A romance book recommendation: Exit West: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2xueaS4.
It’s a breathtaking novel by one of the world’s most fascinating young writers, and it arrives at an urgent time.
Book description from Google Books:
Longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize “It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future… At once terrifying and … oddly hopeful.” -Ayelet Waldman, The New York Times Book Review “Moving, audacious, and indelibly human.” -Entertainment Weekly, “A” rating “A breathtaking novel…[that] arrives at an urgent time.” -NPR.org As featured in the Skimm, on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Fresh Air, PBS Newshour, the cover of the New York Times Book Review, and more, an astonishingly visionary love story that imagines the forces that drive ordinary people from their homes into the uncertain embrace of new lands. In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet–sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors–doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . . Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
The book is rated 3.82/5 at goodreads.com, from 20774 ratings. See 3489 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2xtT1Y1.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2wMkn89.

A romance book recommendation: Under the Stars of Paris by Mary Burchell

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2wKkcdr.
…knows who will be waiting for Anthea to walk down the aisle towards him. What struck me while reading “Under the Stars of Paris” is that in this book, I got a better glimpse of the hero falling for Anthea well ahead of the end. Or perhaps I’m just getting better at discerning this in Burchell’s books.
Book description from amazon.com:
“Just pretend that the man you wish to marry is standing before you,” the designer instructed Anthea as she waited to model the wedding dress in the grand finale of his Spring Collection. But the man Anthea wished to marry was out there in the salon-with the woman who had taken Anthea’s place as his future bride.
The book is rated 3.87/5 at goodreads.com, from 68 ratings. See 14 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2wKiSY2.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2xre4uA.

A romance book recommendation: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A Novel by Balli Kaur Jaswal

A critic review (source The Economist) can be read at: http://econ.st/2xj60Me.
Ms Jaswal has written a funny and moving tale of desire and its discontents. It serves as a reminder that even the most traditional societies often come in 50 shades of grey.
Book description from Google Books:
A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages—a spicy and alluring mix of Together Tea and Calendar Girls.Every woman has a secret life . . .Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a “creative writing” course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community.Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.As more women are drawn to the class, Nikki warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s “moral police.” But when the widows’ gossip offers shocking insights into the death of a young wife—a modern woman like Nikki—and some of the class erotica is shared among friends, it sparks a scandal that threatens them all.
The book is rated 3.89/5 at goodreads.com, from 1079 ratings. See 263 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2xiTE6F.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2wDnEGS.

A romance book recommendation: Certain Dark Things: A Novel by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2mXoTwO.
Smart, tender and insightful, I enjoyed this tremendously, and hope to see Moreno-Garcia write more stories in this world.
Book description from Google Books:
Welcome to Mexico City… An Oasis In A Sea Of Vampires…Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is busy eeking out a living when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on the young to survive and Domingo looks especially tasty. Smart, beautiful, and dangerous, Atl needs to escape to South America, far from the rival narco-vampire clan pursuing her. Domingo is smitten.Her plan doesn’t include developing any real attachment to Domingo. Hell, the only living creature she loves is her trusty Doberman. Little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his effervescent charm. And then there’s Ana, a cop who suddenly finds herself following a trail of corpses and winds up smack in the middle of vampire gang rivalries. Vampires, humans, cops, and gangsters collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive?
The book is rated 3.68/5 at goodreads.com, from 1080 ratings. See 338 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2mwvUaS.
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Google Books preview available in full post.

A romance book recommendation: White Hot (Hidden Legacy) by Ilona Andrews

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2uNVI28.
As in other Andrews books, descriptions are utilitarian, but the dialogue shines with humor and wit. I have just one more minor nitpick—while the entire rest of the book is narrated by Nevada in first person, the epilogue switches to third person in Rogan’s viewpoint. That felt jarringly late in the book to introduce his POV.
Book description from Google Books:
The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hotNevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice … An Avon Romance
The book is rated 4.61/5 at goodreads.com, from 11101 ratings. See 1501 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uwbOSH.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uw6tLh.

A romance book recommendation: The Mothers: A Novel by Brit Bennett

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2qLR6bv.
…a work of fiction demands more than intermittently perceptive moments to come to life. Unfortunately, The Mothers lacks the narrative and linguistic energy to sustain a reader’s belief in the world that Bennett has contrived.
Book description from Google Books:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NBCC John Leonard First Novel Prize FinalistPEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction FinalistNew York Public Library Young Lions Award FinalistAn NPR Best Book of 2016An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016A Vogue Magazine Best Book of the YearA Goodreads Choice Award FinalistOne of Elle.com’s Best Books of the Year”Ferociously moving … despite Bennett’s thrumming plot, despite the snap of her pacing, it’s the always deepening complexity of her characters that provides the book’s urgency.” -The New York Times Book Review “Luminous… engrossing and poignant, this is one not to miss.” -People, Pick of the Week “Fantastic… a book that feels alive on the page.” -The Washington Post A dazzling debut novel from an exciting new voice, The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community–and the things that ultimately haunt us most. Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret. “All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.” It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance–and the subsequent cover-up–will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt. In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.
The book is rated 3.87/5 at goodreads.com, from 23532 ratings. See 2981 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2qLyuZ9.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2s5ykjg.

A romance book recommendation: Judas by Amos Oz

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2mqCiQ6.
Oz pitches the book’s heartbreak and humanism perfectly from first page to last, as befits a writer who understands how vital a political role a novelist can play.
Book description from Google Books:
SHORT-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE Winner of the International Literature Prize, the new novel by Amos Oz is his first full-length work since the best-selling A Tale of Love and Darkness. Jerusalem, 1959. Shmuel Ash, a biblical scholar, is adrift in his young life when he finds work as a caregiver for a brilliant but cantankerous old man named Gershom Wald. There is, however, a third, mysterious presence in his new home. Atalia Abarbanel, the daughter of a deceased Zionist leader, a beautiful woman in her forties, entrances young Shmuel even as she keeps him at a distance. Piece by piece, the old Jerusalem stone house, haunted by tragic history and now home to the three misfits and their intricate relationship, reveals its secrets.     At once an exquisite love story and coming-of-age novel, an allegory for the state of Israel and for the biblical tale from which it draws its title, Judas is Amos Oz’s most powerful novel in decades.      
The book is rated 3.84/5 at goodreads.com, from 2405 ratings. See 382 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2fiVA7o.
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A romance book recommendation: Archangel’s Heart (A Guild Hunter Novel) by Nalini Singh

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2kwD89C.
My nitpicks are limited to these: The tete-a-tetes about the voyeurism going on in Lumia got repetitive…Overall, though, Archangel’s Heart was a thoroughly enjoyable addition to the Guild Hunter series.
Book description from Google Books:
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us into a dangerous and exhilarating world where a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness…   “Raphael and Elena are the heart of this series…they are what keep me coming back for more.”—Fiction Vixen   One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.   Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…   Nothing will ever be the same again.
The book is rated 4.38/5 at goodreads.com, from 7702 ratings. See 851 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2liEfxy.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tvAc5H.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A romance book recommendation: Here and Now: An American Valor Novel (None) by Cheryl Etchison

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2uRJndu.
So, the romance is great, the time everyone takes to be sure about the romance having long lasting legs is better and yes, the third shift stuff is accurate. I hope you’re planning on continuing the series as Gibby needs to have to use his baby cake knowledge first hand.
Book description from Google Books:
The Rangers of the 1st/75th fight hard, train hard and play hard. They are physically strong and mentally tough, disciplined and courageous. But all their military training hasn’t prepared them for falling in love.Former Ranger Medic Lucky James feels right at home working long night shifts in the ER, but less so during the day, when his college classes are filled with flirtatious co-eds. When his 19-year-old chem lab partner shows up at his work with dinner for “her Lucky,” he quickly enlists the help of Rachel Dellinger, a nurse and fellow third shift  “ “vampire.”Rachel is a people pleaser at heart, but she’s finally decided enough is enough when it comes to her on-again, off-again boyfriend. When Lucky begs Rachel to help him ward off the advances of his teenage pursuer, she blackmails him into helping her move her things out of the apartment she shared with her ex and into a place all her own.From there a friendship is born between two people just trying to make it through the night. Neither are living in the past or planning for the future–until one day changes everything.
The book is rated 4.12/5 at goodreads.com, from 103 ratings. See 23 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uzHUgj.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uzOjZe.

A romance book recommendation: Here and Now: An American Valor Novel (None) by Cheryl Etchison

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2uRJndu.
So, the romance is great, the time everyone takes to be sure about the romance having long lasting legs is better and yes, the third shift stuff is accurate. I hope you’re planning on continuing the series as Gibby needs to have to use his baby cake knowledge first hand.
Book description from Google Books:
The Rangers of the 1st/75th fight hard, train hard and play hard. They are physically strong and mentally tough, disciplined and courageous. But all their military training hasn’t prepared them for falling in love.Former Ranger Medic Lucky James feels right at home working long night shifts in the ER, but less so during the day, when his college classes are filled with flirtatious co-eds. When his 19-year-old chem lab partner shows up at his work with dinner for “her Lucky,” he quickly enlists the help of Rachel Dellinger, a nurse and fellow third shift  “ “vampire.”Rachel is a people pleaser at heart, but she’s finally decided enough is enough when it comes to her on-again, off-again boyfriend. When Lucky begs Rachel to help him ward off the advances of his teenage pursuer, she blackmails him into helping her move her things out of the apartment she shared with her ex and into a place all her own.From there a friendship is born between two people just trying to make it through the night. Neither are living in the past or planning for the future–until one day changes everything.
The book is rated 4.12/5 at goodreads.com, from 103 ratings. See 23 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uzHUgj.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uzOjZe.