by Christie RidgwaySeptember 2009
Hearts on the mend
September means the end of summer and the beginning of new routines for most of us. But reading is a habit for every season—and this month’s offerings are sure to provide a vacation for the heart and mind. So take a time-out from your busy days within the pages of four sure-to-be favorites.
Kathleen Fuller offers a window into the world of the Amish in her gentle and touching love story, A Man of His Word. Moriah Byler is looking forward to her wedding to childhood friend Levi Miller, and even the distance his twin, Gabriel, has put between them doesn’t mar her contentment. But four months following the nuptials, Levi is distant from his bride as well—though she’s completely shocked when he abandons her, his family and his faith. Because the Amish believe that marriage lasts until death, at four months pregnant, Moriah can only return to her parents’ home where she fiercely guards her broken heart. But events—and Gabriel’s unspoken yet unending love for Moriah—offer another opportunity for happiness. A second love story entwined with Moriah and Gabriel’s adds to the warm and sweet atmosphere of the novel.
Lovers all around
Readers will find a charming romp in Jill Mansell’s Millie’s Fling. Millie Brady may be man-less and jobless in Cornwall, but that doesn’t mean her life isn’t worth writing about—as she discovers when best-selling author Orla Hart decides to make 25-year-old Millie the star of her next novel. Millie tells her friend Orla about her adventures in delivering kissograms (dressed as a gorilla), the dates that don’t go right and also the alwaysgood- for-a-laugh escapades of her friends and family. But she keeps the passion she feels for the recently widowed Hugh Emerson—a man who keeps turning up in Millie’s path—to herself. Love, it seems, is on everyone’s mind and the fun of the story is seeing the many characters’ missteps in its pursuit. Will all find their soulmates? Mansell’s dry humor and engaging story make it an undeniable pleasure to find out.
Writers with passion
Fascinating glimpses into the writer’s life are entwined with a delightful love story in Laura Lee Guhrke’s With Seduction in Mind. Outspoken “girl-bachelor” Daisy Merrick loses yet another job in London at the end of the 19th century. But fate and optimism provide a new opportunity to pursue her interest in writing a novel. When her first submission is rejected, she agrees to act as editor for famed bad-boy author Sebastian Grant, the Earl of Avermore, in hopes that both can improve their work. But Sebastian’s muse has abandoned him and he doesn’t want Daisy or her opinions in his life. Still, he’s contractually stuck with her, and the private hours spent with the luscious redhead begin to have a distinct attraction. A flawed but compelling hero and a likeable, innocent heroine bump heads and hearts in this appealing romance. The authentic portrayal of the characters’ attitudes toward their craft gives this story extra appeal for readers who enjoy looking inside a writer’s mind.
Vampires on the run
Tall, Dark & Fangsome by Michelle Rowen takes place in the dangerous world of one Sarah Early, a newly turned vampire being blackmailed by a billionaire vampire hunter. What does he want? Just immortality, in order to escape the hellfire inflicted on him by a demon. If Sarah doesn’t comply, he’s threatened to kill her loved ones, and she believes him, even going so far as to pretend she’s broken up with her master vampire boyfriend in order to keep him safe. But there’s also the question of who will save Sarah herself, what with vampire hunters roaming the streets, the vampire council who may think Sarah is a liability and a dark curse fighting to take over her personality. The last of Rowen’s Immortality Bites series, this story told in Sarah’s witty voice is a fast-paced read about otherworldly creatures and the love that makes them seem so very human.
Christie Ridgway writes contemporary romance from her home in Southern California