Ah January . . . for many of us that means temperatures so cold we want to drag our blankets around with us when we get out of bed in the morning (anyone notice how popular “blanket scarves” are right now? I’m thinking that started with the whole blanket from the bed thing. Maybe I will start dragging mine along and calling it a scarf).
January is the time we start thinking about treadmills and taxes. We go on literal diets and spending diets to make up for all that Christmas eating and shopping. It feels like the cold will last forever and summer vacation is forever away. For many, January is sometimes just tough. I’ve always thought it would be a wonderful month to take a cruise to the Caribbean, but since that’s out of financial reality for many of us, I have an escape of a different kind to suggest.
A little romance. Found easily on your kindle, or in paperback for those who prefer. Grab one of these books, light the fireplace, wrap up in your blanket scarf, and pull out your stash of after Christmas clearance chocolates. For a few hours, at least, January might just be a little more fun.
Broken Things to Mend by Karey White
Karey is the talented author leading off the Power of the Matchmaker series which I am fortunate to be involved with later this year. This heartwarming story is set in the town of Sisters, Oregon–a place I promise you’ll want to visit yourself after reading. Though the Deschutes National Forest is an important part of this story, don’t expect to see any glistening vampires roaming the woods. But rugged firefighter Silas Toller is a worthy, if reluctant, hero when it comes to rescuing Celia, who is suffering under the weight of some of the worst heartaches imaginable.
I adored everything about this story. I loved the small town feel and the way Celia’s background and story unfolded. I love that not everything worked out perfectly for the characters–even at the very end. I appreciated the moments of joy each experienced and felt like their sorrows were very true to life. And best of all, the ending was full of promise and hope–exactly what a romance novel should be. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves happily ever afters and appreciates seeing the struggles and reality along the way. Five Stars.
You can get Karey’s book here.
Power of the Matchmaker by Heather B. Moore
If you’re looking for a shorter read, this moving novella can be read in one sitting. Mae Li’s story is the prequel to the Power of the Matchmaker series of twelve novels that will be released, one per month, in 2016. Mae Li’s story will truly transport you to another time and place (one that makes current day January look pretty good!), and her love and loss will tug at your heart. This beautifully written novella shows how the magic of Pearl’s (Mae Li’s) matchmaking began and the price she paid in order to help others through the centuries find their true loves.
Power of the Matchmaker is on sale for .99 and can be purchased here.
Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
This fairy tale was different from any I’d read previously, and so many of the passages/sentiments expressed in it kept me thinking for days afterward. The writing is gorgeous, and Keturah’s journey seemed much more about life and an appreciation of and for it, then about her ultimate appointment with Lord Death. I wouldn’t qualify this story as a true romance, but there was plenty to love about it.
You can find Keturah and Lord Death here.
Loving Helen by Michele Paige Holmes
And finally, if you haven’t read Loving Helen, and you’re on a spending diet like me, it’s on sale for .99 this week. Having written this story, I am of course, rather partial to it. Loving Helen parallels the time frame of my first Hearthfire romance Saving Grace, showing some of the same events from Helen’s perspective. Her love story is more tender while Grace’s was somewhat volatile. But each have their fun moments, one of my favorites being at the very end of Loving Helen.
You can find it here.
A little romance can certainly put a spark in an otherwise dreary January. I hope one–or all–of these help you through the coldest of winter days. And I’d love to hear your suggestions as well. Happy reading.