As some readers know, I moved to London last May after nearly nine years of living in New York City. While I was excited for new adventures, one thing I was decidedly not excited about was saying goodbye to most of my books. Romance readers—and really any hardcore readers—know that it's really only a matter of time before our books take over our lives. I was definitely at max capacity for books in my old apartment on the Upper East Side. (One of my best friends once told me, "I worry that I won't hear from you for a few days and I'll come over to find you've been crushed to death because one of your book piles has fallen on top of you.") I wound up giving a ton of books to a used bookstore run out of my local library's basement so at least they were going to a good cause.
Unfortunately all of that moving and writing—I handed in The Taste of Temptation to my editor seven days after arriving in the U.K.—I lost track of what I was reading. I've been tracking my reading in some form or another since I was in college, but for whatever reason I just wasn't writing books down as I whipped through them this summer.
I restarted this fall using a pretty notebook, and oh boy can I see a comfort reading trend, especially when I was on deadline and working extra hard to get manuscripts to my editor this summer. Here are a few of my favorites:
This was my first Rosamund Pilcher novel, recommended to me by my mother. It's a sweeping story about several generations of a family. At the center of it is a painting that's a mother's legacy but which most of her children don't appreciate until they realize its value. Throughout the 600+ pages, readers realize that there's far more to the mother's life than she's ever told her children, starting with her childhood in Cornwall and winding through World War II.
Another British World War II saga, this book focuses around an upper middle class family as the threat of war and then the reality of it change relationships and fortunes. I actually read the first four books and thought I was done with the series, but then I found out there's a fifth called All Change, written some years after the first four books. That's right up there on my TBR.
I'm talked a lot about my love of mystery on this site. The Lady Julia Grey mysteries tick a lot of boxes for me: amateur woman detective, Victorian setting, hero who is just outside the bounds of propriety and has secrets in his past. I've actually read the first three, but Silent in the Grave is the place to start.
This was my Halloween read this year. I always get the urge to read something slightly spooky (although not too scary because authors need beauty sleep too). A Gothic novel seemed like just the thing, and this one was about as Gothic as they come. I don't want to say too much for fear of giving away the twisting, turning, always-leaving-you-doubting plot, but it's worth giving this one a shot if you love historical reads. (US readers: this book is available for preorder now and comes out on March 6.)