A strong start to a promising new romance series.

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MUST LOVE FASHION

THE SECOND TIME WAS A PERFECT FIT

A dream job with a prestigious fashion house leads to an unexpected and life-changing affair in this debut novel.

For Gwendolyn Mallory, the position of publicity and marketing executive at Prada is a major step forward in her career. Although she faces a lengthy commute from her home in Darling Cove on the North Fork of Long Island, it is the fresh start she needs after her husband, Dan, walked out on her. On her first day on the job, she learns she will share an office with the brand manager, Andrew Morgan. The classically handsome former model parlayed his knowledge of the fashion world into a successful career at Prada; however, he has been emotionally inaccessible since the death of his wife, Cate. Although chagrined at the prospect of sharing an office, Morgan is drawn to Mallory, and the attraction is mutual. While she brings out feelings Morgan left dormant in the wake of Cate’s death, he is reluctant to date a colleague. When a business trip ends with a night of passion, both realize this is their second chance at love. But their burgeoning romance is put to the ultimate test when they face an overseas assignment and a serious health scare. The opener of Garland’s Darling Cove series is a fun and sexy romp through the world of high fashion that boasts appealing characters and an engaging and dynamic romance. Mallory and Morgan are likable protagonists whose initial spark leads to a passionate bond neither was expecting. The author builds their relationship carefully, establishing their connection through spirited workplace banter and scenes of quiet thoughtfulness, notably Morgan’s decision to rearrange his office for Mallory. They operate in a world of style and luxury, and Garland deftly captures the energy and glamour of their fast-paced careers with settings as varied as New York, Los Angeles, and Milan. Garland also introduces the hamlet of Darling Cove and Mallory’s extended family, including her brother, Greg, and sister, Skye. They emerge as significant supporting characters whose back stories could form the basis of future installments.

A strong start to a promising new romance series.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-974287-71-0

Page Count: 268

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

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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On the day her fiance came out and left her at the altar, Faith escaped to the West Coast, where she’s had a thriving...

THE BEST MAN

When Faith Holland was abandoned at the altar three years ago, she left her hometown for San Francisco to regroup; coming home to Manningsport, she’ll have to confront her past and Levi Cooper, the disturbingly handsome chief of police she blames for ruining her life.

On the day her fiance came out and left her at the altar, Faith escaped to the West Coast, where she’s had a thriving professional life and a comical romantic life. Summoned home for a few months to work the harvest at her family’s winery and help with some crisis management, Faith realizes that some things in her small town will never change—for the good or the bad—but she knows the time has come to establish a new reality with her ex, her family and maybe even Levi Cooper, the best man who forced Jeremy to be honest with her and himself on their wedding day. It’s so much easier to blame and despise him; if she lets down her guard, she might have to deal with their short but profound shared past and her own guilt and secrets from a long-ago tragedy that has haunted her for most of her life. Higgins’ newest heart-tugging romantic comedy juggles a spectrum of emotionally powerful elements, including the death of a mother, the abandonment of a father and a sigh-worthy high school romance gone awry. With her typical engaging voice, compelling storytelling and amusing dialogue, Higgins keeps the audience flipping through pages as quickly as possible, but it is her spot-on ability to make her characters at once funny, authentic and vulnerable—vulnerable to the point of breaking, so they can heal, stronger and better and more able to love—that is her true genius and guarantees most romance fans will both laugh out loud and get teary, sometimes at the same time. Another sweet, touching must-read for Higgins fans and anyone who enjoys a perfect combination of humor and romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-373-77792-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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