RECOMMENDED: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan is $.99 at Amazon – and I'm hoping for price matching so I'm leaving the other links below.
This is a TERRIFIC book, you guys. It's a contemporary romance set in Vermont at a failing ski resort called Snow Crystal. It was a Sizzling Book Club pick in November 2013, and it was nominated for a RITA® this year. Both of our RITA® Reader Challenge reviewers enjoyed it, and both gave it an A grade.
I loved this book. It was everything a romance should be – sweet, sexy, dramatic, funny, with a heavy dose of warm, fuzzy feelings.
After one of the longest and coldest winter in the last century, we’re finally enjoying warm weather. Yet this book had me dreaming about sleigh rides, snow angels, and hot cocoa. The wintery wonderland in the mountains of Vermont is so richly drawn and enticing that it feels almost as if it were a character in this book.
The third book in the trilogy comes out in October, so if you've been curious about this book, grab it now!
Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green's favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.
Jackson O'Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family's resort—it's in his blood, and he can't let it fail. Now that he's got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.
Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she's out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it's terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn't believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?
Cake by Lauren Dane is .99c at all vendors. This is a contemporary novella that I enjoyed when I read it, though I struggled with the ending. I really liked the heroine. I gave it a B- and wrote:
I thought Wren was a pretty excellent character. She's an art student who is focusing on her graphic novels, and, at one point, when she and Gregori debate her decision to attend art school, Gregori scoffs at the idea of going to school to learn art. Wren points out that it wouldn't have worked for him, but it works exceptionally well for her, as she's learning different approaches to refining her own creations. I liked this about Wren because it would have been easy for her to adopt Gregori's view or at least consider it, especially because Gregori is a powerful and somewhat hypnotic personality for Wren. But she stands up to him, argues for her own decisions, and debates him without being cowed by his talent or his prestige, though she is aware of both.
She won't be satisfied with just one bite….
Art student-slash-bike messenger Wren Davis pursues what she wants. And what she wants now is Gregori Ivanov, rock star of the Seattle art scene. With his tattoos, piercings and sensual sneer, Gregori is the ultimate bad boy. Wren's gotten to know the man beneath the body art, too–and it only makes her crave him more.
But Gregori loves women like he loves cake and champagne–intensely, but only for the moment. And after Wren experiences just how scorching sex with Gregori is, she's determined to show him that just one taste won't be enough…
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell is $2.27 at Amazon right now. This is a contemporary romance told in epistolary style – via email, and oh my gosh I really, really liked it (review pending). It has a 3.9-star average on Goodreads, and I've heard many readers make Good Book Noise® about this novel.
“Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . “
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay is $2.99 at Amazon and BN. This is a contemporary romance from publisher Thomas Nelson, so it's categorized as Christian fiction, though I can't tell from reading the reviews how much overt religious discussion it contains (I'm sorry – does anyone know?) It has a 4.0 -star average on GR with nearly 2,000 reviews, and while most readers loved the letters that make up the book, some found the heroine far too young for her age and thought it read more like YA. I'm very curious about this one – have you read this book?
Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.
Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.
After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.
As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters.