A well-crafted romance that will leave readers wondering until the last moment whether a happy ending is truly in the cards.


Where Others Stop and Turn

In her latest novel of romance and intrigue, Goulter (Giving a Damn About Scarlett, 2012) explores the realities of love and lust and whether love at first sight can last forever.

Joanna Mahler falls for eccentric Australian Will Richie hook, line and sinker. In San Francisco, she unexpectedly stumbles across the melodious sounds of Will’s voice during an afternoon stroll in the presidio. The divorced mother of two high school sons is immediately taken by Will’s voice and music. Though she describes Will’s appearance as “odd, almost elfin,” she’s enchanted. On impulse, and despite the warnings from family and friends, she agrees to fly to Australia and stay in the bush with Will for just over six weeks. As Joanna soon learns, true love isn’t always easy. Will is a divorced husband and father currently expecting another child with a needy former lover. He’s a poor dreamer banking on the income that will hopefully come from a new invention. The couple’s radically different backgrounds create predictable tensions for the unlikely love connection. Joanna is embroiled in small-town scandals and begins to doubt her choices; Will’s life is a disaster. Is he truly the man of her dreams, or was her journey an utter mistake? Goulter presents an intriguing mystery propelled by her characters’ questionable morals and intentions. Joanna’s motivations could be better fleshed out, as it stretches the limits of belief that a woman with a stable life would leave her children and home for a man she barely knows. Will is also an enigmatic character, though Goulter adeptly paints his physical traits and personality yet leaves his true motivations and interests in the shadows. Set in the Australian bush country, the landscape is at times beautiful and desolate, and Goulter allows the country itself to come alive as a character, furthering Joanna’s reservations and reinforcing her role as an outsider. Though her misgivings about her new situation aren’t surprising, one can’t help but simultaneously admire Joanna’s adventurous spirit while pitying her apparent naïveté.

A well-crafted romance that will leave readers wondering until the last moment whether a happy ending is truly in the cards.

Pub Date: March 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-1479294992

Page Count: 210

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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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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Another success for the publishing phenom.


An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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