Something extraordinary happens when you step onto a modern-day dirt road, doesn’t it? Like you are instantly transported to a time of simple living, where love is unencumbered by technology and city (or even suburban) life.
The stories have the feel of historicals while remaining relatable to our present circumstances because it’s easy to believe we might wind up where the blacktop ends, peering ahead to a new adventure ourselves.
Here are five novels that will inspire you to look beyond the pavement PLUS a giveaway:
Someone Found by Teresa Tysinger
In this June 8th release, Someone Found, Quinn McAlister is lost in more ways than one. When her long hike on the Appalachian Trail comes to an abrupt end, she finds herself injured and stuck in Laurel Cove, North Carolina. The wilds of the Blue Ridge Mountains are no match for the uncharted territory her heart explores with Eli Moreland, the camp director who takes her in. Together, Quinn and Eli discover life’s detours can be the most important steps we’re meant to take.
A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham
This is one of my favorite romances in any setting! But Pepper takes us deep into Appalachia for this nod to Pygmalion and My Fair Lady. Reese Mitchell is a cattle farmer who cares very little about what others think of him, especially sophisticated Dr. Adelina Roseland. The accent reduction specialist ends up moving into a cabin on the Mitchell family property in order to win a secret wager that she can transform Reese into corporate material. It is a laugh-out-loud trip into the world of overalls, strong family ties, smiling dogs, and a whole lot of dirt.
Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter
A sprawling horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia is the perfect setting if you want to escape from the concrete jungle. Noah and Josephine have just discovered their divorce was never finalized, which creates a rather interesting situation when a snowstorm traps them together in his cottage. If you love forced proximity romances and remote locations, you’ll love this one!
Her Hope Discovered by Cynthia Herron
The Welcome to Ruby series is set in a rural, small town in the Ozarks. Picture a contemporary Mayberry with a vintage-era vibe. In this first book, Charla is a city girl looking for a permanent lifestyle change far away from paved streets bustling with traffic. Readers who enjoy Robyn Carr’s Virgin River or Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove will be drawn to the warm setting of these sweet and wholesome books.
Wildflower Road by Janine Rosche (hey, that’s me!)
I’d be remiss not to mention this Madison River Romance that almost entirely takes place on a Montana riverbank near the western edge of Yellowstone National Park. In this novel, which takes the term “rustic romance” to a whole new level, disgraced city pastor Shane finds refuge at a fly-fishing resort and in the arms of a fiery Montana-born and bred redhead who has never seen a skyscraper in her life. Admittedly, many of Shane’s fish-out-of-water experiences were taken directly from my own life when I first witnessed the wonders of this region: valleys full of bison, the Grand Prismatic Spring, the sunrise glinting off the Madison River, Ghost Village, Earthquake Lake, huckleberry ANYTHING, etc.
Beware: After reading this, you may have a significant urge to head west.
YOUR TURN: What are your favorite contemporary rustic romances? What do you like about these settings?
Your answer may be featured in the summer edition of The LOVE | WANDER | READ Journal—a free publication celebrating family, relationships, travel, home, and books. GIVEAWAY: One commenter will win a signed copy of my book, Wildflower Road.
*Winner must be over 18 and have a valid U.S. residence to receive the paperback. Contest runs until Thursday, May 27th at 11:59pm.