Readers will be thrilled to get back to Virtue Falls.

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THE WOMAN WHO COULDN'T SCREAM

Beautiful, mute Merida Falcon arrives in Virtue Falls with revenge in mind, but she may find redemption yet.

As the young widow of a controlling, narcissistic billionaire, Merida Falcon has changed her name and her look, downplaying the gorgeous face her husband paid to create through plastic surgery. Both the designed features and her mutism are aftereffects of a traumatic explosion she believes was an attempt on her life. Free from Brassard’s oppressive control, she plans to bring down the man she believes tried to kill her, whom she once loved. She hopes for anonymity and reinvention in Virtue Falls, but things go awry when she is confronted with people she knew not only as Helen Brassard, but also as Merry Byrd, the joyful, socially conscious girl she was before the explosion. Meeting up with her childhood friend Kateri Kwinault, who is now sheriff of the town, makes her aware that there's a serial killer on the loose, but it’s hard to tell if it’s the local vengeful outlaw doing the most damage or some other shadowy figures, especially when Benedict Howard, the target of her own revenge plot, shows up. Certainly all is not what it appears to be in seemingly idyllic Virtue Falls. Meanwhile Kateri, a series favorite, is navigating emotional turmoil—guilt, romance, and uncertainty—while finding her footing as sheriff. Both Kateri and Merida must learn to trust and forgive, putting complicated pasts and enemies behind them in order to find peace and love. Dodd’s (Because I’m Watching, 2017, etc.) new title delivers complex storytelling, a rollicking pace, and surprising twists and turns, plus sly humor, a touch of the supernatural, and a full cast of interesting and diverse characters.

Readers will be thrilled to get back to Virtue Falls.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-02848-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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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 romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

THE DECEPTION

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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