Skip to main content

Romance in Small Towns - Harlequin (Book Reviews)


Title: Always the Hero
Author: Anna J. Stewart
Genre: Romance


Anna J. Stewart's Harlequin Romance Always the Hero is a pleasing story based in a small-town, Butterfly Harbor. 

Deputy Matt Knight hasn't been around for long and is struggling with lingering issues from his past, trying to make a fresh start. 
When the story starts, he has already made mistakes in his relationship with Lori Bradley. There is a charm in Matt's struggle to do the right thing, as his intentions are always good, but his actions have a tendency to lead to misunderstandings.
In the author's words, Matt is "Burly, a touch of Southern good old boy and a former soldier who has seen more than his share of tragedy. He's as honorable as they come, sometimes to a fault."

Lori's life is more or less an open book for the residents of Butterfly Harbor. Struggling with her body image issues, Lori is a warm person. The author has handled Lori's insecurities sensitively, getting the message across.
Lori is not your typical romance heroine. She is not picture perfect and is a bit of a pushover.

In the process of getting the town back on its feet, Anna J. Stewart weaves a story with Sherrif's department, a difficult mayor, an upcoming festival, and more. 
There are natives who have returned after years, others who are new to the community, and many who have been around all along.  

This was the first book in the series that I read. When one comes across happy couples in a series, it is assumed that they have had their story, and I am sure it would be fun to get glimpses of their happy lives if has read the book in which they were the central characters.
Some have had their stories, others you can look forward to.

Always the Hero is not just a romantic story. It is also about discovering oneself, about issues of body image, confidence, the struggle of war veterans, and most of all, the charm and community feeling of a small town.

*  *  *



Title: Marrying the Wedding Crasher
Author: Melinda Curtis
Genre: Romance

In Melinda Curtis' Marrying the Wedding Crasher we are introduced to Harley O' Hannigan and Vince Messina away from the Harmony Valley, the small town that is the setting for this story and the series.

Harmony Valley was Vince Messina's home at one time, but he has not been back for long. He has secrets that he has kept from his family, there are lies he has told, but now he is expected to be back for his brother's wedding.

Harley O' Hannigan comes with her own baggage of secrets which have her struggling on professional and personal levels.

The fun starts when Harley agrees to attend Vince's brother's wedding as his plus-one.

Harmony Valley with it's nosy, warm and interesting residents, and with the many memories that it holds for Vince makes for a difficult place in which to pretend to be a couple.

The relationship between the two has the attraction that neither can handle which leads to tussles, and repartees, as an effort to mask the attraction.

Marrying the Wedding Crasher has you feeling the pain of a man who took up too much responsibility for his age as a kid, and continues to be crushed by it even as a grown up.
Far-fetched dreams find a parallel in the impossible architectural designs of Harley.

As Vince comes home both figuratively and literally, and as Harley finds the confidence to deal with her problems with Vince's help, Marrying the Wedding Crasher makes for an enjoyable read. 

                   Amazon * Harlequin * Barnes & Noble

*  *  *

Both Always the Hero and Marrying the Wedding Crasher are small-town romances. There is both the coziness of old friends and the suffocation of everyone knowing everyone.
There is the warmth of good people and the jealousies of the mean ones.
And there is the fact that even if one lives so close and assumes that everything about everyone is known, there can be surprises.
All is not what it seems.

I read Harlequin romances after years. There is a charm to these romances. I have gone back to them often. It is like going back to the security of a story that you know won't surprise you too much. You know it will end well and there is a comfort in escaping into it.

*  *  *

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: Lauren Carr's A Fine Year for Murder

Book Title : A Fine Year for Murder Author:   Lauren Carr Series : Thorny Rose Mystery Series (Volume 2) Category :  Adult fiction, 422 pages Genre :  Murder Mystery Publisher :  Acorn Book Services Content Rating : PG ( mild violence and sexual suggestion) My Review The second installment of Lauren Carr's Thorny Rose Mystery Series, A Fine Year for Murder surprises you with the thrill of a mystery that involves the back story of one of the central characters introduced in Kill and Run, the first book in the series, Jessica. Jessica's nightmares and a new twist to an old murder case have her, along with her husband Murphy, going to the scene of the crime, a place where she had spent many a holiday during her childhood days. Once again, the author manages to weave the relationships and emotions with the thrill of solving cases. A Fine Year for Murder introduces many new characters and puts Jessica and Murphy's relationship to test as they struggle to bring together the

Gallardo's Ready for the World - Superstar (Book Review)

Title: Ready for the World - Superstar Author: Charmeljun Gallardo Genre: Young Adult/Coming of Age Book Review The second installment in Gallardo's Ready for the World series starts with the protagonist, Brandon working on his book. The series is set in 1980s when the typewriters ruled and cellphones and social media had not taken over the lives of youngsters. Superstar takes off where the first book, Driver's Education had ended. Brandon has realised that being a writer is his calling and being with his childhood friend, Ally his destiny. Life seems to be sorted. But then when are things in life ever so simple? Well, they are not simple in this case either.  Through the course of this book, we see Brandon struggling with his feelings, discovering things about himself as he goes along,  hanging out with friends,  living through high school, taking a job and finding new interests, struggling with difficult choices and heartbreak... basically living the life of a teenager.

Sunayna Prasad's A Curse of Mayhem

Book Title : A Curse of Mayhem (Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions, Book 2) Author : Sunayna Prasad Category : Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  173 pages Genre : Fantasy Publisher : Amazon KDP Release date:  July 2019 Content Rating : G: There is no mature language or adult content whatsoever. My Review Six months after her first encounter with magic, thirteen-year-old Alyssa encounters the world of magic again. The difference this time is that she herself can perform magic, something she needs to get rid of to live a normal life. Alyssa's home life has improved since the first book as she is now living with her godfather, Alex. The enemy in this one is Errol, a wizard from ages ago, who is trying to find life again through Alyssa. In A Curse of Mayhem, Alyssa struggles to find a balance between her life - home, school, grades, friends and the fight to escape another evil wizard. Talking about the evil wizard, the one from the first book does have a presence on this one too