This is worth a read because of the twists in the criminal investigation, in spite of a not-so-scintillating love story.

A TALENT FOR TRICKERY

A viscount investigating a murder for the crown is reunited with the beautiful daughter of a criminal he nabbed several years before.

Johnson (A Christmas Dance, 2014, etc.) returns with the first book in her new Victorian-era Thief Takers series. Owen Renderwell was awarded a viscountcy for service to the crown, but now he’s in a quandary. A string of robberies culminating with a murder is leading him back to an old investigation. William Walker, notorious swindler and thief, often used codes and ciphers to communicate with his colleagues. Similar codes are showing up in letters left at this latest series of crime scenes, but Walker died 8 years ago, and his daughter Charlotte, now living under an assumed name with her younger sister and brother, hasn’t forgiven Owen for her father’s death. Owen needs Lottie’s help to crack the code before the killer strikes again. But when he and his men visit Lottie in the country, they realize they’ve led the criminal right to the Walker children, which may have been the killer's intent all along. While Charlotte and Owen work to decipher the letters using William Walker’s old journals, someone besieges the house by setting fire to the barn and firing a gun through the window. Lottie and Owen must learn to trust each other amid a decade’s worth of lies and deception, and Lottie must face the fact that her 14-year-old brother is growing up and is not going to believe her whitewashed version of their family history forever. The author manages to surprise the reader time and again, making this a successful mystery novel, but the romance itself is rather humdrum and predictable.

This is worth a read because of the twists in the criminal investigation, in spite of a not-so-scintillating love story.

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4926-2050-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

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. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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