The leisurely pacing may frustrate some, but this sweet tale of mutual longing finally expressed repays the investment.

GIRL GONE VIRAL

The dangers of fame in the internet era draw a former model and her longtime bodyguard closer together.

Katrina King is a retired model–turned–successful angel investor. She has battled debilitating anxiety and panic attacks all her life, thanks in part to her abusive and controlling father, but became terrified of venturing far from her well-secured home after she was kidnapped 10 years ago. She has a loyal, honest, and incredibly good-looking bodyguard in Jasvinder Singh, who also helps run her many ventures. Katrina has had a deep crush on Jas for years but is reluctant to risk their friendship by making a move. She's finally ready to try some exposure therapy at a local cafe when she becomes the subject of a viral social media post. When Katrina is endangered by the ensuing publicity, they retreat to Jas' family’s farm north of Sacramento. Jas is an Army vet with PTSD from a horrifying event that left him with a busted knee and a sense of deep betrayal. Little does Katrina realize that Jas shares her feelings: “It was her small acts of kindness that had sucked him in, her clever intelligence and sweetness that had kept him hooked.” Forced proximity on the farm finally breaks down her caution and his reserve, and they give in to their desires in sexy, sweet scenes. But Jas, a man of few words not used to acknowledging his pain, must stop hiding from his military past and his family issues in order to earn Katrina's love. With so much going on, the romance can feel secondary at times, although the couple’s strong history somewhat makes up for Rai’s (The Right Swipe, 2019, etc.) slowest of slow burns.

The leisurely pacing may frustrate some, but this sweet tale of mutual longing finally expressed repays the investment.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-287813-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

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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An entertaining page-turner.

MET HER MATCH

Terri Rayburn is devastated that her perfect man belongs to someone else, but once Nate Taggert realizes that Terri's the one for him, her complicated past still stands in the way of their being together.

Terri is attracted to Nate the moment she lays eyes on him, and soon they fall into an easy partnership at the Virginia lake resort she runs with her father. Nate is upfront about being engaged to the mayor’s daughter, Stacy, but she’s in Europe for a few weeks, and it quickly becomes clear to Terri that Nate and Stacy aren’t a great match. However, Terri, whose mother left when she was 2, has always had a problematic relationship with the citizens of Summer Hill. Since Leslie disappeared, the town gossip has made sure everyone remembers her as a promiscuous vixen, a label which tainted Terri as she got older and made her look like a problem when, as Nate begins to understand, she was really a victim. It’s clear to everyone around them that they are falling in love, but even as Nate realizes it himself, Terri is adamant that they can’t be together. She won’t steal him from the popular Stacy because it would mean she’d never be able to live in Summer Hill, and she won’t abandon her father. Deveraux spins an intriguing and unorthodox romance, continuing her Summer Hill branch of the Taggert/Montgomery series with two characters who have some unique, interesting obstacles in their paths and navigate through them with secrets uncovered and old wounds healed. The story is well plotted, though Nate is unnecessarily oblivious sometimes and the book takes an unexpected swing into romantic suspense territory in the last quarter. The solved mystery resolves Nate and Terri’s conflict, though the villain’s motivations seem a little cartoonish.

An entertaining page-turner.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7783-5124-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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