Stories of romance – fun, festive, new novels at your library!

Fall in love again with the latest romantic and charming books found at your local library!

The river capture / Costello, Mary
“Thirty-four year old Luke O’Brien has left the city to live a quiet, bookish life on the River Sullane in County Waterford. Alone in his big house, he longs for a return to his family’s heyday and turns to books–especially Ulysses–for solace and sublimation. One morning a young woman arrives at his door and enters his life, with profound consequences. It is about humanity’s capacity for good and evil and what happens when Nature is thwarted. More than anything, it is a book about the life of the mind and the redemptive powers of art.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The orphan’s song / Kate, Lauren
“A sweeping love story about family and music–and the secrets each hold–that follows the intertwined fates of two Venetian orphans. When fate brings Violetta and Mino together on the roof of the Hospital of the Incurables, they form a connection that will change their lives forever. Both are orphans at the Incurables, dreaming of escape. But when the resident Maestro notices Violetta’s voice, she is selected for the Incurables’ world famous coro, and must sign an oath never to sing beyond its church doors. The Orphan’s Song takes us on a breathtaking journey of passion, heartbreak, and betrayal before it crescendos to an unforgettable ending, a celebration of the enduring nature and transformative power of love.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Space invaders : a novel / Fernández, Nona
“Space Invaders is the story of a group of childhood friends who, in adulthood, are preoccupied by uneasy memories and visions of their classmate Estrella Gonz lez Jepsen. In their dreams, they catch glimpses of Estrella’s braids, hear echoes of her voice, and read old letters that eventually, mysteriously, stopped arriving. They recall regimented school assemblies, nationalistic class performances, and a trip to the beach. Soon it becomes clear that Estrella’s father was a ranking government officer implicated in the violent crimes of the Pinochet regime, and the question of what became of her after she left school haunts her erstwhile friends.” (adapted from Catalogue)

A delicate deception / Sebastian, Cat
“When Amelia Allenby escaped a stifling London ballroom for the quiet solitude of the Derbyshire countryside, the very last thing she wanted was an extremely large, if–she grudgingly admits–passably attractive man disturbing her daily walks. Lecturing the surveyor about property rights doesn’t work and, somehow, he has soon charmed his way into lemon cakes, long walks, and dangerously heady kisses. Will they let a lifetime of hurt come between them or can these two lost souls find love and peace in each other?” (adapted from Catalogue)

Love letters from Montmartre / Barreau, Nicolas
“Julien Azoulay is famous around the world for his beautiful romance novels. But last year, he stopped believing in love. When his beloved wife Hélène died, leaving him alone to raise his young son, Julien lost his faith in the happier side of life – and with it his ability to write. But Hélène was clever. Before she died, she made Julien promise to write her one letter for each year of her life and now, in this moment, in the most famous cemetery in Paris, Julien stands with his painful first letter in his hand. Here, even though Julien wouldn’t believe it, something wonderful is going to happen.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Good riddance / Lipman, Elinor
“One woman’s trash becomes another woman’s treasure, with deliriously entertaining results. Daphne Maritch doesn’t quite know what to make of the heavily annotated high school yearbook she inherits from her mother, who held this relic dear. Too dear. In a fit of decluttering, Daphne discards it when she moves to a small New York City apartment. But when it’s found in the recycling bin by a busybody neighbor/documentary filmmaker, the yearbook’s mysteries  take on a whole new urgency.” (adapted from Catalogue)

That new (book about) love in your life

Love romance fiction? These new titles have something for everyone.  A nostalgic glimpse into war-time Manhattan theatre land, City of Girls will transport you into a whirl of charismatic characters. A danger laced placement sees Special Agent Macy Crow rekindling an old flame while her deductive skills provoke a menacing response. Shakespeare and the supernatural round out our selection taking lovers on unfamiliar journeys, despite eons of practice!

And readers rejoice as your page turning is celebrated in While You Were Reading and The Bookshop on the Shore. These novels delight in the place that reading can hold in your life. Enjoy!

While you were reading / Berg, Ali
“Meet Beatrix Babbage – 29-year-old dog-earer of books and accidental destroyer of weddings. After ruining her best friend’s nuptials, Bea relocates to the other side of the country in search of a fresh start. Bea’s job is dead-end. Her romantic life? Non-existent. Then Bea stumbles across a second-hand novel, inscribed with notes. Besotted with the poetic inscriptions, Bea is determined to find the author … and along the way, she finds herself entangled in one hell of a love quadrangle.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hide and seek / Burton, Mary
“Special Agent Macy Crow is gunning for a spot on the FBI’s elite profiling team. As an audition, she offers to investigate the recently discovered bones of Tobi Turner, a high school girl who disappeared fifteen years ago. While investigating with local sheriff Mike Nevada, a former colleague and onetime lover, Macy discovers a link between Tobi’s case and several others that occurred around her disappearance. But the murderer’s had years to hone his skills, and soon Macy herself becomes a target.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Flights of fancy / Turano, Jen
“To escape an unwanted marriage, heiress Isadora Delafield runs away and disguises herself as a housekeeper. She finds a position at the home of self-made man Ian MacKenzie’s parents. Ian is unexpectedly charmed by Isadora and her unconventional ways, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.” (Catalogue)

A desperate hope / Camden, Elizabeth
“Eloise Drake’s prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she’s finally put behind her–or so she thinks. Alex Duval is the mayor of a town about to be wiped off the map. The state plans to flood the entire valley where his town sits in order to build a new reservoir, and Alex is stunned to discover the woman he once loved on the team charged with the demolition. With his world crumbling around him, Alex devises a risky plan to save his town–but he needs Eloise’s help to succeed.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The bookshop on the shore / Colgan, Jenny
“Desperate to escape from London, single mother Lottie wants to build a new life for herself and her son Raffie. On a whim, she answers an ad for a nanny job in the Scottish Highlands. The children’s widowed father is a wreck, and the kids run wild in a huge tumbledown castle on the banks of Loch Ness. With the help of Nina, the friendly local bookseller, Lottie begins to put down roots in the community. Are books, fresh air, and kindness enough to heal this broken family–and her own…?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A view to a kilt / Holden, Wendy
“Laura Lake, editor of glamorous glossy magazine Society, is in trouble. Advertising revenues are down, and her job will be in jeopardy if she can’t pick them up. According to those in the know, Scotland is having a moment. With a view to getting a slice of this ultra-high-end market, Laura’s been sent to a baronial estate. It’s supposed to be gorgeous, glitzy, and glamorous. But intrigue follows Laura like night follows day. And at Glenravish Castle Laura finds herself hunting for a scoop that won’t just save her job, it could save her life.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Window on the bay : a novel / Macomber, Debbie
“Jenna Boltz’s life is at a crossroads. When her kids and her dear friend push her to begin dating again, Jenna is skeptical. Enter Dr. Rowan Lancaster, who saves the day when Jenna’s elderly mother suffers an accident in her home. Still fearing a romantic relationship, she insists they remain friends–until she realizes that he may be more worthy of a Paris experience than she thought. Learning to put herself first again, Jenna realizes that believing in love can take us beyond our wildest dreams.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

City of girls / Gilbert, Elizabeth
“In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.” (Catalogue)

The trouble with vampires / Sands, Lynsay
“For close to three thousand years Santo Notte has fought in armies across the world and battled his own, more personal enemies. Of all the places he might expect to encounter his life mate, a quiet corner of upstate New York doesn’t seem likely. But as soon as he makes contact with history professor Petronella Stone he knows that she will be the greatest adventure of his eternal life. But as Pet struggles to protect her nephew from a danger lurking too close to home, Santo realizes there’s another threat to her safety-him.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A fine romance

Single, non-smoking book seeks a reader to start a new chapter in their life. Get past the cover and you will find a gem of a read. Seeks a rugged, thoughtful and compassionate reader or a flashy page turner. Must have commas, full stops and their own paragraphs.
Apply to the fiction section Wellington Central Library.

In this month’s fiction feature we are exploring another thread in our rich and diverse fiction collection by highlighting romantic fiction. Romance has inspired some of the world’s most beloved classics, from to Persuasion by Jane Austen and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte to Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

The genre now encompasses a dizzying array of sub-categories to suit every taste, including fantasy romance, gothic romance, historical romance, inspirational romance, paranormal romance, military romance, regency romance, western romance, vampire and werewolf romance, and let’s not forget time travel romance. So why not explore the wonderful world of romance writing! Below is just a very small selection of our picks.


Some of the many classic Romance titles include.

Persuasion / Austen, Jane
“Jane Austen’s final novel is her most mature and wickedly satirical. It follows the story of Anne Elliott, who as a teenager, was engaged to a seemingly ideal man, Frederick Wentworth. But after being persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that he is too poor to be a suitable match, Anne ends their engagement. When they are reacquainted eight years later, their circumstances are transformed: Frederick is returning triumphantly from the Napoleonic War, while Anne’s fortunes are floundering. Will their past regrets prevent them from finding future happiness?” (Catalogue)

Gone with the wind / Mitchell, Margaret
“One of the most famous love stories of all time Set against the historical backdrop of the American Civil War, this historical epic is a tale of a nation mortally divided. It is the love story of beautiful, ruthless Scarlet O’Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.” (Catalogue)

Rebecca / Du Maurier, Daphne
* One of the most famous novels ofthe 20th century* A dark tale of the feminine unconscious Du Maurier’s famous tale of suspense, mystery and love concerns Maxim de Winter’s shy new bride and the house she is to inhabit, but that still reverberates to the haunting presence of his previous wife’s influence.” (Catalogue)

Sci Fi/Paranormal Romance has amongst its many practitioners New Zealand author Nalini Singh.

Archangel’s blade / Singh, Nalini
“Trying to discover the identity of a murder victim brings together the vampire Dmitri and a hunter for the Guild, Honor. And as the gruesome murders continue, a lethal sensuality explodes between them.” (Catalogue)

Historical Romance is another very popular genre. We particularly like Scot
Emma Blair.

Wild strawberries / Blair, Emma
“Maizie and her husband run a hotel in Cornwall. When World War II starts, Sam joins up. Struggling to keep the hotel going, Maizie takes on two evacuees, glad of the company. Her happiness grows with the arrival of a French soldier wounded at Dunkirk but she soon becomes torn between duty and love.” (Catalogue)

Contemporary romance is well represented by the ever popular Jojo Moyes.

Paris for one and other stories / Moyes, Jojo
“Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She’s never even been on a romantic weekend away – to anywhere – before. Travelling abroad isn’t really her thing. But when Nell’s boyfriend fails to show up, she has the chance to prove to everyone – including herself – that she can be independent and intrepid. Alone in Paris, Nell finds a version of herself she never knew existed . . . In the ten other stories, Jojo Moyes introduces us to a cast of strong, relatable women in the midst of their everyday lives. In Honeymoon in Paris, featuring characters from her bestselling novel, The Girl You Left Behind, Liv and Sophie – though decades apart – both find that marriage is only the beginning of their love stories. In Crocodile Shoes, a businesswoman’s blossoming confidence emerges from a fateful changing-room mix-up. And in both Love in the Afternoonand A Bird in the Hand, two couples dance around the trickiness of long-time marriage. In this irresistible collection, readers are whisked from elegant perfume shops to taxis to five-star hotel rooms and beyond. Jojo Moyes always makes the ordinary moments in life extraordinary. Funny, charming, and unmissable, Paris for One and Other Storiesis Moyes at her best.” (Catalogue)

And Suspense Romance fiction features one of the world’s bestselling authors, Nora Roberts. Enjoy!

The liar / Roberts, Nora
“In a sexy, suspenseful read, Nora Roberts delivers a slow-burning fuse of a plot that ultimately explodes in a nail-biting conclusion. Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions. The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead. He never really existed.” (Catalogue)

Attention all aspiring Romance writers

Syndetics book coverThe Sandra Hyde Romance Writers Trust is offering a scholarship to the Romance Writers of NZ annual conference, Love Thrills, August 29-30 in Auckland.
The Prize:
RWNZ Conference fees (Friday Workshop and Weekend Conference, including cocktail party). If the winner is not currently a member of RWNZ, their prize will include a one-year membership subscription, since only members can attend the Weekend Conference. The winner will also receive $150 contribution toward expenses.
Who can enter: Any New Zealand-based writer of romantic fiction (published or unpublished).
Deadline to enter: Midnight, NZ time, Saturday, May 16, 2015.
Full information can be found at Romance Writers of New Zealand.

Paranormal Romance

Syndetics book coverThe Romance Writers of New Zealand are holding their 2013 conference in Wellington from 23rd to 25th August. Two much acclaimed New Zealand writers are among the long list of international guest speakers. Wellington writer Catherine Robertson and the very popular Nalini Singh, both represented New Zealand fiction at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair.

Paranormal Romance is a sub-genre of the romance novel that focuses on elements that include fantasy, science fiction and horror. They usually include romantic relationships between humans, some with psychic abilities and other worldly beings, such as ghosts, vampires, or shapeshifters.

Nalini Singh continues to delight her many readers with her paranormal romances, a continuingly popular genre. In her most recent book Heart of Obsidian , three distant races of supernatural beings sharing very different goals must fight their emotions and true natures when their uneasy coexistence starts to erode.

Examples of some other writers of this genre include C.T Adams and Cathy Clamp with Touch of Madness. The very popular Katie McAlister with her most recent work, Even Vampires get the Blues and Lynn Viehl‘s Shadowlight: a novel of Kyndred. Also Clare Willis with Once Bitten and J. R. Ward‘s novel titled Lover at Last: a novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, published 2013.

Attention all aspiring Romance writers

The Sandra Hyde Romance Writers Trust is offering a scholarship to the Romance Writers of NZ annual conference, Love is in the Air, August 24-26 in Auckland.

The Prize:

RWNZ Conference fees (Friday Workshop and Weekend Conference, including cocktail party). If the winner is not currently a member of RWNZ, their prize will include a one-year membership subscription, since only members can attend the Weekend Conference. Value = $420 ($470 for non-members) PLUS $150 contribution toward expenses.
Who can enter: Any New Zealand-based writer of romantic fiction (published or unpublished).
Full information can be found at Romance Writers of New Zealand.

Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards

Syndetics book coverSummer of love / Katie Fforde. “ Katie Fforde has just been named Contemporary Romance Novelist of the year for her novel The Summer of Love by the Romantic Novelists’ Association. This is her 17th novel; her first, Living Dangerously was published in 1995.

Syndetics book coverThe kashmir shawl / Rosie Thomas.
Rosie Thomas was awarded the prize for Best Epic Romantic Novel for the Kashmir Shawl, a multi-generational family story. Both novels are now in contention for Romantic Novel of the Year, with Joanna Trollope and Philippa Gregory among previous winners.”

Australian Romance Readers Awards

The finalists for the Australian Romance Readers Awards for 2011 have been announced, and they include Nalini Singh, Nora Roberts (in various guises), and more. There are nine awards given every year (you can browse previous winners here) in various categories: paranormal romance, sci-fi/urban fantasy/futuristic romance, short romance, historical romance, contemporary romance, erotic romance, romantic suspense, favourite romantic continuing series, and finally, members’ favourite Australian romance author. (No cyberpunk romances this year, alas.)

Here are some of the finalists (in various categories):

Syndetics book coverShattered sky / Helene Young.
“On a routine surveillance flight east of the Australian coast, Captain Lauren Bennett’s crew pick up a mayday call. A yacht is under fire. For the international smugglers operating below the radar of the navy and Border Watch, sinking a pleasure craft is just part of their day s work. Lauren has other ideas. As she pursues the men into the isolated country of Cape York, she ll need all the help she can get. That will mean joining forces with the cynical navy officer Callam Granger, who’s already shown his contempt for her. What will it take to convince him she’s right this time? Can they put aside their old animosities to outwit, outrun and ultimately out-fly the traffickers? Or will another death shatter Lauren’s life completely?” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverRiver marked / Patricia Briggs.
“Car mechanic and shapeshifter Mercy Thompson senses that an evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River – one that her father’s people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArchangel’s blade / Nalini Singh.
“In the intensely dark, violent, and romantic fourth Guild Hunter novel (after Archangel’s Consort), Singh focuses on the 1,000-year-old vampire Dmitri, lieutenant to the archangel Raphael, and Guild Hunter Honor, still recovering after a rogue vampire kidnapped and tortured her for two months. Assigned by the Guild to work with Dmitri toward solving the strange murder of a young vampire, Honor must confront the conflicting emotions he inspires, which intensify when the investigation bleeds into her past abduction and Dmitri vows revenge on her attackers. Their relationship develops explosively and becomes one of equals despite the centuries of age difference. Singh’s vampires, angels, hunters, and archangels engage in global power struggles within a complex larger story that new readers will find challenging. An engrossing narrative, vivid characters, and a well-imagined world mitigate those difficulties, resulting in a heart-pounding and strongly emotional read.” (Publishers Weekly)

Syndetics book coverPrince of Scandal / by Annie West.
“Prince… Ruling prince Raul, Prince of Maritz, is furious that an archaic law is forcing him to wed. But scandal and unrest has dogged this prince for years, and a marriage to recently discovered princess Luisa Hardwicke will help bring stability to the monarchy. Reluctant princess… Only Luisa is an outspoken, mud-splattered farm-girl, who isn’t going to come quietly! Even as she’s reluctantly transformed into polished perfection, Luisa challenges Raul at every turn – and he finds himself anticipating their wedding night with an excitement he never imagined he’d feel… ” (Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe next always / Nora Roberts.
“Beckett has no trouble whatsoever talking to women. It’s just Claire who has him at a loss for words. It all began when Beckett fell hard and fast for Claire in high school, but Claire wound up marrying Beckett’s best friend, Clint. Now, more than a decade later, Claire, a war widow, is back in Boonsboro, building a new life for herself and her sons as the owner of the town’s bookstore. Even though renovating the local inn keeps Beckett busy, he still manages to bump into Claire at least once a day, and he still finds himself surprisingly tongue-tied. Finally, when Beckett offers Claire an early tour of the inn, it leads to an unexpected kiss. With the first impeccably written and richly emotional installment in her new contemporary romantic trilogy, Roberts delivers all the elements her readers enjoy, including a perfectly matched pair of protagonists and a plot spiced with danger, a touch of the paranormal, and deliciously tart humor. Readers will also relish the autobiographical dimension. The novel is set in Roberts’ hometown, Boonsboro, Maryland, in which she owns a restored inn and is the proprietor of Turn the Page bookstore.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverMagic slays / Ilona Andrews.
“Kate Daniels has quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but starting her own business isn’t easy. So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead asks for help with a vampire, Kate jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, this is one case where Kate should have looked before she leapt. Original.” (Syndetics summary)

Want to win an e-reader? Ever thought of writing a romance novel?

Romance novel competition

Now’s your chance to get started! To celebrate our new Mills & Boon collections, Wellington City Libraries is running a great new competition.

We’re looking for the best paragraph for a Mills and Boon romance which describes the first time the guy meets the girl (or the girl meets the guy).

The prize will be a basket of goodies including an e-reader  – the lucky winner will be able to download romances from our eLibrary, and pursue that wonderful pleasure of reading a steamy romance without anyone else knowing!

There are a few conditions for entering the competition:

  1. Paragraphs should be no more than 120 words
  2. Contestants must be over the age of 18 years
  3. Contestants must be current members of Wellington City Libraries
  4. Only one entry from each library card holder will be accepted
  5. Contestants accept that their entries may be posted online by Wellington City Libraries
  6. Wellington City Libraries and their families are not permitted to enter
  7. Prize-winners give their permission to Wellington City Libraries to display photos and/or publish names of winners
  8. The judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

So get out that laptop, or sharpen your pencil, and get writing!

When you’ve polished off your romance novel paragraph, just complete this entry form.  Alternatively, you can drop your entry off at any library branch, or post it to Wellington City Libraries,  P.O Box 1992, Wellington 614o (attention: Libraries Admin Team).

We’re accepting entries until 5pm on 27 June 2011.

mills and boon competition

At last – Mills and Boon romances are here!

Syndetics book coverWinter is coming, so what can you do to cheer yourself up on a dreary, dark evening, or on a weekend with a roaring southerly outside? Why not take yourself out of your everyday life and banish those winter blues and treat yourself to a delicious, steamy romance to read!
Inside the pages of a Mills and Boon romance, you can meet princes, sheiks, Italian counts and Greek millionaires – not to mention architects, surgeons and doctors (and some of them are the heroines!). You can visit exotic locations in Europe, the Middle East and Australia and you can travel back in time to Regency England and encounter aristocratic rakes and feisty heroines.

Come on down to a Mills and Boon library nearest to you – Mills and Boon romances are waiting for you to borrow them from the Central, Tawa, Karori, Newtown, Miramar libraries. If you don’t normally visit these particular libraries, you can reserve your Mills and Boon romances and arrange to pick them up at your own library.

But if you’ve gone digital, you don’t even have to go to the library – romance has gone digital too! Download a guilty pleasure or five on to your PC, Mac, smartphone or e-reader by visiting www.wcl.govt.nz/elibrary and click on the OverDrive link to get started.