Good morning! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
Winter is still in full swing here in Southern Ontario. Not pictured: the slushy footprints my dog tracks through the house every day. If you too are stuck in the thick of winter, or even if you’re somewhere warm, why not curl up with a comfort read?
Today’s recommendations are, I’ll admit, both from good friends of mine–both of whom are celebrating their first solo release! I was privileged to see these books grow and develop from the first seeds of ideas into the refined final products. The first one is Place Setting, by Claudia Mayrant, which celebrates its one-month-release-iversary today!
As a bonus, it has an extremely gorgeous cover.
Cameron Dunlop has lived in the Lowcountry town of Summer Corners, South Carolina, his whole life. He loves his home, but his little town in the Deep South doesn’t offer much in the way of dating options.
Chef Gray Callahan has enjoyed success in the kitchen, but his last relationship sunk like a bad soufflé. When plans for his sister’s wedding go awry, it provides the perfect excuse to pack up and go home, where he can help out as he decides how to start his life over.
Gray’s path crosses Cameron’s, and he realizes together they might have all the ingredients to save the day—with maybe enough left over for something sweet just for the two of them.
Place Setting is a sweet Southern romance that’s light on angst and heavy on charm, wordplay, and guys making heart eyes at each other. It’s a perfect pick-me-up on a winter day (or any other day that could benefit from a pick-me-up, really). Be advised that chef Gray’s food may make your tummy rumble, so if you’re prone to fits of hunger while reading, keep your fridge on speed dial. You can get the book from Dreamspinner or Amazon.
Today’s second recommendation is Love Conventions by Morgan James. Sadly I don’t have a cover image to share with you yet, but I have seen it and I can tell you that it’s excellent. And the book itself….
A happy ending worthy of a TV fantasy… in real life?
Ashland Wells is an actor of sci-fi cult fame but with little direction for the future, when handsome grad student Remy Beaumont lands in his lap at a fan convention. Remy is everything Ash ever wanted and wished he could be—including out and proud. For twelve hours they’re the best of friends. But the convention ends, and saying goodbye to Remy might be the biggest mistake Ash has ever made.
A few months later, they’re reunited on a new production—Ash as an actor, Remy a writer—and though Ash doesn’t plan to let him go twice, being with Remy means going public about being gay. He’s not sure that’s a risk he—or his career—can handle, no matter how great the temptation.
If only they could write themselves the romantic happily ever after they both need.
We all know I’m a sucker for books about actors or writers (ideally both!), and this book is no exception! It fulfills so many idle what-if fantasies, and I especially love the first meeting and unexpected role reversal (who doesn’t want to get to play tour guide hero to their actor crush?). Bonus: Ash is a hunky Scot with an accent.
Love Conventions releases May 7 from Dreamspinner Press. It is available for preorder here.