BOSS WITCH

Aguirre enlarges the usual romance world to include respecting and honoring those who are different from us.

In Aguirre's second book about the Midwestern coven of St. Claire, Clementine Odette Waterhouse is part owner of Fix-It Witches, the shop where magic powers repair small appliances.

Clementine carries the world on her shoulders. When her family is in trouble, they come to Clem. Her mother was abused and deserted by her husband and cries on Clem’s shoulder. Her father, now on his fourth wife, won’t stop calling Clem even though she’s blocked him on her smartphone. (Apparently witches still have to block.) And her cousin Danica, her partner at Fix-It Witches, who’s in out-of-control love with a mundane (witch-speak for Muggles), has carelessly allowed her powers to spike, and a witch hunter has picked up the vibe and traveled to St. Claire on his vintage Ducati motorcycle. After an emergency coven meeting, Clem announces: “No worries. I'll handle him.” As all romance readers know, handling the tall, dark, rugged British stranger with the beard-stubbled face is a losing proposition. Gavin Rhys was bred to hunt witches by a cruel dad who caned and starved him. He would like to stop hunting, but the “order” won't allow it. He longs for a place to call home and an ongoing relationship and is pretty much an easy mark for Clem, the foxy, funny, sex-talking young woman he meets at a town bar. They start to date: She takes him to a petting farm; he makes her lunch. Aguirre is always healthfully correct: Gavin makes sure to tell Clem the lunch isn’t gluten- or nut-free, and before sex, they both get tested for STDs and show each other the test results. Clem is softening by the minute and gives Gavin a mouse he names Benson and carries with him everywhere. Great sex and growing affection do not diminish the fact that a hunter is endangering her coven. He's a real threat. When a gang of violent witch “enforcers” arrive, the coven unites to cast a spell to get rid of them. Aguirre shows how strong these women are together and details the shapes and colors of their intricate spells. Meanwhile, Gavin makes contact with the grandfather he hasn’t seen for 20 years, who gives him some surprising information that helps him pursue a relationship with Clem.

Aguirre enlarges the usual romance world to include respecting and honoring those who are different from us.

Pub Date: April 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-72824-019-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

FANGIRL DOWN

This golf romance is a winner.

A professional golfer trying to make a comeback hires his biggest fan to be his caddy.

Despondent and demoralized at his terrible season, professional golfer Wells Whitaker decides to quit the pro circuit. He’s already been dumped by his mentor, his sponsors, and his agent—why not throw in the towel himself? The only person left on his side is Josephine Doyle, his most devoted fan, a woman so dedicated to his career that she’s given herself the moniker “Wells’s Belle.” Josephine has been following the golfer’s career for years, and she can’t help but feel betrayed when he abandons the game. After a hurricane destroys her family’s Palm Beach pro shop, Josephine is surprised to find Wells at her door. He’s had a change of heart and is determined to give himself one last chance on the pro circuit. Wells has secured a spot at an upcoming tournament in San Antonio and wants Josephine to be his caddy. She can’t say no. The money she earns will allow her to rebuild the shop and afford health insurance, which is crucial for managing her diabetes. Once they’re at the tournament, their obvious camaraderie and their chemistry make them the target of gossip and speculation in the press. Wells feels intensely possessive and protective of Josephine while still respecting her autonomy, and Josephine learns that her faith in him was not misplaced. Although several of the initial plot pieces feel manufactured, the emotional connection between Josephine and Wells is vibrant and alive. They fit together perfectly, with each growing and benefiting from their professional and romantic partnership. Bailey delivers her trademark high-heat, spicy romance, but it’s the emotional connection between Wells and Josephine that makes the book a winner.

This golf romance is a winner.

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2024

ISBN: 9780063308367

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2023

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IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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