Welcome to The Sunday Salon! It's that time of the week again… The time to talk books! So grab yourself a cup of joe, find yourself a comfy chair and settle in…
It's been a cold and wintry week in Connecticut. There was a major snow storm that layered almost 12 inches of beautiful white snow that's here to stay for a while as the temperatures aren't going much above 20 degrees. Baby It's Cold Outside, but at the end of this week is Valentine's Day and that definitely can get HOT! What do you do for Valentine's Day? Romantic dinner, funny cards, HOT reads? Well, this week I thought I would share some romantic reads, plus a book to send your sweetheart, and share some links to some great Valentine's Day crafts!
First the romantic reads…
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux… Once upon a time...as a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress…
The thrillingly romantic tale of thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomer, left alone and brokenhearted in an English church, and the sixteenth-century hero who carries her heart away, A Knight in Shining Armor is a story for all time, and for anyone who believes in the power of love… Abandoned by her lover, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery finds herself alone and brokenhearted in an old English church. She never dreamed that a love more powerful than time awaited her there... until Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, appeared. Drawn to him by a bond so sudden and compelling that it defied reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect just as she was. But she could not know how strong were the chains that tied them to the past -- or the grand adventure that lay before them.
This has been on my TBR list for a LONG long time. I have seen this novel on many many "must read" romance lists and so here it is on one of mine! I love time travel romances and this was one of the first I ever read about. I don't know why I haven't read it, except for the fact that romances aren't the norm for my reading pleasure. This is going to the top of my TBR list.
In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an "outlander"—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743. Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire's destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
This has to be my all time favorite romance. Claire and Jamie are just all that you ever want in star crossed lovers. This story is romantic, sexy, steamy and an adventure waiting for you. It is the first book in a series that follows the lovers as they cross time and space to be with each other. Don't feel obligated to read them all (but you'll want to) and don't feel intimidated by the amount of pages (it's over 800 pages), but read this book!
I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe… "An extraordinary novel about a strong-willed woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight beside her husband in the Civil War, inspired by a real female soldier's letters home. Rosetta doesn't want her new husband Jeremiah to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they'll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she's always worked by her father's side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she's told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair, hems an old pair of his pants, and signs up as a Union soldier. Rosetta trains with the men, prepares herself for war, and deals with the tension between her and Jeremiah as he comes to grips with having a fighting wife. There are many dangers to face, from the constant threat of discovery to intense battles where they fight side by side. With him, she faces the difficult realities of the Civil War, marriage, and staying true to herself. Inspired by true accounts of the more than four hundred women who fought in the Civil War disguised as men, I Shall Be Near To You is a tender love story, an exploration of gender roles and marriage, and a hard examination of war".
Can you imagine living during the Civil War and having your sweetheart or husband go off to war. How frightening that must have been. How your heart would have ached. Little did I know that there were plenty of women who went with their men! They disguised themselves as men and joined the ranks to fight alongside the men they loved. I am curious as to how this is written. If the writing is good, then this might be a wonderful romantic look at one of those relationships. It's on my radar TBR.
At the end of a long and useful life, Penelope Keeling's prized possession is The Shell Seekers, painted by her father, and symbolizing her unconventional life, from bohemian childhood to wartime romance. When her grown children learn their grandfather's work is now worth a fortune, each has an idea as to what Penelope should do. But as she recalls the passions, tragedies, and secrets of her life, she knows there is only one answer...and it lies in her heart.
People have constantly told me how wonderful this book is. So, here I am passing it along to you! It's an oldie but goodie. Has anyone read this?! What did you think?!
Here's a book to give to your Sweetheart….
HERE, illustrations and all!