Good Minds Suggest—Marilyn Brant's Favorite Gifts for Romantics

December, 2011

Marilyn Brant More than most, novelist Marilyn Brant counts Jane Austen as a significant influencer on her craft. In her debut 2009 novel, According to Jane, a modern woman channeled love life advice from the spirit of Jane Austen, the subject of Brant's studies at Oxford University. Now for her third work of fiction, A Summer in Europe, Brant again plumbs romantic territory, the sumptuous settings of France and Italy. Heroine Gwen expects an engagement ring from her boyfriend on her 30th birthday, but instead she gets a present from her kooky aunt Bea: a tour of Europe with Bea's S&M Club (Sudoku and Mahjongg Club). At first a begrudging traveler, Gwen soon finds the trip to be more transformative than she ever imagined. Brant shares with Goodreads the best books to encourage the hopeless romantics in your life.

A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
"When a woman finds herself challenging all she'd ever believed about life and love, simply because she travels abroad, that's a story my wanderlust side is destined to adore. Originally published in 1908, Lucy Honeychurch—who up until this trip only expressed her passion by playing stirring Beethoven pieces on the piano—experiences real sensuality for the first time in Italy. Setting propriety aside, she shares a kiss with someone who rocks her Edwardian world."


All About Evie by Beth Ciotta (Goodreads Author)
"For readers who love their romance with a side dish of zany comedy and some wickedly steamy scenes, this book is a treat. The heroine is a 41-year-old character actress who takes a last-minute gig aboard a cruise ship to help a man she just met catch a thief. But all is not what it appears, and it's great fun to try to figure out the mystery side by side with the main characters, and to watch their lighthearted relationship develop."


The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
"I first read this book when I was in sixth grade and, decades later, I still love it. It manages to be a coming-of-age novel, a fish-out-of-water story, a suspenseful read, a young adult historical, and a romance all rolled into one. In 1687, orphan Kit Tyler arrives in Puritan New England to start a life very different from her childhood in Barbados, and she meets the ship captain's son on the journey. Their shared affection for an old woman, who's been branded a witch by the colony, creates a powerful bond of loyalty and friendship."


Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson (Goodreads Author)
"This is a bighearted modern-day romance between a very British, very dutiful major and a widowed Pakistani shopkeeper, who bond over a love of Kipling. But, while there are significant social and cultural issues in this novel—from intolerance of race to religious prejudice to grief and loss—it was the sly humor, the fascinating collection of characters, and the charming love story that reeled me in. A truly delightful and romantic read."



Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
"Anyone who knows me knows this novel is my all-time favorite, especially for romantics. In this classic comedy of manners, sexual tension is never stronger than when Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet are verbally sparring in a drawing room or being pointedly ironic at a Regency dance. Truly, anything a reader wants to know about romantic subtext can be learned from Austen's masterpiece...and imagining Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen in the hero's role only adds to the narrative delights."


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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Abby (new)

Abby I've never read The Witch of Blackbird Pond - sounds good!!


message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Devenuti They all look like great reads, I'll add them to my never-ending list :)


message 3: by Liz (new)

Liz V. Goodness. Only read Pride and Prejudice. Lots of catching up to do.


message 4: by Sophia (new)

Sophia I have read and adore four of your five picks which makes your reading habits quite unexceptionable in my mind. Congrats on the release of your new book. Love the 'city' posts idea on your blog tour. Saw the London one at Austen Authors. Will try to get to more.


Seaside Book Nook I am so excited for you! I was so happy to see you featured at GoodReads! I have never read The Witch of Blackbird Pond (or heard of it). I am going to have to check it out. Sounds great. All about Evie sounds just like my kind of book! I will have to check it out too!
So proud of all your accomplishments! You rock!
Jill
Seaside Book Nook


message 6: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Curtis I too loved the Witch of Blackbird Pond as a girl. I will have to revisit and rekindle old, fond memories. Thanks for reminding me of an old favorite.


message 7: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I read the Witch of Blackbird Pond years ago and loved it. I can't wait to read All About Evie. It sounds like my kind of book. Thanks and Merry Christmas.


message 8: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Just finished "Pettigrew" and absolutely loved it.


message 9: by Lisa (last edited Apr 09, 2013 02:40PM) (new)

Lisa What a lovely list! I adored Major Pettigrew's Last Stand (wouldn't Pierce Brosnan be perfect if they ever make into a movie?) And, Pride and Prejudice is the master of them all. I have not read the others, but I'm going to write them down and tackle them asap. Thank you! And, I'm going to read your book, too!


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