Smart, sexy, and sweet. Readers will be over the moon for this rom-com.

HANG THE MOON

A woman who doesn’t believe in love and a man who's made finding love his life’s work discover that real romance is more complicated than either imagined.

Annie Kyriakos has just arrived in Seattle to surprise her best friend, Darcy. With Annie’s constant travel for her job at a human resources consulting firm and Darcy’s preoccupation with her new girlfriend, Elle, the two haven’t seen each other in more than a year. But Annie’s got other motives for her impromptu visit: She’s moving to London for a promotion and wants to tell Darcy in person. The bad news? Darcy is on vacation in Vancouver. The good news? Her brother, Brendon, has the key to her apartment. When Brendon Lowell, hopeless romantic and founder of dating app OTP, hears that Annie is in town, he hopes he might have another shot with his teenage crush. At dinner, the two hit it off immediately. But Annie is not looking to be swept off her feet, especially not by her best friend’s younger (though unexpectedly very handsome) brother. In fact, Annie thinks love is dead, and dating apps like Brendon’s are partly to blame. So, Brendon devises a plan: He’ll take cues from his favorite rom-com films to prove to Annie that romance is real and, with a little help from Darcy, Elle, and their friend Margot, convince her to leave her unfulfilling job and stay in Seattle. The rom-com re-creations give the plot some structure. Tropes including “there’s only one bed” and embarrassing moments like falling into a lake in formal clothes are used to great result—but the author doesn’t let the gimmick overtake strong character development, and the writing feels fresh, never derivative.

Smart, sexy, and sweet. Readers will be over the moon for this rom-com.

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-300084-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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A heartfelt look at taking second chances, in life and in love.

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BEACH READ

Two struggling authors spend the summer writing and falling in love in a quaint beach town.

January Andrews has just arrived in the small town of North Bear Shores with some serious baggage. Her father has been dead for a year, but she still hasn’t come to terms with what she found out at his funeral—he had been cheating on her mother for years. January plans to spend the summer cleaning out and selling the house her father and “That Woman” lived in together. But she’s also a down-on-her-luck author facing writer’s block, and she no longer believes in the happily-ever-after she’s made the benchmark of her work. Her steadily dwindling bank account, though, is a daily reminder that she must sell her next book, and fast. Serendipitously, she discovers that her new next-door neighbor is Augustus Everett, the darling of the literary fiction set and her former college rival/crush. Gus also happens to be struggling with his next book (and some serious trauma that unfolds throughout the novel). Though the two get off to a rocky start, they soon make a bet: Gus will try to write a romance novel, and January will attempt “bleak literary fiction.” They spend the summer teaching each other the art of their own genres—January takes Gus on a romantic outing to the local carnival; Gus takes January to the burned-down remains of a former cult—and they both process their own grief, loss, and trauma through this experiment. There are more than enough steamy scenes to sustain the slow-burn romance, and smart commentary on the placement and purpose of “women’s fiction” joins with crucial conversations about mental health to add multiple intriguing layers to the plot.

A heartfelt look at taking second chances, in life and in love.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0673-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Jove/Penguin

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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HONEST ILLUSIONS

Suspenseful, glamorous story of love, blackmail, and magic, set in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., about a family of high-class magicians practicing the time-honored profession of thievery. When magician Maxmillian Nouvelle adopts the 12-year-old runaway Luke Callahan, he gives him more than a family: He teaches him the secrets of blending what's real and what's not...giving people what they want—and also taking what they value. For the Great Nouvelle is a master jewel-thief; stealing from the undeserving rich warms his blood like the anticipation of good sex, a passion that both Luke and Max's bratty daughter Raxanne eventually share. Thirteen years pass: As Luke practices the fine arts of larceny and escapology, Roxanne grows into a flame-haired witch who turns bell, book, and candle into smoke onstage. Offstage, she trades in her David Cassidy poster for Luke; together, they set off sparks that could make an innocent bystander..go up in flames. But Luke's invincibility, like the Great Houdini's, is deceptive: Slimy Sam Wyatt—a former grifter now running for the Senate—slithers in from Luke's past, his frigid heart full of contempt for the family he once tried to seam. He threatens to frame Luke for murder and expose the Nouvelles' after-hours show unless he disappears. Five years later, a homesick Luke reappears, determined to show the disillusioned Roxanne that he's more than smoke and mirrors. Together, they set out to plot vengeance, staking everything on their most daring sting to date. True to the magician's oath, Roberts reveals no secrets, but the illusion works—in a compelling and detail-rich first hardcover. Good escape reading.

Pub Date: July 17, 1992

ISBN: 0-399-13761-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1992

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