An emotionally complex and ultimately moving romance.


Two young people fall in love despite an assortment of obstacles.

In this novel’s opening pages, young Addison Morgan is attending the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and visiting a loud, unruly fraternity party mainly to placate her boyfriend, Philip Thomas. Addison has only one drink, but the punch is spiked, and when the alcohol hits her while she’s driving shortly afterward, she causes a car accident that badly bangs up a young woman named Ami Tant. The mishap is almost equally traumatizing for Addison, since her own beloved sister, Casey, had the previous year lost her life to a drunk driver. Addison forms an unlikely bond with Ami. The two become good friends while Addison is living with her aunt Brenda, working at the Olive Garden, and attending school. At first, Ami’s policeman brother, Logan, is determined to find and prosecute the driver who hurt his sister, but he quickly feels a strong attraction to Addison—one she reciprocates, if awkwardly, in the wake of her breakup with the increasingly unstable Philip. When Philip’s violent desperation forces Addison into an unplanned personal emergency, she falls back on her passionate Christian faith (She “couldn’t imagine a life without those countless lessons of Jesus”). Not knowing what else to do, she initially pushes Logan away. In this intriguing romance, Patterson (Chasing Paradise, 2017) presents an intricate emotional journey in a prose style that’s readably straightforward. While watching Logan play baseball, Addison reflexively compares the two men in her life, observing the cop’s “long, strong body slinging every ball with all his effort, his whole being revealing his strength,” noting it’s “the exact opposite of Philip who threatened and punished when he didn’t get his way.” Unfortunately, the writing sometimes becomes clichéd (“the silence was deafening”; “he had somehow stolen her heart”). While several of Addison’s decisions may have some readers howling in disagreement, the audience will nevertheless be genuinely eager to find out what happens next. In the end, the author delivers a poignant story about the unexpected love a young woman scarred by personal tragedy finds.

An emotionally complex and ultimately moving romance.

Pub Date: Dec. 16, 2019


Page Count: 355

Publisher: Springbrook Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2020

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

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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 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.


Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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