On the night the fairy is said to ride across the grounds of Struan House in the Scottish Highlands, Edinburgh geology professor James McCarran finds a rain-bedraggled lass with whom he shares one flirtatious kiss. In To Wed a Highland Bride, by Sarah Gabriel, McCarran is forced by his grandmother's will to trek to the Highlands to finish her enormous treatise on the fairy, and supposedly find a bride descended of the fey folk. It's not that he'd mind a fairy so much (if such a thing existed), it's just that he'd rather not take a bride of any sort. But perhaps he wouldn't mind so much if that bride were Elspeth MacArthur, granddaughter of a local weaver who insists she must find fairy gold to keep herself and her grandfather safe. This book is exquisitely woven of the fairy lore told in Celtic song and legend, and delivers a masterful romance to boot.

In a compelling historical, Noelle Sickels spins the story of The Medium, a young woman burdened with a terrible gift at the brink of World War II. Helen Schneider has often helped her grandmother stage seances to bring comfort to those who grieve, but when she begins to receive visions and genuine communications from the dead on her own, she rebels against the role fate has assigned to her. Turning her back on her gift, she attempts to lead the life of any ordinary high school girl until visions of Pearl Harbor and the soldiers dying there allow her to grasp how desperately the dead soldiers need to give voice to their lives, as well as deliver comfort to the bereaved. As Helen embraces her role, the reader is granted a tour of America at war the rations, the sudden love affairs, the sorrows, the challenges. Less a romance than a historical novel, The Medium is a highly enjoyable, meticulously researched coming-of-age tale with an intriguing twist.

Who could resist a 200-pound Newfoundland named Destroyer? Apparently everyone but pet rescuer Rowena Brown, who has renamed the monster Clancy, and is sure she can find this darling dog the perfect owner even if it turns out to be the woebegone daughter of Destroyer's worst enemy, a deputy sheriff by the name of Cash Lawless. Kimberly Cates' The Perfect Match opens with said dog under arrest for crashing through a tea shop and breaking everything in sight. Rowena catches her first glimpse of the severe and beautiful Cash, who has a heart so broken he's barely functioning, and two little girls who really need that dog. Rowena gets to work rescuing everyone and maybe even herself in the process. A radiant, renewing romance about the redemption we can all find in the hands . . . er . . . paws, of the right creature.

If Maggie Shayne were a musician, she'd be a throaty-voiced rock star in tight spandex and very hip hair. As a writer, she practically invented the vampire romance, and her latest, Demon Kiss, shows exactly why she is so much fun. In an intricate braid of love stories, several vampires, a human and a shapeshifter come together in a rollicking adventure to bring down a deadly and powerful rogue vampire. At the heart of the story is Seth, a young man new to the vampire gig, who is on a quest to find the beautiful, copper-haired woman he sees in his dreams, a woman who is definitely in big trouble with the rogue, of course. Rounding out the band is the older, unstable assassin vampire known as Reaper; his human protector Roxy, a woman who drives a van with sunflowers painted all over it; and Topaz, the lovelorn vampire out to kill or not Jack Heart, the man who stole her heart. This is a book you'll lock yourself in a room to read without interruptions.

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