INDEPENDENCE DAY LOVE STORIES

Meant to Be

By Emily Giffin

Joe Kingsley is the “It” guy of the ’80s. Born into a wealthy family and carrying the memory of his father, an astronaut and American hero who perished tragically, Joe is smothered with love from his stylish, well-bred mother. With his All-American good looks, athleticism and natural charm, Joe finds it’s smooth sailing to pretty much get whatever and whomever he wants. As he gets older, the enormous pressure of being a Kingsley leaves Joe constantly on the search for his true calling, and more often than not, his next adrenaline rush. One day on a windy beach in the Hamptons, Joe stumbles upon a photo shoot and meets the most stunning woman he has ever seen. After begging and pleading, Cate finally agrees to one date. Their histories cannot be more different. Cate struggled in a dysfunctional home filled with dread and disappointment. Until Joe, Cate never dreamed there was a love this great. Succumbing to the terrifying paparazzi and harsh public opinion, Cate cannot resist Joe’s eternal optimism. Their romance is one people write books about. Loosely based on the Kennedy family, this easily imaginable “what if” novel will instantly melt your heart. Pass me the tissues.

Every Summer After

By Carley Fortune

When Persephone Fraser’s parents buy a cottage in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, she is a scrawny, insecure, average 13-year-old girl. Next door to this quaint summer home are the Floreks – two noisy boys and their sweet mom, Sue. While Sue manages the tavern, Charlie (15) and Sam (13) run wild and quickly take Percy under their brotherly wings. Jumping off cliffs, swimming across the lake and getting into mischief becomes the norm and Percy looks forward to summer all year. Secretly in love with Sam from the day they met, they become best friends, reading each other’s minds and blushing at Charlie’s stream of girlfriends. A few summers later, Percy and Sam explore their first love. Narrated between the past and present, we meet Percy at 30 returning to Barry’s Bay after 12 years of utter silence. She carries guilt and an intense loneliness from years gone by. Percy is terrified to see Sam again but knows it is time for the complicated truth to be revealed. Beneath the nuanced past is an exquisite peek at the painful, exciting and memorable years of adolescence. A debut novel of friendship, family and the young summers we never forget.

The Bodyguard

By Katherine Center

After Jack Stapleton’s mom falls ill, he heads straight to their Texas ranch. Jack is a world-famous movie star in every sense of the word – he is literally a household name. Hannah Brooks gets assigned to a task force to protect Jack. She shows up at his house to go over the details and Jack instantly laughs at Hannah’s freckled girl-next-door appearance and the idea that she is going to save his life. Hannah quickly demonstrates her capabilities, deceivingly hidden in her petite stature. Pressured by his manager, Jack must accept Hannah’s help. The twist is that she must pretend to be his girlfriend so his parents don’t panic. She is a complete professional and fits right in at the ranch. Away from the cameras and screaming fans, Jack turns out to be a kind, funny guy who just happens to be extraordinarily handsome. Dealing with a stalker situation that could escalate at any moment, a brother Jack is completely at odds with and her own recent breakup, Hannah must juggle a lot of emotional energy while figuring out if her connection with Jack is real. Fast paced laugh-out-loud romance perfect for a day at the beach.

WATCH TIP: Check out “A Perfect Pairing,” the sweetest romance with an Aussie twist, now on Netflix!

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Karen Newfield is first and foremost a reader, she has reviewed hundreds of books on her blog www.readingandeating.com. And, more recently, this new Keys resident has also begun writing.