The tree has been packed away. You’ve stored your festive baubles. All the leftovers have been eaten. It’s back to everyday reality for the next year until the holiday season strikes again. It can be a little depressing; your to do list has expanded in parallel with your waistline over the holiday season – was that seventh mince pie for breakfast really necessary? (damn right it was!). What you need this January is a fantastic romantic comedy that has you in gales of laughter or something that inspires and makes you feel good. So I have put together some books that are the perfect for dispelling those January blues!
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favourite books of all time. Just thinking about this tale of redemption, family and love, all with a hint of magic, puts a smile on my face. It tells the story of two very different sisters and their journey to happiness. You watch them build their relationship with each other and face their past mistake all whilst finding love along the way. This is a charming read, that despite at times its dark subject matter – there is a domestic abuse story involved – manages to be uplifting and beautiful.
Dragon Kin series by G.A. Aiken – Starts with Dragon Actually
If you like your fantasy romance with a hint of crazy heroine then look no further than the Dragon Kin series by G.A. Aiken aka Shelly Laurenston. Whether Aiken’s heroines’ skills lie with their swords or their minds they are a mixture of intelligent, lethal and cunning. Any man (or dragon) that wants to take these women on best be ready for the ride of their lives. I love books with strong female protagonists and Aiken delivers in spades. This fantasy romance series is a great mix of laugh out loud humour, adventure and just outright lunacy. I love it.
Lingus by Mariana Zapata
I am a big fan of Mariana Zapata and you can regularly find people who have loved The Walls of Winnipeg and Me and Kulti but I never see much talk about Lingus her debut. I can understand why Lingus isn’t perhaps as polished as Zapata’s other works. But I like it. It’s bawdy humour and even the sheer unlikeliness of the story is utterly charming. How many people find their happily ever after at a porn convention? Not many I wager. If you want something that is sure to make you laugh, I recommend the raucous humour of this fun contemporary romance.
Cross my Heart by L.H. Cosway
Cross my Heart by L.H. Cosway is a novella in her Hearts series, although it can be read as a standalone. If read as a standalone, it just means you won’t know the background of the secondary characters in the book. It’s a perfect quick read that will restore your faith in humanity and give you a cute love story at the same time. It tells the tale of a homeless girl who is doing her best to find and keep a job, which she manages through the kindness of the proprietors of a popular restaurant. It’s also where she meets a gorgeous policeman who she can’t stop thinking about. I am not a fan of books where the hero “rescues” the heroine. But, Cross my Heart didn’t have that patronising edge. The heroine worked hard and sometimes a person, man or woman, just needs a little helping hand to get back on their feet. This was a lovely story and if you haven’t tried out L.H. Cosway, it’s the perfect way to sample her work.
Ice Planet Barbarian by Ruby Dixon
I am finishing off my list with my new favourite love: sci fi alien romance. I confess I am addicted and my mission is to get everyone as addicted me. My ultimate favourite series is the Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon, which starts with Ice Planet Barbarian. Is it uplifting and likely to dispel those January fugue? Damn right it is. When the time comes, and you are abducted into outer space you want to know you are going to be loved by a sexy, blue and behorned alien barbarian. Or at least I do. This series is full of sexy and fun alien romances, which can vary between white hot and epically sweet depending on the characters story arc. So, why not combat the January blues by falling in love with a blue alien?
All these books and series have either made me laugh or brightened my day – most of them have done both. It makes starting them perfect for the infamously dreariest month of the year. I hope you love them as much as I do!