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LOVE ON THE BRAIN

A quick read, though less than fresh.

A neuroscientist is forced to work with her academic nemesis on a career-changing project in this STEM-celebratory contemporary romance.

Bee Königswasser is over-the-moon excited when she's asked to lead BLINK, a joint project between NASA and the National Institutes of Health designed to build better technology for astronauts. The invitation to the team is enough to get Bee out of the funk she's been in since she discovered her fiance cheating and her engagement fell apart. Her excitement is short-lived when she discovers she'll be co-leading the project with engineer Levi Ward, her grad school nemesis, whose cold, cutting behavior and outspoken inability to work with her on an assignment have stuck with her. Their work on BLINK is an improvement though, as Levi doesn't immediately bail on the project. But when little things start to go wrong for Bee and her team, she begins to wonder if her co-lead isn't above sabotage. Adding an additional layer to Bee and Levi's rivalry is the fact that they run two very popular anonymous social media accounts. Since the accounts are both rooted in science and academia, Bee and Levi unknowingly frequent the same internet circles and have even developed an online friendship without knowing each other's identity. While the epistolary elements of the book, including tweets and direct messages, are novel, it often feels unnecessary. The quiet, pining hero in a lab setting isn't new territory for Hazelwood, and readers may wonder if she pushes it in a new direction here. The answer is no. While Hazelwood is clearly a talented writer who's tapped into readers' desire to find powerful, proudly nerdy women in science getting happy-ever-afters, she's missed the opportunity to try new character types that don't feel like The Love Hypothesis (2021) with slightly different packaging.

A quick read, though less than fresh.

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-33684-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: June 7, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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THIS SUMMER WILL BE DIFFERENT

A steamy, romantic summer read with a charming setting.

A florist attempts to avoid her best friend’s brother—and their powerful chemistry—on Prince Edward Island.

When Lucy Ashby visits her best friend Bridget’s family home on Prince Edward Island for the first time, Bridget gives her three rules: Eat your weight in oysters….Leave the city behind. And, most importantly, Don’t fall in love with my brother. Unfortunately for Lucy, she sleeps with Felix basically the second her plane lands, unaware that he’s Bridget’s brother until it’s too late. Lucy has never felt understood or accepted by her immediate family, and Bridget is one of the very few people she allows into her inner circle, so Lucy’s desperate to abide by these rules. And so she and Felix try to avoid each other on every one of Lucy’s visits to PEI over the years. And, of course, they fail spectacularly, always returning to each other when they’re in between relationships. But it’s never been anything serious…Lucy makes sure of that, backing off whenever her emotions feel too strong. In her “real life” back in Toronto, it’s easier for Lucy to avoid thinking of Felix as she runs a busy floral shop, working herself into the ground. But when Bridget asks Lucy to come to PEI for an emergency girls’ trip less than two weeks before Bridget is supposed to get married, Lucy drops everything to be there for her best friend. She doesn’t expect to find Felix there, along with feelings that are stronger and more difficult than ever to ignore. Even more than jeopardizing her relationship with Bridget, Lucy is afraid that giving in to her feelings could ruin the life she’s worked so hard to build. Fortune, the author of hits like Every Summer After (2022), gives readers another refreshingly summery story full of angst, romance, and sex scenes aplenty. The PEI setting is a beautiful backdrop for Lucy and Felix’s secret hookups and Lucy’s journey of self-discovery as she learns how to stand on her own two feet as a business owner, friend, and daughter. In addition to frequent (and welcome) Anne of Green Gables references, there are oysters galore and many sandy, windy scenes that transport readers straight to the island.

A steamy, romantic summer read with a charming setting.

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9780593638880

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

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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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  • New York Times Bestseller


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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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