Not Your Average Romance

While straight romance reads may not be my favorite, I do like a a little romance thrown into stories. Even Steven James’ thrillers have small elements of romance. I enjoy stories with unique protagonists, stories in which the romance is secondary to the main plot, yet still vital. Below are a few of my favorites because of their uniqueness.

JANE EYRE (Charlotte Bronte) – I love the atypical heroine in Jane Eyre. Not the modelesque heroines we’ve come to expect in modern day stories, but someone plain, someone relatable.

A VOICE IN THE WIND (Francine Rivers) – Another unique heroine–Hadassah certainly wouldn’t win any beauty contests, but that’s what makes the attraction between Hadassah and Marcus Valerian so captivating.

THE MISTRESS OF TALL ACRE (Laura Frantz) – I could probably put all of Laura’s books on my favorite romance list, but I’ll stick to one and choose her most recent. Laura’s musical prose and her exquisite settings are enough to draw me in every time, so her multi-faceted characters and page-turning stories are like the cherry on top.

MY STUBBORN HEART (Becky Wade) – This introduction to Becky’s writing made me a forever fan. The story’s a bit edgier than your typical Christian romance, which is, naturally, why I enjoyed it so much. Her Porter series is also very good, but My Stubborn Heart remains my favorite.

DANCE OF GRACE (Stacy Monson) – The heroine is a one-legged dancer, and the hero is an ex-con. Does Christian romance get more unique than that? Seriously, that’s all I need to hear to know that this is a must-read romance.

Have you read any of these romances? What are your five favorite romances?

Gritty Autumn Reads

I love a novel that’s gritty and filled with real-life situations, and this fall I’ve discovered three books that fit that description, written by three of my favorite authors. I’ve read two already, and they were excellent, and the third comes out in mid-October. I can’t wait to add it to my bookshelf!

Author Ginny Yttrup doesn’t shy away from tough topics, and that includes with her new release, Flames, that deals with adultery. It’s a page-turning story with multi-faceted characters. Highly recommended.

Flames by Ginny YttrupFLAMES
by Ginny L. Yttrup

As a fire archeologist, preserving Yosemite National Park’s natural and cultural resources is Jessica’s job. As a wife and mother, preserving her family’s legacy is her obsession. But when she discovers her husband’s infidelity, betrayal’s flames threaten her family and all she’s fought to protect.

Haley Weaver, a sophomore in high school, is a daddy’s girl. As she enters the throes of first love, timid yet intrigued, Haley also discovers her father’s affair. Stunned and broken, Haley flees into the wilds of Yosemite National Park. If she can’t trust her father, how can she trust her boyfriend—or even love itself?

When wildfire breaks out and Haley is missing, Jessica fears the worst. In a race against time, she searches for her daughter as she deals with the magnitude of what her husband’s affair may cost her family. How can she go on if she doesn’t find Haley in time?

And what will Jessica do to preserve the legacy that matters most?

Kellie Coates Gilbert also takes on tough subjects, and her new release, A Reason to Stay, doesn’t disappoint.

A Reason to StayA REASON TO STAY
(Texas Gold Collection)
by Kellie Coates Gilbert

As the host of her own television news show, Faith Marin works to expose the truth for her viewers. But in her personal life, she’s anchored her world with firm boundaries in order to hide a family history she’d like to forget. Her pro bass fisherman husband Geary’s life is an open book, and unfortunately his busybody family doesn’t know the meaning of boundaries. Deception and crippling differences soon derail their tender relationship, leading Faith to believe her only option is to end the marriage. But while Faith considers whether divorce is the only answer to their issues, tragedy strikes and her heartrending decision is interrupted. With her life in the balance, Faith finds that the one she has been shutting out may be the very one she cannot bear to lose.

Kellie Coates Gilbert takes readers on an emotional roller coaster as she weaves themes of unexpected trial, self-discovery, and forgiveness in this profoundly honest portrait of the tensions that can break a marriage–and the ultimate healing power of love.

And then I’m especially excited about this next book, Dance of Grace (Chain of Lakes series, book 2) by former Inksper, Stacy Monson. I’ve read snippets of the book which have completed whetted my interest, and I’m impatient to read the entire story! (And isn’t the cover beautiful?!)

Dance of Grace by Stacy MonsonDANCE OF GRACE
(Chain of Lakes series #2)
by Stacy Monson

In one tragic moment, dancer Vanessa Jordan lost her family, her career, and her future. She blames God for destroying everything that mattered.

Kurt Wagner, an ex-con with a second chance at life and faith, aches to shed his past and see his dream of helping teens become reality.

The former dancer and the ex-con form an unlikely alliance to build River House, a safe haven for kids on the street. But when Kurt’s past threatens his dreams and his life, Vanessa becomes a target as well.

It will take a stubborn love, the grace of God, and one courageous teen to keep the River House dream alive.

On a side note, Stacy and I are celebrating our new releases, along with several other Minnesota authors, on Saturday, October 17. If you happen to be in Minnesota then, we’d love to meet you!

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