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HAPPY PEOPLE READ AND DRINK COFFEE

Martin-Lugand’s sparse but emotionally forceful style, aided by Smith’s translation from the original French, catches the...

After losing her husband and child in a car accident, the owner of a Parisian literary cafe moves to the Irish coast and falls in love with her neighbor in this uplifting travel fantasy.

Diane’s cottage in Mulranny is an idyllic backdrop for a romance to unfold over long walks on dramatic seaside cliffs or pints of Guinness in a cozy pub where the cheerful villagers all know each other by name. Noticeably missing from the picture is her love interest, Edward, who lives next door but who only appears every so often to yell at Diane to turn down her “damned music” or to ask her to watch his dog, Postman Pat, while he leaves town for several weeks. But their reticence is part of the story’s authenticity as well as its charm. Diane seems to get a cathartic release from turning her music back up and shouting in his face. They form a tentative friendship as Diane pulls herself together in other areas of her life—after her parents comment on her lack of independence, for example, Diane learns how to check her darkened cottage for a blown fuse. But Edward reveals his tender side when an old girlfriend appears on his doorstep. There’s a heart-rendingly awkward pause while they both decide how to proceed, knowing that both of their hearts might still belong to someone else and that Diane will eventually return to Paris—a cliffhanger ending for Edward that will be explored in the sequel. But like its heroine, the first book in the series doesn’t attempt to do too much, too soon.

Martin-Lugand’s sparse but emotionally forceful style, aided by Smith’s translation from the original French, catches the sweeter moments between two people embittered by loss.

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-60286-284-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Weinstein Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

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IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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