These are the novels where the one and only isn’t the obvious choice. True love happens when it’s least expected and usually with the unexpected. Ethnicity, emotional or physical challenges, gender, and class don’t have to match, but the chemistry does. What gets our attention is the element of surprise, followed by the ah-ha moment when we realize that the author got it right when she perfectly paired the two main characters together.
Pamela Morsi’s novel, Runabout is set in Oklahoma in 1916. The red-haired heroine’s reputation had been tarnished. Just when she’s feeling crappy, her good friend, Luther, who happens to be part Indian and Irish, comes to her rescue. She’s not your typical gorgeous heroine, but he’s the hunk that sees her inner beauty and saves the day. When sparks fly, it’s a win for everyone.
In Vicki Lewis Thompson’s novel, The Nerd Who Loved Me, we have a hero and heroine who are stark opposites. When the sexy, single parent, and Los Vegas showgirl, Laine and super smart, nerdy casino accountant, Harry, set off on an adventure to protect Laine from her angry ex-boyfriend, all kinds of shenanigans ensue. There’s nothing like danger to draw the most unlikely people together.
Second-Chance Sweet Shop by Rochelle Alers centers on the budding relationship between pastry chef, Sasha Manning, and divorced, single father, Dr. Dwight Adams. They both have their issues, but it’s not about the color of their skin. Halleluiah! Here, the real sweet treat is that this is an interracial love story, where love is the theme and not their race. Yes!
Saharra Sandu’s novel, Spice Island (A Mama’s Travel Agency Novel) focuses on African American surgeon, Angela, and the Tanzanian vacation she is coerced into taking with her cousin, Queisha. The good doctor’s safety is in jeopardy from the beginning of this action-packed, cross-cultural journey. As the danger escalates, a mysterious and wealthy smuggler, Amir, comes to the rescue. Should she trust this exotic, handsome hunk? After all, he’s a world away and not her type, which may be precisely what the doctor needs to cure all that ails her.
Kiss An Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, has main characters that come from two different worlds-uptown and circus town. Yikes! Add an arranged marriage to the mix, and you know there’s going to be trouble. Did I mention that it’s a traveling circus? When these opposites are forced together, you know the journey to HEA will be super rocky, with more sparks than a July 4 celebration. Snap-on your seat belt and enjoy the ride.
You Deserve Each Other, written by Sarah Hogle, has an engaged couple, Naomi, and her doting fiancé, Nicholas, secretly detesting each other and scrambling to figure a way out of the wedding. This is a reversal of the enemies to lover theme. It’s more like a lovers to enemies story that initially has you understanding that these two people do not belong together. However, once they discard their outwardly smiling, happy masks and reveal their true selves, something that looks like love emerges. Surprise!
These couples may wrangle and tangle before Cupid’s arrows finds the way to their hearts. Despite their one step forward and two steps backwards tango, they finally move in perfect harmony showing that real jewels can show up in unexpected wrappings.