Not for those who prefer tarter holiday fare.

WINTER SOLSTICE

Fourth in Hilderbrand’s Christmas series about a family-run Nantucket inn.

Changes are looming at Winter Street Inn, seemingly portending the end of this Christmas series. Innkeeper Kelley, patriarch of the Quinn family, is in hospice, dying of brain cancer. Kelley’s oldest son, Patrick, is struggling to grow a hedge fund after serving time for insider trading. Due to their straitened finances, wife Jennifer, an interior decorator and former addict, hesitates to tell Patrick she lost a sizable account due to a banker client’s sexual harassment. Characters from Hilderbrand’s recent summer novel, The Rumor (2015), make an appearance: disgraced realtor Eddie Pancik, now out of jail, his wife, Grace, and her erstwhile lover, master landscaper Benton Coe, now returned from temporary exile in Detroit. Kelley’s ex-wife, iconic anchorwoman Margaret, is regretting, with near-retirement hindsight, that she allowed his second wife, Mitzi, to raise their three children, Patrick, Kevin, and Ava. A new relationship is working out well for Ava until a visit from her boyfriend Potter’s son, PJ—who's over-the-top bratty even by today’s standards—threatens to upend everything. Kelley worries about what will happen to Mitzi after he's gone; she has no family except their only child, Bart, a former Marine who suffers from PTSD after two years of imprisonment in Afghanistan. Mitzi is already planning to list the inn for sale with Eddie, and judging how well Nantucket real estate has bounced back from the crash, this promises to replenish the depleted coffers of both. Hilderbrand has quickly put her witty and at times profound stamp on the Christmas genre. In this latest outing, however, the most interesting crises evaporate too soon: Bart’s trauma is quickly eased by love at first sight, Jennifer spins addiction dross into reality TV gold, a little FaceTime tames PJ, etc. Perhaps these neatly tied-up plotlines are appropriate at series' end—except that the ambiguous close suggests the end may not be so near after all.

Not for those who prefer tarter holiday fare.

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-43545-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

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MAYBE SOMEDAY

Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

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The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

REGRETTING YOU

When tragedy strikes, a mother and daughter forge a new life.

Morgan felt obligated to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris, when she got pregnant with their daughter, Clara. But she secretly got along much better with Chris’ thoughtful best friend, Jonah, who was dating her sister, Jenny. Now her life as a stay-at-home parent has left her feeling empty but not ungrateful for what she has. Jonah and Jenny eventually broke up, but years later they had a one-night stand and Jenny got pregnant with their son, Elijah. Now Jonah is back in town, engaged to Jenny, and working at the local high school as Clara’s teacher. Clara dreams of being an actress and has a crush on Miller, who plans to go to film school, but her father doesn't approve. It doesn’t help that Miller already has a jealous girlfriend who stalks him via text from college. But Clara and Morgan’s home life changes radically when Chris and Jenny are killed in an accident, revealing long-buried secrets and forcing Morgan to reevaluate the life she chose when early motherhood forced her hand. Feeling betrayed by the adults in her life, Clara marches forward, acting both responsible and rebellious as she navigates her teenage years without her father and her aunt, while Jonah and Morgan's relationship evolves in the wake of the accident. Front-loaded with drama, the story leaves plenty of room for the mother and daughter to unpack their feelings and decide what’s next.

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1642-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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