Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Recommendations: #WNDB Contemporaries

I don't know how everyone else is going with their #WNDBChallenge, but I've found searching for diverse books can be very time-consuming (even if it's lots of fun).  I wrote up some recommendations earlier in the year, but since then I've thought of many others, so I've listed a few contemporaries that would make very goods #WNDB reads, and are just good reads in general.

Party Lines by Emma Barry
Lydia Reales is many things: female, Latina, pro-choice and...a Republican.  Not just a Republican voter, but a Republican staffer.  For Michael Picetti, working on the opposing Democrat campaign, Lydia's completely off-limits and on the wrong side of the political spectrum, but he finds himself intrigued all the same.  Party Lines is a deft, honest and unbiased look at the way the way the US primaries and larger political system operate.  Lydia's position as a fish-out-of-water is handled beautifully; she tries to do her job and fight for what she believes in, even as she realises that, to those around her, she's merely a token, to be wheeled out when she's needed and be quiet when she's not.

Lighting the Flames by Sarah Wendell
Wendell wrote this book because she was dismayed that, despite a thriving sub-genre of Christmas romances, there were next to no romance novels set around Hanukkah.  Overall, it was a sweet, reasonably chaste novel about two long-time friends who serve as counsellors at a Jewish camp, and I found the hero particularly likeable and empathetic.

Just Not Mine by Rosalind James
Benched with a broken finger, rugby player Hugh Latimer suddenly finds himself the full-time carer for his small half-brother and sister.  He is forced to move in with them, and now spends most of his time trying not to notice the attractiveness of their next-door neighbour, Maori soap-actress Josie Pae Ata.  Several other of James' Escape to New Zealand books contain Maori protagonists, including Just for You and Just Good Friends, which I would also recommend.

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
When Corey, left wheelchair-bound after an ice hockey accident in high school, meets Hartley, a broken-legged hockey player living across the hall, they bond instantly. But Hartley's got a girlfriend, and even if he didn't, Corey's convinced he'd never want the girl who can't even walk. The Year We Fell Down provided a raw look at the way we treat those with disabilities, without compromising the characters' relationship.   

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