An inspired, satisfying indulgence for both mystery and romance novel fans.

BLIND DELUSION

Love, crime and intrigue converge in Phaire's latest perky, page-turning "romantic mystery."

Dr. Renee Hayes, a middle-aged Washington, D.C., psychotherapist, struggles with a sputtering 14-year marriage, a recent bout of infidelity with a younger man and her dismissive husband's worrisome change in careers. It's nothing she, along with her therapist and anti-anxiety medication, can't handle. But battling childhood demons, an inattentive spouse, a false pregnancy and an imprisoned father threatens to derail her. Meanwhile, Brenda Johnson, a new mother at 28, also struggles with her man Jerome, a former drug abuser and womanizer who works for a delivery service but inexplicably fails to pass a random drug test and is fired. For her 45th birthday, Renee's husband Bill whisks her away to a lavish dinner party thrown by Clifton Corbin Shaw, a distinguished attorney with political aspirations. There, she is reunited with handsome, young Degas "Deek" Hamilton, the homicide police detective she'd had an affair with only months earlier. Although the indiscretion nearly ended her marriage, Renee agrees to see Deek again while Bill is out of town and learns that the swarthy detective is hot on the trail of James Mathias, a drug-dealing kingpin whom her unsuspecting best girlfriend Charis has begun dating. Jerome is seduced by the big money promised by those in the drug-trafficking business but gets caught up in the action and a hit is put out on him, risking the lives of both Brenda and their newborn, with whom the humanitarian hitman absconds. Several plot points effectively intersect as Renee's marriage dissolves, Clifton is discovered to be in cahoots with James, and Brenda must carry on after Jerome’s murder. Phaire knows well the nuances of temptation and commitment, and she carefully paces her characters' complicated lives and separate passions. Luckily, she steers clear of mawkishness and excessive melodrama.

An inspired, satisfying indulgence for both mystery and romance novel fans.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4401-6822-2

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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HONEST ILLUSIONS

Suspenseful, glamorous story of love, blackmail, and magic, set in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., about a family of high-class magicians practicing the time-honored profession of thievery. When magician Maxmillian Nouvelle adopts the 12-year-old runaway Luke Callahan, he gives him more than a family: He teaches him the secrets of blending what's real and what's not...giving people what they want—and also taking what they value. For the Great Nouvelle is a master jewel-thief; stealing from the undeserving rich warms his blood like the anticipation of good sex, a passion that both Luke and Max's bratty daughter Raxanne eventually share. Thirteen years pass: As Luke practices the fine arts of larceny and escapology, Roxanne grows into a flame-haired witch who turns bell, book, and candle into smoke onstage. Offstage, she trades in her David Cassidy poster for Luke; together, they set off sparks that could make an innocent bystander..go up in flames. But Luke's invincibility, like the Great Houdini's, is deceptive: Slimy Sam Wyatt—a former grifter now running for the Senate—slithers in from Luke's past, his frigid heart full of contempt for the family he once tried to seam. He threatens to frame Luke for murder and expose the Nouvelles' after-hours show unless he disappears. Five years later, a homesick Luke reappears, determined to show the disillusioned Roxanne that he's more than smoke and mirrors. Together, they set out to plot vengeance, staking everything on their most daring sting to date. True to the magician's oath, Roberts reveals no secrets, but the illusion works—in a compelling and detail-rich first hardcover. Good escape reading.

Pub Date: July 17, 1992

ISBN: 0-399-13761-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1992

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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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