I don’t know if you had the chance to see the NPR 2014 Summer Reading project, Book Your Trip, but if you didn’t I encourage you to take a peek. It was such a fun concept—books, old and new, for all age groups, that involved a travel theme—and I was so fortunate to take part, with reviews on five wonderful romance novels by Jayne Ann Krentz (rocket ship), Susan Elizabeth Phillips (car/RV), Ruthie Knox (bike), Tessa Dare (horse/carriage) and Jennifer Ashley (hot air balloon). But you should check out all the lists. They are wonderful and some of them brought back some sweet reading memories. (Harold and the Purple Crayon anyone?)
I liked the theme so much that I decided to add on to it and offer a few more travel-themed suggestions in this post, and ask you to share some of your favorites, too. I really love a good journey-based novel—and here are some fun ones you might want to look into:
Beguiling the Beauty by Sherry Thomas. I love Sherry Thomas’ intelligence and emotionalism, and despite some elements that didn’t hold quite true for me in this book—it’s kind of hard, I think, to have an affair without ever seeing your lover’s face—she still won me over with this heart-wrenching historical romance that includes an Edwardian trans-Atlantic journey, aristocratic social misunderstandings and the lush sensuality Thomas is famous for. (Thomas has a new book out in August I’m dying to read: My Beautiful Enemy.)
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Dash and Lily, 16, are each effectively spending Christmas alone in New York City, but when they “meet” over a mysterious journal left in a bookstore, they create a romantic scavenger hunt scenario where they are ultimately each other’s prize. Very sweet, fun and the perfect literary fantasy for romantic hearts everywhere, no matter what age. More cross-city than cross-country, but the journeys, both physical and metaphorical, are clever and evocative. (Plus reading about Christmas sometimes makes a hot summer day seem cooler.)
My One and Only by Kristan Higgins. A cynical divorce attorney and her architect ex-husband wind up on a cross-country journey, and her new fiance is none-too-pleased about it. But road trips are the perfect opportunity to revisit the past, and second chances just might be on the map. Higgins, of course, brings her unique combination of wit, humor and poignancy to the road-trip novel.
Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer. An English privateer takes a beautiful Spanish lady captive and they fall in love on their high seas journey. Then, he has to rescue her from her an arranged marriage. An Elizabethan romance shadowed by the specter of the Spanish Inquisition, it’s a completely improbable but highly entertaining plot by the incomparable GH, though different than most of her books. Swashbuckling Beauvallet will win your heart, and his manservant Joshua nearly steals the book. A wonderful, romantic adventure.
Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. So I borrowed an audio version of First Lady from my library for the NPR piece, since it had been a while since I’d read it. And wouldn’t you know it, it sent me on an audio SEP binge. I’ve just finished Heaven, TX and I’d forgotten it has Gracie and Bobby Tom driving from Chicago to Heaven (heh—couldn’t resist...). Another road trip story I can recommend from SEP! (She has a new book coming out in August, too: Heroes Are My Weakness. I can’t wait!)
So, please share! Comment below on your favorite road trip books, or if any of these sound especially fun. Also, HarperCollins has generously offered to give away three copies of the sigh-worthy Heaven, Texas. You can enter to win at the Bobbi Dumas Facebook page. (Thanks to everyone who entered last time. Winners of Nalini Singh’s Shield of Winter were Jaclyn M., Lori A., and Mary C.)
Happy summer, happy reading, happy journeys!