Category Archives: Romance/Relationship

Elizabeth Langston. Whispers from the Past. Contoocook, NH: Spencer Hill Press, 2014.

whisperspastMark Lewis is in his last year of high school in modern-day Raleigh, North Carolina, and graduation is fast approaching. Mark had originally planned to send in applications to three schools, with Newman College in Virginia being his first choice; the main reason being that the campus is perfect for his passion of mountain bike riding. However, Mark has now added a fourth school to the list. Mark is applying to Duke University because of its close proximity to home and to his girlfriend Susanna Marsh. In the past year, Susanna has become Mark’s passion. After saving Susanna from the horrific circumstances of her indentured servitude in 1796, and bringing her back to his century, Mark has assumed responsibility for Susanna. He cannot see himself moving over three hours away from her for four years. But, the choice may be taken out of Mark’s hands when Susanna makes some decisions of her own.

While Mark has his worries, Susanna believes that she is becoming accustomed to her new life. She now lives with Melissa, Mark’s sister, and pays her own way with chores and a fourth of the rent money. Also, Susanna has found a job bussing tables in a restaurant and is making friends. But, Mark is quick to show his disapproval of Susanna’s new job and of her new male friend. These controversies leave Susanna not as sure in her relationship with Mark as she usually is, and she soon finds herself seeking out the familiar in the only way she knows how. Susanna takes a trip to the archives. Soon Susanna has more to worry about than Mark. There is a storm that will come through Susanna’s hometown of Worthville and result in many deaths. Susanna combs the archives for mention of Dorcas, one of the children she used to take care of and her closest friend, any time after the storm. When information is not there, Susanna decides to take things into her own hands and comes up with a plan that will ensure that Dorcas survives the storm. The only problem is that this plan will cost Susanna her freedom and maybe even her life.

Mark and Susanna are coming up on a year since they met and developed a bond that crossed centuries. Much has happened in the past year and there is much to come in the next few months. The question is, will Mark and Susanna’s bond be able to cross centuries once again?

Whispers from the Past is the third novel in the Whisper Fall series. Susanna and Mark first met in Whisper Falls, and their story of a magical waterfall and transcendent love continued in Whisper in Time and is finalized in this novel.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Children & Young Adults, Historical, Langston, Elizabeth, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Wake

Marybeth Whalen. The Bridge Tender. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014.

thebridgetender“Don’t forget, you made a promise and I’m going to hold you to it.”

In July of 2001, Emily Shaw made her first trip to Sunset Beach, North Carolina with her husband Ryan. It was a magical honeymoon, so magical that the two made a promise to someday have a house there.

It is presently March 3, 2006, and Ryan and Emily have never made it back to Sunset Beach. This date has not been of past importance to Emily, but now, in 2006, it has become one of the worst days of her life–one that will forever be branded into her memory. Today is the day that she must say goodbye to her husband. Emily was so sure, up until the very end, that Ryan would win the battle against cancer. She has no idea how she is going to go on without him, and is nowhere near ready to let him go. So, when Paul Griffin, a lawyer, comes to Emily stating that he has information left for her by Ryan, she jumps at the chance to have this last connection with him.

Griffin reveals that Ryan had another insurance policy, one that he kept secret from Emily. He gives Emily a letter from Ryan which details that the policy must be used for one thing, to buy a home in Sunset Beach where a future awaits, “…bright as that sunshine we walked in, as warm as those days we spent on the beach together, as happy as you’ve made me[Ryan].” Emily’s best friend Marta eagerly pushes her to go, but it isn’t until a year later that Emily forces herself to return to Sunset Beach so that she can keep her promise.

During her search, Emily meets a kindred spirit, another woman tied to a promise made long ago. This marks the start of many new meetings and developing friendships that will show Emily she is needed, there is hope, and that she is loved and can learn to love again.

The Bridge Tender is fourth in the Sunset Beach series, a series filled with love lost, hope renewed, and chances taken. Check out The Bridge Tender’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog. If you’re new to the series, check out our blog post on the first title The Mailbox.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Brunswick, Coast, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship, Whalen, Marybeth

Colleen Coble. Seagrass Pier. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2014.

seagrasspierElin Summerall is taking it easy after a life-saving heart transplant. However, her new heart seems to have other ideas. Elin is having violent dreams – dreams that are flashbacks to her donor’s murder. Elin can’t stand idly by and keep quiet about what she knows, which leads to unwanted attention from the press and unbelief from the authorities. Not to mention that the killer is now stalking Elin. Having lost her husband, Elin is living on her own with her young daughter and aging mother. After a break-in at her house, Elin decides it’s time to get away and takes off to Hope Island, on the North Carolina coast.

The police are doubtful of Elin’s claims that she is having flashbacks to the murder of her donor, but one off-duty FBI agent, Marc Everton, is willing to try anything that may lead to solving this case. Marc’s best friend was murdered while investigating the case. When Marc finds out that Elin received the victim’s heart, he searches her out to get some answers. Captivatingly, Marc and Elin have a history – a history that catches up to Marc when he sees Elin’s five-year old daughter for the first time and realizes that she is his daughter as well. Elin kept his daughter from him for five years, but he doesn’t plan on missing out on any more of her life. Marc doesn’t know if he’ll ever be able to forgive Elin. However, Marc must put his feelings aside and solve this case so that he can keep Elin and their daughter safe. To do this, he’ll have to follow Elin to Hope Island.

Marc lives with Elin and her family on Hope Island while they work together to discover what Elin knows that could lead to her donor’s killer. Living in such close proximity soon causes forgotten passions to rise between the two. Before long, Marc is faced with the option of stepping into a ready-made family, and Elin is hoping for the chance at a love-filled marriage. Nevertheless, someone doesn’t want them together–someone is seeking to silence Elin before she can reveal what she’s discovered. Marc and Elin are in a race against time to unearth the secrets held in Elin’s new heart. Will the couple unearth more than what they are looking for? Is Marc ready to forgive Elin and possibly gain more than just a cordial relationship with the mother of his child? Is Elin ready to take another chance on love?

Seagrass Pier is the third novel in the Hope Beach series. Interested readers should consult our blog posts on the first two novels in the series, Tidewater Inn and Rosemary Cottage.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Coast, Coble, Colleen, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship

Jodie Bailey. Quilted by Christmas. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2014.

quiltedIt has been twelve years. Twelve years since that fateful night when Taryn McKenna pushed Justin Callahan, her high school sweetheart, to take the next step in their relationship. Taryn hasn’t seen him since. Reeling from the breakup and guarding a secret that must never come to light, Taryn went off to school, but soon found herself back home and is now a teacher in fictional Hollings, North Carolina.

Not too long before Christmas, Taryn finds her calm and quiet existence disrupted by Justin’s return from the army. But, he’s not back for a short visit; Justin has retired and come home to Hollings for good. Now, Justin’s words, “You’re needy. Manipulative. You used me,” are ringing in Taryn’s head once again. Moreover, not only does she have to face him in town, but Taryn’s Grandma Jemma has hired Justin to do some work around Jemma’s house. What is Taryn to do when her only haven has been invaded by a man she has done everything to forget?

When Grandma Jemma is rushed to the hospital, Taryn must admit that it isn’t feeling a lot like Christmas, though this new event does show Taryn exactly the kind of man that Justin has grown into. Before her stint in the hospital, Grandma Jemma was working on a hand-stitched quilt as a wedding present for Taryn’s cousin. It is a tradition for a hand-stitched quilt containing an Irish chain to be made for every new McKenna bride. With Jemma in the hospital, it is Taryn’s duty to finish the quilt. Nevertheless, fate must be working against the McKenna’s because there is no way that Taryn will finish this quilt on her own. When Justin offers to commit his quilting skills to the cause, will Taryn be able to set her feelings aside? Even more importantly, will Taryn recognize the opportunities for healing that God is placing in front of her?

Quilted by Christmas is the twenty-second title in the Quilts of Love series. This series is made up of a multitude of books written by various authors to share their stories of “love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings.” This is much like how a quilt is made up of many tiny stiches that are assembled together to tell a story.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Bailey, Jodie, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship

D. D. Ayres. Irresistible Force. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2014.

irresistOfficer James Cannon is on a mission to find his missing partner. Bogart, James’s partner, was kidnapped a month ago, and James has a lead on his location. Even knowing that going out on his own could land him in trouble, James can’t help but confront the kidnapper when he sees Bogart come running out of a cabin in Lake Gaston, North Carolina.

Shay Appleton is a wounded woman. Dealing with an abusive ex who just doesn’t know how to let go has taken its toll on Shay. However, her adoption of a stray dog, Prince, and escape to a cabin at Lake Gaston have brightened her life – the fact that Prince will make a great watch dog is just an added bonus. This bright spot is threatened when Officer James Cannon, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, shows up claiming that Prince’s real name is Bogart and that he is a trained police K-9. Faced with this threat, that is more painful than the thought of her ever-present ex, Shay has no idea what to do.

Shay’s reaction to losing Bogart touches James for some reason he can’t explain. When he realizes that Shay’s tale of Bogart being abandoned at a shelter is true, James decides to bring Bogart back for one night so that Shay can have time to say goodbye. James and Bogart walk into a scene that convinces James that Shay needs more than a guard dog. Shay’s abusive ex has found her and has shown himself willing and able to follow through with his threats.

As James and Shay’s lives intertwine, it becomes clear that Shay has more to fear than just her ex. Also, James may have to confront his own personal fears when it begins to look like Shay has stolen more than just Bogart’s affection – she may just have stolen James’s heart as well. When sealed records from Shay’s past are unveiled, will Shay trust James with her story? Is James willing to risk his reputation within the police force to protect Shay?

Irresistible Force is the first novel in a series about lawmen, their loyal K-9 partners, and the women they both fall for.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Ayres, D. D., Mecklenburg, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Wake

Emilie Richards. No River Too Wide. Don Mills, Ontario: Harlequin Mira, 2014.

noriverJanine Stoddard has spent years of her life trying to please her abusive husband Rex. In the early years of their marriage, she thought he would change, but then Janine switched her behaviors to try to avoid his rage. Later she tried to draw his attention, in hopes of protecting their children from the brunt of his wrath. Now that both kids are out of Rex’s reach, Janine has been preparing for the day when she could make her escape. Tonight is the night! Rex has been gone for a while and it looks like he won’t be coming back this night. With the help of the group, Moving On – a collection of lady truckers who help women get out of these situations – Janine is ready to run.

The plan is for Janine to go somewhere where Rex won’t be able to find her. However, Janine can’t resist the chance to make her way to Asheville, North Carolina to see her daughter Harmony and granddaughter Lottie.  Once Harmony has her mother back, she isn’t ready to let her go. Janine is not too keen on giving up their relationship herself, so she agrees to stay, but first, they need a plan. Taylor Martin, a close friend of Janine’s, stumbles upon their reunion. Taylor offers to help Janine, just as Harmony helped Taylor’s mother when Taylor was unable to do so. Taylor opens her home to Janine, who has now taken on the name of Jan Seaton.

Opening her home isn’t the only new adventure Taylor will be taking on. Another newcomer, Adam Pryor, will have Taylor opening up her heart as well. Nevertheless, Adam is keeping a secret that could destroy his and Taylor’s relationship, and tear apart Janine and Harmony’s mother-daughter reunion. Will Janine and Harmony be able to work on reconnecting with the threat of Rex still hanging over their heads? Will Adam share his secret in time or will he shatter all four of their lives?

No River Too Wide is book three in the Goddesses Anonymous series – a series filled with tales of betrayal, love, and the hope of forgiveness.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Buncombe, Mountains, Novels in Series, Religious/Inspirational, Richards, Emilie, Romance/Relationship

Michele Summers. Find My Way Home. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2014.

findmywayhomeJust three weeks before interior designer Bertie Anderson is supposed to move from Harmony, North Carolina to a new job in Atlanta, Georgia, Keith Morgan appears looking for a designer to fix up the big Victorian he just bought. Getting the chance to work on this house has always been a dream of Bertie’s. She didn’t even know someone had bought the property. Staying in Harmony to do this renovation looks even sweeter when Francesca Balogh, Bertie’s surrogate aunt, offers Bertie a $150,000 bonus for getting the work done in three months. Bertie could use that money to help Dwelling Place – a charity that builds homes for those who cannot afford to do so on their own. Even though Bertie must turn down the Atlanta offer in order to complete this new job, she still plans to move out of Harmony when the Victorian house is finished. Bertie never expected to find herself falling in love with the owner, Keith, and his ten-year old daughter Maddie.

Keith Morgan is a retired pro tennis player who has given up the fast-paced Miami life in order to provide his daughter, Maddie, with the best environment, which is how he ended up in the small town of Harmony. After the death of his wife in a car accident–she was driving drunk– Keith sought to lose himself in the fast life filled with partying and women. However, his mother’s sister, Francesca Balogh, threatened Keith with an ultimatum. Keith must straighten up for Maddie or Aunt Franny will fight for custody. Since Keith’s lifestyle choices have been plastered all over the media, Aunt Franny stands a good chance of winning a custody battle.

Aunt Franny may have given Keith a kick-start, but he also wants what is best for Maddie and knew a change was needed. However, Aunt Franny takes it too far when she demands that Keith find a wife and mother for Maddie in three months. The whole town has heard the news and every lady in the town is after Keith. In travels to Raleigh, Keith believes that he has met the perfect mother for Maddie; Gail is sweet and loves children. So why can’t Keith keep his mind off of one seductively gorgeous interior designer? Keith has had the seductive, fashion forward type before in his first wife and he’s not looking to add a “Betty Boop” look-alike into the mix.

Everyone in Harmony, including his own daughter, can see what a catch Bertie would be for Keith. Nevertheless, Keith denies it all, even when Bertie admits her love for him. Will Bertie be able to complete her dream renovation while feelings for her client burn unrequited? Does Keith have the sense to see the gift that is staring him in the face, or will he ruin his chance at the perfect family?

Find My Way Home is the first novel in the Harmony Homecoming series. A series that is shaping up to be a look into how home definitely can prove to be where the heart is, in more ways than one.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Iredell, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship

Michelle Major. A Brevia Beginning. Don Mills, Ontario: Harlequin, 2014.

aBreviabeginning“Something had changed in her when she’d chosen her act of rebellion. From the start, she’d known he’d find out, and she’d understood there would be hell to pay. She also believed it couldn’t be worse than the hell she called a life.”

From the day she was adopted at six years old, Lexi Preston has done everything she can to be the perfect daughter to her adopted father, Robert Preston – this includes following in his footsteps to become a lawyer in his firm. All of that ended when Lexi went behind her father’s back and gave the opposing client information. The Prestons’ clients, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, were trying to dig up dirt on Julia Morgan, the mother of their grandchild, so that they could gain custody of their grandson Charlie. Taking note of how Julia kept fighting even with all the odds piled against her, Lexi decided to help her out, knowing that it would mean “hell to pay.” When Robert Preston found out, he publicly humiliated Lexi and kicked her out of his life. With nowhere else to turn, Lexi travels to Brevia, North Carolina in search of Julia, who is now Julia Callahan and married to the police chief of Brevia. Julia isn’t too keen on helping out the woman who made her life a living hell during the custody battle, but she wouldn’t have ended up being able to keep her son Charlie if it wasn’t for Lexie. So, she offers to get Lexie a job working at Riley’s Bar.

United States Marshal Scott Callahan is in need of some time away from it all after losing his partner during a botched arrest. Not ready to face the interrogation from the Marshals office or the constant questions from others, Scott finds himself at Riley’s Bar in the hometown of his father, Joe, and brother, Sam. Also not ready to face his family, Scott decides to drown his sorrows for a while. Scott ends up in an argument with the bar owner which results in Scott buying the bar, with the help of a legal contract drawn up by one of the waitresses, Lexi Preston. Lexi is the worst waitress the town has ever seen. After Scott recovers from his drunken night, he and Lexi make a deal – Scott gets to share her two bedroom apartment and Lexi won’t hear mention of her getting fired for the month she plans to stay.

Sparks flew between the two on the night they first met; the close quarters instituted by both working at the bar together and living together only adds fuel to the fire. However, this arrangement is only temporary. Scott knows his greatest talent is the ability to mess everything up. He can’t expect to ever be good enough for Lexi. On the other hand, Lexi has never been on her own. She doesn’t know if she can make a life without her father, but this may be just an adventure that will end when her father is ready to take her back. When Lexi stands up to her father, letting him know that she won’t be coming back, will Scott be able to give up the action of U.S. Marshals Service and settle into the small-town life?

A Brevia Beginning is the third novel set in the fictitious town of Brevia North Carolina. The series continues to show that small-towns can have big-city action.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Major, Michelle, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship

Janice Maynard. A Baby for Keeps. Don Mills, Ontario: Harlequin, 2014.

babyIs it true that most of us are still haunted by our high school years?   That’s certainly the case for Dylan Kavanaugh.  Although Dylan was a good-looking athlete from a prominent family, his memories of  his high school years are mixed.  Dylan is dyslexic; reading was a struggle for him, a struggle he hid from his friends, if not his teachers.  Knowing the seriousness of his disability, the school got him a tutor.  Mia Larin was two years younger than Dylan, but she was off-the-charts bright and a quiet, patient person who helped Dylan through many assignments, including his memorable take on Romeo and Juliet. Dylan still cringes when he thinks how he treated Mia.

Imagine Dylan’s surprise when Mia shows up back in their hometown–with a baby but no husband.  In the years since high school, Mia went on to get two doctoral degrees.  She was working as a medical researcher in the Research Triangle of North Carolina when she heard her biological clock ticking.  With no man in her life and a job that she thought was secure, Mia decided to have a child through artificial insemination.  Now she has lovely little Cora, but the funding for her lab dried up, and she is close to broke.  She has come back to the little mountain town of Silver Glen to regroup.

Once Dylan learns about Mia’s situation, he springs into action.  He sees helping her–with a job and a place to stay–as a way to ease his conscience over how he treated her in high school.  But Mia’s not the shy, young nerd she was in high school.  She has her pride–and she has quite a nice figure.  Mia had a crush on Dylan in high school, a crush that he never noticed.  Now, as grownups there is a mutual attraction, but should they act on it?  This being a romance, they do, but that’s not the end of it.  Self-images formed in high school, professional setbacks and opportunities, and Dylan’s fear of fatherhood make a long road to happily-ever-after.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Maynard, Janice, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship

Carla Cassidy. Her Secret, His Duty. Don Mills, Ontario: Harlequin, 2014.

hersecret,hisdutyThat can’t be! Debra Prentice can’t be pregnant, but thinking back six weeks ago to that passionate one night stand proves that she can. Debra has no intentions of giving her baby up; she’ll just have to keep the baby’s father a secret forever. Because, even though Debra has had a crush on the man for years, she knows that she isn’t right for him – that she isn’t the kind of woman that a man of his standing needs beside him. As the product of an affair between a married man and a drunk, Debra’s background is not one that could boost Trey Winston up the political ladder that he is seeking to climb in Raleigh, North Carolina. Not to mention that he is her boss’s son.

Trey Winston has just announced to his family that he is planning on running for United States Senate. Everyone knows he has it in him, as he is the product of a political family. Trey’s father was a politician up until the day he died, and his mother still is one. Kate Winston, Trey’s mother, has served as an ambassador to France and was also the first female vice president. With a legacy like that, Trey can win this race. Of course, he would appeal to voters more if he was married. Trey has the perfect candidate in mind to be his wife, Cecily McKenna. Cecily comes from old money and has everything it takes to be the perfect politician’s wife – including the ability to set aside her emotions. Everyone expects that Trey will propose to Cecily very soon in order to cement his candidacy. The only problem is that Trey can’t get his mind off of Debra. Trey hasn’t even touched Cecily since the night with Debra that is forever burned into his mind.

When Kate Winston, Debra’s boss, asks Debra to help Trey with his announcement gala, the two will have to spend a lot of time together. Seeing how much Trey is invested in running for the Senate, Debra’s determination to keep the father of her baby a secret only grows. However, the more time Trey spends with Debra, the more he realizes that he can’t marry Cecily because he is in love with Debra. After attacks on Debra’s life, Trey resolves to keep her safe–but is he only putting her in more danger?

Her Secret, His Duty is the first novel in The Adair Legacy series. This series is the tale of a family steeped in politics, and how love can help to heal all wounds.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2014, Cassidy, Carla, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Wake