Living in Florida, I hope this April brings more showers. However, what is bringing in some slow burn books that are sure to keep you busy in the heat or rain. From the actual City of Love and romance to the lights of Los Angeles, these books take you on a journey. I also love the blend of not your typical kinds of heroes on this list.
Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle
Maybell Parish has always been a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. But living in her own world has long been preferable to dealing with the disappointments of real life. So when Maybell inherits a charming house in the Smokies from her Great-Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start.
Yet when she arrives, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the house falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s as grouchy as he is gorgeous–and it turns out he has a very different vision for the property’s future.
Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than the other dying wishes Great-Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls, and as the two slowly begin to let their guard down, they might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.
This was such a cute, heartwarming novel, it surprised me. I expected more sadness but was rewarded with light, witty banter mixed in with some serious life altering moments. This is probably one of my favorites of the year. A grumpy hero, mistaken identities, a heroine with too many goals but lots of willpower. Maybell has always had a bad hand dealt to her but she still always rolls with the punches. The definition of an underdog, she’s just waiting for a chance to finally live life on her own terms and then it finally happens. In the form of an old aunt, a will and a dilapidated mansion, Maybell may just have found what she’s always been looking for. That’s if Wesley doesn’t stand in her way, the groundskeeper who has also inherited the mansion. As they navigate the mansion, a hoarder’s dream, they learn how to navigate each other and this slow burn of a novel introduces a romance that will dig right into your soul and never let go.
Kisses and Croissants by Anne- Sophie Jouhanneau
Mia Jenrow has always known she’s destined to be a professional ballerina. In fact, it’s in her blood—according to family legend, her too-many-greats-to-count-grandmother once danced for the Paris Opera and was painted by Degas himself! Her parents say it’s just a fantasy, but to Mia it’s so much more than that. It’s her fate.
Mia is planning to spend a magical summer in France pursuing her dream, but as she pirou-ettes into Paris, she soon realizes it may be a bit more complicated than she hoped. For starters, there’s her rival, Audrey, who will stop at nothing to show her up. There’s her ballet instructor, whose impossibly high standards push her to the breaking point. And then . . . there’s Louis. Devastatingly, distractingly charming Louis. He’s eager to show Mia his city—and Mia is more than happy to hop on his Vespa and wrap her arms around him as they pass the gleaming lights of the Eiffel Tower.
Mia’s summer was supposed to be about ballet—but there’s a reason Paris is called the City of Love.
Follow these up and coming ballerinas as they navigate life in France. The description is so rich you will feel like you’re enjoying a chocolate croissant right by the Eiffel Tower with them. Set in the highly competitive world of professional dancing, we follow Mia as she navigates this new territory far away from home. Mia knows exactly what she wants and after obtaining a place in the French summer ballet programs, she hopes to audition for a professional company. However, landing in the city of love she’s taken in by the new and chic atmosphere. Mia wants to enjoy her summer but will it come at a high price? I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of any ballet rom coms as it definitely brings all those feels.
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan
Naomi Grant has built her life around going against the grain. After the sex-positive start-up she cofounded becomes an international sensation, she wants to extend her educational platform to live lecturing. Unfortunately, despite her long list of qualifications, higher ed won’t hire her.
Ethan Cohen has recently received two honors: LA Mag nominated him as one of the city’s hottest bachelors and he became rabbi of his own synagogue. Low on both funds and congregants, the executive board of Ethan’s new shul hired him with the hopes that his nontraditional background will attract more millennials to the faith. They’ve given him three months to turn things around or else they’ll close the doors of his synagogue for good.
Naomi and Ethan join forces to host a buzzy seminar series on Modern Intimacy, the perfect solution to their problems–until they discover a new one–their growing attraction to each other. They’ve built the syllabus for love’s latest experiment, but neither of them expected they’d be the ones putting it to the test.
This was even better than the first, The Roommate, and it does not need to be read in order. I do highly suggest you read the first as it was fun and shares lots of insight into the development of our heroine, Naomi. Naomi is introduced as our resident sexpot who is looking to expand her own brand. However, her past and awesome looks are a detriment to her new goal of lecturing in higher education. In walks a young rabbi and takes a chance on her and they develop a modern intimacy course that sets the congregation and themselves on fire. I loved the idea of having Naomi, an alpha in all senses, matched with a beta hero, Ethan, her complete opposite. I think this type of opposites attract was endearing, Naomi learned so much from Ethan and Ethan drew strength from Naomi. This book also explores morality and the Jewish faith in detail which is a career hazard for Ethan but I felt that it added a new and different dimension to the novel. I also learned a lot while enjoying the witty banter thrown back and forth between the two. I highly recommend for anyone looking for out of the ordinary main characters.
Southern Heart by Natasha Madison
Coming back home was supposed to be normal.
Not that my life had ever been normal, but it was getting there.
Then I opened the door and found a man—broken, bloodied, and fighting for his life.
I don’t know why, but I said I would take care of him. I had to. Needed to.
He was a mystery, showing up from out of nowhere. But he might have already stolen my heart.
The only thing I have ever wanted in my entire life was to forget who I was. Joining the military helped me do this.
Keep your head down and glide through life was my new motto. No strings, no relationships. Nothing.
Everything was working until a knock at the door had me face-to-face with the reason I was running.
So I ran—I fell into her arms, and she fell into my heart, but I know better than to think it’ll last.
Some secrets have a way of coming back and haunting us, no matter how much we try to bury them.
Natasha’s southern series is bringing the heat, Chelsea stumbles upon a body on her first day back at home. She had no idea her fresh nursing degree was going to be put to use so quickly. As Mayson heals from his injuries, Chelsea is the only one who can get him to open up about what happened to him. As their relationship heats up, so does the hunt for Mayson by people who seriously want him gone. It’s a small town romance with plenty of suspense and a twist I didn’t see coming.
What are you diving into this month?