The Romance Bookshelves: Holiday reads, book club announcements and more!

Cathy Maxwell is the Austin-based author of over thirty best-selling historical romance novels. She writes a monthly column for BookPeople. Learn more at

The holidays are almost upon us.  I need a good read in the evening to stave off all the merry craziness. Between school and church programs, fun places to take the family, and all the special gatherings that make the season bright, reading helps center me. So, here are my recommendations.


Acting on Impulse by Mia Sosa: I met Mia at the Texas Book Festival and adored this breezy contemporary read. This is the first book in the “Love on Cue” series. It has everything– a couple destined to be together forever (except they don’t know it yet), good conflict, and a fab, take-me-away setting. 

The Promise Girls by Marie Bostwick: Marie Bostwick is going to be a new favorite. She’s the author of Between Heaven and Texas. You can’t go wrong with a title like that. Her books are heartwarming stories with a bit of edge, such as her latest, The Promise Girls. Bostwick writes about three sisters whose narcissistic mother test-tube-bred them to be prodigies. They are each gifted, but wondering what life is really about. Great emotion, loving laughter, tears, and some food for thought. I am a fan of books about rediscovery and the value of love in our lives. The Promise Girls delivers on all counts. If you are a Debbie Macomber fan, check out Bostwick.

Wilde in Love by Eloisa James: Wilde in Love is showing up on every “Best of 2017” booklist. This is the first of a new Georgian-set series. It features a prim, very private heroine who enjoys bawdy jokes with a hero who is the celebrity sensation of England. The story flows, and it is James at her best—great characterization coupled with a delightful glimpse of history. In fact, you will catch yourself sneaking away from that holiday party to read a few more pages or wondering what the characters are up to while you are eating cheese dip. 

Fellow romance reader? Check out one of these bookclubs: 

  • Old School Romance Book Club (OSRBC) Austin meets the third Sunday of the month at 3:30 PM on the third floor of BookPeople. On November 19, we’ll discuss Tiger’s Eye by Karen Robards. On December 17th, we’ll yak about Christmas at Snow Flake Canyon by Rayanne Thayne.
  • The Romance Book Club meets at the New Central Library the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM. 
  • The Great Feminist Romance Book Club meets at 7:30 PM on Wednesdays roughly once a month. Contact for more information.
  • February 10, the 10th Annual Romance Readers’ Social will be held at the Pflugerville Public Library. The event will be from 2-4 PM. Pencil the date in because…February!

— Cathy Maxwell 


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