Smart and with emotional depth, this is a cut above the romantic comedies that flood the market every summer.

STAY

A charming debut about a young woman, the troublesome men in her life and the dog she gets to replace them.

Savannah should be happy that her two closest friends are getting married. Janie (really more like a sister, Savannah grew up on Janie’s family estate—her mother was the housekeeper) is marrying Peter, Savannah’s best friend from college. The only problem is that Savannah has been nursing a secret love for Peter for years. Savannah is racked with guilt; lusting after Janie’s new husband isn’t part of her life plan. When Peter almost makes a drunken confession of love to Savannah on his wedding night, and when Janie’s mother offers Savannah a six-figure check to leave the married couple alone, Savannah embarks on a bender with surprising results. Drunk and watching a Rin Tin Tin marathon, she decides she needs a dog to fill the void and orders over the Internet a $6,000 German Shepard from Slovakia. When he arrives, he is enormous, highly trained (Savannah has to learn his Slovak commands) and a bit too high-strung for condo living. She takes the newly christened Joe to Dr. Alex Brandt, a young, ruggedly handsome vet who takes a shine to Savannah. If this were all, there would be little to distinguish it from the well-worn territory of light romances, but Larkin complicates things in interesting ways. Savannah becomes increasingly class conscious—as the housekeeper’s daughter, Savannah has endured a lifetime of letting Janie get her way, of Peter’s parents disallowing him from dating lowly Savannah—and now in a budding relationship with down-to-earth Alex, Savannah is beginning to question what kind of strange triangle she, Peter and Janie formed. As Peter and Janie become more demanding and unhappy—they’re not used to life without Savannah to fix things—they begin to jeopardize the good thing she’s got going with Alex. Maybe Joe will save the day.

Smart and with emotional depth, this is a cut above the romantic comedies that flood the market every summer.

Pub Date: June 10, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-525-95171-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2010

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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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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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