Wile away the summer days with a romantic read

Courtesy photo/Metro Newspaper Service

Courtesy photo/Metro Newspaper Service

Ah, romance! What better way to enjoy a summer day? Romance novels, like all genre fiction, include a wide range of characters and plots. The distinguishing characteristic of romance fiction is a focus on two people - often an unlikely seeming pair - as they discover their love for each other. Tragic, comic, historical or contemporary, these stories can be set anywhere in the world and can lead the reader through a maze of characters and subplots to the satisfying conclusion. We have found a variety of stories for you to try this week. For more romance reading leads, try The Romance Reader (www.theromancereader.com) or visit the library's Web page (www.prescottlibrary.info) and check the NextReads Romance newsletter.

Blue Skies, by Catherine Anderson. 2004.

When Carly regained her sight through an operation, she went with a friend to a cowboy bar. Hank Coulter, who had too much to drink, sweet-talked her into the back seat of his pickup, and later passed out. Shamed, Carly ran and then discovered she was with child. A pregnancy could cause her to lose her newfound sight, but she's going to birth the baby. Hank learns of her condition and insists she marry him for her financial stability. Hank redeems himself with his gentleness and patience and love for his wife. Tears flow reading this powerful, emotional story. - Claudette Simpson

Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos. 2005.

This many-layered story explores love in many guises, never losing its suspenseful thread of romance. Cornelia and her childhood friend Teo, Clare and her mother Viviana, are brought together unexpectedly by the "handsome stranger in a perfectly cut suit..." who walks into Cornelia's coffeehouse and sweeps her off her feet. The author explores friendship, parenthood, love and family in a feast of fine writing. Touching, funny and satisfying. - Sharon Seymour

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. 2007

"It wasn't every day a guy saw a headless beaver marching down the side of the road..." Dean Robillard, handsome quarterback of the Chicago Stars, looking for distraction from his famous lifestyle, stops to help the angry woman in the beaver costume. Blue Bailey, penniless and stranded, accepts his offer of help. Sparks fly as the pair travel toward the farm Dean owns in Tennessee. Not only is this a witty, sensual romance but also a story of unconventional familial relationships, trust and forgiveness. Some objectionable language. - Anna M. Smith

The Year of Secret Assignments, by Jaclyn Moriarty. Ages 13 and up. 2004.

When Emily, Lydia, and Cassie, students at an elite private school, are assigned to write letters to three boys from rival Brookfield High, the exchange leads to romance, intrigue, and a certain amount of property damage. The story is told entirely through letters, diary entries, and notes, which work really well here. Australian author Moriarty's breezy style and quirky characters may have special appeal for fans of Ann Brashares' Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. - Amadee Ricketts

The Library Ladies are on the staff of Prescott Public Library.