Fresh and Compelling Romantic Reads

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When Cheryl Benton suggested that, for February, I do my book feature around love, I looked around for fresh and compelling takes on romance. I’ve been in publishing for a looooooong time and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a dry spell for this reliably popular genre. I had to dig through a zillion novels of psychological suspense with their unreliable narrators and grisly murders and gaslighting to find these stories that give us all hope for a more harmonious world.


Susan Wiggs, Map of the Heaet

Susan Wiggs is a superstar in women’s fiction. Her website tagline sums up her appeal: “Laugh. Cry. Dream. Read.” Map of the Heart combines a contemporary widowed mom’s struggle to find love again with a mystery that has its roots in WWII-era France. (Another not-uncommon theme these days!) Get the book.



The Secrets of Paper and Ink

Another dual-era storyline but this time we’re in contemporary Cornwall at a charming but struggling independent bookshop. Ginny hopes saving it will save her marriage; Sophia is trying to start over after a savage betrayal. Is there salvation in the discovery of governess Emily Fairfax’s notebook from 150 years ago? Get the book.


The Strange Journey of Alice Pendelbury

Marc Levy is an international bestseller, a ruggedly handsome Frenchman who writes a unique kind of fantasy where impossible things collide with unforgettable characters. Set in 1950s Europe, Alice takes a life-changing trip to Turkey on the strength of a fortune teller’s prediction and her mysterious neighbor’s insistance.  Get the book.


The Flying Troutmans

There’s romantic love and then there are the mixed emotions that bind a family. For all of us Auntie Mames, Hattie Troutman’s road trip across America with her niece and nephew to find the dad who abandoned them will be irresistible. Get the book.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Gal-entine’s Day to you all!


beth goehring, book reviews, the three tomatoes

Beth Goehring believes, with apologies to Lorelei Lee, that rather than diamonds books are a girl’s best friend…and a boy’s, a man’s and a woman’s. For more than twenty-five years, through Book-of-the-Month Club and its related clubs, she’s sold popular fiction, mysteries, romances, cookbooks, children’s books, play scripts, behind-the-scenes tales of the movies and theatre, and lifestyle books. She lives with her husband in Manhattan.

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