Not even the Great War can jar this novel out of its stalwart complacency.

CAVENDON HALL

Life—and melodrama—upstairs and downstairs at a Yorkshire stately home, as World War I nears.

Sound familiar? Cavendon, however, lacks the tension that launched Downton Abbey to such acclaim. The estate is not threatened: Primogeniture is working just fine, given that Charles Ingham, sixth Earl of Mowbray, has two sons in addition to his four daughters; and the fiefdom is certainly not broke. Moreover, the Inghams have another advantage the Crawleys lack: the Swann family, whose members have, for more than 160 years, sworn to protect and serve them. Now, Walter Swann is the Earl's staunch valet; his wife, Alice, and daughter Cecily see to matters of décor and wardrobe; Swann matriarch Charlotte (the Earl’s friend from childhood) is de facto estate manager; and her nephew Percy supervises Cavendon’s extensive grounds as gamekeeper. Into this latter-day feudal utopia some trouble must fall, and it's introduced when Daphne, loveliest of the Earl’s daughters, is raped by Richard, the eldest son of a neighboring family of country squires. At first advised by the Swanns to say nothing of her violation, secrecy is no longer possible once Daphne realizes she's pregnant. To avert scandal, plans are made to send Daphne abroad, which are soon mooted when second cousin Hugo Stanton—a vastly wealthy, good-hearted tycoon once wrongfully exiled from the family—returns and falls in love with Daphne at first sight. A hasty marriage ensues. Other conflicts emerge almost as afterthoughts to swathes of pages devoted to Bradford’s usual meticulous inventories of gracious living. Although Richard is clearly behind a number of sinister events, the motivation for his villainy is never explored. Such a vague antagonist does nothing to undermine the book’s deep conviction that no crisis is insurmountable given loyal friends, splendid furnishings and unlimited funds. 

Not even the Great War can jar this novel out of its stalwart complacency.

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-03235-5

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

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MAYBE SOMEDAY

Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

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The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

REGRETTING YOU

When tragedy strikes, a mother and daughter forge a new life.

Morgan felt obligated to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris, when she got pregnant with their daughter, Clara. But she secretly got along much better with Chris’ thoughtful best friend, Jonah, who was dating her sister, Jenny. Now her life as a stay-at-home parent has left her feeling empty but not ungrateful for what she has. Jonah and Jenny eventually broke up, but years later they had a one-night stand and Jenny got pregnant with their son, Elijah. Now Jonah is back in town, engaged to Jenny, and working at the local high school as Clara’s teacher. Clara dreams of being an actress and has a crush on Miller, who plans to go to film school, but her father doesn't approve. It doesn’t help that Miller already has a jealous girlfriend who stalks him via text from college. But Clara and Morgan’s home life changes radically when Chris and Jenny are killed in an accident, revealing long-buried secrets and forcing Morgan to reevaluate the life she chose when early motherhood forced her hand. Feeling betrayed by the adults in her life, Clara marches forward, acting both responsible and rebellious as she navigates her teenage years without her father and her aunt, while Jonah and Morgan's relationship evolves in the wake of the accident. Front-loaded with drama, the story leaves plenty of room for the mother and daughter to unpack their feelings and decide what’s next.

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1642-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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