I was in the mood for romance novels this weekend and like someone presented with a too-big box of chocolate, my Bookmooch haul allowed me to gorge myself.
I started with New Hampshire Weddings by Rachel Hauck. This collection of three Christian short romance novels (like Harlequins without the explicit sex and with scripture quotes) was set in a small town in New Hampshire and involved members of the Lambert family, which owned the local furniture factory. In the first story, Elizabeth, who has just graduated from MIT is there for the summer working at the family business and living with her grandparents. Her dad had arranged the summer to give her a taste of the real world before she headed to graduate school to study nuclear engineering. Even though her goal for the summer is to get through it, and to earn some money, she meets this guy..... Guess how the story ends. The second story is and isn't a romance. The couple is already married. He is a Lambert and is into his job and sports. He is his wife and a musician. They married right out of high school and had a miscarriage shortly thereafter. Since then they haven't been able to conceive; and early in the book are told that she will never have a baby. The book deals with the months after that disclosure. In some ways it is as predictable and trite as this type of book usually is, but Hauck does manage to show how infertility can affect a marriage. The third story is about the CEO of the furniture factory and a local girl who left town for a fabulous career in New York. They had fallen in love many years ago, but went their separate ways. Now she is home to regroup after quitting a job she hated--but she is determined to get back on the fast track and out of town. Guess what happens.
Stranger in My Arms by Lisa Kleypas is set in the 1800's. Lara is a widow, her husband, whom she did not love and who did not love her, went to India and was later killed in a shipwreck. Then he came home; he had lost weight but looked remarkably like her husband and knew things that only he would know. The only problem is that this man is loving and attentive, and while he clearly wants to bed her, he takes no for an answer. Is he really her husband? The sexual tension between these two positively crackles, and the book has lots of vivid sex scenes but it is a good story if those things don't bother you.
Suddenly You is about Amanda, and starts on her 30th birthday. She is a spinster and decides that what she wants for her birthday is to know a man, in the Biblical sense. She goes to the local high-class madame and arranges for one to show up at her house on her birthday. Jack, the man the madame sends, isn't in that business; rather he is a publisher who happened to mention to the madame (whose book he was publishing) that he needed to meet with Amanda, who happened to be a novelist. Anyway, Amanda gets what she wants for her birthday (and it is described in detail) and then, later, learns who he is. They have their ups and downs in the book, but guess what happens in the end.