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2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

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Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: All You Need Is Love (and a Mystery and Some Action/Adventure and a Ghost Story and...)

Since Valentine's Day is on Monday, today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is, not surprisingly, a love freebie. My mind always blanks on freebies and I'm especially stumped on this one because I'm just not much for romance. In fiction, anyway (in real life, I've been married to my college sweetheart for 24 years). I mean, I don't mind a love story; I just don't want it to be the only story in a book, you know? Still, there are a few romance novels I've seen around lately that I wouldn't mind reading. What do the books on this list have in common? They're light, sweet, and funny (at least as far as I can tell—if I'm wrong, let me know, please). Swoony, without being smutty (I hope). I'm a right prude, so I don't want anything more than that, thank you very much!

If you want to join in the TTT fun, click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the details.

Top Ten Romance Novels I Might Actually Read

1. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood—This love-in-the-lab rom com sounds super fun (even though I'm not a fan of fake dating tropes). It's gotten lots of rave reviews all over the book blogosphere. Plus, just look at that cover. It's adorable!

2. Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis—Two strangers trapped in a snowstorm together fall in love in this "heartwarming" novel. This one got a lot of buzz around the holidays. Sounds like a fun Christmas read for the end of the year.

3. What You Wish For by Katherine Center—I've enjoyed several of Center's novels, so I'm definitely up for this one. Set in a school, it's about an unrequited romance between a librarian and her new principal that gets a second chance to blossom.

4. So Not My Thing by Melanie Jacobson—Jacobson's sweet, sassy romances are always entertaining. Her newest is the first in a duology set in the author's native Louisiana. It's an enemies-to-lovers story about a pop star and the woman whose most humiliating moment was plastered all over the Internet because of him.

5. Hope Between the Pages by Pepper Basham—This historical novel features a woman who helps run her family's 100-year-old bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina. When she discovers an old, forgotten love letter in the store's attic, it sets her off on a treasure hunt that just might end with a romance of her own.

6. A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund—I've enjoyed other books by Hedlund, so I might be up for this one. It's the first in a series about a group of British women who board a bride ship bound for British Columbia in the 1860s in search of escape, improved circumstances, missing family members, and—oh, yeah—love.

7. An Impossible Imposter by Deanna Raybourn—Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat since it's more mystery than romance. It does, however, feature one of my favorite literary couples, so there ya go...This is the seventh installment in the Veronica Speedwell series, which is tons of fun. In this newest outing, Veronica and Stoker are tasked with deciding if a man with amnesia is really a client's long-lost brother.

8. The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson—I'm not someone who enjoys camping (although sleeping in an RV is infinitely more appealing than braving a tent), but this love story about a woman whose camper makeover mirrors the transformation of her life, looks like a cute, happy read.

9. Otherwise Engaged by Joanna Barker—I loved Barker's debut Regency romance, so I'm definitely up for more. This one features a spunky woman who saves a child's life, thus attracting the attention of her handsome older brother. As the two fall for each other, she must tell him the unfortunate truth—she's already engaged to marry another man. 

10. A Lady's Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett—The plot summary of this historical romance is giving me Deanna Raybourn vibes (see #7). It's about a brilliant female scientist in Victorian England who is on a secret mission for the Crown. She's assigned a bodyguard, who turns her head more than she'd like.

There you have it, ten romance novels I might actually read. Might. We'll see. Are you a romance novel lover or hater? Which are your favorites? Based on the list above, what titles would you recommend to me? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I'll gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!  


  1. The Love Hypothesis has been on lots of lists this week. I hope you like it if you read it.

    My post:

    1. Yes, it's a very popular book! I hope I enjoy it as well.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

  2. Since you visited my blog already today, you know romance isn't my first choice of reading material either. I enjoy less than traditional circumstances and characters--though you probably couldn't tell that from my list.

    An Impossible Imposter has been on my radar. So Not My Thing and A Lady's Formula for Love also look great.

    Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.

    1. The Veronica Speedwell series is really fun. Some of the books are a little "spicier" than the others, but overall, they're PG-13 rated books. Just the way I like it!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cheryl!

  3. I want to read The Love Hypothesis as well. I've heard there are some graphic sex scenes in it, but I'm not sure if it's true. I'm one to find out on my own rather than take someone else's opinion because what might be too much for them may not be for me. I can let you know when I read it. I'm hoping to read it next month. *crosses fingers*

    My TTT

    1. Oh, no! Really? I hope not. I can handle a little bit of "spiciness," but I don't want graphic love scenes. Definitely let me know what you find out. THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS looks really fun and it's been getting rave reviews. I'll be sad if it's too graphic for my tastes!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jenni!

  4. I really enjoyed The Love Hypothesis - I hope you get to read these eventually!

    1. It's a very popular book, apparently! It just looks super cute.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leah!

  5. I really want to start the Veronica Speedwell series!!! I have the first 5 books and really need to get on it! It’s a goal for this year.

    My Top Ten

    1. It's SUCH a fun series! The books are funny, engrossing, and just entertaining. I hope you enjoy the series when you get to it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leslie!

  6. I read the first three, and they were great. Eight Perfect Hours and What You Wish For had romantic sub-plots, but I felt they leaned more fiction with the heroine's journey being the bigger part of the story. Still great though.

    1. Perfect! I definitely prefer books where the romance takes a backseat to the larger plot, be it a mystery, heroine's journey, ghost story, whatever. I'm much more likely to pick up a book marketed as women's fiction than one labeled a romance.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

  7. The Happy Camper sounds really good! You've got some interesting sounding books on this list.

    Here's mine:

    1. It sounds cute, doesn't it? I hope it's as happy and fun as it seems.

      Thanks for popping in, Lucy!

  8. I LOVED Hope Between the Pages, it is amazing!!! It is not strong on the romance, I was gushing about the book on my blog (and every where else once I read it!). I also want to try So Not My Thing. Happy reading :)

    1. That's perfectly fine! In fact, I prefer books where the romance is a subplot, not the main attraction. I have HOPE BETWEEN THE PAGES. I just need to make time to read it. It seems like a super fun read.

      I hope you enjoy SO NOT MY THING if you read it. I know Melanie in real life and she's a gem :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

    2. I'll have to make it a point to read it sooner rather than later ;)

  9. A Lady's Formula for Love sounds really fun, I'll have to look that one up! And I've seen The Love Hypothesis all over this week. It's been a really popular pick!

    My TTT:

    1. I love the premise for A LADY'S FORMULA FOR LOVE. I hope it's as fun as it sounds!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

  10. I've read the first three books on this list and LOVED all three of them. Especially The Love Hypothesis. I have not read A Lady's Formula for Love, but recently finished A Perfect Equation which is the next book in the series and I loved that book. Great list, Susan!

    1. Oh, that makes me happy! If book bloggers I love love the books I want to read, I'm more apt to like them as well. I'm excited for both THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS and A LADY'S FORMULA FOR LOVE. I think I'm going to start with the latter.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Wendy!

  11. So Not Your Thing! Sounds just right for you😁 Congratulations on being married that long!I hope you will stop by and say hi! I'm #41 on the TTT list.

    1. Ha ha. Right? Melanie Jacobson's books are sure things for me. I've read lots of them, although she publishes often so it's hard for me to keep up!

      Thanks for stopping in, Jo!

    2. Oh, and thank you! Our 25th anniversary is coming up and while it sometimes feels like I've been married for forever, it also kind of feels like it was just yesterday that we tied the knot :)

    3. Another comment. Sorry! It looks like your link on the TTT list is broken...I did manage to find your blog, though, thanks to your Google profile :)

  12. This is a great list and the only one I've read is An Impossible Imposter. I'll be curious to see your thoughts on it if you pick it up. I used to be a huge romance reader but it's definitely a genre I've been struggling with. I do better with romantic suspense or something like that. I think I'm with you and I have a hard time with a story that is focused solely on the romance.

    1. Same. I'm much happier when the romance is a subplot, not the main one. That's one of the reasons I like the Veronica Speedwell series so much. It's got a fun romance, but the mysteries get the main stage.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

  13. Some stories on here I've never heard of. I'm sort of meh about romance - I can usually take it or leave it. I did like Well Met by Jen DeLuca last year.

    1. I really don't mind romance in books. I just don't want it to be the main plot. That's just not enough substance for me, usually.

      I've heard good things about WELL MET. Glad you enjoyed!

      Thanks for popping by, Cindy!

  14. I don't read much romance either but I do enjoy romcoms. Sometimes I just want something fun.

    1. Agreed. Sometimes you just need something light and fun. Rom coms are definitely good for that.

      Thanks for stopping in, Ellie!

  15. Katherine Center's books are great - not only about romance but lovely stories!

    1. Agreed. I like that they're more than just romances.

      Thanks for popping by, Dara!

  16. I am right there with you on romance books. I like a little romance, but there better be more to the story.

    1. Exactly. Too often in romance novels, the author has to go to extreme measures to keep the couple from getting together and it just starts to feel silly and unrealistic. Having a mystery or something else going on helps to keep the plot from getting boring while the couple figures their relationship out!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kami!

  17. I'm not really a romance reader either but a romance title will catch my eye every now and then when I need a quick, fun palate cleanser.

    From your list, Hope between the Pages catches my eye because Asheville is my hometown, as does The Happy Camper because we live in our RV while we're at my husband's work assignments.

    Great list! I hope if you like these if you decide to read them!

    1. Makes sense. A fun rom com can be a perfect palate cleanser between heavier, more serious books.

      I thought of you when I saw the cover of THE HAPPY CAMPER!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commneting, Jen!

  18. Definitely read #1. I read that Katherine Center book and would say it's a mixture of women's fiction and romance so should probably work for you.

    1. That's why I like Center. The romances are swoony and fun, but they're not the only thing going on in the story. THAT's how I like my love stories :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

  19. I discovered romance last June when I read Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, and since then I'm a converted. But I'm still an avid Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Dystopia reader! And even more recently I added Mystery / Thriller to my preferred genre.

    1. It's awesome to love a nice variety of genres. That way, you literally ALWAYS have something to read. I'm also a big mystery/thriller and dystopia fan. SFFF has never been my genre, although I do enjoy it occasionally.

      Thanks for stopping in, Rae!

  20. So, now I have that Beatles song in my head. Not that that's a bad song, I love the Beatles.

    Same as you, I always have a hard time with anything to do with love because a book has to give me more than just that, I totally agree. Still, I could twist it to present some not so well known books. LOL

    Thanks for visiting my TTT this week which has the word heart in the title.

    1. Sorry, not sorry! I love The Beatles, too. Yet another thing we have in common :)

      Love is such a broad topic that there are lots of fun ways to twist it. That being said, I tried to think of a unique spin and couldn't come up with anything. Ha ha.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

    2. Well, if even YOU, the Queen of Spins, couldn't come up with a twist ...

  21. I have The Love Hypothesis because all I hear is good things about it so, you know, I just 'had' to buy it. LOL! I love the sound of The Happy Camper so will look into that.

    1. I haven't seen any negative reviews for THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS. It's super popular. I hope that means we'll love it as well :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cath!


  22. The Happy Camper looks like a great read.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by earlier!

    1. Doesn't it? It just looks so HAPPY. I need to read more books like that, I think.

      Thanks for stopping in, Astilbe!

  23. Great list Susan. I have read Eight Perfect Hours, The Happy Camper, What you Wish For and that whole Jody Hedlund series and enjoyed them all. I recommend any of them Susan.

    1. Oh, good! That gives me confidence that I'll enjoy them all as well. Fingers crossed.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

  24. #7 and #10 caught my attention. Great list!!

    1. They sound like fun reads, don't they? I hope they're as enjoyable as they look :)

      Thanks for popping in, Danielle!

  25. Oh, several on here I hadn't heard of; thank you. I got together with a friend on Sunday who Deanna Raybourn's editor and she was telling me there is a new "stem" romance genre, of which The Love Hypothesis is an example. I haven't read it yet but have certainly read other romances with a scientific setting. Some from quite a while back! As my Latin teacher used to say, there is nothing new under the sun.

    1. I can definitely see that. Both THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS and A LADY'S FORMULA FOR LOVE fit into that genre. I love it! Nerdy is the new sexy :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Constance!

  26. Nice post! Hope Between the Pages sounds interesting. Thank you for visiting my blog.

    1. I'm really looking forward to HOPE BETWEEN THE PAGES. It's part of a series—although the books are only very, very loosely connected—and I enjoyed the first one so I'm looking forward to this second installment.

      Thanks for popping in, Lisa!

  27. I keep seeing Love Hypothesis everywhere. It certainly looks like a book I'd enjoy.

    1. It's super popular right now! I hope we both enjoy it as much as everyone seems to have.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commentning, Deb!

  28. Replies
    1. It does, doesn't it? I've seen lots of positive reviews for it out there. That's always encouraging!

      Thanks for popping in, Andie!

  29. Light, sweet and funny is what I enjoy in romance. I do not prefer to read steamy scenes, I like that to take place off stage. I've been meaning to check out the Veronica Speedwell series, seems like that might be enjoyable.

    1. Same! The Veronica Speedwell series qualifies, although some installments are "spicier" than others. Mostly, they're PG-13 reads and the romance is very much a subplot.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lory!

  30. I have only read What You Wish For from your list, but I really liked it. She's a good writer.

    1. I agree. I've read two books by Center and I enjoyed them both. I need to read more of hers.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

  31. If you read any of these I hope you love them!

  32. Katherine Center's books are always so lovely. I just purchased two of her backlist books because I've been enjoying her newer ones so much. I adored The Love Hypothesis. If I'm remembering correctly, there were some steamy moments that you may want to skip over, but the overall story is such a good one.


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