A tale that borrows much from Beauty and the Beast.

THE WICKED HEIR

An idealistic young woman blunders into a deadly power struggle between unscrupulous men in Regency London.

Lady Isabelle Fairlyn is good to the core. She loves art and flowers and balls and handsome gentlemen with heartfelt smiles. She thinks of herself not as a person or a woman or even a girl but as a lady. Her naiveté makes her no match for the men she tangles with, especially Fallon St. James. Fallon is the founder and leader of a secret club called the Spare Heirs Society. Meant to give younger sons purpose and a means of supporting themselves, the club manages a multitude of relationships and business concerns that exist in a grey area between moral, legal society and the darker side of London. When Reginald Grapling, a former member of the club, escapes from prison, he decides to use Isabelle to get revenge on Fallon and on Isabelle’s father, who is one of Fallon’s associates. Isabelle is an easy target. She is looking for love and is not being very subtle about it. Grapling steals her diary, learns what she is looking for in a mate, and pretends to have exactly those qualities. This is just one irritating aspect of an unnecessarily convoluted plot but by far the least frustrating from a reader’s perspective. Michels (The Rebel Heir, 2016, etc.) has created a compelling and complex hero. We know what motivates him, we empathize with his loneliness, and we want him to put his demons to rest. But in the third book of her Spare Heirs series, Michels has created a heroine so flighty and silly that most readers won’t want her dreams to come true. They’ll just want her to stop talking.

A tale that borrows much from Beauty and the Beast.

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-2139-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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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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A smooth blend of suspense and romance. As ever, the author's trademark effortless style keeps a complex plot moving without...

THE VILLA

Megaselling Roberts (River's End, 1999, etc.) goes to Napa Valley for the tale of an Italian-American family wine producers rocked by scandal and a series of murders.

Dynasty head Tereza Giambelli knows that her granddaughter Sophia is the only family member capable of running a multimillion-dollar wine business—and no one contradicts La Signora. It's just as well the lovely young woman is still single: Tereza has plans for her. The matriarch has recently married Eli MacMillan, the American founder of another famous wine company. Eli's grandson Tyler knows everything there is to know about producing wine, from the vineyard to the vat. Ruggedly handsome, intelligent and earthy, he's a perfect match for public-relations whiz Sophia—or so thinks Tereza. The two young people begin to work together; Tyler teaches Sophia the fine art of making wine and making love. But other family members hope to claim their share of the Giambelli fortune, and people start dying mysteriously, including Sophia's good-for-nothing father, Tony Avano. Long divorced from long-suffering Pilar Giambelli, Tony led an opulent, self-indulgent life that provides plenty of murder suspects. He might have been killed by the mob, or a jealous mistress, or his spoiled brother-in-law, Tereza's lazy son, who's produced a passel of brats with his foolish Italian wife in the hopes of making Tereza happy. Everyone has a motive, and nothing is what it seems, Sophia discovers, but Tyler stands by her. Then a bottle of tainted merlot kills a company exec. A tragic mishap caused by poisonous plants growing near the vines? Or deliberate product tampering intended to destroy the company? Sophia and Tyler will need to delve even deeper into the convoluted and sometimes unsavory history of the family and its three-generation business.

A smooth blend of suspense and romance. As ever, the author's trademark effortless style keeps a complex plot moving without a hitch.

Pub Date: March 19, 2001

ISBN: 0-399-14712-8

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

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