A gifted writer at the top of her emotional, sexy, romantic, and inclusive game.

A PRINCE ON PAPER

The third and final installment of Cole’s Reluctant Royals series (A Duke by Default, 2018, etc.) probes the ways social expectations can diminish a person's autonomy and how the vulnerability of deep romantic love can make people stronger.

Nya Jerami, the granddaughter of respected elders of the powerful African nation of Thesolo, returns home for a family wedding with fear and trepidation. Nya had fled to New York after discovering that her father, once a respected government minister, was guilty of blackmail, treason, and, worst of all, the politically motivated poisoning of members of his own family. Nya had always been kind, with a naturally trusting attitude that reflected the goodness in her heart. Her father’s betrayal threw her life into a tailspin, shattering her trust. Now, with her father in prison, she is “a woman who’d come to the end of the breadcrumb trail and didn’t know where to go next.” The wedding puts Nya in close proximity to her crush, Johan von Braustein, the Tabloid Prince of Liechtienbourg, who finds in Nya a potent invader of his carefully constructed defenses. Johan’s playboy persona is a cover, designed, so he tells himself, to draw media attention away from his younger brother, the heir to the throne. But having lost his beloved mother at a young age, Johan is terrified of intimacy and its potential to lead to pain and loss. As Johan’s radiant energy draws Nya in, her quiet strength entices him “to stop pretending, to stop guarding his emotions like a dragon watching over its hoard.” Their road to happiness is compellingly bumpy, with political intrigue on two continents and the interference of friends and family, many of whom will be delightfully familiar to readers of the first two installments of the series. In a book by a less skilled writer, a subplot involving a character's emerging nonbinary gender identity might feel unnecessary, but not here. Nya and Johan's swoony sexual tension evolves into a scorching exploration that recognizes Nya’s relative inexperience while rendering the pair's matched desire, fulfillment, and power.

A gifted writer at the top of her emotional, sexy, romantic, and inclusive game.

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-268558-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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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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