The Rec League: Get Your Groove Back

The Rec League - heart shaped chocolate resting on the edge of a very old bookThis request comes from Sam. Thank you, Sam!

It’s been a rough year for me work-wise, and my confidence has taken a bit of a beating. I’m trying to pick myself up for a better year next year, but I’d love some inspiration/encouragement from my favorite genre. As such, I’d really love to read some romances about ladies getting their groove back. I’m looking for heroines who are wary to be burned again to clarify – not those looking to be adventurous for the first time.

The ones closest to what I’m thinking are more overcoming relationship-fear hurdles (along the lines of Kerrigan Byrne’s THE HIGHLANDER, Suzanne Enoch’s ENGLAND’S PERFECT HERO, Olivia Dade’s READY TO FALL, and Sarina Bowen’s HARD-HITTER), and I’m happy for recs there, but I’d really love some romances (any genre!) where the heroine’s confidence blow has come from a non-sexual place too.

Sarah:  I’m so frustrated because I know I’ve read books like this but I can’t remember the titles (story of my life).

Oh – Patricia Gaffney…To Have and To Hold!

Or better, To Love and To Cherish ( A | BN | K | iB ), with a vicar hero and a heroine’s horrible marriage to a man who used to be the hero’s friend. Both are quite angsty in an older historical style, though.

Not exactly relationship fear but a lot of hesitation for valid reasons: Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy ( A | K | G | iB | Au ). The heroine is a widow of a NASCAR driver who ends up in an affair with a younger man, also a driver, something she swore she’d never do again.

Forbidden by Jo Beverley. The heroine, Serena, was married to a sadistic horrible man and then he dies. Some dislike the hero in this one, while I struggled more with the depictions of her marriage and her memories, though her experiences are important to her healing.

And Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl ( A | BN | K | G | iB ) – one of her earliest (if not the first) contemporary. The heroine, Molly, is an erotic fiction author who has a creepy ex, so she returns to her tiny hometown (of course) and hello, the police chief is verrrry hot. The heroine isn’t so much restoring her sexual confidence as she is restoring her sexual creativity in writing, but this book made me laugh a lot.

CarriePersuasion by Jane Austen ( A | BN | K | G | iB | Au )

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte ( A | BN | K | G | iB | Au | Scribd )

Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie ( A | BN | K | G | iB )

There’s one on the tip of my tongue but I can’t remember anything about it.

Amanda: I know I just mentioned Roman Crazy ( A | BN | K | G | iB ) in the travel romance rec league and I think that fits here too! Heroine is finishing up a divorce and goes to Italy with her friend for the summer.

And the Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely. I’m listening to it on audio with Richard Armitage has the hero narrator. The heroine is a chemist who takes a job in Paris. She just got out of a long term relationship and she’s in her 30s and she’s in no rush to get back into a relationship. (It’s something she tells the hero when he first asks her out.)

What other romances would you recommend? Any books that Sam just has to read?

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