Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
Call# Fantasy Carey
Phèdre nó Delaunay is a courtesan used for political intrigue by her patron in this amazing, sprawling historical fantasy epic. Not only is she a courtesan in a country whose motto is “Love as thou wilt,” she also sports a scarlet mote in her eye, pricked by the punishing angel Kushiel’s dart, chosen to experience pleasure and pain as one. Serving as her master’s spy, Phèdre uncovers a treasonous conspiracy, launching her into deadly encounters and dangerous adventures to prevent the downfall of her beloved land of Terre d’Ange. And yes, there are enough steamy erotic passages and a forbidden romance to satisfy many a romance reader. This is the first in a series of series about this richly imagined world. And fun fact: the author lives in west Michigan!
Pride by Ibi Aanu Zoboi
Call# Y Zoboi
Oh I enjoyed this retelling of Pride and Prejudice a lot! The way the author took the parts from the original and updated them for a love story between a Black girl, Zuri, and boy, Darius, set in Brooklyn is captivating and fun. Zoboi updated the romantic tale for our age in innovative and admirable ways. But just saying this is a Black retelling of Austen’s classic doesn’t cover the depth of this story of a girl growing up in her hood and finding herself while staying true to her roots. This story left me wanting to hear more of Zuri’s life and story, and Darius’ too.
Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew
Call# Mystery Andrew
While I’m generally not a fan of romance, Sally Andrew did a great job of getting me invested in the life of the protagonist Tannie Maria, romantic interest and all! It may have helped that this book is primarily a mystery, but the romance intertwines nicely with the plot and doesn’t detract from the rest of the book. Recipes for Love and Murder, set in South Africa, follows Tannie Maria, who is the advice columnist for the local paper, the Klein Karoo Gazette. Her advice takes the form of a response letter paired with a recipe that Maria recommends. Andrew includes many recipes throughout the book that I’m tempted to try one day. Maria becomes invested in a murder investigation after receiving a letter that seems to be related. Her snooping puts her in constant conflict (and chemistry?) with the local detective. It’s an engaging read with many well-developed characters that I highly recommend, for fans of mystery, romance, and food alike.
The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion
Call# Fiction Simsion
A feel good story that is laugh out loud funny. Don Tillman, our narrator, is “an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor” on a mission to find a wife. I adored this character and loved seeing the world through his eyes. I read the paperback version, but overheard bits of the audiobook when I forced encouraged my husband to read it (for the record, he also enjoyed it) and this would be a good choice for audiobook fans. The reader has a great accent :)
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Call# Fantasy Carriger
Set in an alternate steampunk Victorian England where supernatural creatures like werewolves and vampires are not only real and accepted members of society, they mostly run said society, this series opener of the Parasol Protectorate follows Alexia Tarrabotti, an excellent, headstrong force of nature, who herself is not so much supernatural but preternatural: she has no soul and negates the effects of supernaturals. Which makes for an interesting dynamic when she meets the loud, messy, gorgeous Scottish werewolf Alpha Lord Maccon. Full of wonderful characters—including Maccon’s Beta Professor Lyall and the impeccably-dressed rove vampire Lord Akeldama—fascinating world-building, and sharp wit, this is a fast, fun, lovely read. The main characters and their romance reminded me greatly of another strong romantic pairing in a series I adore, Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series.
The Time Traveler's Wife : a Novel by Audrey Niffenegger
Call# Fiction Niffenegger
The Time Traveler’s Wife is a romance novel with a science fiction twist. Henry has Chrono-Displacement Disorder; he time travels, but has no control over where or when. Clare, on the other hand, moves through time like the rest of us. Their love story is beautiful, but – WARNING – definitely a tear jerker.