Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan1950 England: When her ailing younger brother asks her to find out where Narnia came from, Oxford physics student Megs Devonshire can't refuse. So she gathers her courage and visits professor C.S. Lewis, who answers her in a series of stories.
Don't miss: discussion questions by C.S. Lewis' stepson.
For fans of: the author's Christy Award-winning Becoming Mrs. Lewis; C.S. Lewis's books, especially The Chronicles of Narnia; and charming, moving novels that celebrate books and imagination.
Forgiving Paris by Karen KingsburyWhat happens: Indiana painter Ashley Baxter Blake and her husband go to Paris, where her art is being shown in a gallery. But Ashley's apprehensive, because when she was last there 23 years ago, she had an affair with a married man and is still trying to forgive herself.
Series alert: Though it includes characters from the author's bestselling Baxter series, Forgiving Paris can be read on its own (but if you want to know more about the family, there is a summary at the book's end).
Read this next: For other emotional, faith-filled reads, try novels by Francine Rivers, Lynn Austin, or Charles Martin.
After She Falls by Carmen SchoberStarring: Adriana Rivera, a single mom who, after leaving her abusive husband and coming home to the Pennsylvania mountains, is determined to return to MMA (mixed martial arts) fighting.
What happens: Adri puts her life back together with the help of her family and her faith -- and faces the people she left behind, including MMA trainer Max, who's opened a new gym in their hometown.
Is it for you? Readers who enjoy sports romances featuring complex characters will find much to like in this debut, but sensitive readers should be aware that there are gritty and violent elements.
A View Most Glorious by Regina Scott1893 Washington State: Representing a suffragette group, well-to-do Coraline Baxter plans to climb Mount Rainier to raise awareness and help earn women the right to vote -- and if it helps prevent the arranged marriage that her mother insists on, so much the better. Helping her is guide Nathan Hardee, who once belonged to society but left it all behind.
Series alert: A View Most Glorious is the charming, vividly described 3rd book in the stellar American Wonders collection, which centers stories around national parks (A Distance Too Grand takes place at the Grand Canyon and Nothing Short of Wonderous is set in Yellowstone).
Stand by Me by Pat SimmonsThe couple: Kym Knicely is 36, working on her doctoral degree, and ready for a loving husband and family. Chaz Banks is 42, a divorced public health expert with two grown sons and a grandchild, and not interested in having more kids.
What happens: Kym and Chaz get to know each other, but differing desires and family issues may keep them apart.
Series alert: This sweet 3rd entry in the Family Is Forever series works as a standalone story and offers a faith-filled romance between appealing characters.
Books You May Have Missed
Three Missing Days by Colleen CobleStarring: Chief of Police Jane Hardy, who was raised in a cult and has a complicated personal life that includes a newly discovered 15-year-old son she'd thought died at birth, plus his father, who's married to someone else.
What happens: Investigating a fatal arson in her Alabama coastal town, Jane is horrified when her son is accused of the crime and digs into her own past to prove his innocence.
Series alert: This heartfelt 3rd in the Pelican Harbor trilogy follows One Little Lie and Two Reasons to Run and nicely wraps up the suspenseful series.
The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean DietrichWhat it's about: In a sleepy 1950s Florida panhandle town, beloved 52-year-old Sheriff Winston Browne is dying of cancer, though he's not sharing that information just yet. In the meantime, he listens to Brooklyn Dodgers games on the radio, helps a young runaway girl who's in serious trouble, contemplates life, and ponders romance.
For fans of: atmospheric, character-driven Southern stories set in small towns, such as Chris Fabry's A Piece of the Moon.
Along a Storied Trail by Ann H. GabhartWhat happens: Packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun delivers reading material to her Kentucky friends and neighbors in 1937 and wonders about her own future -- does it involve the writer who's visiting town or the sweet boy she's known forever?
Why you might like it: Along a Storied Trail offers an atmospheric look at Tansy's Appalachian community and a sweet romance.
For fans of: Kim Vogel Sawyer's The Librarian of Boone's Hollow or Jojo Moyes' The Giver of Stars, both of which also feature packhorse librarians in 1930s Kentucky.
The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin ThomasWhat happens: On a hot summer day in 1934 West Virginia, Loyal Raines, a deaf 13 year old, heads to the river for a swim. When he finds a dead body, he reaches out to his estranged father, who was once a sheriff, and together they try to figure out what happened.
Reviewers say: "strikes all the high points of redemptive love and coming-of-age within a historical murder mystery" (Booklist).
Read this next: For another book featuring a deaf character in Appalachia, try Joanne Bischof's Sons of Blackbird Mountain.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Elmhurst Public Library
125 S Prospect Ave.
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126