An enjoyable love story made even more romantic by its enchanting Parisian backdrop.




An entertaining, lighthearted novel about the trials and tribulations of falling in love in a Parisian cafe.

As Nichols’ (Winter’s Gift, 2015, etc.) book opens, Lena Malakhov, the daughter of Russian information technology services tycoon Anton Malakhov, has just moved to Paris from a “sterile student residence in Geneva” to finish up her graduate thesis. She’s living in an apartment in the 9th arrondissement, right above a lovely, quintessential cafe called Bistro La Bohème. Soon after her arrival, her father’s main business competitor asks Rob, a Russian-speaking waiter at the bistro, to spy on Lena’s phone conversations in exchange for a handsome paycheck. Strapped for cash to pay for his graduate school tuition, the waiter takes on the task. Lena begins to spend a lot of time at the bistro while working on her translation work, which gives Rob the perfect opportunity to befriend the Russian “minigarch,” eavesdrop on her conversations, and then report the details back to his employer. All is seemingly going well until he and Lena begin to realize that their chemistry may indicate something more than just a casual, friendly, patron-server relationship. Lena must confront her own reluctance to fall for another person after a painful breakup in Geneva, and Rob must face the ethics of his decision to spy on someone he cares about, despite his desperate, legitimate financial need. Ultimately, Nichols’ novel explores the concept of true, undeniable, passionate love and what it takes to entrust one’s heart to another person. Although it lacks depth, it’s still an engaging, vivid account of what it’s like to be a young person in Paris. The details of Parisian life, and the bistro in particular, paint a vibrant, realistic picture of the city—lingering in “wicker chairs” at a cafe, spending evenings at the Trocadéro to watch the “final light show of the day on the Eiffel Tower,” and escaping for weekend getaways to the French countryside. Additionally, Nichols includes a lively, likable cast of characters, and their complicated, ever changing relationships are both believable and fun.

An enjoyable love story made even more romantic by its enchanting Parisian backdrop.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1502718747

Page Count: 328

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 9, 2015

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Another success for the publishing phenom.


An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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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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