Vivid, heartfelt and honest.

BELAIR COVE

A NOVEL OF LIFE, LOVE, AND LOSS IN A PRAIRIE CAJUN VILLAGE

Dempsey-Legnon’s fictional adaptation of family history is a novel about life in a Cajun village in the early 1900s, as recounted by a woman who worked hard and suffered greatly for her family and for love.

In 1965, Jean Marc Fontenot lays in a hospital bed in Lafayette, La., with his wife, Angelique, at his side as Dempsey-Legnon’s impactful debut novel begins. Their children and grandchildren visit and keep Angelique company, but the steady stream of well-wishers does not change one fact: Jean Marc is dying. Angelique recounts the details of their love story, taking everyone back to Belair Cove in 1906, when she and Jean Marc were teenagers in love. To Angelique’s dismay, her father agrees with the father of the town troublemaker, Damon, that she will marry Damon, not Jean Marc. Since Damon’s family is wealthier, Angelique’s father tries to convince her that she can have a much more comfortable life with Damon. After Angelique reluctantly marries Damon, Jean Marc enlists in the military and leaves town for the war. As Damon’s volatile temper grows out of control, the disturbing details of Angelique’s awful marriage to him convincingly convey his alcoholism and abusive behavior. He’s possessive, controlling and, despite hardly showing any affection toward Angelique, he vows that he will never let her go. Damon is a miserable character; Angelique’s lack of courage to regularly stand up to him can be frustrating. On the other hand, Angelique secretly harbors feelings for Jean Marc, even in his absence. When he finally returns, he brings with him his British wife, a nurse named Elizabeth. An understandably shocked Angelique envies their life together; she still wishes to be with Jean Marc, whose mere presence in town enrages Damon. He warns Angelique against going near Jean Marc, but when Jean Marc and Elizabeth buy a neighboring farm, the lack of distance between both couples stirs up old feelings. In this captivating tale rich with historical detail, Dempsey-Legnon’s engaging writing style makes the reader feel like a part of Belair Cove, rather than an outsider looking in on the fraying romance.

Vivid, heartfelt and honest.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-1105058585

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Lulu

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2012

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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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A gentle love story perfect for anyone looking for love amid personal, family, and financial crises.

THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP

With her promotion to vice president of digital inventory at a Sonoma winery, Natalie Harper finally has the financial security she's always wanted, but a sudden tragedy sends her home to rescue her late mother's charming bookstore.

Once in San Francisco, Natalie moves back into her childhood home, an eclectic set of apartments above the bookshop, a home she shares with her grandfather Andrew, who is suffering from dementia and other mysterious ailments. Blythe, Natalie's mother, loved books, but she was not a savvy businesswoman. Natalie arrives to find unpaid bills and back taxes. Housed in the historic Sunrose Building, the bookshop certainly has stories of its own to tell: Originally a saloon and brothel, it was eventually bought by Natalie's great-grandparents, who converted it into a home and apothecary. Luckily, “hammer for hire” Peach Gallagher shows up. Strong and gorgeous, the contractor catches Natalie's eye, and he certainly is drawn to the curly-haired proprietress. But Peach doesn't date clients, and Natalie is gun-shy from her previous relationship. Plus, she's already met Peach’s adorable little girl, Dorothy. Natalie isn't about to break up a marriage, but she doesn’t know Peach is actually divorced. Wiggs skillfully manipulates the stock in trade of a master romance novelist as she orchestrates Peach and Natalie's inevitable love story. To challenge Peach, enter Trevor Dashwood, a gorgeous and wealthy children's book author, whose books have already won Dorothy's heart. Hosting a book signing with Trevor might help the store’s bottom line. Meanwhile, Natalie, Peach, and Andrew find historical artifacts hidden in the Sunrose building’s walls. Will it be enough to save the store?

A gentle love story perfect for anyone looking for love amid personal, family, and financial crises.

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-291409-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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