Once Upon A Romance

Must Reads...In Connie's Opinion

New Additons To The List

Spirited Away {P} by Cindy Miles is fairly sigh-inducing. The ghostly hero is masculine chivalry personified and wrapped in a yummy package. The heroine is the perfect embodiment of what she should be made up of; strength, kindness, intellegence, and more. They're quite the match as they work to unravel a centuries old mystery. And fall in love. As I said, sigh-inducing.

The List
(In Alphabetical Order)

Abbie's Outlaw {H} by Victoria Bylin is packed with the healing power of love and faith. There are so many layers and textures to this story and its characters, of their life. It captures the heart with heart.
This book stands on its own, but is a sequel to West of Heaven. It's the second book in the "Midas" trilogy. Take the time to read them both!

Almost An Angel {P} by Katherine Greyle is absolutely charming. All the elements of a good book are here. You've got an angel in training and training and training, the setting of the 1800's, a stuffy earl, a young lonely child, and sparks. Lots of sparks. It all makes up for a fun and heartwarming read. A book I'll re-read in the future.

Alpine for You {M} by Maddy Hunter has it all. First there's the combination of the mystery and intrigue of figuring out who done it with many laugh out loud moments. Then there's Emily, the flustered and beleaguered main character, who is surrounded by a gaggle of eccentric senior citizens, and her hopes of (faint though they are) a budding romance. Throw in the setting of Switzerland and you have a must read.
First in A Passport to Peril Mystery series...
Thanks to author Laura Durham for suggesting the series to me!

Courting Claudia {H} by Robyn DeHart touches the heart. You'll feel empathy with Claudia as she works through her doubts and confusion and self-worth. You'll cheer as Derrick gently shows her how he sees her, thus enabling the caterpillar to emerge from the cocoon as a beatiful butterfly.

Dating Dead Men {C/M} by Harley Jane Kozak is not to be missed! Wollie is honest, caring, and a riot. The story is fast moving and full of action, suspense, and intrigue. There are moments that will tug your heart and many more that will make you laugh out loud. Absolutely a must read!
First in the Wollie Shelley Mystery series...

Don of the Dead {C/M} by Casey Daniels is a must read for the "chick lit mystery" fan. An independent 21st century woman, Pepper, needs to solve the mystery of the 30-year old murder of her current ghostly sidekick, Gus, a mob boss. Add to that her juggling to stay alive and have some sort of love life, too. What more could you want?
First in A Pepper Martin Mystery series

For Love Or Country {H} by Kerrelyn Sparks is wonderful! The colonial time period is not usually to my taste, but this book is different. It's fast paced with something always happening. Wit is interspersed with espionage and intrigue. The characters and their dialogue sparkle with humor and intelligence. A fun way to be reminded of what the founding fathers may have gone through to establish our country.

Get Bunny Love {C} by Kathleen Long made me smile. From the inside out. A romance between an uptight hero who can't relenquish control and a heroine who lives by feng shui and chi? Oh, yeah. And when they meet it's a battle of the wills and oh so fun! Throw in a dog show needing to be planned, and interfering characters and it's an adventure not to be missed!

Getting What You Want {C} by Kathy Love is a touching but accurate story of how one's past, teasing and emotional tormenting by one's school peers, can shape you into the person you are years later. It's a poignant journey for Abby Stepp as she comes home and reluctantly faces her peers, but with the help of former bad boy, Chase Jordan, she learns to forgive and move on. It's a bittersweet story that may hit home with many people.
First in the Ugly Stepp Sister trilogy
The intimate scenes are fairly explicit

Have Glass Slippers, Will Travel {C} by Lisa Cach is utterly charming! This book has it all...laughter (I mean that literally), fears, sadness, anger, and tears. The heroine and hero are perfect for each other. The secondary characters play their part to bring the h/h together very well. A modern day fairy tale!

Heart Sounds {H} by Michele Johns is about a deaf heroine who's thrown into an unexpected and unwanted marriage, but is thankful to have her own home. It's a heartrending yet joyful book of a blossoming love. Though I read this years ago, the book left its mark.

My Lord Beast {H} by Mary Lennox is a must read! The writing is exceptional. There's nothing missing...plot, characters, emotions, setting...everything's there with a vividness that will capture you until the end.

My Own Private Hero {H} by Julianne MacLean has a hero you'd want for your own. Damien, the hero, stands by his honor and principles no matter what he wants and what it costs him, (as does Adele, the heroine). I loved watching as things worked out for them. What a match they are! Thoroughly enjoyable!
While it stands completely on its own, My Own Private Hero is third in a trilogy. The first two books are about the Adele's sisters and are titled, An Affair Most Wicked and To Marry The Duke. I read all three of their stories and had a wonderful time getting to know the characters and going on their adventures with them! Splendid reading!

Of Noble Birth {H} by Brenda Novak is much more than a romance. Itís filled with intrigue and action. There are wounds, both internal and external, that need to be healed amidst emotional turmoil and fears and danger. The characters are vivid as is the writing. I was immersed in the story until the very end. I loved it!

Perfect Rake, The {H} by Anne Gracie is perfect! The hero is yummy (you have to read it to see what I mean - I don't want to give it away!), the heroine is courageous yet vulnerable. Running with her four sisters from a tragic life, Prudence has the misfortune (fortune!) to meet Gideon, Lord Carradice. From then on her world is turned on its axis, never to be the same. She's confused and pushes Gideon away while at the same time is unwillingly drawn to him. He doesn't let that stop him in coming to her rescue. A marvelous romance!

Picket Fence {C} by Kimberly Cates is a book packed with secrets, hurt, feelings of betrayal, wounds of the heart, and loss. This may seem like a heavy read, but the way Kimberly Cates writes, it's not. She focuses on the healing power of love, and how others in our lives can help us see what we're not able to on our own. It's ok to look at something from another viewpoint, it's ok to forgive yourself and others. A great book.

Promise, The {H} by Danielle Steel was my very first peek into the world of adult romance fiction. I cried and rooted for Michael and Nancy through their struggles to find their way back to each other. One of Ms. Steel's first books and as her earlier books are, one of the very best.

Somebody Wonderful {H} by Kate Rothwell is really something wonderful. The hero is the one who is unsure of his place with the heroine, while the heroine is very sure of the hero's place in her life. The descriptions of the people and places are extremely visual, and the story's packed with action and emotions. As I said, Wonderful!

Temptation's Warrior {H} by Gabriella Anderson is nothing short of a feel good romance. The heroine is someone you'd want as a friend, loyal and compassionate. The hero is the type of hero that makes you sit back and sigh over, strong and handsome yet comforting and caring. And everything inbetween is icing on the cake.

Trouble With Harry, The {H} by Katie MacAlister is quirky, fun, engaging, and fast paced. The characters are three-dimensional and fully charged. All of them. This is a wonderful read and hard to put down!

Wanting What You Get {C} by Kathy Love is another heart-tugging story of how our past can shape our present. Ellie Stepp, with her self-image issues, and Mason Sweet, with his drinking problem, captured my heart, my sympathy, and my empathy. I cheered Ellie on and booed Mason a time or two (though by the end I melted at his sacrifice). A touching story layered with old hurts, courage, and healing.
Second in the Ugly Stepp Sister trilogy and my favorite of the three.

Wedded Bliss {H} by Barbara Metzger is a wonderful book filled with humor, tension, true to life characters, and lots of emotion and action. A keeper!

Yours Until Dawn {H} by Teresa Medeiros is teriffic! All the elements for a book to click together are here! Great story, characters, and setting. And I can't forget the twist. A couple of explicit scenes, but on the whole, Wow!

Are any of Connie's must reads on your list?

Let us know... What's on your must read list?

Your Responses and Favorites

"I love reading Georgette Heyer. Her style is wonderful and the books are always uplifting and positive."


"Hey Connie,

Thanks for listing Somebody Wonderful. That little take on it makes my day!"


Kate Rothwell
Somebody Wonderful, Zebra, a Romantic Times Top Pick
Somebody to Love, Zebra, November 2004

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