The story is well-paced and the ending satisfyingly sweet despite its predictability.

THE DREAM DAUGHTER

A devoted mother is forced to make a terrible choice when 9/11 glitches her brother-in-law's time-travel calculations in Chamberlain's (The Stolen Marriage, 2017, etc.) latest.

Caroline "Carly" Grant is a physical therapist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her patient Hunter Poole refuses to use the crutches he needs to walk while his broken leg mends. Carly soon discovers Hunter isn't the suicidal accident victim he's presumed to be. In fact, he's a time traveler from the future. Hunter meets and marries Carly's Beatles-obsessed sister, Patti, fixing him in the late 1960s. That proves convenient when Carly, pregnant and recently widowed by her husband's death in Vietnam, is told her baby has a fatal heart defect. Hunter arranges for Carly to time travel to 2001. With the grudging assistance of Hunter's mother, Myra Poole, who runs a time-travel research program, Carly has fetal surgery and delivers her baby. Newborn Johanna Elizabeth proves so unhealthy she's hospitalized for most of the next four months, forcing Carly to time travel back to 1970 without her. Traveling through time is fraught with danger for not only the traveler, but also the reader, who's asked to suspend a lot of disbelief, accept arbitrary and at times inconsistent rules of time travel, and try not to guess several obvious plot twists. Still, Carly is a likable heroine, and if many of her difficulties are easily overcome, she's nonetheless caught in a heart-wrenching dilemma as she realizes time travel is, "if anything, an inexact science."

The story is well-paced and the ending satisfyingly sweet despite its predictability.

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-08730-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

ALL YOUR PERFECTS

Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

REGRETTING YOU

When tragedy strikes, a mother and daughter forge a new life.

Morgan felt obligated to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris, when she got pregnant with their daughter, Clara. But she secretly got along much better with Chris’ thoughtful best friend, Jonah, who was dating her sister, Jenny. Now her life as a stay-at-home parent has left her feeling empty but not ungrateful for what she has. Jonah and Jenny eventually broke up, but years later they had a one-night stand and Jenny got pregnant with their son, Elijah. Now Jonah is back in town, engaged to Jenny, and working at the local high school as Clara’s teacher. Clara dreams of being an actress and has a crush on Miller, who plans to go to film school, but her father doesn't approve. It doesn’t help that Miller already has a jealous girlfriend who stalks him via text from college. But Clara and Morgan’s home life changes radically when Chris and Jenny are killed in an accident, revealing long-buried secrets and forcing Morgan to reevaluate the life she chose when early motherhood forced her hand. Feeling betrayed by the adults in her life, Clara marches forward, acting both responsible and rebellious as she navigates her teenage years without her father and her aunt, while Jonah and Morgan's relationship evolves in the wake of the accident. Front-loaded with drama, the story leaves plenty of room for the mother and daughter to unpack their feelings and decide what’s next.

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1642-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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