Off the Shelf: Light-hearted romances

In her May article, Acquisitions Librarian Betty Roiger shared a couple of romances that caught her attention. I was in search of some light summer reading, so I took her recommendation for “The Flatshare” by Beth O’Leary and really enjoyed it! Tiffy is desperate: she broke up with her boyfriend and needs a place to stay. Leon is also desperate: he needs extra income to help his innocent brother fight armed robbery charges. Tiffy moves into Leon’s flat and they take opposite shifts using the apartment. They get to know each other by writing post-it notes, but soon realize that they might like to actually meet and spend time together. This book was lively, sweet, and charming – a perfect summer read!

I also enjoyed “Star-Crossed” by Minnie Darke. Justine and Nick haven’t seen each other since they were fifteen. When they discover that they are now living in the same city and end up spending time together, Justine is surprised to find that her teenage crush might have developed into real feelings for Nick. She’s just not sure if her feelings are reciprocated. When Justine discovers that Nick lives by the horoscopes printed in the magazine for which she works, she decides to rewrite the horoscopes to nudge Nick in her direction. These characters were so appealing and I was delighted by their story!

In Casey McQuiston’s “Red, White, & Royal Blue,” first Son Alex Clairmont-Diaz has a run-in with his rival, Britain’s Prince Henry, at a royal wedding. The pair’s publicity teams encourage them to make nice in public, which leads to a lot of joint public appearances. The pair discover that they have common experiences living in the public eye, and that neither one is the jerk the other originally thought he was. When Alex’s mother decides to run for re-election, Alex and Henry’s growing affection could put her campaign in jeopardy if the public finds out the true nature of their relationship. This is an engaging story of what happens when two young men take a chance on one another despite the opinions of their publicity teams, the public, and heads of state.

“Waiting for Tom Hanks” by Kerry Winfrey is another bright summer read. Annie spends her days writing online articles at her favorite coffee shop and her evenings watching romantic comedies. She’s especially drawn to those starring Tom Hanks, her idea of the ideal man. When she finds out a romantic comedy will be filming in her city, she jumps at the chance to be the director’s assistant. On set, Annie finds herself verbally sparring with the romantic lead, Drew Danforth. She reluctantly admits that she and Drew have chemistry, but Drew is nothing like Tom Hanks. Can Annie admit to herself that life is not a romantic comedy and take the chances that real life throws her way? I enjoyed Annie and Drew’s story, and this book also has a lot of fun supporting characters that really add to the story.

This has already been a great summer for fresh new romances, but there are more great books on the way before summer ends. I’m looking forward to “Evvie Drake Starts Over” by Linda Holmes. Holmes is a pop culture critic and podcast host for NPR and this is her first novel. The book is the story of young widow Andy, who has been locked up with her grief for the past year. When Major League pitcher (and Andy’s childhood best friend) Dean Tenney seeks refuge from “the yips” and the media storm his struggle invites, Andy asks him to come stay on her property in Maine. They find comfort in each other’s friendship and may even find the strength to take the next step.

I also can’t wait to read “The Bookish Life of Nina Hill” by Abbi Waxman. Bookstore clerk and trivia aficionado Nina is just fine with her life. When a run-in with trivia rival, Tom, and the discovery of long-lost family upend her quiet existence, she finds that maybe there is more life to be experienced outside of her comfortable shell if she can find the courage to live it.

Give us a call (507-359-8331) or stop by the library if you would like to place a request on any of the books I’ve shared here. We’d be happy to help you find others!