned. I love the diversity of the shortlisted books and authors, and I am thrilled that we had such a high number of entries this year, showing the popularity of this type of fiction. We are very grateful to all the publishers who supported these awards by sending us their entries. Huge congratulations to all the authors who are shortlisted this year, it’s a great achievement.”

There were a record number of entries this year and each book was read by a panel of three independent readers drawn from a list of over 100 volunteers.   The full shortlists are below-

  Contemporary Romantic Novel

 Epic Romantic Novel

 Historical Romantic Novel

   Romantic Comedy Novel

Young Adult Romantic Novel

 The RoNA Rose Award

Romance is not dead – Good Reads most voted for Romance titles 2014.

 

LandlineDo you like a bit of romance in your life? If so, here’s Good Reads most voted for Romance titles 2014.

Top is Written in my own heart’s blood by Diana Gabaldon – it got over 50,000 votes! It’s rated 5* in Leeds too.

June 1778, and as the American War of Independence nears its turning point, time-travelling lovers Jamie and Claire find themselves torn apart by the warring forces. As sons fight against fathers and whole families are splintered by the conflict, even Claire’s foreknowledge of the future can only help her so much. Caught in the maelstrom of historical events, once again Jamie and Claire must battle to survive

Second is Maybe someday by Colleen Hoover with nearly 30,000 votes

Sydney has life sorted. She’s at college, she has a part-time job, a gorgeous boyfriend and a flat which she shares with her best friend – then she she finds out that Hunter has been cheating on her. As Sydney’s world crashes around her, she finds solace in the music of the guy next door, Ridge, a gorgeous guitar player who practises on his balcony every night. Sydney and Ridge are inevitably drawn to each other, and begin writing songs together -bBut life isn’t always as simple as it seems

 

 

 Or a bit more up to date, Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. She still loves her husband, Neal, and he still loves her – but that almost seems besides the point now. Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells him that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her – he is always a little upset with her – but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her. When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts

 

Girl Online tops the bestsellers

Girl onlineZoe Sugg, a YouTube sensation, has eclipsed writing superstars such J K Rowling, Dan Brown and E L James with the biggest first week sales for a début novel, Girl Online, since records began. Sales data has been compiled since 1998 and only 97 other weekly number ones have exceeded the total sales achieved by Girl Online. Borrow it from Leeds Libraries.

Zoe is known as Zoella on her fashion and beauty blog, which has over five million subscribers. She’s sold nearly 80,000 copies of the Young Adult novel, which makes it chart topping in the UK Official Top 50.

What’s it about?

Penny has a secret. Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family – and the panic attacks she’s suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love – and capturing every moment of it on her blog. But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover – and her closest friendship – forever

 

Love and sagas this week

frenchSome good love stories coming to a library near you this week, including Katie Fforde and Joanna Trollope

Arney – Leave before the storm  When Megan marries into the Lockwood family of Folly House during the Easter of 1939, she believes that the rumblings of war in Europe cannot touch their livbes in the peace of the New Forest. But the winds of war blow, scattering family and friends in all directions, like so many leaves before the storm, and Megan is forced to cope with disappointment in love, illicit passion, and the terrible tragedy of war, only to realize, as life unfolds, that peace and happiness can be found in the strangest places

Carter – Goddess inheritance During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can’t stop her, until Cronus offers a deal. Fantasy romance

Chamberlain – Secret lives  Disillusioned actress leaves a life of Hollywood glamour and a broken marriage to return to her mother’s childhood home in rural Virginia. In search of answers about her mother, a famous children’s author who died when she was very young, she meets the handsome yet mysterious archaeologist and friend of her Uncle. Love story

Evans – On her own two feet Bringing the keep fit movement vividly to life in 1940s’ London, Pam Evans’ family saga will inspire and enthral anyone who has ever dared to dream of a better life. In the middle of a party to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935, Mollie Fisher’s good-for-nothing husband walks out on his wife and baby girl. Saga

Fforde – A French affair Gina and Sally Makepiece have inherited a stall in the French House, an antiques centre. Gina is determined to drag the French House and its grumpy owner into the 21st century. Matthew Ballinger is not happy with the whirlwind that has arrived on his doorstep. The last thing either of them want is to fall in love. But will a trip to France change their minds? Love Story

Flynn – Still waters  Set on the atmospheric Norfolk Broads during the Second World War, this novel tells of Tess Delamere and her relationship with an Australian man named Mal Chandler. Love Story

Kinsella – Wedding night Lottie is tired of long-term boyfriends who don’t want to commit to marriage. When her old boyfriend Ben reappears and reminds her of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. Chick lit

Lawrie – Tiny acts of love To Cassie’s horror, her overly-excited husband Jonathan has sent a grisly blow-by-blow account of her labour – plus attached photo – to everyone in her email contacts list, including her clients! Amid mood swings, post-natal hypochondria and the side effects of the fated email, who saunters into her world again but her sexy, swaggering ex-boyfriend Malkie – the one who got away. Is she strong enough to face everything her new life has to throw at her? General/love

MacLean – No good duke goes unpunished Another 5 star rating A rogue ruined. He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for 12 years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of – absolution Love Story

MacOmber – This matter of marriage A woman and her handsome neighbour come together to share their experiences as single people. He helps her to develop a one-year plan to find Mr. Right, but their scheming is tempered by the romantic connection that slowly builds between them. Love Story

Matthews – For better, for worse Josie is convinced that her American cousin is about to marry the wrong man. In fact she contemplates talking her out of the affair until she meets Matt Jarvis and appears to be about to fall for the wrong man herself. Love Story

Matthews – Promises after dark Fifty shades of gray-ish

McCullough – Bittersweet The four Latimer sisters are famous throughout New South Wales for their beauty, wit and ambition. They have always been close; always happy. They thought this would never change..Love Story/Saga

Taylor – An Irish country wedding   Country doctors and romance

Trollope – Balancing act New Joanna Trollope — Susie Moran is a success. She has founded and run her own highly profitable company, and now her three daughters are all involved in the business. But what of the men in the family? Aga Saga

 

New this week #Love #saga #grippingtales

 image-medium (95)Allen, Sarah – Lost Lake   Kate finally wakes up from the slumber she’s been in since her husband’s death a year ago. Feeling a fresh sense of desire to take control of her life, she decides to visit Suley, Georgia – home to Lost Lake. It’s where Kate spent one of the happiest summers of her life as a child. She’s not sure what she expects to find there, but it’s not a rundown place full of ghosts and other curious oddities. Kate’s Aunt Eby, Lost Lake’s owner, wants to sell the old place and move on. As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake, can she bring the cottages back to life?

 Binchy, Maeve – Victoria Line, Central Line   if you missed this first time around, new copy With her characteristic mixture of compassionate humour and biting realism, Maeve Binchy enters the lives of passengers who use the London underground system in these engrossing stories. Whilst nameless, the characters take on a reality of their own

 Brellend, Kay – East End Angel  Kathy and Jennifer Finch might be twins but their looks are the only thing that they’ve got in common. Kathy has pulled herself up by her bootstraps, becoming a midwife and helping women such as Ruby Potter, terrorized by her brutal husband, Charlie. Meanwhile, sly and mouthy Jennifer has ended up in the gutter, sucked into a sordid life of prostitution and crime

 Browne, Hester – The vintage girl    When Evie Nicholson is asked to visit Kettlesheer Castle in Scotland to archive the family heirlooms, she jumps at the chance. Evie’s passion for antiques means that, for her, the castle is a treasure trove of mysteries just waiting to be uncovered. But in each heirloom lies a story, and in the course of her investigations Evie stumbles upon some long-buried family secrets. Add handsome, gloomy heir Robert McAndrew and a traditional candlelit gala to the mix, and Evie’s heart is sent reeling with an enthusiasm that may just extend beyond the Kettlesheer silver Chick lit/romance

Fullerton, Jean – All change for Nurse Millie Nurse Millie Sullivan is now Nurse Millie Smith, having married aspiring MP Jim Smith. The war has ended and the NHS has just come into action, so the nurses are busier than ever as the community realise they no longer have to pay for the services. Minor ailments need attention, babies need to be helped into the world and some of the larger-than-life characters need keeping in line so Millie has enough drama to deal with without having to deal with more from home … and Alex Nolan, her ex-fiance, is back in town

 Gill, Elizabeth – The fall and rise of Lucy Charlton 1920, Durham. Since she was a child, Lucy Charlton has dreamed of working with her father in the family solicitor’s firm. But a scandal shatters her dreams and, when her father disowns her, she finds herself on the streets, fighting for survival. Joe Hardy has returned to London after the Great War to find his life in tatters – his father is dead and his pregnant fiancee has disappeared. Then Joe learns he’s unexpectedly inherited an old river house in Durham from a stranger called Margaret Lee. With nothing left for him in London, he makes arrangements to travel north and claim it  Saga

 Griggs, Vanessa Davis – The other side of devine Paris Simmons-Holyfield is facing a dilemma – she’s pregnant but is not sure who the father is. After spending a night with Darius Connors, her ex-colleague, the baby could belong to him, but she doesn’t want to ruin her marriage. Darius has his own problems; his wife, Tiffany, has kicked him out. But he doesn’t want to give up on his marriage just yet – even if Tiffany has found company in the arms of Clarence Walker  Love stories.

James, Polly – Diary of an unsmug married Meet Molly Bennett. She’s just passed a ‘landmark birthday’ and is mother to two hormone-driven, warring teenagers. She’s married to Max, who buys her last-minute birthday presents in M&S, and works for a man prone to snooping through her emails. Maybe she needs some more excitement in her life. Everyone seems to be having a better time of it than her, especially her Dad who’s in Thailand searching for a new wife, and her next door neighbour Ellen with her string of toyboys. So when Max starts taking an increased interest in keeping fit and going on ‘business trips’ abroad and less of an interest in their sex life, Molly begins to despair. That is until an old school friend starts flirting with her through Facebook. What will happen if Molly does something out of character and stops being the person everyone wants her to be?Chick lit.

Lane, Lizzie – A wartime wife Bristol, 1939. Feisty, hard-working Mary Anne Randall runs a pawnbroking business from the washhouse at the back of her terraced home. Determined to keep her three children fed and clothed, she puts up with a drunken and abusive husband, who has never forgiven her an earlier, tragic love affair. When Michael Maurice inherits a neighbouring Bristol pawnshop, Mary Anne’s hackles are raised, and the two are at loggerheads. But as the war clouds gather over Europe, old passions are stirred and business rivalry is put aside. Mary Ann realises she must seize what may be a last chance at true love Love stories.

Lewis, Susan – The truth about you  Sunday Times bestselling author Lainey Hollingsworth has spent her whole life on the outside of a secret. Her mother would never discuss the reasons she abandoned Italy when Lainey was a new born, nor has she ever stayed in touch with the family she left behind. Now Lainey’s mother is dead, taking the secret with her, and leaving Lainey free to find out about her roots. Her husband, Tom, appears supportive, until he hits her with a bombshell that shatters the very foundations of their marriage. Another secret Lainey never knew anything about. Shaken, but more determined than ever to find out who she really is, Lainey takes her children to Umbria in search of answers

McCoy, Ken – Jacky boy Frank McGovern is hanged for a murder he didn’t commit, and Jacky’s mother, Maureen, tells him that Frank was his father. On the day of the execution Maureen loses the only man she ever loved and must now raise her three children alone. Enlisting the help of his sister, Ellie, Jacky sets out to bring the real killer to justice  Saga

 Moyes, JoJo – Sheltering rain Set in colonial post-war Hong Kong and in a crumbling country house in southern Ireland, this is the story of three generations of women and their profoundly different experiences of love Domestic fiction

 Parks, Adele – Spare brides  New Year’s Eve, 1920: the Great War is over, and a new decade of glamour beckons. But, for a generation of women who survived the trauma of war, life will never be the same. With countless men lost, it seems that only wealth and beauty will secure a husband from the few who returned, but lonely Beatrice has neither attribute. Ava has both, although she sees marriage as a restrictive cage after the freedom war allowed. Sarah paid the war’s ultimate price: her husband’s life. Lydia should be grateful that her own husband’s desk job kept him safe, but she sees only his cowardice. This is the story of these four women

Roberts, Nora – Heaven and Earth  Roberts has enchanted readers with her tales of friendship made and hearts lost, of legends, lovers and longing. In this book, the second in the trilogy, she returns to the shores of New England – and to the lives of three passionate, powerful women . Love stories.