Beyond the Tides by Liz JohnsonStarring: Meg Whitaker, a teacher whose lobster fisherman father decides to sell his business to have more time with his ill wife; and Oliver Ross, Meg's high school nemesis from a troubled family.
The contest: Though Meg, who suffers from seasickness, doesn't want the business, she changes her mind when her dad says he's selling to Oliver. So Meg's dad comes up with a plan: Meg and Oliver will work together during lobster season, and at the end, he'll pick a winner.
Series alert: This is the charming 1st in author Liz Johnson's Prince Edward Island Shores romances centered on three brothers; she's also written the Prince Edward Island Dreams (aka Red Door Inn) series.
The Healing of Natalie Curtis by Jane KirkpatrickWhat it's about: After an emotional breakdown leaves her unable to perform for years, classically trained pianist and singer Natalie Curtis travels west with her brother in 1902. She finds healing in the beautiful Native American music, but is disturbed that Indigenous culture is outlawed and sets out to change that and preserve the music.
Why you might like it: The Healing of Natalie Curtis is leisurely paced, richly detailed, and based on historical facts and a real person.
Reviewers say: "Kirkpatrick's reflective and informative novel inspires readers to consider their own motives and choices and the sometimes unintended consequences of the help they give" (Booklist).
Under the Bayou Moon by Valerie Fraser Luesse1949 Louisiana: Leaving her home and family in Alabama, idealistic young Ellie Fields begins teaching at a rural bayou school.
What happens: The students and their families are suspicious at first, but warm up to Ellie when she doesn't ban French -- and Ellie's especially drawn to one orphaned Cajun boy and his handsome uncle. Meanwhile, an oil company believes there are riches under the town.
For fans of: heartwarming, atmospheric Southern stories with romantic elements.
To Write a Wrong by Jen TuranoStarring: Daphne Beekman, who secretly writes mystery novels and is a detective at the women-run Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency in 1887 New York City; and Herman Henderson, a popular mystery writer who hires the agency to investigate when someone tries to kill him.
What happens: Women from the agency and a Pinkerton detective friend go undercover at Herman's Hudson River estate, where they find an abundance of suspects, and Daphne and Herman fall for each other.
Series alert: This is the entertaining 2nd entry in the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency; the 3rd, To Disguise the Truth, arrives in January.
An Amish Christmas Wedding: Four Stories by Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, Kathleen Fuller, and Vannetta ChapmanWhat's inside: four faith-filled Amish novellas by bestselling authors that showcase romantic love during the Christmas season.
The stories: Ex-fiancés meet again in Amy Clipston's "Evergreen Love;" a Montana widower and a teacher help an orphaned child in Kelly Irvin's "A Holiday of Hope;" childhood friends try dating (again) in Kathleen Fuller's "Wreathed in Joy;" and an older couple find love in Vannetta Chapman's "A Christmas Prayer."
An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie KlassenMeet: Richard Brockwell, a selfish bachelor who's nearly 30, lives in his family's London townhouse, and must attend his mother's 1822 Christmas house party in Wiltshire or be cut off financially.
What happens: With the stray dog he's recently adopted in tow, Richard returns to the bucolic village of Ivy Hill and finds himself unexpectedly charmed by houseguest Arabella Awdry, who, planning to devote her life to charity work, finds Richard quite unsuitable.
Series alert: This delightful Tales from Ivy Hill novella will please series fans as well as anyone who enjoys Christmas romances with themes of redemption.
Jingle All the Way by Debbie MacomberThe setup: Workaholic Everly Lancaster is forced to take December off by her Chicago business partner, and her assistant books a two-week cruise on the Amazon River instead of the luxury trip Everly expects.
What happens: At first Everly is upset, but then she falls for her surroundings and her Amazon naturalist guide, Asher Adams. As the tour ends and Christmas approaches, Everly heads to her Indiana family's farm, and both her and Asher ponder making room in their lives for love.
Is it for you? This sweet romance is primarily set in Brazil, so if you want a story with lots of snow, try one of Debbie Macomber's other bestselling Christmas books, such as Alaskan Holiday.
The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiereMay 1972: A husband buys wood to make a dining table for his young family, while his wife tries to improve her cooking using the recipe cards her mother made -- but cancer puts both goals on the back burner.
May 2012: Newlywed and newly pregnant Lauren Mabrey, who grew up a foster child, buys a used table. Finding a secret drawer holding a stack of recipe cards on which personal notes have been written, Lauren knows she must reunite the cards with the family they came from.
Series alert: This heartwarming 11th in the Christmas Hope series includes familiar characters and locations (such as the charming Glory's Place), but can be read as a standalone -- and recipes are included!
Contact your librarian for more great books!