Olivia, Education Sales and Services Manager, Emeritus
Favorite Genres: Locked room mysteries, Regency romance novels, WWII historical fiction, and stories by and about women
Favorite Authors: Taylor Jenkins Reid, Louise Penny, Celeste Ng, Tessa Dare, Sylvia Plath, Kristin Hannah
This is the perfect summer read. It’s been fifteen years since teenagers Eva and Shane spent seven days together, cementing a surprisingly deep bond. And when fate brings them together again, their intense feelings for one another rush back to the surface. But can the pair find happiness in this new summer romance? Or are they doomed to repeat the past? You won’t want to miss this sexy smart read!
I started this book knowing it would be great, but I was unprepared for just how enthralling it would be. As author Gerry Andersen recovers from an accident, he begins to lose his grip on reality, believing himself to be a victim of a cruel prank. You’ll fall down the rabbit hole with Gerry, trying to discern dreams from reality. Because how could the fictional character from his novel be standing at the window?
You need this book in your life. This first book in the Immortals After Dark series is sheer perfection. Lachlain has been waiting hundreds of years to find his fated mate, only to find out she is part vampire and part Valkyrie. Can these two overcome their prejudices and find love and happiness? Of course, the answer is yes, but you will love the wild ride of a journey to get to Lachlain and Emma’s happily ever after.
In this charming and laugh-out-loud romance, Duncan wants to get Beatrice to her destination safely and quickly. Beatrice, on the other hand, seeks every opportunity for adventure. And the two have quite a lot of adventures, particularly of the steamy kind. I adored this open-door romance — if you’re looking for an entertaining escapist read, this is it! Be on the lookout for lots of 80s movie references...
It’s fair to say that Eve Brown crashed into Jacob’s life. And I mean that literally. She literally hit him with her car the first day they met. But from there? Eve and Jacob fall in love as they realize they’re actually not that different from one another. Hibbert has truly hit her stride here, making Eve my favorite of the Brown sisters and this book my favorite of the trilogy!
Annoyed coworkers turn pretend exes who maybe, just maybe, turn their fake relationship into something real? Sign! Me! Up! The Ex Talk is funny, creative, and sexy. It’s a great look at modern dating that keeps the relationships feeling realistic while also keeping the reader invested in Shay and Dominic’s happily ever after. Fair warning, though: you will want to listen to all of the NPR and podcasts by the time you finish reading!
When stoic and self-reliant Spring encounters a stranded stranger, she takes Garrett into her home to recover. But no one could predict that Spring and Garrett would fall in love, despite their many differences and external forces working against them. This refreshingly diverse historical Western romance centers the best of these respective genres, for a delightfully well-rounded story.
What if you’re the third generation of terrible mothers? And what happens when the daughter your husband so adores grows violent, and you’re the only one who sees it? This haunting debut novel will keep you enthralled ‘til the end’s breathtaking conclusion as you’re forced to question who to believe, what is ‘good’, and how you could manage an unbearable loss. Perfect for fans of Sophie Hannah.
If a young female PhD student is murdered in the 1960s, and Harvard rushes to cover up the investigation, would anyone bother to find the truth? Decades later, Becky Cooper seamlessly blends the investigation, systemic academic sexism, and the wild (and not so wild) theories as to ‘whodunnit’. This remarkable debut reinvents the true crime genre, as Cooper pursues this story to its shocking conclusion.
This is the remarkable (and mature) retelling of Beauty and the Beast you never knew you needed. Here we follow Feyre, stuck in the land of faeries to honor a contract. As she learns more about her new realm, she falls in love with the High Lord Tamlin, and discovers an evil curse plaguing the lands. This gorgeous, sexy, and captivating novel is a remarkable start to a still ongoing series.
Kate Quinn has another smash hit! I adored this WWII novel that follows three courageous and whip smart women working at Bletchley Park. Quinn does a fantastic job of balancing the historical details (all three women are based on real life code breakers!) with a fantastic story. I laughed, cried, and breathlessly tore through this book to learn the truth of a traitor amongst the war heroes. I can’t recommend this enough!
Shanti dreamed of becoming queen, and finally achieved her goal in marrying King Sanyu. But how can she make a difference when her husband tries to run away from his royal duties? Can a king and queen’s arranged marriage lead to true love and a better life for all? Alyssa Cole’s newest is sexy, funny, and clever with a timely political message: when everyone gets a seat at the table, the world can truly change.
This is the gripping story of one man’s quest to make a better life for his children, and the systemic inequities that force him to keep one foot in the world of crime. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Beauregard agrees to one last job. But when the heist goes sideways, Beauregard’s life implodes. With a story that’s vivid, powerful, and well-done from start to finish, you won’t forget about Blacktop Wasteland.
Who would murder an elderly man in the City of Light? Armand Gamache knows that the hit and run of his friend was no accident, and his family and colleagues must work together to unravel a nefarious plot. This well-written and surprising mystery seamlessly blends the past with the present, truth and lies, family and enemies. While part of a beloved series, each of Penny’s books can be read as a stand-alone.
Disastrous first impression? Check. Focusing on your career and neglecting your love life? Double check. Falling head over heels for your super hot costar? Triple check! I loved this fresh workplace romance with a full cast of diverse characters, timely subject matter, and plenty of hot romancing. Ashton and Jasmine’s relationship is realistic, engaging, and keeps the pages turning through this quick read.
Sumiko, a new lawyer, finds her day shattered by a formulaic phone call that sets her down a twisted path to learn the truth of her mother’s death. This breathtaking novel is many things at once: a love story, a murder mystery, an exacting look into the Japanese legal system, and a generational family drama. Scott finds a fantastic balance between beautiful and haunting, hope and despair, anger and love.
Lovingly created by interviewing Cubans in both Cuba and Miami, this cookbook is a breath of fresh air. Never voyeuristic, it is instead an ode to an island whose cuisine celebrates its history and the breadth of cultures and people who call Cuba home. Take care to read the stories behind the recipes and make sure to try the panquecitos, vaca frita, and (my personal favorite), the ropa vieja!
Friends to enemies to fake friends again? Daphne (a true delight from start to finish) isn’t sure what to make of Drue’s reappearance, but who can say no to a wedding on Cape Cod? Big Summer is funny, endlessly entertaining, and full of heart. I fell hard for this book and could not put it down! This might just be the most perfect ‘summer beach read’ ever.
A simple blackmail case? What could go wrong! Well, when the Sternwood daughters are involved, anything and everything will go wrong. Iconic PI Philip Marlowe is the perfect noir detective: sharp, witty, and always three steps ahead. While his books are very much a product of their time, there’s a reason that Raymond Chandler mysteries set the bar so high. The Big Sleep is the perfect summertime mystery.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a reader in possession of a great Austen retelling, must fall head over heels. This wonderful novel breathes new life into the beloved story with a diverse cast, gender swapped Elizabeth and Darcy, and a contemporary storyline. Full of heart, clever plot details, and incredibly lush and sensuous food descriptions, Austen fans will adore this new series.
What happens when a by the book caseworker meets a group of misfits? Absolute gold. I loved this whimsical tale of an orphanage on an island that homes magical youth. I highly recommend this book even if fantasy isn’t your go-to genre. This very British novel has so much heart, wisdom, and a happy ending that proves you can always find your family.
What does it take to pass? Twins Stella and Desiree lead parallel lives, until Stella one day disappears without a trace. While a tad slow to start, this novel swept through me as it swept through the years, with both women living with the ramifications of their choices. Brit Bennett’s writing keeps getting better and better, making her one to watch. Highly recommended for fans of Little Fires Everywhere.
Cici is determined to bring her Taiwanese grandmother to America and bravely enters a cooking competition to raise enough money. But Cici’s cooking partner only wants to cook American food, and, having recently emigrated from Taiwan, Cici isn’t familiar with American food. With a little courage and gumption from the great Julia Child, Cici learns to embrace her past and her future while cooking some *delicious* meals!
Only Erik Larson could encapsulate Churchill’s first year as Prime Minister. This detailed, well-written tome provides incredible context for Churchill’s defiance, his loyalty, and his love of England. There are new details and stories here for both casual and regular readers of WWII fiction and nonfiction. This is a story of not just Churchill, but of England coming together and standing strong against unspeakable evil.