A romance book recommendation: The Prince of Cats by Ron Wimberly

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2mEedGs.
Not many comic artists have as much fun with words as they do with lines. But Wimberly clearly relishes the opportunity to stretch in different directions at once.
Book description from Google Books:
A hip-hop retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that focuses on Tybalt (derisively referred to as “the Prince of Cats”) and his Capulet crew as they do battle nightly with the hated Montagues. Set in a Blade Runner-esque version of Brooklyn, PRINCE OF CATS is a mix of urban melodrama, samurai action and classic Shakespearean theater…all written in Iambic Pentameter!
The book is rated 3.95/5 at goodreads.com, from 407 ratings. See 100 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2mhSnpy.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tRGY5Q.

A romance book recommendation: Perfectly Charming (A Morning Glory Novel) by Liz Talley

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dz3YxD.
I had wondered what would cause these two to examine their relationship and move past the easy and physical. Some hard truths smack them in the face and cause some true soul searching. It isn’t easy and definitely not pretty but it’s what was needed for them to reach a HEA I can buy into for the long term.
Book description from Google Books:
Morning Glory native Jess Culpepper is desperate to get out of town after divorcing the only man she’s ever dated. She takes a temporary nursing job in Florida and, thanks to the bequest of her late friend, Lacy, has the funds to rent a condo right on the beach. She’s not prepared to literally trip over her old high school lab partner-and definitely not prepared for how deliciously hot he is now. Ryan Reyes, once known as “The Brain,” has worked hard to become more than the skinny nerd that jocks bullied and girls politely tolerated. At twenty-six, he has retired from science to run a charter fishing business in Pensacola and spend his leisure time catching up on the debauchery he missed. But when the unattainable girl of his teenage fantasies moves in down the beach, old feelings come flooding back. Their scorching attraction soon leads them into bed-but what starts as no-strings-attached fun is complicated by a return to Morning Glory and the shadows of their shared past. Can the head cheerleader and the geek redefine themselves and forge ahead to find their happily ever after?
The book is rated 4.09/5 at goodreads.com, from 456 ratings. See 67 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2er5grW.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2up9kB8.

A romance book recommendation: This Must Be the Place: A novel by Maggie O’Farrell

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2dEUHkG.
Readers may question the attraction of skittish, demanding Claudette, whose “default setting is overreaction and outrage,” or the plausibility of staying undercover for so long without changing her name. But few will quibble with O’Farrell’s heartwarming belief in the power of forgiveness and the irreplaceable “redemption there is in being loved.”
Book description from Google Books:
An irresistible love story, an unforgettable family. Best-selling author Maggie O’Farrell captures an extraordinary marriage with insight and laugh-out-loud humor in what Richard Russo calls “her breakout book.” Perfect for readers of Where’d You Go, Bernadette.   Meet Daniel Sullivan, a man with a complicated life. A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn, and a wife, Claudette, who is a reclusive ex-film star given to pulling a gun on anyone who ventures up their driveway. Claudette was once the most glamorous and infamous woman in cinema before she staged her own disappearance and retreated to blissful seclusion in an Irish farmhouse.  But the life Daniel and Claudette have so carefully constructed is about to be disrupted by an unexpected discovery about a woman Daniel lost touch with twenty years ago. This revelation will send him off-course, far away from wife, children, and home. Will his love for Claudette be enough to bring him back?   “O’Farrell’s prose manages to be both intimate and expansive and keenly perceptive in its insights about the complexities of marriage.  Beautiful and bittersweet, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE will make O’Farrell’s longtime fans swoon while prompting new readers to wonder why they’ve only just discovered her.” –BookPage    “I have been a huge fan of Maggie O’Farrell’s novels for years.  She writes with tremendous clarity and poise and in THIS MUST BE THE PLACE you are invested in what happens to Daniel and Claudette from the moment you meet them.  A joy to read.”  –Jane Green   “Inventive, moving, and hilarious. I loved it.”   –Rachel Joyce, best-selling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  
The book is rated 3.97/5 at goodreads.com, from 6086 ratings. See 802 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cZKIJr.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2pdHlFk.

A romance book recommendation: The Lesser Bohemians: A Novel by Eimear McBride

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2eFoGcY.
The Lesser Bohemians is a love story, yes, but it is really an electric and beautiful account of how the walls of self shift and buckle and are rebuilt.
Book description from Google Books:
Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction Shortlisted for the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize Shortlisted for the 2016 Bord G�is Energy Irish Book Awards Eason Novel of the Year The breathtaking new novel from Eimear McBride, about an extraordinary, all-consuming love affair Eimear McBride’s debut novel A GIRL IS A HALF-FORMED THING was published in 2013 to an avalanche of praise: nominated for a host of literary awards, winner of the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction and the inaugural Goldsmith’s Prize, declared by Vanity Fair to be “One of the most groundbreaking pieces of literature to come from Ireland, or anywhere, in recent years,” McBride’s bold, wholly original prose immediately established her as a literary force. Now, she brings her singular voice to an unlikely love story.   One night an eighteen-year-old Irish girl, recently arrived in London to attend drama school, meets an older man – a well-regarded actor in his own right. While she is naive and thrilled by life in the big city, he is haunted by more than a few demons, and the clamorous relationship that ensues risks undoing them both.   A captivating story of passion and innocence, joy and discovery set against the vibrant atmosphere of 1990s London over the course of a single year, THE LESSER BOHEMIANS glows with the eddies and anxieties of growing up, and the transformative intensity of a powerful new love.
The book is rated 3.81/5 at goodreads.com, from 1320 ratings. See 363 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2eFoiLE.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tftBc2.

A romance book recommendation: The House at the Edge of Night: A Novel by Catherine Banner

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2cxnSbX.
Banner animates the familiar: Like pictures of a childhood summer, or a half-forgotten smell, this book is sweet and heady with nostalgia; not radical, maybe, but comforting as a quilt.
Book description from Google Books:
“A perfect summer read [that] brims with heart . . . Don’t be surprised if you keep turning the pages long into the night, spellbound by its magic.”–The Denver Post A sweeping saga about four generations of a family who live and love on an enchanting island off the coast of Italy–combining the romance of Beautiful Ruins with the magical tapestry of works by Isabel Allende. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR * Los Angeles Public Library * Kirkus Reviews “Captivating . . . [Catherine] Banner’s four-generation saga is set on an island near Sicily, where myths of saints get served up with limoncello at the Esposito family’s bar. . . . The island is fictional, but consider this dreamy summer read your passport.”–People   “A lusty page-turner that weaves romance, rivalry and the intricacies of family expectations into one glorious tale.”–Minneapolis Star Tribune Castellamare is an island far enough away from the mainland to be forgotten, but not far enough to escape from the world’s troubles. At the center of the island’s life is a caf� draped with bougainvillea called the House at the Edge of Night, where the community gathers to gossip and talk. Amedeo Esposito, a foundling from Florence, finds his destiny on the island with his beautiful wife, Pina, whose fierce intelligence, grace, and unwavering love guide her every move. An indiscretion tests their marriage, and their children–three sons and an inquisitive daughter–grow up and struggle with both humanity’s cruelty and its capacity for love and mercy. Spanning nearly a century, through secrets and mysteries, trials and sacrifice, this beautiful and haunting novel follows the lives of the Esposito family and the other islanders who live and love on Castellamare: a cruel count and his bewitching wife, a priest who loves scandal, a prisoner of war turned poet, an outcast girl who becomes a pillar of strength, a wounded English soldier who emerges from the sea. The people of Castellamare are transformed by two world wars and a great recession, by the threat of fascism and their deep bonds of passion and friendship, and by bitter rivalries and the power of forgiveness. Catherine Banner has written an enthralling, character-rich novel, epic in scope but intimate in feeling. At times, the island itself seems alive, a mythical place where the earth heaves with stories–and this magical novel takes you there. Praise for The House at the Edge of Night “A gorgeous, sweeping story set over four generations . . . calls to mind Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Beautiful Ruins.”–Interview “Like pictures of a childhood summer, or a half-forgotten smell, this book is sweet and heady with nostalgia . . . [and] comforting as a quilt.”–NPR   “Rich and immersive, this book will take you away.”–Vox “A masterful piece of storytelling, infused with the miraculous (both in stories and in everyday life) while maintaining the difficult balance between the explainable versus the inexplicable . . . captivating and beautifully rendered.”–Sara Gruen, author of At the Water’s Edge
The book is rated 3.87/5 at goodreads.com, from 2284 ratings. See 469 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2d0Z6OA.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2utkBnN.

A romance book recommendation: Breach (Breach #1) by K.I. Lynn

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dfMl8i.
By giving the voiceless of our time their voices back, voices vibrant with humour, truth, and knowledge, Breach serves everyone, greedy or lost or both, with a fresh dollop of humanity. I’d even say hope.
Book description from Google Books:
Delilah Palmer has always maintained control of her life and outward personality, blocking the truth that’s just below the surface. Using a facade meant to be normal and hide the scars of her childhood, she’s made a good life for herself. Becoming a successful lawyer, she is finally free from the tortured past that haunts her daily. Until he comes along and breaks open the cracks. Nathan Thorne has a haunted past of his own. On the surface, he is personable, extroverted, and loved by everyone; everything Delilah isn’t. However, hidden beneath his charming smile is a dark and tormented man that only Delilah has the power to unveil. Forced into a small office together, they begin to see through each other’s masks, and the magnetic attraction ignites an explosive relationship. Their firm, Holloway and Holloway Law, has a strict non-fraternization policy, forcing them to conceal their breach. But despite their efforts, separation becomes impossible, deceptions escalate, and Nathan begins to teeter on the edge of being overtaken by his past demons. What dark secrets does Nathan harbor that stop him from giving in, and what is it that keeps him from healing and moving forward? And more importantly, where does Delilah fit into his turmoil? Will they be able to accept love and deal with all the trials that develop as their secrets are exposed, or will they fall through the cracks of their pasts and be consumed by all that haunts them? An exciting new romance, Breach will hook readers from the very beginning. With smoldering romance and captivating erotica, this enthralling story is perfect for all. Using shrouded secrets of the past and a combustible relationship that borders on taboo, this thrilling novel ramps up the tension and romance at every turn. Book 1 of the Breach Trilogy!”
The book is rated 3.97/5 at goodreads.com, from 7831 ratings. See 955 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dfMxV0.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tnAbkh.

A romance book recommendation: Bitter Legacy by Dal Maclean

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dzx3Jv.
I was extremely satisfied and happy by the conclusion of both the mystery and the romantic storyline. Well, actually, the mystery left me a little heartbroken too.
Book description from Google Books:
“London. Detective Sergeant James Henderson’s remarkable gut instincts have put him on a three-year fast track to becoming an inspector. But the advancement of his career has come at a cost. Gay, posh and eager to prove himself in the Metropolitan Police, James has allowed himself few chances for romance. But when the murder of barrister Maria Curzon-Whyte lands in his lap, all that changes. His investigation leads him to a circle of irresistibly charming men. And though he knows better, James finds himself enticed into their company. Soon his desire for photographer Ben Morgan challenges him to find a way into the other man’s lifestyle of one-night stands and carefree promiscuity. At the same time his single murder case multiplies into a cruel pattern of violence and depravity. But as the bodies pile up and shocking secrets come to light, James finds both his tumultuous private life and coveted career threatened by a bitter legacy.”–
The book is rated 4.45/5 at goodreads.com, from 474 ratings. See 184 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2erA5wW.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tvGGkY.

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 3.88/5 at goodreads.com, from 20893 ratings. See 2738 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: First Comes Love: A Novel by Emily Giffin

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dBctZa.
As I said, in spite of my confusion about whether I was supposed to find Meredith and Josie equally sympathetic/aggravating, I actually did enjoy First Comes Love quite a bit.
Book description from Google Books:
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A pair of sisters find themselves at a crossroads in this dazzling new novel from the author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only. First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart–wherever that may lead. Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious, relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing, Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes, their delicate bond splinters. Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single–and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother–a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter is assigned to her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands. On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired. As the anniversary of their tragedy looms, and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover that they need each other more than they knew–and that in the search for true happiness, love always comes first. Praise for First Comes Love “An engaging story of sisterly love . . . Illuminating and engrossing.”–People   “[Emily] Giffin delivers another emotionally honest work. . . .  First Comes Love is a heart-stirring novel about the many layers of sibling rivalry.”–Associated Press   “First Comes Love brings [Giffin] back with a vengeance. Tales of sisters have been at the core of other great novels, but Giffin turns that relationship upside down and makes her view a fascinating one.”–Huffington Post “Moving and complex, [First Comes Love] proves [that Emily Giffin is] still at the top of her game.”–Booklist “Giffin juggles Josie’s quest for motherhood and Meredith’s internal conflicts deftly. . . . Giffin paints a realistic portrait of the troubled and complex relationship between a pair of sisters.”–Kirkus Reviews “This is Giffin at her finest–a fantastic, memorable story.”–Publishers Weekly    “First Comes Love is an un-put-down-able, smart, and thoughtful novel that will make you think about the nature of family and how our past informs our present.”–PopSugar “Giffin’s talent is pretty much unparalleled when it comes to the modern woman’s story about life, love and family.”–Redbook “[A] well-written family drama.”–Real Simple “Fans will be entertained by the author’s humor and satisfied by her storytelling”–Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The book is rated 3.60/5 at goodreads.com, from 26863 ratings. See 2405 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dBdkZH.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2toFq39.

A romance book recommendation: This Must Be the Place: A novel by Maggie O’Farrell

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2dEUHkG.
Readers may question the attraction of skittish, demanding Claudette, whose “default setting is overreaction and outrage,” or the plausibility of staying undercover for so long without changing her name. But few will quibble with O’Farrell’s heartwarming belief in the power of forgiveness and the irreplaceable “redemption there is in being loved.”
Book description from Google Books:
An irresistible love story, an unforgettable family. Best-selling author Maggie O’Farrell captures an extraordinary marriage with insight and laugh-out-loud humor in what Richard Russo calls “her breakout book.” Perfect for readers of Where’d You Go, Bernadette.   Meet Daniel Sullivan, a man with a complicated life. A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn, and a wife, Claudette, who is a reclusive ex-film star given to pulling a gun on anyone who ventures up their driveway. Claudette was once the most glamorous and infamous woman in cinema before she staged her own disappearance and retreated to blissful seclusion in an Irish farmhouse.  But the life Daniel and Claudette have so carefully constructed is about to be disrupted by an unexpected discovery about a woman Daniel lost touch with twenty years ago. This revelation will send him off-course, far away from wife, children, and home. Will his love for Claudette be enough to bring him back?   “O’Farrell’s prose manages to be both intimate and expansive and keenly perceptive in its insights about the complexities of marriage.  Beautiful and bittersweet, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE will make O’Farrell’s longtime fans swoon while prompting new readers to wonder why they’ve only just discovered her.” –BookPage    “I have been a huge fan of Maggie O’Farrell’s novels for years.  She writes with tremendous clarity and poise and in THIS MUST BE THE PLACE you are invested in what happens to Daniel and Claudette from the moment you meet them.  A joy to read.”  –Jane Green   “Inventive, moving, and hilarious. I loved it.”   –Rachel Joyce, best-selling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  
The book is rated 3.97/5 at goodreads.com, from 5977 ratings. See 797 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cZKIJr.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2pdHlFk.