A fascinating look at wealth, love, ambition, secrets, and what family members will and won’t do to protect each other.

TINY LITTLE THING

During her husband’s 1966 congressional run, Christina “Tiny” Hardcastle realizes her picture-perfect life has more than a few cracks and that maybe the time has come to be true to herself rather than to the glossy facade she has created.

“The first photograph arrives in the mail on the same day that my husband appears on television at the Medal of Honor ceremony.” So begins Williams’ second novel about the Schuyler sisters, after The Secret Life of Violet Grant (2014). Tiny’s husband is Frank Hardcastle, running for Congress in Massachusetts, and he's attending the ceremony for his cousin, Maj. Caspian Harrison, an unexpected boon and photo-op for his campaign, while the rest of the family holes up in their Cape Cod compound. The Hardcastle family is old money, and Frank has been bred his whole life for this campaign. Tiny, the posh, polished, and always proper eldest Schuyler sister, is also from money and is the perfect wife for the perfect candidate. Except that two years into her marriage, she's questioning everything. Again. There seem to be a number of “tiny little things” the title refers to other than Tiny herself, including: the soul-changing events a few weeks before her wedding, when she first met Caspian; the miscarriage she suffers just days before the ceremony; Frank’s secretive behavior that leads Tiny to believe he’s having an affair; the scandalous pictures someone is blackmailing Tiny with; and the sudden and unexpected arrival of Tiny’s vibrant, alluring, and nearly-never-proper sister Pepper. Elegantly written, mainly from Caspian’s third-person 1964 perspective and Tiny’s first-person 1966 perspective, the book is strewn with unexpected heroes and villains and makes an exclusive, Kennedy-esque world accessible. The underlying message is that money can’t buy happiness, especially when you’re living in a skin that no longer fits.

A fascinating look at wealth, love, ambition, secrets, and what family members will and won’t do to protect each other.

Pub Date: June 23, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-17130-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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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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