by Alyson Richman
Lenka, an aspiring artist, and Josef, a medical student, meet in Prague on the eve of World War II. Despite the looming Nazi threat, the two quickly fall in love and decide to get married. As was the case with many families at the time, the newlyweds are separated mere days after their wedding. Unbeknownst to each other, both Lenka and Josef survive, marry other people and re-build their lives. Well into their 80s, they attend a rehearsal dinner for their grandchildren (Josef's grandson is marrying Lenka's granddaughter) and find what they've been looking for all these years -- each other.
Books dealing with the Holocaust are never particularly easy to read, but the love shared by the two main characters and their eventual reunion give The Lost Wife a hopeful tone. It is even more so, given the fact that the book is based on an actual couple who reunited many years after the war -- Richman overheard their story while getting a haircut. The Lost Wife will give you chills and have you both smiling and tearing up as you turn the pages.
by Allie Larkin
Savannah (Van) Leon's best friend Julie is getting married, and Van should be thrilled. Instead, the wedding day is Van's worst nightmare since the groom, Peter Clarke, is also the man she has loved since her freshman year of college. Alone at home, Van drowns her sorrows in a marathon of vodka, Kool-Aid and Rin Tin Tin. The next morning, she wakes up to realize she spent $6,000 on Joe, a German Shepherd puppy.
Pet lovers and fans of Marley & Me will devour this "alternative" love story and keep turning the pages to find out if there is a happily ever after for Van, Joe and Joe's vet, Dr. Alex Brand (hint, hint).
by Deborah Lawrenson
Eve and Dom fall in love in a whirlwind romance in France and move into an old, crumbling farm. All is well as they spend an idyllic summer together, but winter brings along some strange things. Dom's previous wife, Rachel, vanished and he refuses to talk about her or the disappearance. And the farm itself is shrouded in mystery. Eve rushes to learn more about Rachel's fate and the fate of previous inhabitants to save her own relationship.
A beautifully written story, The Lantern will appeal to readers who enjoy the intermingling of romance, magic and gothic mystery.
A Weekend with Mr. Darcy
by Victoria Connelly
The latest offering from Connelly follows three Jane Austen fans who attend an Austen conference. Katherine Roberts, a literary professor, and Robyn Love, a woman with a dead-end job and relationship, meet and quickly become friends. The seminars about Miss Austen's romances mirror the women's own budding romances at the conference, but in typical Austen fashion, complications arise.
A Weekend with Mr. Darcymay seem like yet another addition to the barrage of Austen-inspired novels, but Connelly's writing is fresh and engaging. The lively and funny characters will pull you right into the midst of the games, seminars and shenanigans of the Austen conference.
by Priya Parmar
Ellen (Nell) Gwyn grows up in dirt and poverty in 17th century London. Her mother drinks and pushes her sister into prostitution, but Nell is determined to secure a different fate for herself. A job at an orange seller brings her to the attention of the theater owners where Nell quickly becomes a favorite. She is adored by many, but only one man appeals to Nell: King Charles II. As a mistress to the libertine king, Nell must decide if the man she truly loves is worth the price she must pay.
Parmar's phenomenal skills as a writer bring Nell Gwyn to life through letters, gossip columns and other pieces from the Restoration period of England. Exit the Actress is a great love story for fans of historical fiction.
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