A dull hero and little plot make this book best for readers with knowledge of the first two books in the series who cannot...

BORN TO BE WILDE

From the The Wildes of Lindow Castle series , Vol. 3

The third installment in the Wilde historical romance series features an heiress who has fallen on hard times and her infuriatingly attractive nemesis, the richest bachelor in England.

Lavinia Gray is horrified to discover that her mother is an opium addict who has decimated her daughter's dowry to support her habit. Once renowned for her beauty and riches, now Lavinia's "old life seemed to lie in shards around her feet.” To save her mother and herself, Lavinia proposes to Parth Sterling, a wealthy businessman taken in as a child by the eccentric and loving Wilde family after his Englishman father and Indian mother died. Lavinia and Parth have been thrown together often enough in the company of the Wildes that they have formed ill opinions of one another: Lavinia thinks Parth is too stern and correct, while Parth thinks the fashion-obsessed Lavinia is shallow. Parth rejects the offer but agrees to help Lavinia find a suitor, perhaps a European prince, while himself courting an Italian contessa. Of course, underneath the antagonism there is a mutual attraction, and as they give in to it, they come to know more about one other. Parth’s character arc is mainly to stop seeing Lavinia as “shallow as a puddle,” which he does, very quickly. Lavinia develops her prodigious, and bankable talents as a modiste and stylist, learning to embrace her love of clothing as an art form. Readers are advised to read the first two books in the series to better understand immediate past events, which are frequently referenced, and the large cast of characters James has created. Even with that background, however, the characters' motivations are often opaque or nonsensical, very little actually happens beyond psychological gymnastics, and Parth’s Indian heritage, which might have provided fertile ground for deepening this two-dimensional character, is almost completely sidelined.

A dull hero and little plot make this book best for readers with knowledge of the first two books in the series who cannot bear to miss any Wilde action.

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-269247-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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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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