This winter I’ve become fascinated by the Danish concept of hygge, or coziness. Growing up in Maine, curling up with a hot cup of tea and a good book was how I kept my sanity with three feet of snow on the ground. It turns out the Danish had a very similar idea. Even though I’m spending the winter in Florida this year, I still love books that inspire a feeling of coziness. Here are four novels that have made me feel cozy and warm inside even if it was miserable outside. Continue reading “4 Cozy Romances to Read Before Spring”
Lover’s Quarrel’s mission is to make the world a better place by promoting self-published books and books from independent bookstores, which is why half of all Lover’s Quarrel affiliate links go to charity.
Help Lover’s Quarrel reach its goal of donating $100 to charity in 2017 by purchasing a book through one of these affiliate links. The romance novels featured on this list give higher affiliate earnings than usual so you can maximize your impact with your purchase. 50 percent of the affiliate earnings from these books will go to the Malala Fund.
As a bonus, you can also enter to win a $10 gift card when you purchase one of these books. All you have to do is send a screenshot of your receipt to email@example.com.
1) The Power of His Touch by Alaina Stanford
Word Count: 42,180
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars
The longer angels tread on the face of the earth the more susceptible they become to mortal emotion.
Rafi discovers a demon plot to release a pandemic in a large metropolitan city. Disguised as an agent of the World Health Organization Rafi searches for the source. When he meets a young biochemist name Sophia at the center of the pandemic everything changes. Rafi is quickly torn between his divine mission and his growing feelings for Sophia. Dare he give into the temptations of love with millions of lives at risk?
2) Vengeance’s Fire by Alaina Stanford
Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural
Word Count: 53,630
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.31 out of 5 stars
3) The First Bite Is the Deepest by Elisa Catrina
Genre: Supernatural, New Adult
Word Count: 89,630
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.83 out of 5 stars
What starts as a quirky send-up of vampire romance quickly turns sinister. Stella and her friends find themselves pitted against not only Sebastian but his entire family–a cadre of supernatural predators determined to keep the secret of their existence from spreading any further.
Sometimes, breakups really are a matter of life and death.
4) They Are In Love Again by Becky Harris
Word Count: 11,630
This book is not yet rated on Goodreads.
Emma and Brody had been friends since they were in Kindergarten. When high school rolled around their feelings for each other turned into something more than just friendship. Their love was fast and furious, just like their relationship. All was going perfectly until an accident struck Brody’s family. His brother had been in a fatal car accident with a drunk driver.
Struck by the tragedy, Brody turned to alcohol. When Emma found out she immediately confronted him. The confrontation immediately went south when Brody lashed out at her. It severed their relationship separating them for four years.
At Emma’s graduation, she stumbles into him. As soon as their eyes meet the feelings rush back. When Brody asks Emma for a second chance she can’t help, but give it. Though it comes with a few stumbles along the way they pick up right where they left off.
5) Fallen Hero by Lorhainne Eckhart
Genre: Contemporary, Western
Word Count: 44,360
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.21 out of 5 stars
Buy Fallen Hero now and 41 percent of your purchase will be donated to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world get a quality education.
A cowboy who walked away from his family’s fortune. A woman who returned for justice. What they didn’t expect was to find love.
“When life deals an innocent a bad hand it isn’t’ surprising when they want revenge. This story handles the situation in a simple fashion. Turning anger and distrust into love. Well written, and a story which leaves you wanting to read more about this family.” Voracious Reader
6) A Vow of Love, A Friessen Family Christmas by Lorhainne Eckhart
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, New Adult
Word Count: 45,850
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.18 out of 5 stars
Sometimes families need a helping hand…
Holidays are about family, love, and giving, but this Christmas The Friessens are in for a rough holiday season.
Thirteen days before Christmas, In the mail, a letter arrives that was never meant for Candy Friessen. It is for her husband Neil, and when she opens it, she discovers a lie that rocks her world. And she begins to question everything they created together, including his love for her and their family.
Seven days before Christmas, Even though her heart is breaking she considers leaving. She makes plans until a call one night alerts all the Friessens that Becky Friessen, their mother is in the hospital fighting for her life. And without a second thought, the entire Friessen clan is on a plane to her bedside. Faced with uncertainty Brad, Neil, Jed, and their wives are together for Christmas, but there’s no happy celebration, and gifts piled under the tree.
And for Candy and Neil, once trust is destroyed, is a family bond strong enough to make a difference?
7) A Different Kind of Love by Lorhainne Eckhart
8) The Two Schillings by Anthony O’Brien
Word Count: 183,680
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.33 out of 5 stars
The 100 Years War has torn both England & France. King Henry IV is on the throne newly taken and his son Harry of Monmouth, soon to be Henry the V is up to his legendary deeds.
This epic centers around a stalwart young man, Adrian, trained in the art of war, but not in the art of love. Honor is paramount and heartbreak is imminent. His first love, Victoria Marie becomes his study in both.
9) Nelly by Nora A.M. Crown
Word Count: 15,620
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
London 1923: Nelly is an upper class successful single independent professional woman in her early thirties who needs to find Henry, the man who is behind her family’s tragedy and has tarnished their reputation. Henry holds the key to her past and is her only link to finding her last living relative.
Her journey leads her on a quest of self-discovery and triumph as she learns to overcome her feelings of guilt and inadequacy. But one more obstacle threatens her happiness. She learns that the man she loves follows his own agenda as she makes a startling discovery about his past and an unimaginable commonality that they share… Can she forgive him in order to find trust and happiness once more?
10) Johnnie’s Girl By Harma-Mae Smit
Word Count: 8,530
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.33 out of 5 stars
Johnnie Reynolds has a starring role in his own life. Debbie MacDonald is his leading lady. And Cricket is destined to be the sidekick – forever watching his best friend’s glamorous life from the sidelines.
So when Cricket falls for Debbie MacDonald, he knows it’s hopeless to compete against Johnnie’s movie stardom, looks and charm. Until the day Johnnie suggests Cricket take Debbie out on the town in his place, as he’s managed to double-book himself for the evening. Debbie charmingly doesn’t mind any of the usual mishaps Cricket encounters when he does his best to take Johnnie’s place. And Cricket starts to wish he wasn’t the sidekick of this show, but the star…
Follow the ups and downs of the lives of two aspiring movie stars and the girl they both love, during the dawn of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Remember to enter to win $10 by December 31st and like Lover’s Quarrel on Facebook so you don’t miss the winner’s announcement.
There’s nothing better than waking up feeling refreshed from a good night’s sleep. Of course, it’s impossible to feel that way when you’ve been tossing and turning, unable to stop thinking about an intense project or work or the dirty dishes piling up in the kitchen.
One good way to help clear your mind and prepare yourself for sleep is to put the phone away, shut down the computer and read before bed with a nice cup of herbal tea. Here are three romance novels that will relax you without keeping you up reading into the wee hours of the morning.
1) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows
Page Count: 277
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.12 out of 5 stars
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.
This book is like comfort food for the soul. I loved reading it so much that I rated it 5 stars on Goodreads. While it is entertaining and elegantly written, the action is subdued because it is told through letters and we do not see it first hand. That makes it easy reading to calm you down and help you sleep.
2) Gabriel’s Ghost by Linnea Sinclair
Genre: Science Fiction
Page Count: 447 pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.63 out of 5 stars
After a decade of piloting interstellar patrol ships, former captain Chasidah Bergren, onetime pride of the Sixth Fleet, finds herself court-martialed for a crime she didn’t commit-nd shipped off to a remote prison planet from which no one ever escapes. But when she kills a brutal guard in an act of self-defense, someone even more dangerous emerges from the shadows.
Gabriel Sullivan– alpha mercenary, smuggler, and rogue–is supposed to be dead. Yet now this seductive ghost from Chaz’s past is offering her a ticket to freedom– for a price. Someone in the Empire is secretly breeding jukors: vicious and uncontrollable killing machines that have long been outlawed. Gabriel needs Chaz to help him stop the practice before it decimates Imperial space. The mission means putting their lives on the line-but the tensions that heat up between them may be the riskiest part of all.
While this book has a lot of action, the sexual tension between Gabriel and Chaz will give you some very sweet dreams and certainly chase thoughts of dirty dishes away. The love and devotion Gabriel has for Chaz will comfort and relax you as you prepare for sleep.
Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
Page Count: 416
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.21 out of 5 stars
The eldest Concannon sister, Maggie, is a reclusive, stubborn and free-spirited glassmaker—with a heart worth winning.
Margaret Mary is a glass artist with an independent streak as fierce as her volatile temper. Hand-blowing glass is a difficult and exacting art, and while she may produce the delicate and the fragile, Maggie is a strong and opinionated woman, a Clare woman, with all the turbulence of that fascinating west country.
One man, Dublin gallery owner Rogan Sweeney, has seen the soul in Maggie’s art, and vows to help her build a career. When he comes to Maggie’s studio, her heart is inflamed by their fierce attraction—and her scarred past is slowly healed by love…
Nora Roberts always has cozy romances will put a smile on your face before you fall asleep. While Maggie has a fiery temper, she will not keep you up at night. The action is subdued with the main story being the love story between Maggie and Rogan. This book will leave dreaming of Ireland and local artists.
What are your favorite nighttime reads? Let me know in the comments. Also, don’t forget to like my Facebook page so you won’t miss an exciting giveaway I’m announcing on November 1st.
Word Count: 19,780
Average Smashwords Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Get Conference Cupid free on Smashwords.
I’m still trying to catch my breath from reading Conference Cupid by Eden Elgabri. The sex and the romance is a huge whirlwind that left me wanting even more. But I’m still not sure why I liked it so much.
Devin Barnett can’t believe it when he sees his old high school crush walk into his hotel for the romance writers conference. She’s just as beautiful as he remembers, but he doubts she will recognize him. After all, he was just a skinny nerd in high school. He certainly never would have entered her radar. But maybe he can finally have her.
1) Commitment by Nia Forrester
Page Count: 522 pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.42/5 stars
It was obvious to everyone but them they were all wrong for each other. Riley is a free-spirited boho writer and Shawn is a magnetic and charismatic rapper, riding the highest crest of his career. She doesn’t understand his world and he sure as hell doesn’t understand hers. And what’s worse, while he’s never committed to any woman before, she’s committed to someone else. Still, they can’t stay away from each other. Along with frequent clashes of their equally strong wills, Shawn and Riley will have to face down opposition from friends, family and one extremely motivated groupie, if they want to forge a commitment that will last the test of time.
Get Commitment at your local bookstore now. Continue reading “5 African American Romances You Need to Read Right Now”
Genre: Contemporary, Teen
Page Count: 284
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.67 out of 5 stars
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Welcome to the life of Max Bascom, whose home is Bascomville. Bascomville has its own special kind of normal, where fathers can get job leads from their sons and Christmas dinners can end up to be Chinese take out. Max does his best to navigate Bascomville and to keep it running as smoothly as possible through good times and tragedy. And he also forms a special bond with the girl next door, Janice, who understands Bascomville despite coming from a world much different.
This book is so fabulously written. I usually don’t take review requests, but I’m glad I did for this book. It’s part romance, part literary masterpiece, and it captures “growing up” so well. I wish I had this book when I was in middle school or high school because I can relate to making your own kind of normal.
“How do you know we aren’t? How do we know everybody doesn’t make their own?”
She considered this for a moment then dismissed it. “If everybody made their own then nothing would be normal. Nothing could ever be normal.”
That’s my kind of definition of normal. And I think everyone needs to remember that normalcy doesn’t really exist a little bit more.
I didn’t see the plot twists coming ahead of time and I never got bored. On top of that, this book is incredibly quotable. There’s some good life advice in here, like when Max helped Janice cover up vandalism on her house:
And I knew then that ultimately we can save neither ourselves nor our loved ones from life. We can only live it.
Max is a complex character that I like and dislike. He is, ultimately, human, not a hero. He tends to overreact sometimes when Janice is involved, but for the most part he’s likeable. He’s loyal to his family, loves his little sister, and wishes for a world with a level playing field.
My favorite character is his little sister Lily, though. She actually has it worse than Max. She lives at home with her parents after Max goes to college and has to deal with her mother pretending she doesn’t exist and her father pretending to be her best friend to make up for it. Her home life is lousy at best and she practically raises herself for her last years of high school. But she’s strong enough to not break under pressure and she’s not one for self-pity.
“Fair is for dorks. I don’t need fair to make things work.”– Lily Bascom
So why only a 4.5 instead of a 5?
It’s because of the long descriptions, like this one that characterizes Mr. Birnbaum, Janice’s father, through his workshop.
I stepped inside and caught my breath. It was, to me, a foreign wonderland, this workshop. I am not a particularly handy person, and the panorama of neatly arranged rows of tools hanging on pegboards, the fittings categorized in plastic bins, the copper piping slung above the rafters, the worktables and vises and clamps and braided electrical cords all echoed the prowess of this man. I felt humbled, and strangely calm. I still wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing but I was no longer nervous about it. I could leave disappointed, even chastised, and be all right with it. Such was the power of Sheldon Birnbaum and this place.
While these descriptions certainly add character and depth to the story, they can sometimes be a little excessive and make my attention lag. This book is certainly not a fluff book and isn’t meant to be one, but the long descriptions make it slightly more harder to get through than it has to be.
This is a good book for anyone to read and I can’t recommend it enough, especially to teens. It helps us remember that we all need to make our own normal.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to get my list of high quality free romance novels when it’s finished, as well as updates about my blog and exclusive content. I’m in the final stages of editing and hope to be done soon. Have a good day!
Recently, Evangelist Franklin Graham started urging people to boycott the Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast movie because Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou is gay, or at least sexually confused. In a Facebook post, he accused Disney of “trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children– watch out!”
Yes, how dare Disney tell children that people different than them exist. They are monsters.
Here are 5 fairytale retellings that would also piss off Graham.
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ
My rating: 4/5 stars
Jase grinned, “you were about to tell me why you always hated Marcus?”
Sean closed his eyes. Truth, he reminded himself. He took a few deep breaths. “I envied him, Jase.”
Truth, truth, truth. “Because he got to have you, and I didn’t. Because I wanted you. I wanted to be with you. Jase, I… I think I still want that.”
Sean “Tag” Taggert’s fiancee abandoning him and their son, Cody, is a blessing in disguise. Sean had never loved her and only committed to her for Cody’s sake. He was really in love with his best friend and former college roommate Jase, and now he might have the chance to tell him that.
But there was just one problem. Jase didn’t know Sean was bisexual. And Sean had no idea how Jase would react to the news that he had been in love him for three years.
Jase is incredibly hot and I can see why Sean’s attracted to him. He’s sexy and dominant, but also sweet, and caring, and great with kids. Jase is always there for Sean and a good friend. And Jase is also very attracted to Sean. There is no question at all about that.
And damn, they have good chemistry between them. Their relationship isn’t forced or fake at all.
Jase pulled off his t-shirt and tossed in on a chair. Tag stared at him with hungry eyes, and pulled his shirt over his head as well. Jase bit his lip and held back a groan. Tag had more tattoos. There were at least three new ones that he could see, tribal patterns on each pec, and a dragon, low on his left stomach, that halfway disappeared beneath his drawstring pants.
Jase ended up hopping quickly into the bed, when the thought of following the dragon’s tail into Tag’s pants caused in him a very noticeable reaction.
Sean killed the light and climbed in next to him. He scooted over till his shoulder was pressed against Jase’s chest. Jase reached across Tag’s body and grabbed his hand. His forehead touched the side of Tag’s head. He smells like home, he thought. He squeezed Tag’s hand and whispered. “Nite, Tag.”
They are so cute together. Telling Jase is the perfect story to put you in a good mood.
But it’s not completely perfect. The beginning is awkward. Sean comes home early to hear Jase and his then-boyfriend having sex in their room and within a matter of minutes he knows for sure he’s bi and in love with Jase. Just because he got turned on by sex sounds. That felt forced and insta-love, even if most of the story doesn’t.
I also couldn’t picture Lisa as a real person at all. Even though we never actually see her in the story, she plays a huge part. Despite all of the time Sean and Jase spend talking about her and all the time Sean spends thinking about her, she remains an undeveloped plot device instead of a real character.
Despite those flaws, this story is worth 4 stars. It’s a quick, fun read that I highly recommend.
You can read Telling Jase on Smashwords for free. Please let me know what you thought of the book — and this review — in the comments. And go ahead and click on the little heart if you liked this review.
Sometimes we all need a little bit of a pick-me-up during the holiday season. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year and all that, but it’s frickin’ stressful. Between the in-laws and the holiday shopping (not to mention the calories. Yikes!), December can quickly turn into a jolly nightmare. However, The Mistletoe Bride is perfect for getting into the holiday season.