Category Archives: romance

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld


This novel is a very modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which I have never read but seem to have absorbed through osmosis. Curtis Sittenfeld is an excellent writer who combines a subtle and impressive style with a sharp eye for plotting (see also Prep and American Wife, and there is a real sense of joy and humor fused in the book.

Austen’s cast of characters are relocated to Cincinnati, New York, and the Bay area of California. One guy is the star of a reality show, “Eligible,” which sounds a lot like “The Bachelor.” The characters engage in modern behaviors such as texting each other, drinking too much, and careening towards one another with witty banter and sexual tension.

I found the actual romantic portions of the book very predictable and mostly uninteresting — the eventual pairings seemed inevitable all along, but I had to remind myself that this was Jane Austen, the ur-text of romance. I was much more engrossed in the financial woes of the feckless Bennet family and the heroine’s efforts to drag them, en masse, to solvency.

This was a speedy read that I found surprisingly enjoyable. I grabbed the original Pride and Prejudice from the library and may tackle that next, in an act of literary reverse-engineering. Skimming through the book now, and seeing how Sittenfeld’s reality-show lug Chip Bingley was originally the august-sounding “Mr Bingley” in Austen’s own hand, hints at what both writers have accomplished.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Michael Dunn
Rating: Highly Recommended
Challenge: Published in 2016

Summer reading book prize.

Loves Music, Loves To Dance by Mary Higgins Clark

Loves Music Loves to Dance

Loves Music, Loves To Dance is a classic suspense where Darcy Scott works with the FBI and local police to find a serial killer. Darcy is involved because her best friend was the most recent victim. The killer has already selected his next victim, Darcy. Several characters are introduced, but it takes until almost the end of the book to figure out who the serial killer is. This book is a great suspense with a bit of romance, a great read.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Courtney Roberts
Rating:  Recommended

The Last Anniversary by Lianne Moriarty

The Last Anniversary
I don’t usually go for chicklit but I have a weakness for Lianne Moriarty’s fantastic books with mystery, romance and drama galore, with lots of humor along the way.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Lisa Grossman
Rating:  Highly Recommended

Atlantia by Ally Condie


Atlantia is a futuristic novel where there are two communities, one “Below”, which is Atlantia and one that is “Above”, the water. Most of the book takes place in Atlantia but we learn about the relationship struggles between both communities, between sisters and between people of the communities (including sirens). There is risk, secrets, attraction, love, deception. . . Everything to make this book a captivating read.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Courtney Roberts
Rating:  Recommended

The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

The Kissing BoothThe Kissing Booth was written by a 17 year old, and teens would most likely enjoy it best. Elle is a 16 year old who faces typical teenage challenges. Her first kiss, her first boyfriend, her worries about what to wear and how she looks, concern about losing her best friend. . . It was an easy read and I enjoyed it. I think that teens could really relate to the characters and the challenges and concerns they face. The author was young and she will develop her writing over time.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Courtney Roberts
Rating:  Recommended
Challenge:  Author under 30

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Shades of Milk and Honey

This romance/fantasy is set in England at a time when society was ‘prim and proper’.  Jane is a woman with high skill at the manipulation of Glamour magic. She can manipulate strands from the ether to craft weaves of beautiful displays. She and her sister, Melody, attract the attention of suitors.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Dorothy Anderson
Rating: Recommended