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Chapter 27 - Kissing Tolstoy

It is a truth universally acknowledged (at least by those who know me well) that I rarely read Romance books. I don't scorn those who do, in fact, I never judge what anyone reads. At least they are reading - right? But as one customer explained to me, sometimes you just need a happy ending. So here are some of my favorite "happy endings" and a few romances with not so happy endings. Maybe they will work for you or be a good gift suggestion for the Romance reader in your life.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - This book has a little bit of everything in it - time travel, mystery, history, adventure but, at its core, is a romance. You can follow the adventures and crossed fates of Claire and Jamie Fraser over many years and time periods and across 8 novels and one book of short stories. Gabaldon is working on number 9 in the series.

Just For One Night by Elizabeth Smith - I am lucky enough to see this author often as she is a customer and friend. I love this book, (although any of hers are enjoyable), because it takes place in the Low Country of South Carolina. Elizabeth's heroes are strong, her heroines are plucky and smart, and she almost guarantees a happy ending after the challenges the couples face. A really fun, satisfying romantic read in a well written book!

Suddenly by Candace Camp - This was a recommendation given to me by a customer who knows I don't usually like romances. This is a Regency romance and Candace Camp knows how to create heroes and villains and lovely ladies who defy the strictures of their society. Great for someone who enjoys historical romances.

A Girl's Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber - I was first introduced to Debbie Macomber through her Cedar Cove series. In that series she makes the reader really want to know the characters in the town. This standalone novel is the story of a young woman and her mother-in-law who have both left their deceitful husbands and are trying to find new lives. Luckily they have each other for support.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - I had to throw this in the mix as it is one of my very favorite classics. Anna Karenina is a story of men and women in the late 1800's in Russia. The men have dalliances and it is expected. The women who do the same thing are scorned and castoff. Tolstoy packed quite a lot of social commentary into this very readable tome.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - Could there be a spunkier heroine than Scarlett O'Hara? Often considered The Great American Novel, this tale takes the reader through the hardships of the Civil War and the decline of the south during Reconstruction, all the while giving the reader a strong-willed, bullheaded heroine who toughs it out. The ending can only be what it is (don't want to spoil it for anyone who doesn't know) but there is always hope. Sadly the sequels to GWTW (not written by Margaret Mitchell), are not even close to the original.

Do you have a favorite Romance you would include in this list?

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