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    Book Club in a Bag

    Love is in the air

    by Sonya Guha-Thakurta - 0 Comment(s)

    Cupid

    Well, it's that time of year again... cupid (or Hallmark) strikes, and romance, chocolate, or heartbreak ensues. In honour of LOVE, lovers, romance, and heartbreak, we'd like to recommend a few timely reads for Valentine's Day. Whether you're in the mood for sweet romance, bitter heartbreak, or steamy erotica, you can find something new to read from our list!

    April and Oliver

    Tess Callahan

    The sexual tension between April and Oliver, the best friends since childhood, has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April's brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April - and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. Even as Oliver attempts to "save" his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend and herself, it soon becomes apparent that Oliver has some secrets of his own--secrets he hasn't shared with anyone, even his fianc . But April knows, and her reappearance in his life derails him. Is it really April's life that is unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral... towards salvation.

    The Forbidden Rose

    Joanna Bourne

    Falling in love is the last thing an English spy and a French aristocrat who heads up a covert network helping guillotine-bound victims escape should do. But when William Doyle discovers Marguerite de Fleurignac hiding in her burned-out chateau and realizes she is key to his goal, they head for Paris and are swept into a whirlwind of violence, treachery, and revolutionary fanaticism that threatens their missions and their lives, as well as their impossible but unavoidable love. Verdict With exceptional characters, brilliant plotting, a poignant love story, and clear, realistic descriptions, this engrossing, provocative romantic adventure could easily make revolutionary France a more popular setting than it has been recently. Intriguing, refreshing, and rewarding. Bourne (My Lord and Spymaster) lives in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia.

    Beauty

    Susan Wilson

    Revisionist fairy tales with a message are definitely a '90s thing, and Wilson's lightweight but strained debut is a retelling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast. The latter is Leland Crompton, a rich recluse who lives on a remote estate in New Hampshire's White Mountains, writing mysteries under the nom de plume of Harris Bellefleur and hiding his grotesquely deformed face. Yet family tradition dictates that his portrait must be painted, and Alix Miller, aka Beauty, is the latest of her family of artists to accept the commission. Of course, Alix, who narrates, has an unworthy boyfriend-oblivious and selfish photojournalist Mark. And, of course, she is ready for true love. Wilson spins her tale with some skill, but her stilted dialogue is clunky with platitudes ("You know that the friends of adversity are friends forever"). Leland is an appealing character, however. With his generosity and his gracefulness as he skates, he demonstrates that real beauty is active, found in movement and deed, not in the static medium of a portrait. His self-effacing humor is refreshing: When posing for Alix, he quips, "As you can see, I have no bad side." In opting for a weeper of an ending, however, Wilson pushes her love story over the brink into the kind of bathos that only romance addicts will embrace.

    Dangerous Pleasure

    Lora Leigh

    Abram Mustafa faces the test of his life and his heart when his terrorist father kidnaps Paige Galbraithe, the one woman who has always been able to touch Abram's soul. With Paige's life now in danger, Abram knows that his plans for escape from the only home he has ever known have suddenly become more imperative than ever.

    Paige has always wondered if the dark, cool and mysterious Abram el Hamid Mustafa is hiding a wicked side. . . . a wicked side that will allow her to explore the kind of pleasure she has dreamed of. But when she is kidnapped by his father, she finds that she must trust Abram with more than her fantasies. Paige must trust him with her life... and her heart.

    Secret, dangerous desires will bind Abram and Paige together as the forces surrounding them try to tear them apart.

    What I Did for Love

    Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    How did this happen? Georgie York, once the costar of America's favorite television sitcom, has been publicly abandoned by her famous husband, her film career has tanked, her father is driving her crazy, and her public image as a spunky heroine is taking a serious beating.

    What should a down-on-her-luck actress do? Not go to Vegas . . . not run into her detestable former costar, dreamboat-from-hell Bramwell Shepard . . . and not get caught up in an ugly incident that leads to a calamitous elopement. Before she knows it, Georgie has a fake marriage, a fake husband, and maybe (or not) a fake sex life.

    It's a paparazzi free-for-all, and Georgie's nonsupporting cast doesn't help. There's Bram's punk-nightmare housekeeper, Georgie's own pushy parent, a suck-up agent, an icy studio head with a private agenda, and her ex-husband's new wife, who can't get enough of doing good deeds and saving the world-the bitch. As for Georgie's leading man, Bram's giving the performance of his life, but he's never cared about anyone except himself, and it's not exactly clear why.

    Two enemies find themselves working without a script in a town where the spotlight shines bright . . . and where the strongest emotions can wear startling disguises.

    Happy Valentine's!

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