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Staff Reviews: romance

Check out these reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library! (For reviews in all genres, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) Staff book reviews are also published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.


Cover: 'Waiting for Tom Hanks'

"Waiting for Tom Hanks" by Kerry Winfrey

★★★★ Aspiring screenwriter Annie Cassidy loves romantic comedies. Growing up, she would watch the films relentlessly with her mom, dissecting scenes and deriving life advice from the characters and dialogue. As an adult, Annie can quote films like Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail by heart and aspires to write movies herself. But she’s also unlucky...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'Red, White & Royal Blue'

"Red, White & Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston

★★★★★ Alex Claremont-Diaz is like American royalty. His mom, Ellen, is the first female President of the United States and he aspires to follow in her political footsteps one day and also become prez. During his time in the White House, Alex has had a not-so-secret rivalry with Henry, the Prince of England. Alex has always thought of Henry as being spoiled,...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, contemporary fiction, romance

Cover: 'The Upside of Unrequited'

"The Upside of Unrequited" by Becky Albertalli

★★★ Molly and Cassie are 17 year-old fraternal twins who have always been extremely close. But ever since Cassie started dating her girlfriend, Mina, the two sisters have started drifting apart. Molly feels like she’s being left behind and longs for a boyfriend to share her life with and spend time with. The thing is, Molly has had 25 crushes so far in her...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, contemporary fiction, romance

Cover: 'Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda'

"Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" by Becky Albertalli

★★★★ Simon is just a typical, well-adjusted teenager. He does well in school, has a stable and supportive family and has a great group of friends. There's just one thing the people in Simon's life don't know about him: he's gay. After another young man at Simon's school comes out of the closet on a social media site, he and Simon begin emailing back and...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, contemporary fiction, romance, lgbt

Cover: 'A Discovery of Witches'

"A Discovery of Witches" by Deborah Harkness

★★★ Diana Bishop, an Oxford scholar and non-practicing witch, discovers a long-lost alchemical manuscript that promises to reveal the origins (and future) of all supernatural species: witches, vampires, and "demons." However, Diana's reluctance to share this discovery puts her at odds with the supernatural community and drives her into an unlikely romance with...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, paranormal, fantasy, romance

Cover: 'A Lowcountry Wedding'

"A Lowcountry Wedding" by Mary Alice Monroe

★★★★ This book is another installment in the Lowcountry Summer series by Mary Alice Monroe. Much like the others in the series, we continue following the journey of three half-sisters who are not only learning to love themselves, but are also delving into love and marriage in this book. We get to read about, what I imagine to be, the beautiful and magical South...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'The Shadow Hour'

"The Shadow Hour" by Melissa Grey

★★★★★ This follow up to "The Girl at Midnight" did not disappoint! Echo and her diverse crew may have survived their quest to discover the firebird, but the promised peace is a distant promise at best. Hidden away in a London safe house, they’ve escaped the detection of the two warring races (the Avicen and Drakharin) who covet the firebird and consider them...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, action adventure, fantasy, romance

Cover: 'One True Loves'

"One True Loves" by Taylor Jenkins Reid

★★★★★ Emma Blair never wanted to take over her parents' bookshop on the East Coast. Emma dreams of traveling, writing, and exploring the world with her high school sweetheart, Jesse. That is exactly what the pair do, until tragedy strikes on their first anniversary. Jesse's work helicopter crashes in the Pacific Ocean. With all of the crew dead and no sign of...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories'

"Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories" by Stephanie Perkins

★★★★★ "Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom." Summer is here and so is the latest young adult short story collection edited by Stephanie Perkins. This is a great summer companion to Perkins' other anthology, "My True Love Gave to Me", which...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, romance, short stories

Cover: 'Calling Me Home'

"Calling Me Home" by Julie Kibler

★★★★★ Based on a family secret revealed to her, Kibler turns her grandmother’s story of forbidden love into an impossible-to-put-down, page-turner of a novel. This is the story of a journey taken by eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister and Dorrie Curtis, a single mom struggling to find her way. Dorrie has taken care of Isabelle’s hair for years, first in the...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'Silver Bay'

"Silver Bay" by Jojo Moyes

★★★★★ Romantic, charming, and full of surprising characters, this early work from a popular author is not one to miss. Mike Dormer is climbing the ladder in a prestigious land development firm in London. He has made partner, is engaged to the boss’s daughter, and lives in luxury. His entire life appears to be perfect, that is until a land deal falls through on a...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'The Bridges of Madison County'

"The Bridges of Madison County" by Robert James Waller

★★★★★ I read this book many years ago, but after listening to the soundtrack of the recent musical based on the book and the movie, I decided to revisit the story that I had remembered. "The Bridges of Madison County" by Robert James Waller, is a love story; a story of a love that was unexpected, short-lived, forbidden, but so powerful that it haunted the two...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'One Plus One'

"One Plus One" by Jojo Moyes

★★★★★ I'm not much for a fluffy romance, but who can resist a story about a single mom, her quirky kids, their enormous dog, and an unsuspecting stranger trapped together in a tiny car on an impromptu road trip? This story is about Jess, an eternal optimist who will do anything to give her kids the life that they deserve. Unfortunately, fate has a way of knocking...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'The Longest Ride'

"The Longest Ride" by Nicholas Sparks

★★★★★ Two love stories, one that is three quarters of a century in the making and one that is brand new are told side by side in this beautifully written novel. When Ira is trapped in his car following an accident in a remote area, he recounts the stories of his life with his one true love, his wife Ruth. He describes their story as it unfolds decade after decade...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'The Coincidence of Coconut Cake'

"The Coincidence of Coconut Cake" by Amy E. Reichert

★★★★★ In this lovely new novel set in Milwaukee, Lou, owner and extremely talented chef of her own restaurant, literally runs into the food critic who eventually threatens to destroy her restaurant. Unbeknownst to either of them at the time, the food critic, Al, cannot forget the smell of vanilla and coconut Lou carried with her after their run in. But later that...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'The Royal We'

"The Royal We" by Heather Cocks

★★★★★ If you enjoy the drama and intrigue of royal couples, you'll love this book. Based on the world's favorite royal couple, Will and Kate, the authors have created a romance that will twist and turn and leave you wondering if their fictitious royal couple will indeed make it to the alter. Bex is a smart and sassy American studying abroad when she runs into...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'The Longest Ride'

"The Longest Ride" by Nicholas Sparks

★★★★★ Two love stories, one that is three quarters of a century in the making and one that is brand new are told side by side in this beautifully written novel. When Ira is trapped in his car following an accident in a remote area, he recounts the stories of his life with his one true love, his wife Ruth. He describes their story as it unfolds decade after decade...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances'

"Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances" by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle

★★★★★ Young adult readers rejoice! Three of our favorite authors have gotten together to write about the sweetness of love in the middle of a snowstorm on Christmas Eve. We have the pleasure of reading about three separate but connected couples who live in the same town, through the same blizzard, and the same joys of young love. This is such a fun book for the...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, romance, holiday

Cover: 'The Lover's Dictionary'

"The Lover's Dictionary" by David Levithan

★★★★ Have you ever thought of describing and defining your relationships through one word descriptions? This very creative author has done just that. He uses words, like a dictionary, in order to tell the story of a relationship between two people. It really is remarkable that this format works, and I was a little skeptical starting this book that I would not...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'How to Love'

"How to Love" by Katie Cotugno

★★★★ Reena has always been the good girl: straight A student, responsible job holder, and good friend. Despite her good girl status, Reena has also always been in love with bad boy Sawyer LeGrande. When Sawyer starts to take notice of her, Reena's life becomes an exhilarating and devastating roller coaster of events. The chapters alternate between Reena's...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'Someday, Someday Maybe'

"Someday, Someday Maybe" by Lauren Graham

★★★★ If you love Lauren Graham, the actress, in "Gilmore Girls" or "Parenthood" then you will throughly enjoy Lauren Graham the author in her debut novel.  Her story introduces us to Franny, a struggling actress in New York City of the mid 1990s, and her adventures trying to become a serious actress who can pay her bills with her craft.  Franny is so...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'Police'

"Police" by Jo Nesbø

★★★★★ It takes a strong will to put this book down before the end. Nesbo does it again, keeping us in suspense until the very end. "Police" is a real thriller with the suspense rising to almost unbearable levels. Oslo's police officers are being brutally murdered at scenes of unsolved murders they investigated. An unidentified severely wounded man in a coma,...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery, romance

Cover: 'The Here and Now'

"The Here and Now" by Ann Brashares

★★★★ In "The Here and Now" we meet Prenna, an immigrant not from another country, but another time. Leaving behind the future dying world that has been ravaged by a plague, those few lucky survivors emigrate to the present day. They bring with them twelve strict rules they believe will protect the world they saw destroyed. But when Prenna is frantically warned...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'Looking for Alaska'

"Looking for Alaska" by John Green

★★★★ This story follows the main character, Miles, a.k.a.  “Pudge “ as he leaves his public school in Florida and travels to Culver Creek, a boarding school in Alabama.  He is on a quest to seek his “Great Perhaps,” or his greatest journey that could be if only he just tries.  He is paired with the roommate, who goes by  “The Colonel,” and...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, romance, tragedy, award-winning, printz award winner

Cover: 'Starry Night'

"Starry Night" by Debbie Macomber

★★ When I first read the back of this book it sounded great. Karrie is a reporter for a news paper. Finn is an author he lives in Alaska, know one really knows anything about him and he likes it that way. Karrie is unhappy with her job and makes a deal with her boss to be the only reporter to get an interview with Finn Dalton. If she can land the interview,...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance, chick lit, holiday