13 books for the romantic comedy lover on your vacation shopping list


These 13 books would make great gifts for romantic comedy readers on your holiday shopping list.

Missed Connections is a book by Brian Francis. (McClelland and Stewart)

Brian Francis puts his acerbic wit to work in this collection of essays, in which he responds to a series of letters sent to him in the early 1990s. The 13 letters were responses to his personal ad, published in a local newspaper at the age of 21, while Francis was in the closet looking for love. Thirty years later, Francois unearthed these unanswered letters and crafted responses that were sometimes light, but also serious, exploring topics such as male body image, desire, and the cost of secrecy.

François is the author of novels Fruit, Natural order and Break in case of emergency. He is a writer and columnist for The next chapter on CBC radio and lives in Toronto.

13:29Brian Francis on missed connections

Brian Francis talks to Shelagh Rogers about his book, Missed Connections. 13:29

Heartbreak for Hire is a novel by Sonia Hartl. (Gallery books, A. Hartl)

The novel Favorite for rent follows Brinkley Saunders, a rising star who dropped out of college and supposedly works as an administrative assistant at an insurance agency. In fact, she works at Heartbreak for Hire, a secret service that takes revenge on abandoned lovers, enemies, and anyone else who needs to break a heart. It’s not an academic background, but it helps Brinkley save for his dream of opening an art gallery. When the agency hires heartbreaking men, they are no longer sure they are doing the right thing, especially when being paid to break the heart of new colleague Mark.

Sonia Hartl is the author of YA novels The lost girls, Not your #Lovestory and Trust me a little. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband and two daughters.

Accidentally Engaged is a novel by Farah Heron. (farahheron.com, forever)

In Accidentally engaged, Reena Manji refuses to be attracted to the man her parents put her in touch with, the charming and handsome Nadim. But when Reena has the opportunity to enter a cooking contest, she will do anything to win, including pretending to be engaged to Nadim.

Farah Heron is a writer from Toronto. She is also the author of the romantic comedy The Chai factor and the novel YA Tahira in bloom.

The next chapter2:28Farah Heron on The Chai Factor

Farah Heron on what inspired her romantic comedy The Chai Factor and how diversity changed the romantic genre. 2:28

Duke, Actually is a novel by Jenny Holiday. (Avon, Kate Stasyna)

In Duke in fact, Following A princess for Christmas, Maximillian von Hansburg, Baron de Laudon and heir to the Duke of Aquilla, has a not-so-merry Christmas. He has been dumped by a princess, he is unemployed, and his bossy father takes him to New York to meet a woman he has no interest in marrying. Instead, he meets the newly single and pragmatic Dani Martinez, and is determined to befriend her before their best friends tie the knot in the wedding of the century.

Jenny Holiday grew up in Minnesota but now lives in London, Ontario. She was nominated for the RITA Award Romance Writers of America and is a USA Today bestselling author. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, and NPR.

Hana Khan Continues is a novel by Uzma Jalaluddin. (HarperCollins, Andrea Stenson)

Hana Khan continues is a romantic comedy by Uzma Jalaluddin. Hana is an aspiring radio host who works in her family’s halal restaurant. When her aunt and a cousin arrive in town and a rival restaurant opens in their neighborhood, Hana’s life is turned upside down and family secrets are revealed. Fighting for her family is a big battle, a battle that will put all of Hana’s skills to the test. It’s a battle that becomes more complicated by Hana’s growing attraction to rival restaurant owner Aydin.

Jalaluddin is an Ontario-based teacher, parenting columnist and author. She is also the author of the novel Ayesha finally.

The next chapter14:07Uzma Jalaluddin on Hana Khan continues

Uzma Jalaluddin talks to Shelagh Rogers about her latest romantic comedy novel, Hana Khan Carries On. 14:07

A Holly Jolly Diwali is a book by Sonya Lalli. (Berkley, Ming Joanis / The World of a Nerd)

A Holly Jolly Diwali talks about Niki Randhawa, a data analyst who wants to be practical. She has a stable job, only dates guys who look good on paper, and lives near her parents in case they need her. When Niki is suddenly fired, she avoids her practical means and spontaneously books a flight for her friend’s wedding in Mumbai. There, she flirts with a London musician named Sameer Mukherji, who helps her get in touch with her creativity and Indian roots. But when Niki gets a home job offer, she has to figure out what kind of life she wants to live.

Sonya Lalli is a Vancouver-based Punjabi and Bengali romance author. She wrote three other novels: Serena Singh overturns the script, Adult pose and The list of matchmakers. His books have been featured in publications such as Entertainment Weekly, NPR, The Washington Post, The Toronto Star, and The Globe and Mail.

5:15New Richmond Writer-in-Residence Sonya Lalli on her new book A Holly Jolly Diwali

The world of writing has started to open up to new voices in recent years. Author Sonya Lalli’s fourth book, A Holly Jolly Diwali, is out next week, and she’ll be joining us as we talk about the changing times in entertainment. 5:15

Donut Fall in Love is a book by Jackie Lau. (J. Mitchell, Berkley)

Donut fall in love follows actor Ryan Kwok, who returns to Toronto after promoting his latest film, a critically-criticized romantic comedy. His mother’s sudden death prompts Ryan to take his first break in years and spend more time with his family – although his father would rather troll him on Twitter than meet for dim sum. Ryan’s fate takes a turn when he knocks down a bunch of specialty donuts by an innovative baker named Lindsay McLeod. When he signs up for a celebrity episode of a baking show, he enlists Lindsay to help him prepare.

Jackie Lau is a Toronto author of over a dozen romantic comedies, including Vacation with the Wong series and the There is only one bed at Christmas anthology of the short story. She studied engineering and worked as a geophysicist before writing romance novels.

A Boring Wife Settles the Score is a novel written by Marie-Renée Lavoie, photographed and translated by Arielle Aaronson. (Martine Doyon, Maison de la Presse Anansi)

A boring woman settles the score is the sequel to the funny and sincere novel Autopsy of a boring woman. In A boring woman settles the score, Diane is rebuilding her life. She has a new job in a daycare and, with the encouragement of her best friend Claudine, has decided to find love again.

Marie-Renée Lavoie is the author of three other books, including Mr. Roger and I (The little one and the old one in French), which won the Radio-Canada award The national struggle for books in 2012. Lavoie lives in Montreal.

Arielle Aaronson is a translator from Montreal.

The Holiday Swap is written by Karma Brown and Marissa Stapley, who go by the pseudonym Maggie Knox. (Viking, Jenna Davis, marissastapley.com)

In Vacation exchange, Charlie Goodwin loses his ability to taste and smell after sustaining a head injury on the set – two important senses for a famous pastry judge. Back home, Cass, Charlie’s identical twin sister, is overwhelmed with running the family bakery and shuns her ex-boyfriend. Charlie and Cass agree to change places, a few days before Christmas, to help each other. But the plan is complicated by two lovely men, firefighter Jake Greenman and medical assistant Miguel Rodriguez.

Maggie Knox is the pseudonym of the Canadian writing duo Karma Brown and Marissa Stapley. Brown’s bestselling books include Recipe for a perfect woman and The 4% fix, while Stapley is known for his romantic novels like Mate for life and Things to do when it rains. Vacation exchange is their first collaboration.

9.45amMaggie Knox and The Holiday Swap

Maggie Knox (Karma Brown & Marissa Stapley) in their romantic comedy, The Holiday Swap. 9.45am

The Dating Playbook is a book by Farrah Rochon (Forever, Tamara Roybiskie)

In The Dating Game Book, the second book of The Boyfriend Project series, personal trainer Taylor Powell needs a quick buck to pay her overdue bills and rent. Enter Jamar Dixon, a former football player who wants to return to the NFL. He asks her to train him in secret, but when exposed, audiences assume they are dating and their plans go wrong.

Farrah Rochon is the author of The Boyfriend Project, which was rated best book of the year by NPR, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, and other outlets. She is from a small town near New Orleans.

Honey Girl is a novel by Morgan Rogers. (Park Row Books, morgwrites.com)

Delicious girl follows Grace Porter, a newly graduated doctoral student and the daughter of a former military father. Grace is celebrating her astronomy degree in Las Vegas and is shocked the next morning when she realizes she is married to a woman whose name she cannot remember. Feeling the weight of her family’s expectations, Grace fled to New York for the summer to meet his new wife, Yuki Yamamoto.

Morgan Rogers is a Baltimore-based writer and author. Delicious girl is his first novel.

Playing the Palace is a novel by New York writer Paul Rudnick. (Berkley)

Heartbroken, Carter Ogden is sure he will never find love, that is, until a chance meeting with Prince Edgar of England at his boss’s party. The chemistry is so hot it sets off a media storm on both sides of the Atlantic. But can a romance between the Crown Prince and “that guy from New York” survive the tabloids and the Queen’s disapproval?

Paul Rudnick is an American playwright and author, whose books include Social illness and I’ll take it. He lives in New York and contributes regularly to The New Yorker.

The Knockout Hire is a book by Kelly Siskind. (Kelly Siskind, kellysiskind.com)

The knockout rule follows Isla Slade, a physiotherapist who helps athletes recover from injuries. As a boxer’s daughter, Isla’s only rule is that she won’t treat boxers; she is not interested in reliving bloody noses, cracked ribs and hospital visits. But when her father begs her to face boxer Brick Kramarov, Isla reluctantly agrees to work with him and her manager Preston ahead of a big fight in Las Vegas. Preston courts Isla, but she finds out that Brick trained him and fell in love with her from the start. Isla has to decide if it’s worth loving a boxer again.

Kelly Siskind is an author living in northern Ontario. His other novels include Crazy chasing and New Orleans rush.


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