A romance with a big heart and refreshing perspective.

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WHEN KATIE MET CASSIDY

How do you find yourself again after a devastating breakup? It might involve redefining what love looks like to you.

For Katie Daniels, who was just dumped by her art curator fiance, the steps toward recovery begin with days of binge drinking followed by a dose of reality: She has no choice but to leave her apartment for a big closing at Falcon Capital. As a tall, blonde, 20-something lawyer, she’s used to being treated a certain way in the typically male-dominated boardroom—which might be a nice ego boost given her new single status. Katie is totally thrown for a loop when “he of the trim suit and shiny dark hair” is introduced as Cassidy Price—a she. Her reaction blossoms from surprise, to intrigue, to possible attraction. And the feeling is mutual. Told from both Katie's and Cassidy’s points of view, the book shows how the two protagonists deal with a connection that is entirely new to them, and for very different reasons. Perri’s (The Assistants, 2016) second novel is similar to her first in being a combination of fun and fulfilling, but the content this time is softer and runs deeper. Expect some typical rom-com tropes, like the opposites-attract scenario of commitment-prone romantic meets commitment-phobe realist. Not to mention Cassidy’s apartment and wardrobe, which are worthy of Christian Grey himself. But Cassidy’s emotional depth is revealed early on, as she patiently waits for Katie to reconcile the woman she was with the new woman she’s becoming. Katie’s admission that “the rest is me trying to understand” her initial feelings toward Cassidy is a small taste of the honest conversations about female identity and sexuality included throughout. The cast of supporting characters and the rambunctious Greenwich Village bar scene are added bonuses.

A romance with a big heart and refreshing perspective.

Pub Date: June 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-1281-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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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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