Book Reviews – 2 Romance Novels

Fluff Reading
by Catherine H. Armstrong

Sometimes a girl’s just gotta read a bit of fluff.  That’s pretty much how I was feeling a few days ago after the last string of thought-provoking books I’d devoured.  I just needed to read something that didn’t take a lot of brain power and that would hopefully leave me with a smile.  I finally settled on At Last Comes Love by Mary Balogh, and A Proper Charlie by Louise Wise.
At Last Comes Love is the third book in the Huxtable Quintent by Mary Balogh.  It tells the story of Margaret Huxtable and Duncan Pennethorne, two young people who meet at a ball and – within minutes and without knowing a single thing about the other – become engaged.
Margaret is the oldest of the four Huxtable children and has almost missed her opportunity at marriage, due to an oath she made on her father’s death bed to see her younger siblings properly raised and settled.  She is beauty and grace defined, and is  everything any man would wish in a wife…except that she’s passed her thirtieth birthday.  Duncan, on the other hand, has disgraced himself and his family by leaving his bride at the alter five years earlier and running away with a married woman.  He has returned and must find and marry a proper wife within two weeks or lose his properties and income.
This is a delightfully fun read about a couple who jump into marriage as a means to an end, but who have “decided” to fall in love with each other.
This book is available at the Rochester Public Library in downloadable audio format, or through SELCO in hardcopy or e-book format.
A Proper Charlie is one of those books that just jumped out at me because I liked the cover.  I was out scouring Amazon’s list of free Kindle books and stumbled upon it and – without any real thought – decided to give it a read.  Much to my surprise, it was a fun read with a Bridgit Jones-like character.  

Charlie Wallis is a young working-class girl in London who very inappropriately falls in love with her new boss, Ben Middleton.  Ben, on the other hand, comes from wealth and power and just happens to be the new owner of the newspaper where Charlie works as a clerk.  
The chemistry between Charlie and Ben is palpable, but both are afraid to make the first move.  Charlie is insecure because of her quaint and unexceptional connections, and Ben feels inadequate because – though wealthy and handsome on the outside – he’s really just an astronomy geek on the inside.   Eventually, one of them will need to make the first move or fate will be lost to them.
A Proper Charlie is, unfortunately, not available through the library or SELCO; however, copies are available for purchase through Amazon and Barnes and Noble in both hardcopy and e-book format.

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