In the mood for sweet fun and a splash of romance? Take a chance on Shooting Fish, a light PG-rated British comedy released in 1997. Jez and Dylan have a particular talent for ingenious schemes, and the money they pocket goes toward providing a stately home for orphans. Since they themselves are the orphans, it might not be as altruistic as first appears. You won’t really mind, though, because it’s so much fun watching them concoct their elaborate cons. When they hire Georgie (Kate Beckinsale) to pose as a secretary, their long-established twosome makes room for a third. Smart writing, witty dialogue, and winning performances make enjoying this film as easy as…well, you know.
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Dreamland is a crumbling amusement park that Mab has been hired to restore. What Mab doesn’t know is that Dreamland is more than an old fun park. It’s a demon keep. Four of the world’s most dangerous demons are held prisoner in various statues and rides. As Dreamland’s Halloween grand re-opening draws closer, someone starts releasing demons. Meanwhile, Mab thinks she’s in love, and Ethan, the park owner’s son, well, he’s not looking for love, but he is looking for a good time. Wild Ride, by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer, is a comedic, supernatural romance à la Joss Whedon. In fact, it’s even dedicated to him. If you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you should give Wild Ride a try
Jamie Fraser is a sexy Scotsman who millions of people have fallen in love with via Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling, time-travel adventure, Outlander. Outlander is the story of Claire Randall, a WWII Army nurse who is propelled back in time to 18th century Scotland. While Claire attempts to find a way back home, she falls in love with the kilt-clad, gun-toting Fraser. The Exile is Gabaldon’s first attempt at a graphic novel, and it explores Outlander from Jamie’s point of view. Hoang Nguyen beautifully illustrates Jamie and Claire’s explicit exploits, but be warned - the graphic novel does cut short Gabaldon’s exposition, and readers who haven’t experienced the novel might get confused by the graphic novel’s shortened plot.
If summer puts you in the mood for romance, snuggle up to one of the new winners of the 2011 RITA Awards. Given by the Romance Writers of America, the RITA Awards celebrate outstanding published works in diverse categories of the romance genre. Among this year’s honorees:
Best Regency Historical Romance – The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig
Best Inspirational Romance – In Harm’s Way by Irene Hannon
Best Young Adult Romance – The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Best Romantic Suspense – Silent Scream by Karen Rose
Best First Book – Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner
Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements - Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas
Grab the Kleenex and click here for movies of lovers lost and gained.
Larissa owns a small beer joint in Texas. She’s not looking for love, or at least she wasn’t…until that tall, handsome cowboy walked into the bar. Hank isn’t what he seems. He’s not just a cowboy, he’s a rich cowboy. In fact, he steps into Larissa’s bar looking to spy around and buy it out from under her. All heck breaks loose when hot-headed Larissa uncovers Hank’s ulterior motives. Can two people who had a car wreck of a starting off point give themselves a second chance at love? Find out in Carolyn Brown’s fast-paced, country romance, My Give a Damn’s Busted.
When the bleakness of January weighs on your spirits, escape into a languid and mischievous season in the Hamptons. The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek is a light-hearted story of two wildly different half-sisters who inherit the home of their beloved aunt. Those who gather around Fool’s House include a performance artist who serves as butler, a neighboring millionaire who has a history with one of the sisters, and a charming golden-boy architect. Narrator Justine Eyre smoothly distinguishes each character’s voice, contrasting pretension with earnestness and bringing just the right touch to the comic relief. Bask in the delights of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jackson Pollock, and one unforgettable summer.
In the madness of the French Revolution, a time when men, women, and even children are falling under the merciless blade of the guillotine, a hero emerges. The Scarlet Pimpernel, a man of unparalleled daring and clever disguise, boldly rescues aristocrats from their horrific fates. To keep his identity secret, he acts the part of a vain and foppish nobleman, and not even his men know who he truly is. When he falls for Marguerite, France’s most celebrated actress, his loyalties are tested, and the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel must find a way to be true to both himself and his calling. Baroness Emma Orczy’s classic is cherished for its adventure, suspense, trickery, and repartee. Join the League of The Scarlet Pimpernel.
As one character observes, “talking about love is like dancing about architecture.” Yet, Playing by Heart makes the intricate steps seem appealing. A surprising ensemble including Sean Connery, Jon Stewart, and Angelina Jolie play out intertwining storylines exploring relationships at different stages. This overlooked gem has warmth, wit, and style.
Joan Wilder is a popular romance novelist who lives life more in her imagination than in practice. She likes her heroes strong, daring, sensitive, and irresistible. When Columbian smugglers kidnap Joan’s sister and offer to trade her for a treasure map, Joan sets off on a dangerous escapade straight out of one of her books. Along the way she encounters profiteer Jack Colton, sparking an attraction that even she couldn’t imagine. Sound familiar? If you were swept away by the thrills and fun of the film starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, indulge in one of the heroine’s own stories by choosing Romancing the Stone or The Jewel of the Nile for your next adventure.