Satisfying Novels

I have to tell you…I need a little romance in my reading life. I LOVE a good romance novel, especially one that has great characters, great storytelling, and best of all – humor.

Plus, I just love a well-written, well-told story, and I’ve had a couple of those in my queue lately too!


Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center was JUST the book I needed when I read it! It was a book that, when it was over, I immediately wanted to start over and read it again – that RARELY happens for me! After her divorce, Helen needs to “find” herself – what she didn’t expect was to find herself on a brutal wilderness survival course with her brother’s best friend along for the ride. This novel is chock full of humor, stomach-twisty romance, adventure, danger, and just enough “women’s stuff” to be satisfying (starting over, finding yourself, trusting your gut). I LOVED the romance portion of the story, the setting, and the characters themselves. I will definitely be re-reading this one someday!

Indecent Proposal by Molly O’Keefe could have been formulaic and cloying, but was actually a smart, well-written “new adult” romance. She’s a struggling bartender, he’s the son of political royalty, but for one night, they are an explosive couple. Until that one night ties them together forever… Yes, the plot sounds familiar, but O’Keefe blends strong characters, humor, sass, and strong writing into a really modern love story. Recommended!

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian is a thought-provoking novel, ably mixing suspense and straight “fiction” into one story. Richard is a straight-laced family man, but when he reluctantly offers to host the bachelor party at his home for his younger brother, he expects strippers..but he doesn’t expect murder. This novel ricochets between who killed who, the backstory of the accused, and how Richard and his family begin to disintegrate. This is an compulsively readable novel with a great mix of suspense, drama, family and full of emotional pull. Highly recommended!

I also recently finished The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan, in my quest to reread the entire Wheel of Time fantasy series. It’s only number four, but I’m trucking along to the finish (only ten more to go)!

I also tried (and failed, sadly) to finish The Witches by Stacy Schiff, a non-fiction tome (512 pages!) about the Salem Witch Trials of 1962. This book was extensively researched by Schiff, and was a topic of interest to me…but I just had trouble getting into it, and staying there. Wrong book, wrong time, maybe? I hope to come back to it someday…


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