A WOMAN'S PLACE

Run-of-the-mill divorce drama from a veteran author (Shades of Grace, 1996, etc.), this featuring the owner of a wicker-furniture chain who's betrayed by her husband but adored by someone much cuter. With a business to run, two kids to see to, and a dying mother, Boston businesswoman Claire Raphael has too much on her mind to notice that her husband, Dennis, a failed venture capitalist, has been exhibiting symptoms of restlessness and envy. Dennis does capture her attention, though, when Claire returns from a business trip to find the kids gone and a summons server waiting on her doorstep. It appears that Claire is being sued for divorce and has been removed from her house and separated from her children by court order on the grounds that by working too hard and having an affair with her CEO she's an unfit mother. Readers might feel sorry for the unjustly accused Claire if she didn't feel so monumentally sorry for herself. Declaring that ``wanting it all'' doesn't make her an evil person, she flees weeping into the arms of said CEO—incidentally her husband's former college roommate, and a handsome hunk with a house on the shore besides—and, while accepting a warm, tingly but emphatically platonic hug from him (photographed through the window, natch, by her jealous husband), decides that she won't take Dennis's false accusations lying down. Enlisting the aid of a lawyer, Claire starts digging up the dirt on Dennis, while simultaneously buying, refurbishing, and furnishing a charming old lighthouse to live in (this takes only one day, so organized is she), dealing with her daughter's allergies and her son's emotional withdrawal when Dennis proves incompetentas a psychological helper, and, just for fun, indulging after all in that affair with her CEO before she brings her former husband to his knees. Therapeutic, perhaps, for readers in the throes of their own divorces, but too formulaic for others.

Pub Date: March 26, 1997

ISBN: 0-06-017506-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1997

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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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An entertaining page-turner.

MET HER MATCH

Terri Rayburn is devastated that her perfect man belongs to someone else, but once Nate Taggert realizes that Terri's the one for him, her complicated past still stands in the way of their being together.

Terri is attracted to Nate the moment she lays eyes on him, and soon they fall into an easy partnership at the Virginia lake resort she runs with her father. Nate is upfront about being engaged to the mayor’s daughter, Stacy, but she’s in Europe for a few weeks, and it quickly becomes clear to Terri that Nate and Stacy aren’t a great match. However, Terri, whose mother left when she was 2, has always had a problematic relationship with the citizens of Summer Hill. Since Leslie disappeared, the town gossip has made sure everyone remembers her as a promiscuous vixen, a label which tainted Terri as she got older and made her look like a problem when, as Nate begins to understand, she was really a victim. It’s clear to everyone around them that they are falling in love, but even as Nate realizes it himself, Terri is adamant that they can’t be together. She won’t steal him from the popular Stacy because it would mean she’d never be able to live in Summer Hill, and she won’t abandon her father. Deveraux spins an intriguing and unorthodox romance, continuing her Summer Hill branch of the Taggert/Montgomery series with two characters who have some unique, interesting obstacles in their paths and navigate through them with secrets uncovered and old wounds healed. The story is well plotted, though Nate is unnecessarily oblivious sometimes and the book takes an unexpected swing into romantic suspense territory in the last quarter. The solved mystery resolves Nate and Terri’s conflict, though the villain’s motivations seem a little cartoonish.

An entertaining page-turner.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7783-5124-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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