The arrival of the new year always turns our thoughts to new beginnings. We’ve selected three romance novels featuring tales of a second chance at life and love that will give you hope and make you swoon.
FALLING IN LOVE, AGAIN
In bestselling author Erin Knightley’s The Viscount Risks It All, the latest in her Prelude To A Kiss series, former childhood playmates become more than friends. Gavin Stark, Viscount Derington, lost his heart to his neighbor Lady Felicity when they were only 15. At age 25, she broke his heart when she married another. Now, they’re both about to turn 30, and Felicity has returned to Bath for the summer, widowed and with a toddler in tow. Felicity is struggling to leave her grief over her husband's death behind, and she turns to her former best friend Gavin for aid.
Gavin has vowed never to love again, although as the future Earl of Carlisle, he knows it’s time to wed and produce heirs. As Gavin and Felicity struggle to come to terms with past hurts and an attraction that neither of them wants to acknowledge, circumstances inexorably draw them together. Just when it seems as though they will surely reach a happy future, however, they're torn apart. With all that separates them, can they find their way back to each other again? Knightley has created a warm world in Regency-era Bath filled with good friends, happy social events and a charming circle of family connections.
BEGINNING ANEW IN AMERICA
Award-winning inspirational author Susan Anne Mason delivers the second novel in her stellar Courage To Dream series with A Worthy Heart. This installment features the same depth of family drama and the historical Edwardian setting featured in Mason’s debut novel, Irish Meadows, which received enthusiastic praise.
Maggie Montgomery is anticipating a new life when she leaves Ireland behind and travels to New York City to visit her older brother and his family. Her arrival coincides with the release from prison of her sister-in-law’s older brother, Adam O’Leary. Although Adam and Maggie are drawn to each other, both are warned by family members that any connection between them is forbidden. Adam’s prison record is unacceptable to society, and their friendship could destroy Maggie’s reputation. Adam knows he should stay away from the lovely, kind Irish beauty, but they can’t seem to avoid each other. However, when Maggie’s life is put in danger, Adam must choose whether to keep her safe or walk away. The odds are stacked against a future, but can love and faith find a way for them to be together?
Edwardian life in New York comes to life in this well-researched novel. Adam’s struggle to build a life after prison and resolve lifelong conflicts with his father will have readers cheering for him, and the multiple twists and turns complicating the family relationships in this story are equally absorbing.
ONCE MORE, WITH LOVE
New York Times bestselling author Catherine Anderson returns to the small Oregon town of Mystic Creek in New Leaf. Divorced shop owner Taffeta Brown moved to Mystic Creek to hide from her past. Although she has fantasized about handsome sheriff’s deputy Barney Sterling, Taffeta has never dared to approach him. In fact, she does her best to fade into the woodwork when he’s around. When Barney accidentally sees her without her disguise of frumpy clothes, bad hairstyle and no makeup, however, his interest is piqued, and he begins to seek her out. Taffeta is drawn to him, but before she can resolve her feelings, news from her past about her young daughter shocks her. Caught off guard, she confides her problems to Barney, and to her surprise and overwhelming relief, he has a plan to help her.
The scheme requires Taffeta to pretend she’s romantically involved with Barney, and before long, the two are truly falling in love. But Taffeta’s daughter has issues that may drive the couple apart. With all the obstacles in their path, whether these two can find their way to a happy ending is anyone’s guess. The small town setting and its charming residents, along with Barney’s extended family, provide a rich, warm background for this tale of starting over and finding unexpected love.
Lois Dyer writes from her home in Port Orchard, Washington.