A charming, engaging second-chance romance.

MUST HAVE FAITH

THE RUNAWAY BRIDE IS BACK

Sparks fly when a television news producer reconnects with her former fiance.

Faith Copeland is at the peak of her career. As a photojournalist, she spent three years in the Middle East. Eventually she entered the world of broadcast journalism at CNN in New York City. While she waits for the London bureau chief position to open up, she commutes daily from her parents’ home in the North Fork hamlet of Darling Cove to New York City. After arriving in Darling Cove one night, Faith runs into Gwen, an old friend, and her husband, Andrew Morgan. Ten years earlier, Faith was engaged to Gwen’s brother, Greg Mallory. The romance seemed ideal. But she left him at the altar without a word of explanation. Through her rekindled friendship with Gwen, Faith also reconnects with Greg. Despite the heartbreak of a broken engagement, he never stopped loving her. She still loves him but is afraid of causing further pain if he ever learned why she left. As they take the first steps toward a relationship, they discover their feelings are just as passionate, but the past and a possible job transfer in the future may end their connection. The second novel in Garland’s (Must Love Fashion, 2017, etc.) Darling Cove series is an appealing contemporary romance that introduces well-developed new characters while following characters and storylines introduced in the first novel. Faith and Greg are winsome protagonists whose connection never truly fizzled. The author highlights the lasting power of their connection through memories, flashbacks, and distinct details. Originally introduced in Must Love Fashion, Greg moves from a strong supporting character to a charming and dynamic protagonist. The fast-paced narrative capably juggles several subplots, including a minor character’s battle with dementia.

A charming, engaging second-chance romance.

Pub Date: May 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-71954-210-4

Page Count: 286

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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