ANCIENT ECHOES

Monahan sets this paranormal romance in a Scottish castle during the present day and the 16th century.

From the opening chapter, it’s clear that Samantha McKinley is both impulsive and foolish. When a mysterious letter arrives at her home in Boston informing her that she has inherited an ancient castle along with a large sum of money, and instructs her to come to Scotland and to bring no one along with her, she never questions it. Instead, Samantha obediently heads to Scotland, unaware that she will never return home and never see her friends or family again. A few hours after she arrives in Scotland, Samantha meets Kieron and almost immediately puts all her trust in the good-looking stranger, moving into his house the following day. Mainly through Kieron, Samantha learns of the mysterious history of Rosestone, the castle she has inherited, and later Kieron’s own story. Kieron is an immortal from another dimension, a Keeper who is an angel of light. Samantha learns that an ancient curse threatens her safety. With Kieron’s help she travels back in time to the 16th century to destroy an evil sorcerer and lift the curse. Monahan’s somewhat confusing fantasy mythos features Vikings, demons, angels, alternate worlds, reincarnation and time travel. The characters tend to be simple and flat; the bad guys are unquestionably evil while the good guys are, literally, angels. The story drags during scenes where large chunks of background information are unveiled, usually in the form of stilted dialogue. The pace picks up, however, during those scenes when the forces of good and evil clash, treating readers to some fast-moving action. Readers will have to look beyond a host of spelling and grammatical errors as well as a few continuity lapses, but those who do will find a romantic tale inspired by Celtic legend. An epilogue hints at the possibility of a sequel. This love story of a woman in the right place at the wrong time and the attractive angel-knight who comes to her aid should appeal to readers of the romance genre.

 

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1463474331

Page Count: 333

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: March 7, 2012

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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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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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