A lively historical romance set against the backdrop of the antebellum South.

Groover’s pre-Civil War romance, set in Virginia, begins with the long-awaited return of a handsome prodigal son bent on revenge. Ten years prior, Fletcher Stedman, heir to the wealthy Seabrook plantation, was brutally kidnapped by his jealous cousin, Buck, and locked away in an asylum. Fletcher’s parents were left devastated, along with Kyndee Brock, the love of his life, who was forced to marry Buck in order to save her family’s plantation. Now, after escaping the asylum, Fletcher returns to his hometown in disguise, driven by rage, determined to take back Seabrook and still helplessly in love with feisty Kyndee, whom he no longer trusts. Kyndee, of course, has pined for Fletcher all these years, and their eventual reunion is passionate, but filled with complications—secrets, betrayal and twists of fate that threaten to keep them apart. The bulk of the novel follows their romantic tug-of-war as Fletcher tries to outwit Buck and reclaim his home, and Kyndee struggles with the code of honor that binds her to a brutal husband. While sharply written, the scenes between Fletcher and Kyndee begin to feel repetitive as we see the lovers come together and split apart again and again. The prose lapses into serious melodrama during their more steamy scenes (“In a perfect duet of exquisite harmony they sought the pinnacle on fiery winged unicorns”), and the best moments between hero and heroine are grounded in snappy dialogue rather than overwrought emotion. While the period setting may feel like an afterthought at times, Groover displays a commanding style and creates an appealing cast of colorful characters. As for the key ingredient, there is plenty of romance from beginning to end. This chivalrous romance has plenty of twists and turns to keep fans turning the page.


Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1403334176

Page Count: 487

Publisher: 1st Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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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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A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.


A successful businesswoman hires a smooth-talking bounty hunter to find a lead on her sister’s murder.

Kate Gallagher was the only one available to identify her younger sister Chrissy’s body after she was found dead, having run away from home two years earlier. Since Chrissy succumbed to drugs and turned to sex work to survive, her murder isn't taken seriously by the local homicide department. Kate is filled with grief and regret at not having been there for her sister, and she’s determined to find her killer as a kind of penance. Jason Maddox is the charming man Kate almost hooked up with at a local bar. He also happens to be on the payroll of the most successful investigation company in Dallas. He’s all too eager to help Kate out and spend more time getting to know the blonde he danced with at the Sagebrush Saloon. At first, Kate and Jason vow to keep things professional until the case is solved; there’s obvious attraction that they’re willing to pursue at a later date. But the increasing sense of danger mixed with Kate and Jason’s close proximity proves to be too heady of a combination. The tension never lets up as the pair visit seedy bars and interrogate unsavory characters. With a steamy romance and undeniably hot chemistry, the main characters are well matched. They’re both driven, slightly stubborn, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of catching criminals. Martin (The Conspiracy, 2019, etc.) doesn’t skimp on graphic, violent details as Chrissy’s murder leads her couple to something much bigger: human trafficking. Though not for the faint of heart given its weighty material, this is an un-put-down-able page-turner that’s sure to satisfy fans of romance and thrillers alike.

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00769-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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