ON THE SHELF: Easy reads from the Adult Fiction section

Published 4:00 am Sunday, July 17, 2022

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

This week’s column features romance titles from the New Adult Fiction section.

Bestselling author Bolu Babalola brings us her debut novel called “Honey and Spice.” Kiki Banjo is a sharp-tongued, but soft-hearted Black British woman who is an expert in relationship evasion. Her popular radio show, Brown Sugar, allows her to make sure women of the African-Caribbean Society at Whitewell University do not fall into the trap of “situationships,” players and heartbreak. She has also dubbed Malakai Korede “The Wasteman of Whitewell,” for his running around and player attitude. But when Kiki kisses Malakai in front of every Blackwellian on campus, she finds her show and her reputation in deep trouble. She and Malakai find themselves in a fake relationship in order to save both their reputations and their futures. As they spend time together in amusing study sessions and intimate, late-night talks, will the Queen of the Unbothered and the Wasteman of Whitewell open themselves up to something deeper?

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“Red On the River” is the latest by Christine Feehan. Vienna Mortenson heads up the local search and rescue team out in the backcountry of Nevada. She secretly supports her family and her team with her gambling winnings. Vienna prides herself in being tough and decisive; she isn’t the sort to make a fool of herself over a guy. Zale Vizzini left her high and dry without so much as a backward glance and Vienna vowed not to make that mistake again. Zale’s job constantly puts him in harm’s way and working undercover and disappearing for months at a time isn’t exactly the way to nurture a good relationship. In spite of these challenges, Zale has decided that he really wants to make it work with Vienna — he just needed time to figure out how to be in her life without putting her in danger. Zale takes advantage of a mutual friend’s wedding to make a play for Vienna’s heart. Soon, however, deadly forces will converge, and both their lives will be in grave danger.

The latest from bestseller Elin Hilderbrand is called “The Hotel Nantucket.” Nantucket sweetheart Lizbet Keaton is seeking a new life after her bad breakup with her longtime boyfriend. She has just been named general manager of the Hotel Nantucket — a Gilded Age gem turned shabby eyesore. Lizbet hopes that with her local knowledge and the charisma of her staff the new billionaire owner, Xavier Darling, and the wildly popular Instagram influencer Shelly Carpenter will be impressed. While the Hotel Nantucket appears to be a blissful paradise with a celebrity chef-run restaurant and an idyllic wellness center, there is a lot of drama behind closed doors—including Lizbet’s romantic uncertainty. Both the staff and guests have complicated pasts, and the hotel can’t seem to overcome the bleak reputation earned in 1922 when a horrible fire killed nineteen-year-old chambermaid Grace Hadley. It is said that the maid’s ghost gleefully haunts the halls. Will all this drama doom the chances of the Hotel Nantucket succeeding?

Christina Lauren has titled her latest “Something Wilder.” Lily Wilder grew up in the shadow of her notorious treasure hunter (and absentee) father Duke Wilder. Lily has little patience for the profession and no money in the bank. She is nothing, though, if not resourceful and Lily uses her father’s coveted hand-drawn maps to guide tourists on fake treasure hunts through the red rock canyons of Utah. It pays the bills, but it doesn’t leave any extra money to buy back the beloved ranch her father sold years ago. It definitely doesn’t pay enough to deal with the man she once loved waltzing back into her life with a motley crew of friends wanting to hit the trails. Leo Grady thought mirages were only a thing in the desert, but no sooner had they left civilization than the greatest regret of his life comes into focus through the flickering flames of the campfire. Leo wants to leave the past behind him and reconnect with his first and only love, but Lily is all business. She has drawn a clear line in the sand: it’s never going to happen. As the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, Leo and Lily must decide whether they’ll risk their lives and their hearts for the adventure of a lifetime.

“The Boardwalk Bookshop” is by bestselling author Susan Mallery. Fate brings three strangers to a charming space for lease on the California coast and the Boardwalk Bookshop is born. Part bookstore, part gift shop, part bakery, it’s a dream come true for Bree, Mikki and Ashley. While the business is thriving, their love lives are decidedly…not. Bree was wounded by her brilliant, but distant parents and her late husband’s betrayal, so she has vowed to protect her heart at all costs. Even from Ashley’s brother who sees past Bree’s walls to her true self. — and this terrifies her. Mikki thinks she has divorce all figured out — she has managed to remain on good terms with her ex and her in-laws — but a new man changes the way everyone looks at her as well as how she looks at herself. Ashley has found out that the love of her life never intends to marry. She asks herself if she can live without being a wife if it means she can have everything else she’s ever wanted? Every Friday at sunset, the three friends share a champagne toast on the beach. As their bond grows stronger, they begin challenging one another to be the best versions of themselves.