A breezy, erotic melodrama that’s strong on voice and weak on substance.



Two rich men vie for the affections of an exotic widow haunted by her tragic past.

Sophia is a beautiful, wounded woman trying to raise her precocious 3-year-old daughter, Gabriela, and continue her late husband’s business legacy—the ever-expanding Leibowitz Oil. But the horrors that left her a widow still trouble Sophia, torturing her with nightmares and paranoia. Two powerful men enter her life and stir something carnal within her. The first is Ethan Ashford, a steel tycoon who, after a meeting at Heathrow Airport, manipulates Sophia into his bed. The other is Alistair Connor, an influential Scottish banker with a taste for hard-core BDSM. Yet it’s the jealous Ethan who physically abuses her, driving Sophia into Alistair’s arms. While the Scotsman attempts to show some tenderness to a rattled Sophia, his overbearing nature threatens her happiness. Serruya’s debut introduces passionate, larger-than-life characters into fabulous, real-world European settings. The dialogue is overly formal, but that doesn’t spoil the frequent brisk, engaging scenes. Sophia is as sexy, smart, and wealthy as she is angst-ridden; she’s an extraordinary, attractive woman who is interested only in the two alpha males. Ethan and Alistair appear as paragons of masculinity, with perfect physiques and minds shaped by conquerors’ ideals; both are incapable of dealing with emotions not tied to their own gratification. All the main characters tend to careen uncontrollably between the casual and dramatic, with some vague insinuations that their past traumas are to blame for their mercurial reactions. Sex is omnipresent in this modern bodice-ripper. This leads to a good deal of repetition, which sometimes shifts the mood from titillating to tedious.

A breezy, erotic melodrama that’s strong on voice and weak on substance.

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-1480236295

Page Count: 392

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2013

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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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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Complications abound in this well-crafted, light holiday romance.


Talented baker Polly Waterford doesn’t know what to do when her best friend, Kerensa, swears her to secrecy. Kerensa’s drunken one-night stand may jeopardize not only her pregnancy, but also her marriage, not to mention Polly’s engagement to Huckle.

Fans of Colgan's (The Café by the Sea, 2017, etc.) Mount Polbearne stories will delight—and new fans will find an easy, charming entry into the saga—as Polly, Huckle, and Neil (the puffin) return for the Christmas season. Having survived the dissolution of her graphic design business, Polly is now happily ensconced with Huckle, whose honey business is not yet thriving, in the historic lighthouse they bought in the sweet Cornish village (practically an island) whose only road to civilization is submerged under the sea twice each day. As the yuletide season approaches, however, Polly must face a bewildering number of obstacles. Is she ready to marry Huckle? Is she ready to start a family? How can she know when her own father abandoned her before she was even born? How can she give up an entire day’s profits to the Mount Polbearne Christmas fair? How can she save the endangered puffin sanctuary? How will she ever bake enough for the fair plus cater a huge holiday party for Kerensa and her fabulously wealthy husband, Reuben? And how will Kerensa ever survive Reuben’s wrath if the baby turns out not to be his but some 6-foot-4 Brazilian man’s? Supported by the ever faithful Huckle and Neil's endearing eeps, Polly carries on from the cozy bed in the icy lighthouse, trailing flour and knishes wherever she goes. Keeping secrets, pleasing everyone, and balancing so many jobs keeps Polly busy—that is, until a massive winter storm threatens everything.

Complications abound in this well-crafted, light holiday romance.

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-266299-6

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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