The charm of life in a small town provides the perfect setting for warm, cozy romance. We’ve chosen three such tales for your enjoyment this month.
COOKING UP ROMANCE
Midwestern author Jules Bennett returns to Haven, Georgia, for Lost in You, the third novel in The Monroes series. Chef Liam Monroe has reluctantly returned to Haven to help his two adoptive brothers honor his late sister’s memory by opening her dream B&B. He plans to return to Savannah as soon as possible and open his own high-end restaurant, and he’s purposely trying to avoid developing deeper emotional connections while in Haven. Despite his best efforts, however, Liam can’t avoid being drawn to beautiful Macy Hayward. For her part, Macy was attracted to Liam as a teenager and finds it impossible to ignore the very sexy, brooding and damaged adult Liam. The dynamics of small-town life and family connections throw Liam and Macy together, threatening all determination to remain uninvolved and free. They become friends as well as lovers, but despite the threads that bind them together, each has dreams they can’t give up. Liam is a man who cannot stay in Haven, and Macy is a woman who cannot leave. How will this pair of wounded, fiercely loving people find their way to a happy future together?
Bennett has created an absorbing family drama, complete with tests of endurance and faith, successes and failures, heartbreak and happiness. The small-town setting is charming, and readers will fall in love with this wonderful couple.
CITY GIRL MEETS GEORGIA BOY
Bestselling author Lia Riley chooses a small town in the deep South as the setting for the utterly charming It Happened on Love Street. New Yorker Pepper Knight arrives in Everland, Georgia, confident that her summer internship as a law clerk to the local judge will be the first step in a stellar legal career. When the job falls through, Pepper finds herself stuck in Everland for the summer with no job prospects and miles from home. As luck would have it, she runs smack into local veterinarian and reigning heartthrob, Rhett Valentine. He finds her employment as a dog walker, and much to Pepper’s surprise, she not only likes her new job but soon finds herself becoming involved with the town’s residents. Rhett can’t seem to stay away from the beautiful city girl, and before long, the two have decided to indulge themselves in a summer-only affair. Soon, however, their neighbors-with-benefits arrangement deepens into much more. Can a career-driven city girl find her happily ever after with a laid-back Southern boy, or will these two end up brokenhearted?
In this thoroughly delightful novel, the sexual tension is steamy, the plot engaging, the characters always entertaining, the dialogue witty and the situations often hilarious. Who knew small-town life could be so downright funny? This tale is certain to make readers smile, laugh outright and sigh dreamily. In short, it has everything a reader is looking for in a romance.
A BOY, A GIRL AND A DOG
Eastern Canadian author Donna Alward delivers Somebody’s Baby, the third novel in the Darling, Vermont, series starring the Gallagher siblings. The third Gallagher brother, handsome heartbreaker Rory, is awakened late one night with a call for help. Beautiful Oaklee Collier, the younger sister of Rory’s best friend from high school, turns to veterinarian Rory to treat a dog she accidentally hit with her car. When her concern for the dog leads to her spending more and more time with Rory, Oaklee quickly discovers that her schoolgirl crush on her older brother’s friend never went away. In fact, she finds the adult Rory even more attractive. The two bond over the injured dog, and before long, the dog is living in Oaklee’s apartment and Rory is spending more and more time there as well. Both Oaklee and Rory have had their hearts broken in the past, and both are wary of becoming involved. They’ve been friends since childhood—will becoming lovers result in the loss of that important relationship?
This warm, endearing friends-to-lovers tale features an engaging hero and heroine who encounter very real and human obstacles in their relationship, while a solid cast of secondary characters lend texture to the small-town setting.
Lois Dyer writes from her home in Port Orchard, Washington.