A DUKE CHANGES EVERYTHING

A solid Victorian romance with appealing characters that suffers somewhat from a lack of original beats.

First in a new Victorian series about three self-made London men, focusing on a beastly casino owner-cum-duke, the castle he inherited, and the shrewd, stubborn steward who doesn't want him to abandon it.

Nicholas Lyon is the ruthless and powerful owner of the most popular casino in London. Only some know he is also the second son of the late Duke of Tremayne, because he fled from violent abuse at the hands of his deranged father, spending his teen years on the streets. Everything Nicholas has, he earned, but a gnawing hunger for more persists. When his wastrel older brother dies, Nicholas inherits the title and returns reluctantly to Enderley Castle in Sussex. He plans to sell off the contents of the castle and lease the estate, never to return to the place that gave him his ghastly facial scar and still gives him night terrors. But the duke’s plans are imperiled when he meets his unexpectedly female—and attractive—steward, Mina Thorne. Nick is shocked "[to find] beauty in this blighted place.” For Mina, Enderley Castle is not only her livelihood, but her home and all she has ever known. She wants Nicholas to "see it differently, not as a burden but as an opportunity.” Their mutual attraction grows as they come to know each other. Carlyle (How to Woo a Wallflower, 2017) is less reliant than many of her peers on repressed desire and sexual situations to move the plot forward, instead focusing on friendship and romance, to good effect. Nicholas’ emotional confrontation with his buried past dominates the narrative, but Carlyle wisely makes room for Mina’s own arc, one in which she comes to question whether her devotion to Enderley is rooted not just in virtue, but also in fear of change. While the book is enjoyable, the author relies on too many popular tropes (the self-made aristocrat is especially overdone) without introducing fresh elements to compensate.

A solid Victorian romance with appealing characters that suffers somewhat from a lack of original beats.

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-285395-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 356


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 356


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

Close Quickview