Jeff Popple reviews three romantic novels for Valentine’s Day. More of Jeff’s reviews can be found on his blog: murdermayhemandlongdogs.com
Jane In Love by Rachel Givney
Michael Joseph, $32.99
This charming debut novel by Melbourne screenwriter Rachel Givney projects Jane Austen into the present day. When 28-year-old Jane enlists the help of a matchmaker to help find her ‘one true love’, she gets more than she bargains for and awakes on the present-day film set of Northanger Abbey. Bemused and befuddled by modern England, Jane is pleased to learn that she had become a world-famous author and is determined to return to her own time to fulfil her destiny. When love beckons, however, she must decide whether to go or to follow her heart. Witty, insightful and good fun.
Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson
Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson is also about new chances. Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix tape. But that was a long time ago in Sheffield. Ali is now in Adelaide with temperamental daughters of her own. But when Daniel makes contact and the pair start sharing a new mix tape across oceans and time zones, a fresh set of possibilities open up. New opportunities, however, come with emotional costs for all involved. This is a moving and well written story that details the consequences of re-finding love with compassion, honesty and good humour.
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Charlotte Pass by Lee Christine
Allen & Unwin, $29.99
Finally, those who like their romance mixed with crime will enjoy Charlotte Pass by popular Australian romantic suspense author Lee Christine. Set in the eponymous snowfield resort, it opens with the discovery of old human bones. The police suspect that they are the remains of Celia Delaney who went missing from the resort in 1964. When an autopsy reveals that Celia was murdered and a related present day killing occurs, Detective Pierce Ryder and ski patroller Vanessa Bell must join forces to stop more murders. Well described locations, engaging central characters, a twisty plot and a dollop of romance, make this an enjoyably light criminal read for Valentine’s Day.