Dogs and Goddesses
Abby Richmond had come to Summerville, Ohio, to sell the bakery she just inherited from her grandmother, but when she decides to attend the Kammani Gula dog-obedience class being held at the local college, she meets Web designer Daisy Harris and Professor Shar Summer. After drinking some of Kammani’s special “tonic,” Abby, Daisy, and Shar not only hear their dogs talking but each woman finds she has been given a unique power. Once the three discover they are pawns in a plot concocted by a 4,000-year-old, very cranky Mesopotamian goddess who plans on ruling the world, Abby, Daisy, and Shar (along with the new men in their lives) team up to stop her. Equal measures of sexy romance, captivating characters, and clever writing give Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart, and Lani Diane Rich’s collaborative effort its splendidly original flavor. With its uniquely talented trio of authors, uniquely resourceful trio of heroines, rich cast of quirky secondary characters (including one of the best villainesses ever written), and wickedly witty writing, Dogs and Goddesses is absolutely sublime.
“Stuart is a consummate mistress of her craft.”—Romantic Times Bookreviews
“Rich has a knack for creating memorable characters.”—Romance Reader at Heart
“Crusie is a master of fast-paced witty dialogue.”—Seattle Times
Wish You Were Here
Freya has one deal to seal before she can take over her father’s development business. Buying a rundown campground in Idaho for a sum far greater than its worth should be simple, but it isn’t. Freya’s typically cool negotiations are marred by inexplicable bouts of crying, and by her growing attachment to the camp’s owner, Nate Brody, and his young daughter, Piper. As for Nate, he promised his estranged, dying father that he’d find an heirloom hidden on the grounds and won’t sell the land until he does. Add Nate’s diabolical uncle and conniving ex-wife—who are also after the item—and Freya’s father’s ulterior motive for wanting the land, and you have a story full of surprises. Accomplished romance author Rich once again delivers an amusing, engaging tale. Though her story can be farfetched, her main characters are both realistic and endearing.
“A big-hearted novel filled with all my favorite things: laughter, tears, family, and fun.”
A Little Ray of Sunshine
From Publisher’s Weekly:
Rich takes a turn toward the serious in a romance primarily focused on a mother-daughter relationship. For six years, Emmy James has lived out of her Airstream, working odd jobs until she gets the urge to move on. Then she meets Jess, a young woman who declares herself Emmy’s angel, sent to help her with her problems. At the same time, Digs, who would be her brother-in-law if Emmy hadn’t left his brother Luke, shows up, bearing disturbing news: his father, Danny, and Emmy’s mother, Lilly, are getting married. Lilly is vain, cruel, narcissistic and destructive-all the things Danny is not. Emmy is determined to stay away, but her angel knows best, and soon the Airsteam is headed home. While the story of Emmy’s lost love is engaging, the heart of the story has to do with the transformation Emmy sees-but doesn’t trust-in her mother. The process is painful and sometimes funny, and though the characters skate right to the edge of believability, the romance is very real. A thoughtful, well told story with an unusual twist.
“Lani Diane Rich writes stories that are both funny and true, sharply observant and deeply satisfying… A heartwarming story of a woman and her Airstream trailer, trying to find her way back to love, one duck joke at a time.”
Crazy in Love
Perennial job-hopper Flynn Daly has been forced into joining the family real estate business. She’s been sent to her deceased great-aunt Esther’s Hudson Valley inn to make nice with the locals until her father can arrange for a sale. That’s not as easy as it seems. Flynn is falling for the quaint inn and for its cute bartender, Jake. After a few late-night visits from the ghost of Aunt Esther and a murder that may be connected to Jake and the inn, Flynn thinks she may have taken on more than she can handle. Rich follows up her quirky, engaging The Fortune Quilt (2007) with another charmer about small-town life and big-time romance. This novel has some predictable moments, but it is a solid outing from an author who is making a name for herself in contemporary romance. Rich’s readers won’t be disappointed.
“Smart, funny, sexy… Lani has done it again!”
The Fortune Quilt
From Publisher’s Weekly:
This vibrant novel from Rich (The Comeback Kiss) shows that chick lit can deal intelligently with fate, family issues and romantic relationships. Carly McKay, a 29-year-old TV producer in Tucson, Ariz., comes from a loving Catholic family—a great dad and two sisters—all of whom have been scarred by the wife and mom who abandoned them 17 years earlier. On assignment from Tucson Today, Carly travels to Bilby, a small town revitalized by a thriving artist community, to interview Brandywine Seaver, a hip psychic quilt maker. Brandy gives skeptical Carly a quilt and a reading, telling her that her mother’s not dead and that “[e]verything’s about to change.” When her mother’s shocking return confirms Brandy’s reading and she also loses her job, an angry Carly returns to Bilby to give back the “Quilt of Evil.” She ends up staying in order to reimagine her life, and in the process discovers new love and the courage to take charge of her destiny.
“Funny and completely involving! Carly is the rare character who is both appealing and confused enough to actually fit in with the rest of your friends.”
The Comeback Kiss
Tessa Scuderi’s life changed on one night 10 years ago when her best friend, Finn, took off with her beloved VW bug and her heart. It was also the night her mother died while fleeing a fire in her craft shop. Now Finn is back. While he was gone, Tessa has been raising her little sister, Izzy, and worrying that any false move will put her sister into the state’s hands. So she’s not ready to welcome back Finn and his connection to her troublemaking teenage days. Sparks fly though–literally and figuratively. On Finn’s first day in town, he saves a burning pet shop and shares a passionate kiss with Tessa, and that’s only the beginning. Rich, the author of Maybe Baby (2005), expertly blends romance and mystery, and this charming coming-home-again tale is a winner.
“An evocative treasure of a story… rife with passion, blazing hearts, and an intriguing mystery that goes to the heart of what makes a small town so very small, but so familiar and warm.”
Ex and the Single Girl
From Publisher’s Weekly:
When Portia Fallon’s boyfriend, Peter, dumps her on Valentine’s Day, she realizes she’s “four cats and a Reader’s Digest subscription away from being totally irredeemable.” Maybe that explains why she lets her mother trick her into quitting her Syracuse apartment to summer down in Truly, Ga., home of the irrepressible Miz Fallons (Portia’s mother, Mags; her aunt Vera; and her grandmother Bev). “Men just don’t stick to Miz Fallons,” Mags likes to say; Portia calls the Fallons’ eternal singlehood the “Penis Teflon Effect.” Portia’s meddling kin aim to find her a “Flyer“—a fling—to take her mind off Peter, and Ian Beckett, a British novelist, is chosen. Portia spends her days renovating a farmhouse with Ian and her nights reliving memories of her father, digging into her family’s past to learn the secret of his abandonment. Just as she’s falling for Ian, Peter shows up with a ring. “Penis Teflon wasn’t a curse, but rather a learned behavior,” Portia realizes, so she sets out to open the Miz Fallons’ hearts, search for her father and find the true love of her life. Rich way overplays the frankly inexcusable Penis Teflon idea, but this is a sweet, readable book about following your dreams (and your dream man).
“I swallowed Ex and the Single Girl in a single sitting, so caught up was I in the lively misadventures of Rich’s latest heroine. With wit to match Jennifer Crusie’s, Lani Diane Rich charmed me with her story.”
From Publishers Weekly:
Wacky characters, nonstop action, riotous dialogue and a “large, stinky, green chicken” (aka Kakapo, a rare, nearly extinct parrot) give flight to Rich’s latest romantic romp (following Time Off for Good Behavior). Dana Elizabeth Wiley has a world of troubles: the upstate New York family winery has gone belly up due to diseased grapes; her evil adversary, Melanie Biggs, lurks in the shadows to buy the place; and her mother, who she had hoped would co-sign for a loan, is flat broke. If that isn’t enough, Dana’s hunky ex-fiancé, Nick Maybe, is suddenly back in her life after she dumped him six years earlier for having a premarital indiscretion with Melanie. These days Nick is running a Manhattan wine shop while doing “favors” for Dana’s mom, Babs, in a subconscious effort to make amends. Babs is a bit of a modern-day Robin Hood. She, with Nick’s assistance, arranges to steal valuables from wealthy clients at their request (and with their help) so they can cash in on insurance policies. While the frenzied tempo can short-circuit the brain cells at times, and the action is often more slapstick than believable, the merriment keeps the pages turning.
“This author is one to watch.”
Time Off for Good Behavior
RITA award winner, Best First Book
There is no shortage of bad luck in Wanda Lane’s life. She loses her advertising sales job while she is in the hospital recuperating from a head injury. Her abusive and drunken ex-husband has been leaving threatening messages, and she can’t get a phantom tune out of her head. Yet she is not exactly a sympathetic character. A litany of bad breaks has left her spiteful and complaining. Even so, Wanda manages to attract the attention of a handsome, widowed lawyer who only wants to protect her, but before she lets herself fall in love, she needs to get her life in order. A bizarre want ad lands her a new friend (and unofficial therapist), and with her help, Wanda decides to do something meaningful. Readers will warm to Wanda as she mends broken relationships, finds a fulfilling job, and learns to open her heart. First-time author Rich has managed to skillfully blend serious topics with humor, and readers will love her for it.
“Fast, funny and always true to herself, Wanda is one of those heroines you want to have lunch with.”