Romance

Rebecca

By Daphne du Maurier

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A young woman weds a wealthy widower and goes to live in his palatial Cornish estate. Her good fortune turns nightmarish, however, when she finds herself haunted by the spector of Rebecca, her husband's first wife.

On Film:
Rebecca is a true classic, as is Alfred Hitchcock's spine-tingling 1940 movie adaptation, featuring a darkly handsome Laurence Olivier as Maxim de Winter and a fresh-faced Joan Fontaine as the young Mrs. de Winter. This classic movie is a must see! For an updated look at Rebecca check out this 1997 release starring Charles Dance, Emilia Fox, Diana Rigg, Faye Dunaway, Geraldine James. This movie adaptation is recommended for true Rebecca fanatics only-- it's almost three hours long!

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Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen

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In early nineteenth-century England, a spirited young woman copes with the suit of a snobbish gentleman as well as the romantic entanglements of her four sisters.

On Film:
The 1995 BBC/A&E production of Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth, is a must see for Austen fans and hopeless romantics. This adaptation is five hours long, but every minute is great. (Also available on VHS.) For black & white film buffs, check out the 1940 film version with Laurence Olivier and Maureen O'Sullivan. The screenplay for this film was written by Brave New World author Aldous Huxley. Finally, Bridget Jones's Diary puts a modern spin on Austen's classic.

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How Stella Got Her Groove Back

By Terry McMillan

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Stella Payne, a 42-year-old divorced investment analyst, takes a vacation in Jamaica where she meets a Jamaican man half her age. Through this relationship, she soon realizes that she must confront her hopes and fears about love and about life and the way she lives it.

On Film:
Angela Bassett, Taye Diggs, and Whoopi Goldberg star in this 1998 film adaptation. If you can't make it to the islands yourself, check out this movie for breathtaking Jamaican scenery with some self-discovery on the side.

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Chocolat: A Novel

By Joanne Harris

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In a tiny French town where little has changed in the past century, newcomer Vianne Rocher arrives with her exquisite chocolate shop which immediately begins to play havoc with the villagers' Lenten vows. Each box of the bonbons comes with a free gift - Vianne's uncanny perceptions of its buyer's discontents and a clever cure for them. Is she a witch? Soon the parishioners no longer care as they abandon themselves to temptation with unforeseen results.

Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Lena Olin, and Johnny Depp star in this box office hit, released in 2000.

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Bridget Jones's Diary

By Helen Fielding

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Hilarious chronicle of the life of a 30-something woman who wants to lose weight, stop smoking, develop inner poise, and form a functional relationship with a responsible adult.

Renee Zellweger shines in the 2001 film adaptation, also starring Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.

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Sweet Love

By Sarah Strohmeyer

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Julie Mueller, once a brilliant local television reporter, has been fired for the sin of being forty. Broke, divorced, unemployed, and struggling to raise a teenage daughter alone, she had given up on happiness until she receives for Mother's Day four dessert classes that spark not only a new burst of culinary creativity but a burning passion for one of her fellow students, Michael Slayton, a true love she let slip away.
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Pink Slip Party

By Cara Lockwood

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"She's been handed her walking papers.

"Jane McGregor has just been laid off from her job designing pink slips for an office supply company. The irony is not lost on her. She's a twenty-eight-year-old art major whose last major career accomplishment was being propositioned by the company vice president. Desperate to maintain her freedom from her oddball parents, tyrannical older brother, and slacker ex-boyfriend, Jane starts sending out resumes. So what if some of them aren't exactly, well, true. She's taking the future in stride."

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Falling Awake

By Jayne Ann Krentz

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"A red scarf. A roller coaster. A tidal wave of blood . . .Isabel Wright spends her days at the Belvedere Center for Sleep Research analyzing the dreams of others. Dr. Martin Belvedere, a pioneer in the field, recognized her unique talent for what he calls Level Five lucid dreaming. It's satisfying, lucrative work, but it can be emotionally draining. Especially when one of her anonymous subjects, known only as Client Number Two, captures her imagination through his compelling dream narratives. Secretly, she thinks of him as "Dream Man."

"His real name is Ellis Cutler. A loner who's learned not to let anyone get too close, he works for a highly classified government agency with an interest in the potential value of lucid dreaming. And he's just been ordered by his boss to make contact with Isabel, who's been fired after the sudden death of Dr. Belvedere."

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Pearl Cove

By Elizabeth Lowell

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Confronted by her late husband's suspicious death, the prospect of bankruptcy, and the disappearance of a priceless black pearl necklace called the "Black Trinity," young widow Hannah McGarry reluctantly turns for help to the seductive Archer Donovan, the silent partner in her husband's pearl farm enterprise.

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The World Below

By Sue Miller

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On the heels of a divorce, Catherine Hubbard…takes up residence in her grandmother Georgia’s old house. Sorting through her own affairs, Catherine stumbles upon the true story of Georgia's life and marriage, and the misunderstanding upon which she build a lifelong love.
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