A straightforward and charming Regency romance with a pleasing horticultural bent to set it apart.

WHEN YOU WISH UPON A ROGUE

A debutante finds her match at last—after she is betrothed to another.

The last of a trio of debutantes is about to find herself off the marriage market, much to her dismay. Sophie Kendall is to be betrothed in two months to Lord Singleton, an inoffensive man she has no interest in but must marry to settle her father’s debts. This means she'll no longer be leading the clandestine meetings of the Debutante Underground, an “eclectic group of women” from all walks of life who meet to discuss “sensitive topics such as courting, desire, intimacy, and love.” It also means she shouldn’t take any interest in Henry Reese, the Earl of Warshire, whom she’s just met in her quest to find a new meeting spot for the group. But Henry is desperate to get to know Sophie better after he learns that her tea, and her presence, is so soothing to him that he's able to get a good night’s sleep despite his persistent PTSD. In exchange for the use of his space for her group, she agrees to spend one chaste night with him each week, insisting that they aren’t to touch each other at all. But her strict boundaries are no match for their attraction, and she is soon regretting her imminent engagement, which will mean the end of all the relationships that are important to her—unless she calls it off, ruining her family. Sophie’s prohibition against physical touch adds a heightened chemistry to the scenes of intimacy between her and Henry, which build nicely in intensity throughout the story. Sophie’s freedom to leave her house overnight without any chaperone feels awfully contemporary, but Bennett provides an explanation plausible enough to let the fun continue. Readers who love a grumpy-to-smitten hero will swoon for Henry, and his PTSD is sensitively handled, if a bit simplistic.

A straightforward and charming Regency romance with a pleasing horticultural bent to set it apart.

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-19950-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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

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IT ENDS WITH US

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 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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