Book Buzz: Romances Galore, Dual-Timeline Historical Fiction, WWII Nurses, Serial Killers, Mining Mayhem, and Storytellers

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For February, we’re looking at four different romances (right in time for Valentine’s Day!), historical fiction that spans from the Civil War to World War II, a true crime memoir from a cold case specialist, and audiobook novels about turn-of-the-twentieth-century labor strikes in Colorado and the intersection of secrets and stories.

If you love romance:

Pepper Basham’s Authentically, Izzy (2022)*

In this epistolary Christian romance, Izzy is an introverted, socially awkward North Carolina librarian who meets the man of her dreams through online dating. The only problem is he’s in Scotland, and she’s decidedly not and is terrified of flying. And there’s a professor much closer to home who’s taken an interest in her too. Complications ensue.

*Audiobook also available on Libby.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Irene Hannon and Sarah Sundin.

Hannah Orenstein’s Meant to Be Mine (2022)

Edie’s grandmother accurately predicted the date she met her own soulmate and has gone on to do the same for the rest of the family. So, Edie is eagerly awaiting the day her grandmother predicted for her–June 24, 2022. Except the day comes and goes and nothing happens according to plan. What’s a rom com heroine to do?

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Emily Henry.

Nancy Naigle’s The Wedding Ranch (2022)

Lorri was surprised when her disinterested husband with a history of infidelity got her a new puppy for Valentine’s Day. Things sadly make a lot more sense a few months later when he leaves her for the dog trainer. She relocates to Dalton Mill to rebuild her life after the divorce and meets a handsome cowboy widower named Ryder, who works at his family’s wedding ranch. Neither was looking for a second chance at love, but maybe that’s exactly what they found when they met.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Debbie Macomber and JoJo Moyes.

Mazey Eddings’s Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake (2022)

Lizzie Blake has a rule that she’ll spend the night with someone but no more. Permanent attachments are not for her. She ends up breaking her rule briefly for handsome visiting Aussie Rake–he’s going back home soon anyway–before it’s back to business as usual. Rake has his own rule about no permanent attachments, so it’s fine with him. When Lizzie discovers she’s pregnant, though, they decide to co-parent together amicably without being romantically involved, but that resolution becomes increasingly difficult for both of them.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Rachel Lynn Solomon, Abby Jimenez, and Lauren Ho.

If you enjoy historical fiction:

Cathy Gohlke’s A Hundred Crickets Singing (2022)

Celia Perry uncovers some potentially devastating long-buried secrets after damage from a terrible storm reveals a hidden room in the attic. It’s 1944, and WWII is raging, but the hidden room has a trunk with information about a family who lived in the house during another war, the Civil War. Two women, decades apart, living in the same house, find themselves trying to right wrongs and help soldiers close to them. There is some character overlap between this book and another one of Gohlke’s called Night Bird Calling, but it can be read as a standalone.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Lisa Wingate, Kristy Cambron, and Lori Benton.

Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris, and Susan Meissner’s When We Had Wings (2022)

When We Had Wings follows 3 friends who are military nurses who get caught up in the Bataan Death March after Japan invades the Philippines. In an unusual twist, each woman’s story is handled by a different author but integrated into one novel. The three nurses in question–Eleanor, Penny, and Lita–face a lot of hardship, though the book isn’t entirely bleak.

Recommended for those who enjoy the works of Kate Quinn, Paula McLain, Marie Benedict, and Melanie Benjamin.

If you prefer nonfiction/true crime

Paul Holes’s Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases (2022)**

If your reading tastes for Valentine’s Day are decidedly not romantic in nature, we don’t judge! Instead, you might prefer this memoir from retired Bay Area cold case investigator Paul Holes. Best known for his participation in The Murder Squad podcast and his role in bringing in the infamous Golden State Killer, he talks about his career as a whole in this book and takes readers behind the scenes of cold cases. A lot of time is devoted to the Golden State Killer cases (which marked both the beginning and end of his career), but Holes also covers other famous cases like Laci Peterson and Jaycee Dugard.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Sue M. Black and Michelle McNamara.

**Ebook and audiobook also available on Libby.

If you want audiobooks:

Kate Manning’s Gilded Mountain (2022)

It’s 1907 Colorado and Sylvie finds herself working in a mansion for the Padgetts, the same family that dominates the town and employs her father as a marble miner. Sylvie has mixed feelings about them, and things come to a head when Mother Jones comes to town, accompanied by a handsome union organizer named George.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Virginia Hartman and Mary Doria Russell.

Sally Page’s The Keeper of Stories (2022)

Janice believes everyone has a story, and she’s always eager to get people to share their stories with her. As she works as a maid, she gathers the stories of the people she cleans for, but Janice is quite taken aback when her newest client, a sharp-witted elderly woman named Mrs. B., insists on hearing Janice’s own story. Janice insists that’s not how this works. She doesn’t have one of her own to share. That’s why she wants other people’s stories, but Mrs. B.’s not buying it. And she’s right. Janice does have a story to tell–it’s just not one she wants to tell.

Recommended for those who enjoy uplifting fiction.

What’s your favorite new-ish books? What books are you buzzing about these days? Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.


Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

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