Typical Macomber holiday romantic fare: short and sweet and as much a part of the season for some readers as cookies and...



Chicago society-page columnist Carrie Slayton wants to find and interview reclusive author Finn Dalton to prove her credibility as a real journalist; she doesn’t expect to fall in love with him, jeopardizing both her heart and her career.

Carrie Slayton yearns to write meatier stories, and her editor offers her a challenge: find and interview best-selling, reclusive author Finn Dalton, and she can have her pick of assignments. Determined, Carrie makes real progress, tracking down his birth certificate, then his mother, then the man himself. Basically drop-shipped by an Alaskan bush pilot to his cabin’s doorstep, she is met by an angry author and an Arctic blizzard. Finn may be crotchety, but he’s not inhumane, and he can hardly leave her outside in the snow. As the two get to know each other, they realize they may have more in common than either expected, and despite their icy beginnings, they warm up to each other. After two snowbound days, Carrie heads back to Chicago and her job, but neither Carrie nor Finn is ready to say goodbye, and the two begin a long-distance romance. Meanwhile, despite enough material to write a story, Carrie buries the piece, believing Finn’s trust in her is more valuable than any article. The two are stuck on each other, but the people around them are more worried about their differences than their similarities, and they’ll either have to figure out a way to be together or end it completely. Set in snowy Alaska, Chicago and Seattle during the Christmas season, Macomber fulfills fans’ expectations with this romantic holiday confection. As with many Macomber books, the pace is relaxed, the story soft and fuzzy. Certain details miss the mark, and sometimes the story feels told more than shown, but the author will likely enthrall her usual audience with this quick, simple love story of two opposites attracting and struggling to make it work.

Typical Macomber holiday romantic fare: short and sweet and as much a part of the season for some readers as cookies and candy canes.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-345-52889-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: July 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 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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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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