Looking for a general fiction book to wile away the long fall evenings? Check out these two new releases and curl up in your comfy chair. Don’t forget the hot cocoa!
I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.
Why Read General Fiction?
I often wonder why someone created a category called general fiction. It seems like all fiction could fall into that category and never find a reader. But some publishers don’t seem to know where to place a book, and it gets labeled general fiction. I usually search for books in my favorite genres instead of heading to the general fiction section. But those publishers know what they’re up to. Today’s Book Talk Tuesday has one of those general fiction books that appeal to readers from 18 to 99 (or older). In fact, A Flicker of Light would appeal to both female and male readers.
The other book, Royally Rearranged, shines in its own subcategory of RomCom but would fare equally well in a general fiction category. Both books have wildly different settings (small-town Montana and a fictional European kingdom), but plumb the depths of human relationships. Either book would make an excellent movie.
By Katie Powner, Bethany House Publishers, October 2021, 352 pages.
Juniper Jensen has lived out most of her 63 years in Moose Creek, Montana, with her husband of forty-some years. Ranching together and raising a son together, and now growing old together. But feisty June holds a secret that may change their lives forever. If she can only confess before the memory flickers and dies out.
Beatrice Michaels, June’s only grandchild, finds out she’s pregnant the same day Jeremy, her husband, loses his job. With some misgivings, they ask Bea’s dad if they can move back in with him temporarily while Jeremy finds work. Even though it means moving out of their run-down apartment in California and moving home to Moose Creek—a place Bea never wanted to return to.
Mitch Jensen has lived a lonely existence since his beloved wife Caroline passed away and their daughter Bea went off to college. And then dropped out of college and got married to a city kid with lots of ideas. Now they want to move back home for a spell until the kid can figure out how to support his daughter.
While Mitch welcomes the thought of filling up the house again, he has a hard time with Bea’s decisions and seeing her as an adult. To make matters worse, something is wrong with his mom. For a 63-year-old, she seemed too young to lose touch with reality. But something’s going on, and Mitch doesn’t want to consider the possibilities.
Can the members of the Jensen family work through their past griefs before the next crisis hits?
Why I Loved This Book
Powner builds the cozy town Moose Creek, Montana, and peoples it with a cast of endearing characters. The town may be small, but the residents have a lot of heart. In a world where we often don’t know the family living across the street, Moose Creek and its residents bring a refreshing reminder of the work it takes to build community. And the benefits of living in community with others—from our town, our church, or our place of work. Community helps us in times of need, nurtures us through our sad times, and sits with us in our grief. Sometimes, we get it wrong, but patience and persistence will help us understand the heart of community is love.
Don’t miss Powner’s debut novel, The Sowing Season, another real gem.
Royally Rearranged (not a NetGalley book)
by Emma St. Clair, September 2021, 408 pages.
There WILL be a royal wedding. The only question–who will be my groom?
An arranged marriage isn’t the worst fate for a princess like me. Especially because I’ve been in love with my intended groom since we were children.
But when my prince shows up with an American girlfriend instead of an engagement ring, all arrangements are off.
The clock is nearing midnight–I won’t turn into a pumpkin, but if I’m not wed by summer’s end, I’ll forfeit my kingdom.
Just your typical royal dilemma.
Out of sheer desperation, I make a deal with a devilish duke. Rafe de Silva is the prince’s rival and has a plan so ridiculous it just might work.
One moment, Rafe seems to relish making the prince jealous.
And the next… he’s making me question everything with his words, his touch, and his ability to melt my Ice Princess persona.
I’m not always given the luxury of choice, but now I have a huge one to make. I only hope I don’t lose my crown, my heart, or myself in the process…
Royally Rearranged is a sizzling, swoony, closed-door romantic comedy. (from the back cover)
Why I Love This Book
Emma St. Clair knows how to sink her hook into readers and reel them in with humor, comedy, pathos, and a lively cast of characters. I love all those cheesy Hallmark prince-falling-in-love-with-a-commoner movies, so you’ll know I’m a sucker for royals. Yes, I know, the countries don’t exist. But the people in St. Clair’s countries remind me of people I know. Plus, there’s nothing cheesy about St. Clair’s books. Her protagonists struggle with relatable problems and never look like a cardboard cast. She can write sizzling scenes that end in a kiss and the bedroom door always stays closed. If you’re looking for a book with meat and no beef, Emma St. Clair is the author for you.
If you haven’t read St. Clair’s Love Cliche’s series, what are you waiting for? I laughed my way through the series. Her books are better than a night at the movies.