Meant to Be (by Terri Osburn)

Contemporary Romance

Beth Chandler has spent her entire life putting the hopes and dreams of others before her own. When her fiancé decides it’s time she meet the family, she bravely crosses the ferry to Anchor Island despite the fact that she has been scared of the water ever since a childhood boating accident. Then Lucas, her fiancé returns to the mainland on business leaving her in the care of his parents, and his brother Joe.

Beth and Joe are attracted to each other from day one, but spend most of their time skirting around the issue. As time passes, and Beth becomes more enmeshed in Island life the sparks become harder to deny but both are willing to lose love rather than betray Lucas.

Just have to say, ‘Squish up Robyn Carr, move over Jill Shalvis! Make some room for Terri Osburn’.  This book is perfect.  It really is as good as the best from the Virgin River and Lucky Harbor series’.  I can’t think of a better Contemporary Romance I’ve read in the last twelve months and a full cast of background characters who almost steal the show will keep us returning to Anchor Island for quite a few books to come.

A must read for fans of contemporary romance.

Robin in the Hood (by Diane J. Reed)

Young Adult

“Okay, we’re gonna give out this money to whoever our hearts see fit.” His gaze was so keen now it made me quiver. “But Robin, I want you to take a really deep breath.” He paused, waiting for me. “‘Cause the feeling you’re about to get right now––well, you’e gonna remember this night for the rest of your life.”

After her father suffers a stroke Robin quickly discovers that her step-mother has run off, they have no money and both the mob and the police are after them. She bundles up her father, steals a Mazda Miata and goes on the run. They end up in a trailer park inhabited by a loveable bunch of misfits and miscreants.

They share what they have and care for each other and before long Robin starts to see them as family.  But one of her neighbors has cancer and they desperately need money to pay for her treatment so Robin teams up with Creek to take a little money from the rich bad guys and redistribute it to the not so rich.

Robin in the Hood is a modern retelling of the Robin Hood story with a completely nutters band of merry men (and women).  It’s light and fluffy Young Adult fiction with a very healthy dose of magic.

“Wait, what do I do?”
“You git on a helmet honey!” crackled a voice in the darkness. Granny Tinker appeared next to us with a pot on her head. She shoved one onto mine. “This here’s WAR.”

Neanderthal seeks Human: a smart romance (by Penny Reid)

Contemporary Romance

He looked lost and a little vulnerable. Smash, smash, smash.
I took this opportunity to rapidly pull on some sweatpants and a sweatshirt from my suitcase. The sweatshirt was on backwards, with the little ‘V’ at the back and the tag in the front, but I ignored it and grabbed a jacket from the closet behind me and soundlessly slipped it on too.
He walked to the window and surveyed the view as I hurriedly pushed my feet into socks and hand knit slippers, given to me by Elizabeth last Christmas.
I was a tornado of frenzied activity, indiscriminately and quietly pulling on clothes. I may have been overcompensating for my earlier state of undress. However it wasn’t until he, with leisurely languid movements, turned toward me that I finally stopped dressing; my hands froze on my head as I pulled on a white cabled hat, another gift from Elizabeth.

On the worst day of her life, Janie discovers her boyfriend had sex with another woman; she was fired from her job; found herself in a toilet cubicle with no toilet paper; and was escorted from the building by the security guard she has been secretly lusting after.

Quinn, the aforementioned security guard isn’t just a guard, he owns the company. He makes stone faced stoicism an art form and nobody is able to break through his tough shell. Until Janie that is. With her insecurity and habit of spouting odd trivia she manages to   draw him out and get him talking. He starts sharing things with her that he has kept hidden from everyone.

Neanderthal Seeks Human is everything I expect from contemporary romance. It’s cute and quirky with likeable characters. The story isn’t overly complicated but it’s told well and is a lot of fun. A book you can’t put down.


Adorkable (by Sarra Manning)

Jeane has always been the weird girl at school. Her hair is often the result of failed dye jobs, she wears second hand clothes, the previous owner of which may or may not have had an incontinence problem. She stands out and is proud of it, but she is shunned by her classmates.

That has never been a problem for her, she is a blogger who has a worldwide following and is in high demand on the conference circuit where she speaks about youth-culture.

Michael is her exact opposite, he is in the cool group at school, wears designer labels and generally tries to fit in.

When Michael’s girlfriend hooks up with Jeane’s boyfriend they find themselves crashing into each other with increasing frequency. Both refuse to admit their attraction but they just can’t keep their hands off each other.

Adorkable is great. It’s intelligent, snarky and snappy young adult fiction about two mismatched people who actually fit together very well if they will ever admit it.