Long on exposition, short on character, and sketchy, with a French setting as Gallic as Cheez-Whiz. Even diehard fans of the...



Steel (Lone Eagle, p. 140, etc.) proves you can go home again—provided you have $10 million.

Marie-Ange is the youngest child of French beauty Francois and WWII soldier John Hawkes. Parachuted behind the German lines, John found himself hung in a tree with a broken leg until Françoise rescued him. A practical Frenchwoman never wastes a handsome man, and so she persuaded her parents to hide him. After the Allies liberated France, the two married; John bought a wine business and Château de Marmouton; and the couple prospered—along with their two lovely children, Robert and Marie-Ange, who followed. The family led a charmed life until tragedy struck: John, Françoise, and Robert were killed in an accident, and the 11-year-old Marie-Ange was sent to the US to her sole surviving relative, her great-aunt Carole. Carole was mean, grasping, and weird, though she got around her Iowa farm plenty fast for someone in a wheelchair, and did her utmost to make Marie-Ange’s life hell, selling her little smocked dresses to a thrift store and waving a shotgun at anyone who dared to visit. But the lonely girl found a true friend in Billy Parker, a good-as-gold farmboy. They grew up. And then, when Marie is 21, a lawyer finally informs her that the trust fund her parents left is now worth over $10 million. She returns to Château de Marmouton, by this time owned by the suave and handsome Comte Bernard de Beauchamp. They eventually marry, also have two lovely children, and also lead an idyllic life—until a mysterious woman tells Marie-Ange a wild tale of attempted murder, arson, and infanticide. Are Marie-Ange and her children in danger? Is Bernard so deeply in debt that he’d do anything, even kill, to extricate himself? Will good old Billy Parker be waiting in the wings to help her figure it all out?

Long on exposition, short on character, and sketchy, with a French setting as Gallic as Cheez-Whiz. Even diehard fans of the megaselling Steel may find it thin.

Pub Date: June 12, 2001

ISBN: 0-385-33296-3

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2001

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Another success for the publishing phenom.


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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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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