"April 12, 1861. Bright, gutsy and young,Geneva Chatfield marries Nash Hart in Albemarle County, Virginia, the same day Fort Sumter's guns fire the start of the Civil War. Five days later she loses him as Nash joins the Confederate Army. Geneva, who is known as the best rider since Light Horse Harry Lee, cuts her hair, dons a uniform, enlists as 'Jimmy Chatfield,' then rides off to be with her beloved Nash. But sensitive Nash recoils in horror from the violence of war, while Geneva is invigorated by the chase and the fight. Can she be all the man her husband isn't? She'll sure as hell try. But there is a complication, and his name is Major "Mars" Vickers. This macho major, to his own shock and amazement, finds himself inexplicably attracted to the young soldier named 'Jimmy.' And this is only the beginning of a novel that moves with sureness and grace from the ferocity of battle to the struggle on the homefront, and brings passion and sly humor to a story of dawning love."
It's 1978, and 35-year-old Ave Maria Mulligan is about to discover a skeleton in her own family's tidy closet that will blow the lid right off her quiet, uneventful life. This is the first of a trilogy about people in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.
Trinity Harbor, Virginia, is in an uproar when spinster Daisy Spencer takes in a wild ten-year-old boy and starts to play "Mom." But Walker Ames, the boy's D.C. cop uncle, shows up, looking for a chance to play "Dad" for his nephew. Daisy and Walker are opposites in every way. If Daisy could only keep her thoughts about that man away from those of marriage and love.
"Everything's a racket for Jeffty Kittridge, a thirty- seven-year-old ex-wannabe scriptwriter living on the skids in Hollywood--the two-bit cons he pulls for spending money; the way he convinces himself that he's not a drunk between every shot of booze he kicks back; the way he tries to assure Dumas, the local shark, that he's just about to pay off his 15K debt . . . Except he's not good at any of that. He's been in jail twice (and the state's got a bad attitude about seeing someone the third time); that bug he just felt crawling up his neck is most likely the first installment of the DTs; and Dumas recently delivered a fairly emphatic payment-due reminder: a couple of his goons busted two of Jeffty's fingers.
"The fact is, Jeffty's a loser, big as they come, and things aren't about to change up for him anytime soon: 'I would've felt . . . near terminally depressed,' he tells us as his story begins to unfold, 'but I was so used to my life all I felt was content.' Then he stumbles on salvation: a dirt-caked, street-hardened, exquisitely beautiful young homeless woman named Mona--Jeffty prefers to think of her as Angel--who inspires both his love and the idea for the perfect con."
"...tells the story of Edith Hope, who writes romance novels under a pseudonym. When her life begins to resemble the plots of her own novels, however, Edith flees to Switzerland, where the quiet luxury of the Hotel du Lac promises to resore her to her senses. But instead of peace and rest, Edith finds herself sequestered at the hotel with an assortment of love's casualties and exiles. She also attracts the attention of a worldly man determined to release her unused capacity for mischief and pleasure."
"...he takes us to a most wondrous destination: into the heart of an Eternal Family. They have lived for centuries in a house of legend and mystery in upper Illinois -- and they are not like other midwesterners. Rarely encountered in daylight hours, their children are curious and wild; their old ones have survived since before the Sphinx first sank its paws deep in Egyptian sands. And some sleep in beds with lids. Now the house is being readied in anticipation of the gala homecoming that will gather together the farflung branches of this odd and remarkable family.
"In the past-midnight stillness can be detected the soft fluttering of Uncle Einars wings. From her realm of sleep, Cecy, the fairest and most special daughter, can feel the approach of many a welcome being -- shapeshifter, telepath, somnambulist, vampire -- as she flies high in the consciousness of bird and bat. But in the midst of eager anticipation, a sense of doom pervades. For the world is changing. And death, no stranger, will always shadow this most singular family..."
Reluctant to show up at her family reunion carrying so many extra pounds, unmarried, overweight Ellie Simons hires Bentley T. Haskell to pose as her fiance, thus beginning a weekend of romance, jealousy, and murder.
"EMMA WOODHOUSE, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her."
What follows in Austen's classic distresses and vexes Emma very much indeed--and in such a funny way--making her one of the author's most memorable and beloved characters.
"With a viewpoint that shifts as crisply as cards in the hands of a blackjack dealer, Carol Shields introduces us to two shell-shocked veterans of the wars of the heart. There's Fay, a folklorist whose passion for mermaids has kept her from focusing on any one man. And right across the street there's Tom, a popular radio talk-show host who has focused a little too intently, having married and divorced three times. Can Fay believe in lasting love with such a man? Will romantic love conquer all rational expectations?"