It’s that time of year again. The winter doldrums.
Christmas is over. The credit card bills are flooding our mailboxes. And Valentine’s Day is around the corner–and for some of us, VD can be more frightening than Halloween.
So if you need a pick me up, here are two great romantic comedies to warm the cold, dead cockles of your heart.
Or at least, give you some good belly-laughs.
Titles are linked to Amazon and there are no spoilers ahead.
The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, by Bethany Turner. Revell Books/Baker Publishing, October 2017. 296 pages.
Here’s a book you can share with anyone. Your judgmental mother-in-law who hates everything (but mostly you.) Your childhood BFF who joined a new-age cult and took a vow of silence. Your prudish co-worker who always looks like she’s sniffing a turd… chances are they will all crack a smile or twelve. And they might even learn something.
Sarah Hollenbeck married her high school sweetheart who, after college, quickly became stinking rich. He also became a womanizing jerk.
She may have had Prada, but she also slept in a separate bedroom from her husband. And she was only in her mid-thirties.
The book opens with divorcee Sarah looking to put her life back together starting with a Jane Austen-loving book club of misfits.
She becomes a writer of erotic romance–think Fifty Shades set in a kitchen and without the leather and assorted implements of (blush) well, you know.
And she hits the big time, too. Tonight Show level-big time.
But before Sarah can put out a sequel, she becomes a Christian and falls in love with her new pastor, delicious Ben Delaney.
Now her agent is sweating. Her publisher has a contract for a certain type of second book. And some church members at Mercy Church aren’t practicing any mercy.
This is a light, refreshing romance served with a side-dish of hope for all of us–single, divorced, married, widowed, Christian or agnostic. It’s a story of redemption wrapped like rich chocolate around a nutty center.
Author Turner has a strong comedic voice and this is a fast-paced, fun read. I look forward to reading more from this debut author.
Foxy Rating Scale: 4 out of 5 Foxes
Next up, is a “secular” romance that’s equally fun.
In this title, we have another wife who leaves her rotten, cheating husband.
Katelyn Chandler is heading back to Texas to regroup while her twins are away for the summer, mend fences with her mother, and rediscover her passion as an artist.
But Thomas puts a different spin on the same-old woman-starting-over trope. One that’s the stuff of nightmares.
Before Katelyn can hit the road, cheating husband tries to pack his feisty mother, Shirley off to a nursing home. You know, when the cats are away and all that…
Shirley’s not having any of it.
Instead, Shirley decides to leave town with daughter-in-law, and she’s a regular thorn in Katelyn’s car seat. To say nothing of when they hit Little Springs.
The town is as small as it sounds and is populated by a vibrant cast of townies who welcome Katelyn home and start wearing down Shirley and her snooty-patooty ways.
And then there’s Jackson. Katelyn’s first love. A small-town man with a past he’d rather forget–all except the golden time he had Katelyn back in high school.
Can Jackson be the future Katelyn left behind? Or is husband Don the future she left behind? As summer passes, Katelyn has some choices to make.
And Shirley’s got plenty to say about it.
This book is deceptively simple, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Thomas has a lot to say about women who lose themselves in marriage and motherhood; marriage and social strata; and, of course, the importance of place in the world.
This is a quick read that will brighten your day and leave you thinking about your own choices. (Although I take exception to the 40-year-old narrator complaining that her mother-in-law is suffering from the typical forgetfulness of old age. Heavens, the woman is 65 not 95! Ha!)
Foxy Rating Scale: 4 out of 5 Foxes
Thanks for stopping by–happy reading!