Warm Up with a New Romance

Warm Up with a New Romance
Hello, and welcome back! I trust you´re all snug and cozy inside while the winter weather makes its presence felt outside. You know Valentine´s Day is only a month away, and I´ve got a couple things this week to get you into the spirit a little early.

One of those things is a delightful little nonfiction book--a first here at Bella´s Romance Books site, How to Write a Love Letter: Putting What's in Your Heart on Paper by Barrie Dolnick and Donald Baack (Harmony Books). The lost art of letter writing may make a comeback after people get their hands on this one. You´ll find chapters on written flirtation, and continuing inspiration. And this isn´t just for the ladies. There is also advice here for you, guys. They list songs you may want to listen to for inspiration, and examples to help you on your way, plus some exercises to flex your writing muscles. I loved it! This one gets four of Cupid´s five arrows.

Next up this week is Sheila Rabe´s newest, "Be My Valentine" (Jove). This tale follows young singer Shelby Barrett on her quest for a husband, preferably her long-term boyfriend, Matt Armstrong. Only Matt rather likes the arrangement they currently have and isn´t ready to take the next step. He begs help from his uncle Lance in convincing Shelby´s mother, Diana to intercede, while Shelby´s latest brainstorm is to send herself flowers from an imaginary man to make Matt jealous. Except there´s a man by the same name who happens to work nearby and when she meets with him to apologize for her neanderthal boyfriend, he´s also interested. This is one of those stories whose premise is great. Except Shelby is so wishy-washy throughout that I wanted to shake some sense into her. And Matt is a bit too stereotypically male and reluctant to wed. I was more interested in her mother´s romance with Uncle Lance, until that ended a tad too conveniently. This one didn´t work for me, so it only earns two of Cupid´s arrows.

The third book this week is "Cupboard Kisses" by Barbara Metzger (Signet Regency). Cristabel Swann does a very impulsive thing when she gives up her teaching job to travel to London upon her uncle´s death. But when she arrives, she finds that the only thing he´s left are debts, gambling away his estate right before his death. The ill Captain Chase, who is the new owner and also new inheritor of another title which Cristabel is unaware of, offers her a position running a boarding house nearby. Later, he visits her in his "other persona," Lord Winstoke. Things run amok from there until Cristabel learns the truth about her new suitor. This story has an entertaining cast of secondary characters, but it´s not a keeper for me. Too many lies and an unconvincing ending for me. This one gets two and a half arrows.

Until next week, happy reading!

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