I don't usually identify myself as a reader of romance novels. Every now and again I feel the urge to read a little smut, which my Harry Potter fanfiction provides in spades, but romance? Not really. I don't mind it as a by-product in my novels, but it's rarely what I look for as the driving force in my fiction. Thus, I was a little surprised how swept up I was with this forthcoming book from Jojo Moyes (NB: this title has already been published in the UK and quite probably Australia, but it goes on sale for American audiences in July of this year). People who regularly read the genre may recognize tropes that I am not familiar with, so I don't want to say this book was fresh and new, necessarily, but it was a lot of fun for me. If you're looking for a book that celebrates love, both the grand passions and the steady, every day sort of love, this would be a good one for you. Happy Valentine's Day! (Or as we say in my house, Happy Valium Time's Day!)
The Last Letter from Your Lover: When journalist Ellie stumbles over a love letter in her newspaper's archives in a last-ditch attempt to save her job, she uncovers a romantic mystery for the ages. The impassioned and articulate letter, addressed merely to "Jennifer" and signed "B," asking her to leave her husband for him, inspires Ellie to research just who this pair of lovers might be--and might even give her insight into her own doomed affair with a married man. Meanwhile, the dual narrative introduces Jennifer, who wakes up in a London hospital in 1960 after a car crash--she is the sole survivor, but she has no memory of the events that brought her there. This delightful, compulsively readable novel of old-fashioned grand passions, star-crossed lovers, and even of love that sneaks up on you, offers up elements of both Romeo & Juliet and An Affair to Remember, topped with its own unique dollop of modern sensibilities and style.