The best books to make you laugh, cry, and escape from this crazy world

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a passion for wounded heroes and strong heroines. My earliest memories are reading books where the heroine saves the day. I’ve never wanted the heroine to need the hero in order to make her life complete. Even as a child, when my dad read me books at night—one of my favorite memories—I preferred stories where the heroine saved the day. As an adult, I’ve loved to read stories where the hero is brave enough to show his vulnerable side, and when I decided to become a writer, those were the books I wanted to write.


I wrote...

A Reckless Heart

By Jennifer Wilck,

Book cover of A Reckless Heart

What is my book about?

It’s Beauty & the Beast meets the Kardashians when Megan moves into Simon’s guesthouse. Simon's new neighbor is more than he bargained for. When he learns Meg's secret, will he retreat into the shadows, or will he learn to see past the surface and trust in Meg's love? 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Lions Of Fifth Avenue

Jennifer Wilck Why did I love this book?

I loved the dual time-line mystery. It features so many strong women who overcome their circumstances—even when they don’t realize they’re doing it—and the character development is superb. The New York Public Library comes alive, the mystery is twisty and not what it seems, and the characters are unique and memorable.

By Fiona Davis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lions Of Fifth Avenue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Good Morning America Book Club Pick and a New York Times bestseller!
 
“A page-turner for booklovers everywhere! . . . A story of family ties, their lost dreams, and the redemption that comes from discovering truth.”—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife 

In New York Times bestselling author Fiona Davis's latest historical novel, a series of book thefts roils the iconic New York Public Library, leaving two generations of strong-willed women to pick up the pieces.

It's 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn't ask for more out of life—her husband is the superintendent of the New…


Book cover of The Murder of Mr. Wickham

Jennifer Wilck Why did I love this book?

I adored this book! This is what happens if all of the characters from Jane Austen’s books got together for a house party, and one of them murders Mr. Wickham, a universally despised character.

The mystery reminds me of Agatha Christie’s mysteries, and the multiple character POV’s are terrific! Plus, the relatively modern twist of empowering the young (and slightly odd) characters was fantastic to watch.

By Claudia Gray,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Murder of Mr. Wickham as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen's Mr. Wickham—one of literature’s most notorious villains—meets a sudden and suspicious end in this brilliantly imagined mystery featuring Austen’s leading literary characters.

“Had Jane Austen sat down to write a country house murder mystery, this is exactly the book she would have written.” —Alexander McCall Smith

     The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a party at their country estate, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even…


Book cover of Jane Eyre

Jennifer Wilck Why did I love this book?

I absolutely love wounded heroes, and Charlotte Bronte is a master at this trope.

Even the powerless Jane gets to control her life. It’s hauntingly romantic. I love reading this book and disappearing into her world. No matter how bad her life gets, and it gets pretty bad, things work out for her in the end

By Charlotte Brontë,

Why should I read it?

36 authors picked Jane Eyre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Introduction and Notes by Dr Sally Minogue, Canterbury Christ Church University College.

Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage.

She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester.

However, there is great kindness and warmth…


Book cover of This is All I Ask

Jennifer Wilck Why did I love this book?

Another wounded hero book, but I’m choosing this one because not only is it one of my favorites from the series, but Lynn Kurland packs so much emotion into every page that I cry and laugh and live the book while I’m reading it and long after.

It’s time travel (but they always seem to bring chocolate with them ☺ ) and the love is so strong. Her stories are like catnip.

By Lynn Kurland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This is All I Ask as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Lynn Kurland, the New York Times bestselling author of the Nine Kingdom series.

Set near the Scottish border at a rugged castle on the edge of the sea, this is the story of a courageous lord who lost everything he held dear. Of a strong young woman willing to sacrifice everything for happiness. Two lost souls who find in each other a reason to live again, to laugh again, and to love for the first time...


Book cover of Duke of Sin

Jennifer Wilck Why did I love this book?

Her books are all a delight to read. They are fun, witty, and smart.

Her heroines are strong, her heroes—even the ones who start out as questionable—end up being amazing book boyfriends, and I’m always drawn into her stories. She’s a great example of redeeming the hero and this book was one of my favorites.

By Elizabeth Hoyt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Duke of Sin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A MAN OF SIN Devastatingly handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans. A WOMAN OF HONOUR Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery's household to search for the incriminating evidence - and…


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Feral Maril & Her Little Brother Carol

By Leslie Tall Manning,

Book cover of Feral Maril & Her Little Brother Carol

Leslie Tall Manning Author Of Maggie's Dream

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Mentor Laugher Research nut Avid reader

Leslie's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Winner of the Literary Titan Book Award

Bright but unassuming Marilyn Jones has some grown-up decisions to make, especially after Mama goes to prison for drugs and larceny. With no one to take care of them, Marilyn and her younger, mentally challenged brother, Carol, get tossed into the foster care system. While shuffling from one home to another, Marilyn makes it her mission to find the Tan Man, a mysterious man from her babyhood she believes holds the key to her family’s happiness.

But Marilyn’s quest is halted when her daddy, an ex-con she has never met, is chosen by the courts as the new guardian. Caleb Jones wants something more than a father-daughter relationship. He sends Carol far away, where the boy won’t be a hindrance to his plans. Marilyn devises a plan of her own: to locate her little brother, kidnap him, and run away.

Independence, however, often comes at a high price.

As Marilyn weathers the unexpected and often brutal storms of her childhood and adolescence, hope becomes her ally as she winds through small southern towns, wrapping herself around an assortment of hearts along the way. With unexpected help from a caring social worker, a carnival of misfits, her first true love, and even the elusive Tan Man himself, Marilyn will discover that “family” isn’t always what we imagine it to be.

"A dazzling piece that delves deep into the themes of survival, the casualties of self-discovery, and the power of familial ties." ~ Prairies Book Review

Feral Maril & Her Little Brother Carol

By Leslie Tall Manning,

What is this book about?

Bright but unassuming Marilyn Jones has some grown-up decisions to make, especially after Mama goes to prison for drugs and larceny. With no one to take care of them, Marilyn and her younger, mentally challenged brother, Carol, get tossed into the foster care system. While shuffling from one home to another, Marilyn makes it her mission to find the Tan Man, a mysterious man from her babyhood she believes holds the key to her family's happiness.

But Marilyn's quest is halted when her daddy, an ex-con she has never met, is chosen by the courts as the new guardian. Caleb…


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