They made me do it. They were just so fantastic I had no choice but to obsess over them. With their compelling storylines, witty dialogue, and heart-achingly perfect heroes, I was doomed from the start.
I’m talking about the books that lead to PDH: Public Displays of Humiliation.
After sixteen years on social media, I’ve learned what kind of posts lead to embarrassment and comments simply stating “TMI.” My general rule is to avoid those posts, for the sake of my family, my friends, my children, and my day job as a college instructor. But, man oh man, that rule flies out the window when I finish a book I adore.
What follows can only be described as sophistication-averse, tweenaged-level, eye-roll-inducing and absurdly unashamed fangirling.
Without further ado, here are seven books I’ve obnoxiously ogled over:
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
This one is a given, considering I reread this every November. I will never stop proclaiming how powerful this book has been in my life. It’s what made me want to write my own stories. Most embarrassing moment: When I bought an Old West dress for a costume party that resembled Angel’s red dress on the book cover.
Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade
Ty Porter. Good looking. Confident. Smooth. Annoying. If romance novel heroes were bakery items, Ty would be a fresh everything bagel. Nice, hot, and delicious but also bad for your health. Plus, you get the poppy seeds stuck in your teeth, and they stay there all day until you find some floss. Meanwhile, the vanilla cinnamon bagel (Bo Porter) and the cranberry bagel (Jake Porter) just sit there on the shelf, wondering why their name doesn’t get brought up more. Most embarrassing moment: Admitting how much I love everything bagels.
Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano
This gorgeous Victorian novel isn’t technically a romance, but Silas and Aurelie have my vote for best couple ever. I’ve read this book five times and bought it as gifts twice that many times! Most embarrassing moment: Stalking the audiobook actor to find all the other books she voiced.
Tinsel in a Tangle by Laurie Germaine
This is one of those happy-squeal-loud-enough-to-scare-the-dog books. It is everything I love about romance and Christmas stories combined. This is one of the most adorable, heartfelt, and cheer-worthy books ever. READ IT!!!! Most embarrassing moment: Admitting to myself that I had a book crush on the 17-year-old heir to the Santa Claus throne.
Things Left Unsaid by Courtney Walsh
Crazed. I was crazed when I first read this story of high school friends reunited ten years after a tragedy. Like I immediately flipped back to page 1 after I finished it the first time. I was even able to get over the fact that the swoony but troubled hero, Tucker, shared the same name as my sister’s dog. Most embarrassing moment: Telling Courtney that I planned to write fan fiction for the side character, Dewey. It was going to involve a hot dog eating contest, and it would be a romance, obviously.
Under the Magnolias by T.I. Lowe
My latest obsession. I love every word of this beautiful book, especially the ones spoken between Vance Archer Cumberland (the gentlest, kindest, and most loyal man ever created in ink) to relatable heroine Austin Foster. The angst is at an all-time high with these two characters. I mean, check out this line: “He was too handsome to look so sad, and I wanted to live in a world where I was allowed to make him happy.” Ugh…my heart hurts! But that isn’t all. There’s much more to this book than a fetching love story. It’s simply amazing. Most embarrassing moment: Private messaging Joanna Gaines and telling her she needs to start a book club and this book needs to be her first read. (No reply yet!)
The entire Summer Harbor collection by Denise Hunter (Falling like Snowflakes, The Goodbye Bride, Just a Kiss)
The Callahan brothers had me tied in more knots than a Maine lobster net. Responsible big brother, Beau, and fun-loving yet heartbroken Zac each offer delightful stories. But Riley—bruised, betrayed, and brooding Riley—wrecked me! Seriously, if there was a way to climb inside a book and hug a character, I’d be there in a heartbeat. And I probably wouldn’t leave. Then, of course, there’s that one scene that has forever changed how I view pick-up trucks (wink, wink). Most embarrassing moment: Sitting next to Denise Hunter at a conference lunch, awkwardly stunted in speech, yet still managing to bring up Riley’s name a handful of times.
GIVEAWAY: Have you read any of these? What books have you loved enough to gush over? Tell me in the comments and you will be entered to win a copy of your choice from these books. (Must be over 18. Due to shipping costs, winner must be a US resident or capable of receiving an ebook sent from the US. Summer Harbor collection, if chosen, would be an ebook).