Fresh fun love stories

Fiction 5

This month all my new fiction picks are about love – romantic love and book love. In The Boy with the Bookstore bakery owner Joelle discovers the handsome bookstore owner next door may not be worthy of her crush. Lucas’s plan to jump-start Rosie’s romance writing with fake dates leads to fun and steamy situations in The American Roommate Experiment. The Book Haters’ Club focuses on book and family love as grieving friends figure out how to save a bookstore. Drunk on Love is a sexy, sweet and funny read with a strong female lead. Paranormal romance is whimsical, clever and funny in A Ghost in Shining Armor. Read on to explore my top five September new books.

1. The Boy with the Bookstore by Anthony Marra

Joelle has been crushing on Max, the owner of the bookstore next to her bakery for many months. Her plans to temporarily co-locate their businesses during a building renovation is the perfect chance to make her day dreams reality. Unfortunately, Max is not as good as he looks.

She soon realizes he’s kind of a jerk. Max takes pastries without asking, dries clothes in her oven and worst of all snaps at her in front of customers. Will Joelle find a good heart under all the grumpy rudeness or will they never speak to each other once they have their separate spaces back?

“Sarah Echavarre Smith once again delivers a beautiful, addictive love story as sexy as it is sweet. The delectable setting and relatable characters drew me in right away while the chemistry and heartwarming connection didn’t let me put it down. Echavarre Smith has a gift for showcasing not only romantic love, but also love between friends and family. I devoured this book in a single sitting—this author is an auto-buy for me!”—Allison Ashley, author of Would You Rather


2. The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas

Rosie just started her secret career as a romance writer. Unfortunately, she has writer’s block and the ceiling of her apartment just crumbled. Rosie has a key to her best friend Lina’s apartment so she’ll crash there while Lina’s out of town. But it can’t be that easy. When she arrives Rosie discovers Lina’s cousin Lucas is staying there.

Lucas is the same man Rosie has been admiring on Instagram for a few months. He offers to let her stay there while her apartment is getting fixed. However, working from this apartment is challenging when Lucas is often walking around in only a towel, cooking for her and talking in his irresistible accent.

He proposes an outrageous experiment to bring back her literary muse and meet her deadline. He’ll take her on a series of experimental dates to jump-start her romantic inspiration. Rosie has nothing to lose. Her silly, online crush is totally under control and Lucas’s time in New York has an expiration date. She soon discovers six weeks may not be enough, for either her or her deadline.

“A frothy, playful delight! In her slam-dunk follow-up to The Spanish Love Deception, Armas gives us the sunshine honey Lucas Martín, and strong, vulnerable Rosie Graham and throws them into a god-tier forced proximity romance that had me literally grinning so hard at the pages! Their chemistry was fire, but it was the way their genuine love and support for each other evolved on page that had me swooning. Armas’s writing flows like a riveting conversation, pulling the reader in immediately, and these two characters truly leap from the page. Delicious fun from start to finish!” —Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling authors of The Unhoneymooners


3. The Book Haters’ Club by Gretchen Anthony

All it takes is the right book to turn a Book Hater into a Book Lover. That was what Elliot, the beloved co-owner of Over the Rainbow Bookshop, believed before his untimely passing. He always had the perfect book suggestion for the self-proclaimed Book Hater. Now his grief-ridden business partner, Irma, has agreed to sell the cozy Over the Rainbow to condo developers.

When Irma breaks the news to her daughters, Bree and Laney, and Elliot’s romantic partner, Thom, they are aghast. Over the Rainbow has been Bree and Laney’s sanctuary since childhood, and Thom would do anything to preserve Elliot’s legacy. Together they conspire to save the bookshop, even if it takes some snooping, gossip and minor sabotage.

Filled with humor, family hijinks and actual reading recommendations, The Book Haters’ Book Club is the ideal feel-good read. It’s a love letter to everyday heroes – those booksellers and librarians dedicated to putting the right books in the right hands every day.

“An exuberant love song to the power of books, bookstores, and the durable community that they create. Laugh-out-loud funny, this book will restore hope to all those fearful for the survival of bookstores and libraries.” Library Journal


4. Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory

Margot is stressed from running the family winery with her brother. When she meets sexy and charming Luke, she thinks a one-night stand with a stranger she won’t see again is what she needs. Unfortunately, the next morning he walks into the winery as an employee her brother just hired. She’s determined to keep things professional and ignore her attraction.

Luke has some challenges of his own. He hasn’t told his mom, who loves to brag about her super successful son, that he quit his high salary, high stress tech job. Luke isn’t sure where his future will lead. He’d love to spend more time with Margot, but will this strong successful woman want a man without a career plan?

“The lush background and Guillory’s signature blend of sexy, sweet, and funny keep the pages flying. This is a gem.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Guillory’s latest romance is bursting with mouthwatering sexual tension and desire… Margot is a powerful protagonist, and her dedication to her career, despite the numerous challenges, is absolutely refreshing. An intoxicating romance with a strong lead.”—Kirkus Reviews


5. A Ghost in Shining Armor by Therese Beharrie

Gemma Daniels has never been quite the “down to earth” woman her adoptive parents raised her to be. She has a unique gift: she can see ghosts – and she likes helping them settle their unfinished business. But the hotter-than-hot stranger she impulsively kisses on a bet is not only a phantom, he’s determined to help her. The only way Gemma can explain his presence is to pretend they’re a real-life couple.

Levi Walker lived and died to save his sister. Now he’s got a second chance at life if he assists Gemma in reuniting with her own long-lost sibling and then never sees Gemma again. But as he starts to enjoy her irrepressible personality, he’s finding it hard to abide by any rules.

Gemma is thrilled to be getting to know her sister, but it causes a family rift she may not be able to heal. On top of that, she’s falling for a ghost with a dilemma. To fix their mistakes, Gemma and Levi must risk being real with themselves – and each other – if they’re ever to claim true love.

“Whimsical, clever, and laugh-out-loud funny, Therese Beharrie has yet again written the kind of cozy paranormal romance that feels perfectly pitched for our times!”Kate Clayborn, author of Love Lettering

“Perfect for anyone who loves hot ghosts, personal growth, and non-stop laughter. A quirky, fantastical romance grounded by Beharrie’s trademark tenderness. I adored the feisty, vulnerable heroine on the emotional journey of a lifetime.” —Talia Hibbert, author of Act Your Age, Eve Brown


I’m the library’s fiction selector and I’ve been suggesting new books to library and bookmobile customers for over 25 years. I keep up on all the new book reviews, and my favorite question is “What are you reading?” I love to talk about books and to read books. I like to tell library customers, “Try something new. If the book doesn’t grab you, we have many more to choose from."