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The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig (2012)

Augustus Whittlesby writes dreadful (yet entertaining) poetry – and has done so for more than a decade to aid the British cause. As a spy stationed in Napoleon’s France, Whittlesby’s ridiculous ramblings provide an excellent cover. Widowed American Emma Delagardie, friend to Napoleon’s stepdaughter and cousin to the American envoy, finds herself ensconced in the Paris social scene. The pair is thrown together when the newly crowned emperor requests a masque at his manor home, Malmaison.

Between uncovering a plot to invade England, exchanging delightful letters, and discovering a mysterious weapon, Augustus and Emma embark on the adventure of a lifetime. The Garden Intrigue is a must for fans of historical fiction, plus those who enjoy mystery and romance.

Although it’s the ninth installment of the Pink Carnation series, you can jump in with this delightful concoction. If you want to start at the beginning, check out The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (and check out my review of that title here).

Join us during National Library Week on Wednesday, April 11 at 7:00pm for an appearance by Lauren Willig. She’ll talk about the Pink Carnation series, answer your questions, and sign books. Anderson’s of Downers Grove will be present to sell books. Reserve your spot today at calendar.ippl.info!

For more more books by Lauren Willing check out our catalog.
 
 

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff (2010)
Isabel Wolff has written a delightful story to entertain and captivate. A Vintage Affair tells the story of Phoebe Swift, who leaves Sotheby’s to open her own vintage clothing shop. Each garment has a history and each garment has a future as far as Phoebe is concerned. Throughout the story we are treated to brief descriptions of designer named clothing and they do sound wonderful!

Phoebe goes to purchase clothing from an elderly Frenchwoman and finds a child’s blue coat among her things. They gradually become friends and share a connection because of the coat, which helps Phoebe heal her pain of a past heartbreak. Wolff’s writing is so lovely that the stories become vivid, endearing and special. The story includes two men competing for Phoebe’s affection, her mother who leans on Phoebe for life-advice, her father coping with a new family, and an amusing cast of customers.

Don’t miss A Vintage Affair. It’s a well put together, brilliantly amusing book.

Watch the clip below to hear the author discuss her book.

The Family Man by Elinor Lipman

The Family Man by Elinor Lipman (2009)
This is a charming, funny, enjoyable read with wonderfully developed characters, many of whom I’d love to meet and hang out with! I couldn’t help but root for each character to have a “happy ending” despite their flaws or shortcomings. If you like lighter, well-written fiction with an engaging storyline and likeable characters, you’ll love this one.

Preview the book, visit the author's website and read the L.A. Times review.

Rosie Dunne by Cecelia Ahern

Rosie Dunne by Cecelia Ahern (2005)
Rosie and Alex are meant for each other. And yet life keeps getting in the way. Follow the pair through letters, notes, instant messages, and emails. Laugh at their correspondence with each other and with their friends and family.

These childhood friends become long distance pen pals when Alex moves from Dublin to Boston. Plans to reunite are constantly thwarted. College happens, then marriage, births, and deaths. And yet they keep in touch. Watch Alex and Rosie grow from childhood to middle age and find out if fate helps them finally get together.

Read reviews at Amazon.com and visit the author's website.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig (2005)
American grad student Eloise Kelly travels to England to conduct research for her dissertation (and to get over a cheating boyfriend). She’s fascinated by the spies (with flowery aliases) who saved England during the Napoleonic era and is trying to solve one of history’s greatest mysteries: the identity of the Pink Carnation.

Most of the story takes place in the early 1800s. Amy Balcourt travels to France to join the League of the Purple Gentian. She wants to avenge her parents’ deaths and dreams up schemes to defeat Napoleon. Lord Richard Selwick – aka the Purple Gentian – isn’t quite prepared for Amy (nor does he reveal his secret identity). Several English citizens work to stop Napoleon’s nefarious plot to invade England – the Pink Carnation among them – but you’ll have to read the book to discover the spy’s identity! The author’s debut, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, is the first in a series.

I think Meg Cabot describes it best: “This genre-bending read—a dash of chick-lit with a historical twist—has it all: romance, mystery, and adventure.”

Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center

Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center (2009)
Lanie's life is not turning out how she expected. When she is uprooted from Texas to live in the Northeast, she finds her life more out of control than ever. Lanie takes the opportunity to get control and ends up finding herself in the process. A light, funny read.

Read reviews at Amazon.com, visit the author's web site, and watch a YouTube video.

Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews

Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews (2008)
Gina Foxton, host of a Georgia public television cooking show, is stunned when her show is cancelled – and doubly so after she finds out why: her producer (and boyfriend) was caught sleeping with the sponsor’s wife. Things are looking up when Gina learns she has a chance to host a national show at The Cooking Channel. But there’s a catch: she’ll have to beat Tate Moody, host of a popular hunting/fishing/cooking show, in a reality show cook-off. Sparks fly as the two clash, cook, and click.

Enjoy the delightful Southern setting, the hilarious situations throughout the novel, and the wonderfully entertaining cast of characters surrounding Gina and Tate. A fun, breezy novel that’s perfect for the beach, or for a lazy afternoon in your own backyard.


Check out the Book Reporter interview with the author, or visit Mary Kay Andrew’s website for an excerpt and book discussion guide.

Make Him Look Good by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

Make Him Look Good by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez (2006)
Set in sultry Miami, this story features an ensemble cast of six women who are connected through their relationships with Latin pop star Ricky Biscayne. This humorous chick lit novel isn’t completely lighthearted, as the characters deal with teenage pregnancy, discrimination, drugs, adultery, and more. Not for the faint of heart, the flamboyant Make Him Look Good occasionally goes into explicit detail.

Visit this bestselling author's website and take a sneak preview of the book before you visit the library.

The Book of Jane by Ann Dayton and May Vanderbilt

The Book of Jane by Ann Dayton and May Vanderbilt (2007)
This contemporary chick lit retelling of the Biblical Book of Job has Jane Williams (who lives what her friends consider a perfect life), losing her high-profile job, boyfriend, and awesome NYC apartment all in the space of a day or so--not to mention her seriously sick dog and that mysterious facial rash. Sweet, romantic, funny and inspirational (but isn't it annoying when characters don't take some obvious action that could help resolve a problem?).

Check out our recommended list of other chick lit authors and read reviews of the book at Amazon.com

Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews

Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews (2001)
Savannah Blues is a light, fun read with a touch of learning about antique pickers. Follow Eloise "Weezie" Foley as she deals with a huge estate sale, eccentric relatives, a sexy ex-boyfriend, and her ex-husband. Love can be better the second time around.

Check out an interview with the author, read an excerpt, and glance over discussion questions. Also visit the author's website to learn more.

Roommates Wanted by Lisa Jewell

Roommates Wanted by Lisa Jewell (2007)

Leah, while living with her Indian boyfriend, has long observed the interesting characters who live across the street from her London apartment. Leah gets involved when an elderly resident of the mystery house has a heart attack on the sidewalk. She then meets Toby and his assortment of lost souls. Now Toby has the chance to sell the house and move to the country--but he can't bring himself to abandon his housemates. Enter Leah and her ability to make all ship shape. A delightful chick lit novel with considerably more depth than the average.

--Debbie

Set in contemporary London, our gangling anti-hero, Toby, rents rooms to the needy and then passively allows his tenants to dictate his life. Whoa…along comes the girl next door, Leah.  Slowly, not suddenly, our hero falls out of love with and into love with—Ah, but that would be telling. This book is fun: a chick flick that’s tolerable to all.

--Lucille

Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot (2006)
In the first book of her new mystery series, Cabot introduces us to former pop star Heather Wells. Her mom ran off with her manager and her money, and her dad’s in jail. Heather finds a job as an assistant dorm director at a New York college. Everything seems to be going well…until someone finds a dead body. Heather doesn’t think it was an accident, despite what the police say. She starts investigating, ignoring the advice of her landlord and crush (and her ex-boyfriend’s brother), P.I. Cooper Cartwright. Laugh out loud at this chick lit mystery as you follow the adventures -- and misadventures -- of Heather Wells.

If you want to read more Heather Wells escapades, check out the next books in the series: Size 14 is Not Fat Either (2006) and Big Boned (2007).