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.

New this week – Love stories and chick lit

 image-medium (88)Beaton, M C The banishment Beautiful, proud Isabella Beverley had only one passion in life – her magnificent family home, Mannerling. Isabella has difficulty finding a husband, and when she finally finds the right man, she is forced to choose between happiness and Mannerling

Beaton, M C- The deception The Beverley girls are determined to regain Mannerling, and their hopes lie with the son of the owner, Harry Devers. When he has an accident, he’s forced to recuperate in the girls new house. He and Rachel become engaged, but she soon has second thoughts

Beaton, M CThe intrigue Isabella, the eldest Beverley daughter, is married and living in Ireland. The family’s expectations now fall on 19-year-old Jessica. She must marry well enough to retrieve the family fortune and regain the home gambled away by their father

Carlino, ReneeSweet thing – League graduate, a classically trained pianist, and the beloved daughter of a sensible mother and offbeat father. Yet Mia has been stalling since graduation, torn between putting her business degree to use and exploring music, her true love. When her father unexpectedly dies, she decides to pick up the threads of his life while she figures out her own. Uprooting herself from Ann Arbor to New York City, Mia takes over her father’s cafe, a treasured neighbourhood institution that plays host to undiscovered musicians and artists. She’s denied herself the thrilling and unpredictable life of a musician, but a chance encounter with Will, a sweet, gorgeous, and charming guitarist, offers her a glimpse of what could be

Duffy, MariaThe letter chicklit – Ellie seems to have it all – a loving and secure home, wonderful friends and a great job as a chef in a Dublin hotel. She’s also about to marry Matt, the most gorgeous man on the planet. But despite her outward appearance of a glowing bride-to-be, Ellie is battling with some demons. Then four weeks before her wedding, just before Ellie leaves for her hen party in New York, she finds a letter that changes everything

Ellmann, LucyMimi l – Christmas Eve in Manhattan. Harrison Hanafan, noted plastic surgeon, falls down. ‘Ya can’t sit there all day, buddy, looking up people’s skirts!’ chides a weird girl. She then conjures the miracle of a taxi. Later he collides once more with the woman, Mimi, who bursts into his life with all her curves and chaos

Helprin, Mark  A New York’s winter’s tale – One night in New York, a city under siege by snow, Peter Lake attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks it is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the affair between this Irish burglar and Beverly Penn, a young girl dying of consumption. It is a love so powerful that Peter will be driven to stop time and bring back the dead

Lynn, J  – Be with me love storySelf published sensation now with Harper Collins:  love, lust and longing

McCabe, Kate Spanish letter Sandy Devine knows exactly who she is – owner of a successful business and one half of Dublin’s most talked-about couple. But all is not perfect – her mother has late-stage Alzheimer’s, and a newspaper has just published photos of her boyfriend, Sam, with another woman. While sorting through her mother’s belongings, Sandy finds an old letter stamped ‘Returned: address unknown.’ The letter was sent by her mother to Alessandro Rodriguez, who Sandy is shocked to discover is her biological father. Then, Sam comes back into her life, and joins her as she travels to Spain to try to trace Alessandro

Reus, KatieTargeted paranormal romance - Former Marine sniper and current NSA agent Jack Stone has a new face to go with his new identity. But he still has the same tortured memories – which include the woman he let get away years ago, when they were teenagers. Now his new assignment in Miami will put him so close to the woman he’s never been able to forget. He could reach out and touch her – if only she weren’t under suspicion

Ryan, PatriciaWindswept romance/thriller Emily Harrington sets off on a romantic trip to the Caribbean without her delayed fiance, but soon meets an array of fascinating characters and finds friendship and tranquillity – until one of them is murdered

Ziepe, LauraMade in Essex chick lit She’s happily settled with her gorgeous boyfriend Sam and the bikini business she’s set up with her best friend Kelly is going from strength to strength. You could say that Jade’s life is almost too good to be true – at least that’s what her old acquaintance Adele thinks and Adele is sick of Jade getting all the attention. But Adele’s not too worried – she has a secret – a powerful secret – one that could pull Sam and Jade apart and destroy everything that Jade has worked so hard for. With friendships and relationships falling apart, just how far will Adele go to get what she wants?

For all the epic romantics ..

image-medium (83)#RomanticReads final lists from the shortlists for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year. Surely the best nomination must be Jessica Blair, revealed last year to be 90-year-old World War Two veteran, Bill Spence!! The only man included.

The Epic Romantic Novel

Jessica Blair, The Road Beneath Me

When Kate Swan’s overbearing father demands that she marry a man she despises, she refuses and is cast out of her comfortable home in Whitby. Fortunately, a kindly local widow is looking for a lady companion and, for the moment, Kate’s future is assured

Mary Fitzgerald, The Love Of A Lifetime

Can love survive the worst betrayal of all? From the moment Elizabeth Nugent arrives to live on his family’s farm in Shropshire, Richard Wilde is in love with her. And as they grow up, it seems like nothing can keep them apart. But as the Second World War rages, Richard is sent to fight in the jungles of Burma, leaving Elizabeth to deal with a terrible secret that could destroy his family

Emma Fraser, When Dawn Breaks

Two women. One secret. A heart-breaking choice. Skye, 1903. Jessie, the young daughter of a local midwife, is determined to become a nurse one day, but family loss and heartache jeopardise her dreams. Isabel, the doctor’s daughter, is planning to follow in her father’s footsteps – even though medicine is not considered a fitting career for a woman. And then there’s Archie, Jessie’s older brother, who Isabel just can’t stay away from. After one encounter in the woods, Archie disappears, and all their lives are irrevocably changed

Kate Lord Brown, The Perfume Garden

High in the hills of Valencia, a forgotten house guards its secrets. Emma Temple is the first to unlock its doors in 70 years. It is the perfect retreat. However, for her grandmother, Freya, a British nurse who stayed there during the Spanish Civil War, Emma’s new home evokes terrible memories

Jennifer McVeigh, The Fever Tree

Frances Irvine, destitute in the wake of her father’s sudden death, is forced to abandon her life of wealth and privilege in London and emigrate to the Cape. In this remote and inhospitable land she becomes entangled with two very different men. One driven by ambition, the other by his ideals

Lucinda Riley, The Midnight Rose

Filled with unforgettable characters, ‘The Midnight Rose’ is a multi-layered, heart-breaking tale, and marks Lucinda Riley’s most ambitious novel to date. Spanning four generations and two very different cultures, it sweeps from the glittering palaces of the great maharajas of India to the majestic stately homes of England, following the extraordinary life of a girl, Anahita Chaval, from 1911 to the present day

The Historical Romantic Novel

Charlotte Betts, The Painter’s Apprentice

1688. Beth Ambrose has lead a sheltered life within the walls of her home in London; a place where her parents provide a sanctuary for melancholic souls. A passionate and gifted artist, Beth shares a close bond with Johannes who nurtures her talents and takes her on as his apprentice. But political tensions rise in the capital

Christina Courtenay, The Gilded Fan

How do you start a new life, leaving behind all that you love? It’s 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England on a ship with a lecherous crew and an untrustworthy but attractive captain

Liz Harris, A Bargain Struck

Widower Connor Maguire advertises for a wife to raise his young daughter, Bridget, work the homestead and bear him a son. Ellen O’Sullivan longs for a home, a husband and a family. On paper, she is everything that Connor needs. However, it soon becomes clear that Ellen has not been entirely truthful

Joanna Hickson, The Agincourt Bride 5 stars

This is the epic story of the queen who founded the Tudor dynasty, told through the eyes of her loyal nursemaid. Her beauty fuelled a war. Her courage captured a king

Annie Murray, The Women Of Lilac Street

Birmingham, almost a decade after the end of the Great War, and the women of Lilac Street have had more than their fair share of troubles. Rose Southgate is trapped in a loveless marriage. Jen Green is desperately struggling to make ends meet, with a sick husband, and five children to support. And Phyllis Taylor is a widow who has managed to put a dark and traumatic past behind her

Modern Romance – the best

image-medium (82)#RomanticReads Celebrate Valentine’s Day! The shortlist for the The Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year includes some titles Leeds readers have loved.

Helen Chandler, Two for Joy – another 5 star rater

Julia and Toby have been friends for years, but apart from a couple of drunken snogs in their university days, there’s never been anything more than friendship between them. It’s only when Toby goes through a dramatic break up with his gorgeous ballerina girlfriend Ruby, that he and Julia realise they’re meant to be together. Then Ruby drops a bombshell – she’s pregnant – and though he feels torn in two, Toby feels he has to give their relationship another chance. Heartbroken Julia is left to lick her wounds in her little Walthamstow home, thinking she has lost Toby forever

Susan Elliot Wright, The Things We Never Said

In 1964 Maggie wakes to find she doesn’t know who she is. She slowly begins to have memories of a storm and of a man called Jack. In 2008 Jonathan is struggling to tell his parents that he and his wife are expecting a baby, when a detective arrives to question him about crimes committed long ago

Veronica Henry, A Night On The Orient Express – loads of 5 star ratings

The Orient Express. Luxury. Mystery. Romance. For one group of passengers settling into their seats and taking their first sips of champagne, the journey from London to Venice is more than the trip of a lifetime. A mysterious errand; a promise made to a dying friend; an unexpected proposal; a secret reaching back a lifetime. As the train sweeps on, revelations, confessions and assignations unfold against the most romantic and infamous setting in the world

Lisa Jewell, Before I Met You

London, 1920. Arlette works in Liberty by day, and by night is caughty up in a glamorous whirl of parties, clubs, cocktails and jazz. But when tragedy strikes she flees the city, never to return. Over half a century later, in the grungy mid-’90s, her graddaughter Betty arrives in London. She can’t wait to begin her new life. But before she can do so, she must find the mysterious woman named in her grandmother’s will. What she doesn’t know is that her search will uncover the heartbreaking secret that changed her grandmother’s life, and might also change hers for ever

Pippa Wright, The Foster Husband

Kate left her home for London when she was 18, and never looked back. She had it all: the glamorous career, the gorgeous husband. Until her marriage failed and she lost her job. Holed up in her granny’s bungalow, she’s forced to share her new home with Ben, the clueless fiance of her sister Prue