A boomtown fairy-tale romance perfect for a light vacation read.

READ REVIEW

Which Way Did She Go?

Historical fiction about a young woman who runs from Philadelphia to the Wild West in the 1890s.

Debut novelist Perkovich presents Evie Logan, a free-spirited 18-year-old who’s being forced by her father to marry a vile man by the name of William Douglas. Despite the rarity of arranged marriages by the 1890s, Evie’s father uses the custom to create a favorable business arrangement for himself—with his daughter as a key bargaining chip. Unfortunately, William is a hateful man with few redeeming qualities. When Evie overhears him boasting about his involvement in a violent crime, she knows that she must escape before she’s sentenced to a life of misery. With a laughable disguise, she travels from Philadelphia all the way to a burgeoning hub of the Wild West in Colorado. Her quick wit and creative cooking skills land her a job, where she catches the attention of Jackson Douglas, who happens to be William’s cousin. Jackson realizes that this young redhead is the same girl he read about in the local paper; William placed an ad offering a hefty reward for her recapture. Jackson has always despised his cousin, so he hires Evie as his personal cook, hoping he can help her escape William for good. It’s not long, though, before others in town deduce that Evie is that same girl described in the paper. Evie, Jackson, and their friends must fend off threats until Jackson devises an outlandish plan to save Evie permanently. In this fast-paced, action-packed adventure, Perkovich creates one suspenseful scenario after another. She also peppers the tale with engrossing details about the growth of the Wild West in the late 19th century, expertly juxtaposing blithe Western customs with the stodgy, stifling mores of the Northeast. Although the story’s ending is somewhat predictable, readers will delight in following Evie through her adventures. Overall, the author has created a tale that’s chock-full of intriguing period particulars and a heroine who’s fresh, competent, and engaging.

A boomtown fairy-tale romance perfect for a light vacation read.

Pub Date: July 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4917-6576-0

Page Count: 298

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

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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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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