Janes seems to specialize in heroines with significant back stories. But where Swimming in the Shadows (2014) took forever...

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STICK OR TWIST

A team of detectives struggles to solve a case with both too few and too many clues.

The abduction and attempted murder of heiress Jude Thackeray is a thorn in DI Graham Ling’s side. There’s a detailed description of the kidnapper from Jude, since she lived with the man for several months before he unexpectedly tied her up, threw her into a closet, beat her, put a noose over her head, and drove her out to a deserted field where she was lucky or clever enough to escape. But no one else seems to have seen the miscreant except for a dog-walking neighbor, who describes him only as looking “angry.” There’s CCTV footage of him from a gas station. But his face isn’t clearly visible. As Ling’s team, including Jerry Wilkins, Joel McPartland, detail-oriented Hannah McMahon, and intuitive Peter Betts, struggles with a huge pile of information that somehow doesn’t add up to much, Jude seems to have moved on. She’s seeing Mark Medlicott, who chucked his well-to-do family’s Yorkshire business to seek his fortune in the South. In spite of her brother Robin’s pleas to be careful, Jude seems inclined to pursue this relationship toward a more committed end. Meanwhile, Peter begins a considerably less committed romance with Hannah. Both couples may end up with something they didn’t bargain for as Janes weaves an intricate web of deceit.

Janes seems to specialize in heroines with significant back stories. But where Swimming in the Shadows (2014) took forever to reach its conclusion, her current tale frontloads the complications and ends with a jolt.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7278-8651-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Severn House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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An entertaining page-turner.

MET HER MATCH

Terri Rayburn is devastated that her perfect man belongs to someone else, but once Nate Taggert realizes that Terri's the one for him, her complicated past still stands in the way of their being together.

Terri is attracted to Nate the moment she lays eyes on him, and soon they fall into an easy partnership at the Virginia lake resort she runs with her father. Nate is upfront about being engaged to the mayor’s daughter, Stacy, but she’s in Europe for a few weeks, and it quickly becomes clear to Terri that Nate and Stacy aren’t a great match. However, Terri, whose mother left when she was 2, has always had a problematic relationship with the citizens of Summer Hill. Since Leslie disappeared, the town gossip has made sure everyone remembers her as a promiscuous vixen, a label which tainted Terri as she got older and made her look like a problem when, as Nate begins to understand, she was really a victim. It’s clear to everyone around them that they are falling in love, but even as Nate realizes it himself, Terri is adamant that they can’t be together. She won’t steal him from the popular Stacy because it would mean she’d never be able to live in Summer Hill, and she won’t abandon her father. Deveraux spins an intriguing and unorthodox romance, continuing her Summer Hill branch of the Taggert/Montgomery series with two characters who have some unique, interesting obstacles in their paths and navigate through them with secrets uncovered and old wounds healed. The story is well plotted, though Nate is unnecessarily oblivious sometimes and the book takes an unexpected swing into romantic suspense territory in the last quarter. The solved mystery resolves Nate and Terri’s conflict, though the villain’s motivations seem a little cartoonish.

An entertaining page-turner.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7783-5124-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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