An uneven romance novel with two compelling, well-matched main characters.


A New Jersey artist and Native American professor reconnect in this second-chance romance.

Mangus “Manny” Chattoche, a New Mexico native and member of the Apache tribe, has taken a position as an architectural history professor at a university in Long Branch, New Jersey. However, there’s more to his cross-country move than professional development. Five years earlier, Manny learned that his college relationship with classmate Carrie resulted in a child. Now that daughter, Emily, is 15 and eager to spend as much time as possible with her father, and Manny sees an opportunity to make up for lost time with both mother and daughter. Meanwhile, Carrie is conflicted. While she’s still wildly attracted to Manny and admires his devotion to their teenager, her Jersey Shore stubbornness kicks in. She questions whether this is too much, too soon. When Manny’s services are retained by local real estate developer Thomas Turner and his daughter, Rachel—whose undergrad crush on Manny hasn’t gone anywhere—the land where they all live and love faces major commercialization that will forever change the loyal community of intellectuals and creatives. Soon, Manny and Carrie find themselves at a crossroads where their homeland, family, and newly reformed romantic bond are all at risk. Austen has created a unique couple in Manny and Carrie. Not only is Manny smart, sensual, and sensitive, he also has strong ties to his family on the reservation in New Mexico. For her part, Carrie is a formidable romance lead who has raised a daughter on her own while making a living as a painter and art teacher. These characters and their history make for rich conflict, to the point where the subplot of Rachel’s personal insecurity and persistent interest in Manny feel clichéd and unnecessary. Also, though a subplot about Emily’s best friend Johnny and his battles in the foster care system is strong, Emily herself often comes off as much younger than her 15 years.

An uneven romance novel with two compelling, well-matched main characters.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73581-980-8

Page Count: 284

Publisher: Emlu Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 17, 2020

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston’s debut.

Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the American President Ellen Claremont, knows one thing for sure: He hates Henry, the British prince to whom he is always compared. He lives for their verbal sparring matches, but when one of their fights at a royal wedding goes a bit too far, they end up falling into a wedding cake and making tabloid headlines. An international scandal could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances for re-election, so it’s time for damage control. The plan? Alex and Henry must pretend to be best friends, giving the tabloids pictures of their bromance and neutralizing the threat to Ellen's presidency. But after a few photo ops with Henry, Alex starts to realize that the passionate anger he feels toward him might be a cover for regular old passion. There are, naturally, a million roadblocks between their first kiss and their happily-ever-after—how can American political royalty and actual British royalty ever be together? How can they navigate being open about their sexualities (Alex is bisexual; Henry is gay) in their very public and very scrutinized roles? Alex and Henry must decide if they’ll risk their futures, their families, and their careers to take a chance on happiness. Although the story’s premise might be a fantasy—it takes place in a world in which a divorced-mom Texan Democrat won the 2016 election—the emotions are all real. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. McQuiston’s strength is in dialogue; her characters speak in hilarious rapid-fire bursts with plenty of “likes,” “ums,” creative punctuation, and pop-culture references, sounding like smarter, funnier versions of real people. Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life.

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31677-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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A gentle love story perfect for anyone looking for love amid personal, family, and financial crises.


With her promotion to vice president of digital inventory at a Sonoma winery, Natalie Harper finally has the financial security she's always wanted, but a sudden tragedy sends her home to rescue her late mother's charming bookstore.

Once in San Francisco, Natalie moves back into her childhood home, an eclectic set of apartments above the bookshop, a home she shares with her grandfather Andrew, who is suffering from dementia and other mysterious ailments. Blythe, Natalie's mother, loved books, but she was not a savvy businesswoman. Natalie arrives to find unpaid bills and back taxes. Housed in the historic Sunrose Building, the bookshop certainly has stories of its own to tell: Originally a saloon and brothel, it was eventually bought by Natalie's great-grandparents, who converted it into a home and apothecary. Luckily, “hammer for hire” Peach Gallagher shows up. Strong and gorgeous, the contractor catches Natalie's eye, and he certainly is drawn to the curly-haired proprietress. But Peach doesn't date clients, and Natalie is gun-shy from her previous relationship. Plus, she's already met Peach’s adorable little girl, Dorothy. Natalie isn't about to break up a marriage, but she doesn’t know Peach is actually divorced. Wiggs skillfully manipulates the stock in trade of a master romance novelist as she orchestrates Peach and Natalie's inevitable love story. To challenge Peach, enter Trevor Dashwood, a gorgeous and wealthy children's book author, whose books have already won Dorothy's heart. Hosting a book signing with Trevor might help the store’s bottom line. Meanwhile, Natalie, Peach, and Andrew find historical artifacts hidden in the Sunrose building’s walls. Will it be enough to save the store?

A gentle love story perfect for anyone looking for love amid personal, family, and financial crises.

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-291409-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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