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STARRY NIGHT

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 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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IT ENDS WITH US

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 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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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

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