Agoraphobia comes in many gradations. It is a panic disorder that can be triggered by
ide open spaces, crowds (social anxiety), or traveling (even short distances).
The sufferer becomes anxious in environments that are unfamiliar or where he or she perceives that they have little control. (Thank you Wiki)
My mother in law is agoraphobic. She has what we call a "five mile radius." We live outside of her comfortable traveling distance. We are about a 100 miles to the south in a city where in her younger years she visited often and easily.
And short of tranquilizing her with like Mr. T on the A Team with a sedative in her milk, she will never see our home. The kinds of treatments for this condition haven't worked for her. There is a great deal of sorrow for all of us in this fact but especially for her.
So, when I read about Agoraphobia in Romance, I feel a tenderness. Love.
Here are some wonderful Romances which deal with what it means to struggle with Agoraphobia and build an intimate relationship at the same time.
My lists are never in any particular order.
1. Beyond Repair by Charlotte Stein 5 Stars
When Alice Evans finds a bona fide movie star on the floor of her living room, she has no idea what to do. Ordinary men are frightening enough, never mind someone as famous and frankly gorgeous as Holden Stark.
However, once she realizes that Holden is suffering behind that famous facade, she knows she has to help. He needs someone like her to give him a taste of sweetness and desire and love. He needs normality. The only problem—Alice is hiding a secret that is far from normal. In fact, her name isn’t even Alice at all.
And once Holden finds out, the intense connection they are just beginning to build may well be torn apart.
2. Cool Shade by Theresa Weir
Maddie Smith has never been one to hang around any place too long. After losing her job as a late-night disc jockey, she has little reason to stay in Tucson. When she receives a message that her estranged sister has disappeared, she figures she might as well go to Nebraska and see what's up with her unreliable sibling. There she learns that her sister is linked to the mysterious Eddie Berlin, a recluse and a very sexy guy. Maddie takes a personal interest in Eddie as she searches for clues about the disappearance of her sister.
Meanwhile, Eddie is shouldering problems of his own. The former manager of a pop star killed by a crazed fan, Eddie feels responsible for the singer's death, and as a result, he hasn't wandered off his own property in more than four years. Still, he is attracted to Maddie, experiencing feelings he thought he would never know again. A stolen tape of a recording made by the late rock star and other clues bind the couple together. It soon becomes clear that these two deserve each other, and when they finally feel comfortable with the fit, they find they are greater as a pair than they could ever have been as individuals.
3. The Duchess War by Courtney Milan
Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly--so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don't get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention.
But that is precisely what she gets.
Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he's up to, he realizes there is more to her than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he's determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match...
4. The Shy Bride by Lucy Monroe
Thrust into the limelight, child star Cassandra timidly enchanted audiences night after night…. But when her parents died, Cass retreated into her own world—too shy to leave her home. Once a year she shares her musical passion by offering lessons in a charity auction…. This year, money talks. The winning bid: $100,000!
Enter Neo Stamos, arrogant Greek tycoon. He wants Cass with a burning desire, though he knows that, shy and sweet, she will need a gentle awakening…. But Neo's the master of seduction!
5. Summer Breeze by Catherine Anderson
The year is 1889, and Rachel Hollister hasn't set foot outside her house in five years. Ever since a savage attack left her family dead, she's cordoned herself off from the outside world, afraid to let anyone into her home-or into her heart. But now trouble has appeared on her doorstep-and suddenly she has no choice but to let a handsome rancher enter her well-guarded existence.
6. Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards
Since the accident that nearly took her life, Chloe suffers from acute agoraphobia. Living alone above her family's bookstore, she spends restless nights terrified by strange visions . . . until a mysterious stranger appears and offers her salvation. Chloe is drawn to the ethereal, gorgeous Nathaniel-but her haunted soul warns her there is more to him than meets the eye.
An archangel who roams Earth collecting souls of the newly departed, Nathanial is the sole witness to the accident that should have taken Chloe's life. Seduced by the purity of her soul, he defies Providence by saving her life. But his attempt at kindness marks Chloe for damnation, and makes her an unwitting pawn in a game of unholy ambition. Now together they must fight the demons of Hell itself-for a love that defies the boundaries of Heaven and Earth.
7. Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue
As a pet bereavement counselor, Maggie Brennan uses a combination of empathy, insight, and humor to help patients cope with the anguish of losing their beloved four-legged friends. Though she has a gift for guiding others through difficult situations, Maggie has major troubles of her own that threaten the success of her counseling practice and her volunteer work with a dog rescue organization.
Everything changes when a distraught woman shows up at Maggie’s office and claims that her dog has been stolen. Searching the streets of San Francisco for the missing pooch, Maggie finds herself entangled in a mystery that forces her to finally face her biggest fear-and to open her heart to new love.
8. Honeysuckle Summer by Sherryl Woods
Her devastating marriage behind her, Raylene Hammond is truly thankful for her best friends, the Sweet Magnolias. They've taken her in, shielding her from the world. Then she meets sheriff's deputy Carter Rollins, and suddenly Raylene's haven no longer feels quite so safe.
Carter understands why Raylene is trapped inside. He's even taken to bringing the outside world to her. But with two kid sisters to raise, just how much time can he devote to this woman who's stolen his heart?
Raylene knows Carter is a man worth loving, but she may never be strong enough to accept what he's offering. How long can she ask him to wait? Maybe they'll never have more than this one sweet summer.
9. Once Upon a Dream by Jennifer Archer
When Professor Alex Simon moves to Canyon, Texas from England, he welcomes the opportunity to change his locale. Not only would he be aiding his recently widowed sister, but he would have a chance to forget a failed relationship.
Robin Wise is less than impressed by her new neighbor-- and his little devil-cat. The feline taunts her dog, and its stuffy owner has the gall to blame her pup for the squabbles. But at a second glance, Alex isn't quite as nerdy as he seems. As a matter of fact, when he isn't insulting her dog, he can be quite charming.
But Robin has her own problems. An inherited curse looms over her impending thirtieth birthday, and until Robin can overcome the hex, she can't indulge in any fantasy she might have regarding the more-perfect-by-the-minute professor. No matter how she wishes she had the courage to act on the awakened desire in her heart.
10. When the Rancher Came to Town by Emma Cane
Bed-and-breakfast owner Amanda Cramer wants nothing more than a quiet, private life. Well, she wants guests too, but after suffering her share of unwanted notoriety, she's gotten comfortable hiding out in her inn … perhaps a little too comfortable. When her newest customer arrives—tall, dark, and breathtaking—Amanda begins to question her self-imposed exile.
Ex-rodeo star Mason Lopez knows all about the limelight. He'd avoid it if he could, but since one last ride could mean saving his family's ranch, he'll go all in. When he gets to Valentine Valley for the Silver Creek Rodeo, Mason checks into the Connections B&B and finds himself immediately drawn to the beautiful, reserved woman who owns it.
Mason has only three days in town … can he convince Amanda to open her heart to him and welcome the world back in?
Did I miss your favorite? Let me know! Vote on my Goodreads list: Inside: Agoraphobic Romance Leads