By the Book: Georgia authors give us cozy love stories

Nothing heats up a frigid winter night like a love story, and this month four Georgia authors provide cozy tales that pair nicely with a cup of cocoa, an electric blanket, and a pair of fuzzy slippers.

 

New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson is known for her complicated Southern female characters.

No Junior League membership, Lily Pulitzer frocks or monogrammed key fobs for her belles.

They’re too busy burying bad-to-the-bone boyfriends in kudzu, plotting revenge on callous husbands, or falling in love at gunpoint in a Circle K.

Jackson’s latest, The Opposite of Everyone (William Morrow, $26.99) features one of her most colorful characters yet. Paula Voss, a tough-as-cast-iron Atlanta divorce lawyer, delights in turning her clients’ spouses into blubbering fools.

Her steely facade masks a troubled childhood with a flaky, intrepid mother who leaves behind emotional messes wherever she wanders.

Eventually Paula must grapple with her past as well her mother’s, all the while juggling a relationship with a boozy but brilliant private investigator. Kirkus gives The Opposite of Everyone a starred review saying, “Jackson delivers another quirky, Southern-based, character-driven novel that combines exquisite writing, vivid personalities, and imaginative storylines while subtly contemplating race, romance, family, and self.”

SPEAKING OF BESTSELLING authors, why settle for one when you can have three? Atlanta author Karen White has joined up with Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig for The Forgotten Room. (NAL, $26). Imagine a Gilded Age mansion in Manhattan that contains secrets that will connect several generations of women.

The sweeping tale is told from three points of view: Olive works as a maid in the mansion at the turn of the century.

Lucy, her daughter, lives in the 1920s and has concerns about her father’s identity, and Kate, Olive’s granddaughter, is a World War II doctor, struggling to find acceptance in a male-dominated field.

A ruby necklace connects the three woman, who are all enmeshed in their own love stories. Romantic Times says, “This sumptuous, suspenseful and heart-wrenching story will keep you up all night.”

 

TWO RICHMOND COUNTY authors also have new romance offerings this winter. J.A. Stone, otherwise known as Jo Ann Appleton, charmed local readers with her women’s fiction debut, Life Unexpected (Create Space, $12.99), and fans will be pleased to know she’s a written new novel, Life Choices, which is partially set in Augusta.

Jessie Graham is involved in an near head-on collision that results in the death of her husband, and Dr. David Miller, whose car he nearly hit, pulls the stunning blonde out of the wreckage.

A year later, Jessie visits Miller’s office in Augusta seeking psychotherapy, not knowing that he’s the man who was involved in her accident.

Miller feels an attraction to his patient but doesn’t initially recognize her. When he finally does, it’s too late: He’s already in love with her.

Now the doctor faces all manner of thorny ethical issues when it comes to courting not only his patient, but a woman whose life he may have inadvertently ruined. Readers will find themselves rooting for two flawed and compelling people who clearly belong together.

Hephzibah author C.L. Greenlee is also releasing her second romance novel, Paradise Delight (Tate Publishing, $14.95). After an argument with her father, Kourtney, a new college graduate, flees the family farm and ends up in Paradise Delight, a place where she forges new friendships and meets a love interest.

Then a tragic event mars Kourtney’s happiness, and she learns all too quickly that she can’t blot out the past.

 

KARIN GILLESPIE IS A PART-TIME INSTRUCTOR AT AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY AND THE AUTHOR OF SIX NOVELS. VISIT HER AT KARINGILLESPIE.NET.

 

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