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  • The Plus One by Sarah Archer

    The Plus One by Sarah ArcherKelly is a successful robotics engineer who is unlucky in love, much to her family's chagrin. She's proud of her master's degree and her prestigious job but her parents and sister would like nothing more than for her to meet a nice man to bring to her sister's upcoming wedding. Kelly can't take the family pressure and builds Ethan, the perfect man - the only exception is that he's a robot. She grows attached to Ethan fast and as the wedding approaches, she wonders how she'll be able to say goodbye once it's over. Or does she have to?

    This is a fun, original romance really caught me up in the story. The idea is a little silly but it's so endearing I couldn't resist but rooting for the characters and hoping for a happy ending for Kelly.

    The Plus One by Sarah Archer ($16.00*, G.P. Putnam's Sons), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.

  • Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

    Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda HolmesWhen Linda Holmes announced on the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast that she was writing a book I squealed with delight, made a note, and stalked pre-order and review pages until I could find a copy. Anyone who has spent time reading her work as a contributor to NPR will recognize the way in which one can almost hear her smile in her writing. The story of Evvie is compelling, and the fact that it is a romance novel feels secondary to the story of these characters and how they deal with the losses that have brought them together. I cannot wait to see what Holmes does next.

    Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes ($26.00*, Ballantine Books), recommended by Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC.

  • Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

    Fix Her Up by Tessa BaileyThere are all sorts of things that need to be fixed in Georgie Castle’s life: her stalled business as a birthday clown, her newly purchased but rundown house, and perhaps most important: her family’s inability to see her as anything but the baby of the family. When injured baseball player Travis Ford returns to town with a reputation and career that both need to be fixed, their attraction is immediate, which turns everything in Georgie’s life on end. A fun, sexy summer read that kicks off a new series from romance author Tessa Bailey!

    Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey ($14.99*, Avon), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

    Ayesha At Last by Uzma JalaluddinAyesha At Last is a completely lovely Pride and Prejudice re-telling that does not shy away from depth. Jalaluddin delves into the subjects of racism, religion, and gender with deft and care and manages to retain the sense of romance and charm all the while. I'd say this skill makes her a perfect choice for Austen retellings. I'd consider this novel a great "what next?" recommendation for fans of The Kiss Quotient or The Wedding Date.

    Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin ($16.00*, Berkley), recommended by Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL.

  • The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

    The Flatshare by Beth O'LearySure, the premise of The Flatshare requires you to suspend some disbelief, but that's true of the very best romantic comedies, isn't it? Beth O'Leary has created a feel-good page turner with characters you'll actually care about. Perfect for summer reading, and begging to be translated onscreen.

    The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary ($26.99*, Flatiron Books), recommended by The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA.

  • Hot to the Touch by Jaci Burton

    Hot to the Touch by Jaci BurtonI have always enjoyed Jaci Burton's books but was glad to see her step into a new setting outside of sports. This romance with a firehouse setting really works. There is just enough romance and drama to keep the book interesting and the story's incorporation of juvenile homelessness and the foster care system adds depth. I was hooked until the end!

    Hot to the Touch by Jaci Burton ($16.00*, Berkley), recommended by Bookmiser, Roswell, GA.

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

    A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid KemmererA tale as old as time with a modern, fresh spin! I loved everything from the smart, empowered characters to the spin on the beast and the curse to the supporting cast of characters--the only problem is a cliffhanger that leaves you on the edge of your seat! 

    A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer ($18.99*, Bloomsbury YA), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

    The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia QuinnPoppy Bridgerton is just finishing her second season and she has successfully avoided marriage. While she's relaxing by the sea at her friend's estate, her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers a hidden pirate's cave, full of booty. Before she can get away, the pirates find her and she's smuggled on board where she meets their dashing captain, Andrew James. Nautical romance ahoy!

    Julia Quinn hasn't written a bad book--all are excellent and this one is no exception.

    The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn ($26.99*, Avon Books), recommended by Bookmiser, Roswell, GA.

  • One Day in December by Josie Silver

    One Day in December by Josie SilverI love a good love story, and this one checks all the boxes: love triangle, star-crossed lovers, tests of friendship, and heartbreak all mixed in.

    Laurie and Jack lock eyes through a bus window one cold day in December, and she is instantly in love. She and her BFF Sarah search for the gorgeous Bus Boy with no success. Laurie has just about come to terms with the idea that it was just not meant to be when Sarah introduces Laurie to her new boyfriend, with whom she is madly in love. You guessed it, it's Bus Boy. Neither Jack nor Laurie fesses up, and the three end up finding comfort and a friendship that lasts years. Laurie marries another man and everyone moves on with life, but it's impossible for her to escape that years-old daydream.

    You'll root for every character in this book and wait with bated breath to see who ends up happy and who ends up together. A great read for fans of Emily Griffith or Sophie Kinsella. 

    One Day in December by Josie Silver ($16.00*, Broadway Books), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.

  • What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera 

    What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera When Arthur goes to New York for the summer, he expects it to be a lot like the Broadway plays he adores. But it's not. Ben, on the other hand, is much more pragmatic, in that native New Yorker way. When they meet, Arthur falls head over heels almost immediately, and his enthusiasm may rub off a bit on Ben...but things don't exactly work out in real life the way they do on stage. With alternating chapters from Arthur's and Ben's points of view, this is another wonderful read from Albertalli and Silvera, and fans of both authors won't be disappointed (and fans of musical theater will love it even more).

    What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera  ($18.99*, HarperTeen), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • Surviving Adam Meade Shannon Klare

    Surviving Adam Meade Shannon KlarePerfect for fans of Friday Night Lights and romance! Claire is the coach's daughter, and after rough break up with her football playing first love and a move to a new town, Claire has sworn off dating, especially athletes. Enter Adam Meade, who has a lot more going on than the popular jock image he portrays. Sparks fly between Claire and Adam, and despite her best intentions, Claire can't seem to resist the boy she most wanted to avoid.  Cute and sweet, but the MVP award goes to Adam's adorable grandma! 

    Surviving Adam Meade Shannon Klare ($16.99*, Swoon Reads), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.

     A Summer 2018 Okra Pick

  • From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon

    From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon The story of a teen filmmaker and her circle of friends--old and new--From Twinkle, with Love is sure to be a summertime hit. Recommended for fans of romantic comedy, both teen and adults readers!

    From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon ($18.99*, Simon Pulse), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • The Pisces by Melissa Broder

    The Pisces by Melissa BroderA mix of weird, wacky, and whoa-did-that-just-happen? Lucy goes through a bad break up and ends up dog sitting for her sister in an LA beach house. Forced to attend a love addiction group therapy, Lucy's life is a constant see-saw of emotion. Jumping back into modern dating, she ends up in Tinder hookup hell, at a loss for what she wants and who she is. A nighttime stroll on the beach brings a new man into her life. But Theo is not the cool surfer bro she mistakes him for, and soon the "plenty of fish in the ocean" idiom has a lot deeper meaning for our love-struck Lucy. 

    The Pisces by Melissa Broder ($25.00*, Hogarth Press), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.

  • The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

    The Wedding Date by Jasmine GuilloryThe Wedding Date is a fun read featuring two adults who throw caution to the wind for a fun weekend but then have to navigate their budding romance while balancing professional lives in separate cities. Skip Valentine's Day and stay home with this book instead!

    The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory ($15.00*, Berkley Books), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

    The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery MartinThis book is perfect for fans of medical dramas, romance, and intrigue. Gray’s Anatomy fans, get ready!

    The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin ($26.00*, Berkley Books), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • Dreaming in Chocolate by Susan Bishop Crispell

    Dreaming in Chocolate Susan Bishop CrispellCharming and hopeful. Once again Susan Bishop Crispell combines culinary wonder and a touch of magic for a delightful book perfect for cozy winter reading!

    Dreaming in Chocolate by Susan Bishop Crispell ($15.99*, St. Martin's Griffin), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

     A Winter 2018 Okra Pick

  • About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis

    About That Kiss by Jill ShalvisThere's definitely something About That Kiss! With her usual flair for romance and laughter, Jill Shalvis serves up a great addition to her Heartbreaker Bay series. Kylie might be more comfortable crafting furniture than kissing sexy ladie's man Joe, but the sparks fly between them when she needs his help on a personal level. Favorite couples from the previous books add levels of warmth and wit, but there's no wrong way to read this series--start at the beginning or dive right into book four--either way you won't regret!

    About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis ($7.99*, Avon Books), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.

  • Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis

    Chasing Christmas Eve: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel by Jill ShalvisIt's never too soon for a Christmas romance, and Shalvis is my favorite author for sexy romance and holiday magic. I love the characters of Heartbreaker Bay, and YA author Colbie was a perfect fit for the sexy and nerdy Spence. From their first meet cute to their first...well, you know, I was entranced with their story. Throw in a sassy cat, meddling friends, and crazy family members, and you have a book that's better than any Hallmark Christmas movie ever!

    Chasing Christmas Eve: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel by Jill Shalvis ($7.99*, Avon Books), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.