With a lovable heroine and industry gossip, Sweeney’s latest goes behind the scenes and straight to the heart.

READ REVIEW

SCARED SCRIPTLESS

A unique take on workplace romance from the actress-turned-author (The Star Attraction, 2013) whose TV credits include The Biggest Loser and Days of Our Lives.

Maddy Carson’s success as a script supervisor for a popular television series is getting in the way of her personal life. It's easy to see why as Sweeney digs into the minutiae of Maddy's job: “I have a visual record of every prop and how the actor is holding it and every movement they made in the scene,” Maddy says, explaining how she keeps the action consistent between takes, but that's only one reason her motto is “Never trust the actors.” Maddy is nothing like the stiletto-wearing models who fawn over the show’s handsome stars, and it’s been hard for her to find a good match when the actors on set seem to be the only men available—although the hot new cast member, Adam Devin, is surprisingly down-to-earth. Maddy thinks she’s found the perfect compromise in her buttoned-up boss, Craig, but when her typecasting fails to match reality, she’ll have to decide whether to stick to the script or follow her heart. Their relationship is put to the test when they decide to pitch a reality TV series based on the ski-resort town where Maddy grew up. It takes a long time to build up to the main conflict—the show could either save the flailing town or exploit its residents, depending on how it’s handled—but the second half delivers a big emotional payoff. Whether she's shaking in her high heels as she pitches the show to a room full of bored executives, cringing at a heavily edited “sizzle reel” that shows her neighbors in a bad light, or agonizing over how invisible she would feel standing next to a star on the red carpet when she pictures a new relationship with Adam, Maddy's fight for a non-Hollywood ending is about as Hollywood as it gets.

With a lovable heroine and industry gossip, Sweeney’s latest goes behind the scenes and straight to the heart.

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4013-1105-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Despite the false start, this heartwarming story sweetly balances friendship and mother-child bonding with romantic love.

WINDOW ON THE BAY

Macomber (Be a Blessing, 2019, etc.) threatens to set her latest beach read in Paris, but her characters have other plans.

Maureen Zelinski and Jenna Boltz have been friends since college. Years ago, their plans to go to Paris were thwarted when Maureen found out she was pregnant. Now that they’re both single mothers whose children have left the nest, the time is right to dust off their passports and try again. In a somewhat disappointing turn of events, Maureen and Jenna don’t make it to Paris just yet. Instead, they stay in Seattle and pursue new love interests. Jenna, a nurse, meets orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rowan Lancaster in the emergency room after her mother falls and hurts her hip. Maureen, against her better judgment, accepts a date with Logan, a union plumber who frequents the library where she works. Jenna is afraid to date a co-worker after her workplace romance with her ex failed, but when Rowan proves to be a good listener, she’s more willing to discuss her options. Maureen doesn’t think she’ll fit in with Logan and his beer-drinking buddies, but she’s surprised when she enjoys their date at a football game. Meanwhile, Jenna worries about her children, Allie and Paul, as they navigate college and life. Though the story is primarily told from the two mothers’ perspectives, Allie breaks into the narrative with a surprising connection to Rowan. Maureen’s daughter, Tori, also takes on the role of confidante. The happy endings (and potential travel plans) unfold with a touch of realism to contrast the idyllic backdrop of the Pacific Northwest.

Despite the false start, this heartwarming story sweetly balances friendship and mother-child bonding with romantic love.

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-18133-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

OUTFOX

An FBI agent is determined to catch a man who bilks and murders wealthy women, but the chase goes slowly.

Brown (Tailspin, 2018, etc.) has published 70 bestsellers, and this one employs her usual template of thriller spiked with romance. Its main character, Drex Easton, is an FBI agent in pursuit of a serial killer, but for him it’s personal. When he was a boy, his mother left him and his father for another man, Weston Graham. Drex believes Graham murdered her and that he has killed at least seven more women after emptying their bank accounts. Now he thinks he has the clever Graham—current alias Jasper Ford—in his sights, and he’s willing to put his career at risk to catch him. The women Ford targets are wealthy, and his new prey is no exception—except that, uncharacteristically, he has married her. Talia Ford proves to be a complication for Drex, who instantly falls in lust with her even though he’s not at all sure she isn’t her husband's accomplice. Posing as a would-be novelist, Drex moves into an apartment next door to the Fords’ posh home and tries to ingratiate himself, but tensions rise immediately—Jasper is suspicious, and Talia has mixed feelings about Drex's flirtatious behavior. When Talia’s fun-loving friend Elaine Conner turns up dead after a cruise on her yacht and Jasper disappears, Drex and Talia become allies. There are a few action sequences and fewer sex scenes, but the novel’s pace bogs down repeatedly in long, mundane conversations. Drex's two FBI agent sidekicks are more interesting characters than he is; Drex himself is such a caricature of a macho man, so heedless of ethics, and so aggressive toward women that it’s tough to see him as a good guy. Brown adds a couple of implausible twists at the very end that make him seem almost as untrustworthy as Graham.

This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4555-7219-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more