An absorbing novel whose mix of romance and family drama may appeal to fans of Danielle Steel and Kimberla Lawson Roby.

LOVE HAS NO COLOR

PART ONE

In Taylor’s (The Passerby, 2018, etc.) first romance in a new series, a chance encounter sends a college student on an affair of a lifetime.

Intelligent, driven Nanzee Johnson is looking forward to starting her freshman year at New York University. She’s not interested in romance until one fateful afternoon, when she (literally) runs into an intriguing stranger while exploring the city. Basil Barden is charming and handsome, and a mutual attraction sparks between them, but she believes that he’s married when she sees a ring on his finger. When he learns that she’s studying business and hotel management, he offers her a position at the Blue Vista Downtown Hotel, which he owns. She accepts the job and enters Basil’s high-powered, secretive world. After confessing that he’s divorced, he embarks on a campaign to win Nanzee’s affections and convince her to marry him. Although she worries that her father may not accept the relationship because she and Basil are of different races—she’s African-American and he’s part Irish and part Cherokee—Basil believes he can find common ground with her dad. When Basil reveals his secret heartbreak and his desire for a child, she must decide how to reconcile her desire for independence with the idea of starting a family. This premiere entry in Taylor’s series offers an engaging love story that explores issues of race, class, and prejudice. Nanzee and Basil are dynamic and winsome main characters whose attraction, while immediate, evolves into a passionate, slow-burn romance punctuated by flirtatious banter. The question of Basil’s marital status creates an element of intrigue and effectively sets the stage for revelations about his past. The exploration of Nanzee’s father’s disapproval allows for deeper character development and insight into the relationship between Nanzee’s parents. Taylor also makes sure to introduce several supporting characters who could figure prominently in future installments, including Nanzee’s friend Gwen Dunkin and Basil’s brother, Blaise Love.

An absorbing novel whose mix of romance and family drama may appeal to fans of Danielle Steel and Kimberla Lawson Roby.

Pub Date: March 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4691-7258-3

Page Count: 378

Publisher: XlibrisUS

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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PRIVATE SCANDALS

A scheming rival and an obsessive fan convince a TV star that she's a long way from Kansas—in more sudsy romantic suspense from Roberts (Honest Illusions, 1992). Deanna Reynolds and Angela Perkins are both smart, talented, attractive, and ambitious. The big difference between the two talk- show hosts is that Angela is an attention-hungry woman desperate to maintain her fading charms and worshipful audience at all costs, while Dee maintains her Midwestern values even as her Chicago-based show makes her a star and threatens Angela's in New York. Angela, who was once Dee's mentor, has never forgiven the younger woman for turning down her offer to come to New York with her. Even less forgivable is Dee's romance with Finn Riley, a footloose foreign correspondent and once Angela's lover. Finn, who coolly calls in exclusives from a crash-landing 747, shrugs off a bullet wound while he broadcasts live during a shootout, and indisputably earns the nickname "Desert Hunk" during the Gulf War, finds his match in the unbelievably beautiful, desirable, and sweet Deanna. While the two make seismic love on any available surface and Angela plots Dee's downfall in the ratings, a secret admirer (whose identity is more obvious than the author must have intended) writes her love notes. Then, one by one, he begins to kill off all the people who have hurt or betrayed her—and attempts to realize his insane dream of making Deanna entirely his own. A sexy hero whose no-nonsense presence cuts through the vapors and cattiness of the womenfolk and a convincing behind-the-scenes look at TV—both help make up for the weak humor, implausible plot, and trite glitz of this predictable novel.

Pub Date: July 1, 1993

ISBN: 0425190382

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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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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