Displays a knack for shaping round characters with rich and troubled pasts–sure to be a treat for armchair psychoanalysts...

MURDER AND THE MASQUERADE

: BOOK 1 OF THE DOROTHY PHAIRE ROMANTIC MYSTERY SERIES

Two African-American women in the Washington, D.C., metro area face their middle-age struggles with love, family and murder charges in this empowering romantic thriller.

Dr. Renee Hayes seems to have everything–a lavishly decorated French Colonial house, a successful psychology practice and a popular series of self-help books. On the inside, however, she is just as troubled as any of her patients. One of these is Veda Simms, a suicidal paralegal who has estranged herself from her ex-husband and daughter as a result of her dangerous obsession with LaMarr Coleman, a crooked attorney at her law firm. At first, the patient and doctor seem to be the antithesis of each other (with the exception of a shared hairdresser). Veda is petty and self-absorbed, concerned only with what LaMarr thinks of her, while selfless Renee tends to an infant with AIDS in her off-hours. A series of seemingly unrelated crimes befall the two women, and Renee finds herself in the throes of a torrid affair with Deek, a young detective investigating the crimes, as a relief from her tepid marriage. At the end of her patience with LaMarr’s shady activities, Veda goes from a weepy mess of nerves to a wrathful ex. When both women are wrongfully charged with LaMarr’s gruesome murder, they begin to question their chosen paths. In this rewrite of her 2001 book Almost Out of Love, Phaire devotes a sizable chunk of the story solely to her characters’ biographies, giving the reader a detailed psychological portrait of the two women but occasionally hindering plot progression. Mystery and suspense take a back seat as chapter-long childhood flashbacks play out, drawing the reader deeper into the psyches of Veda and Renee.

Displays a knack for shaping round characters with rich and troubled pasts–sure to be a treat for armchair psychoanalysts and book clubs alike.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-595-44787-9

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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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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