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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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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ON MYSTIC LAKE

Hannah, after eight paperbacks, abandons her successful time-travelers for a hardcover life of kitchen-sink romance. Everyone must have got the Olympic Peninsula memo for this spring because, as of this reading, authors Hannah, Nora Roberts, and JoAnn Ross have all placed their newest romances in or near the Quinault rain forest. Here, 40ish Annie Colwater, returns to Washington State after her husband, high-powered Los Angeles lawyer Blake, tells her he’s found another (younger) woman and wants a divorce. Although a Stanford graduate, Annie has known only a life of perfect wifedom: matching Blake’s ties to his suits and cooking meals from Gourmet magazine. What is she to do with her shattered life? Well, she returns to dad’s house in the small town of Mystic, cuts off all her hair (for a different look), and goes to work as a nanny for lawman Nick Delacroix, whose wife has committed suicide, whose young daughter Izzy refuses to speak, and who himself has descended into despair and alcoholism. Annie spruces up Nick’s home on Mystic Lake and sends “Izzy-bear” back into speech mode. And, after Nick begins attending AA meetings, she and he become lovers. Still, when Annie learns that she’s pregnant not with Nick’s but with Blake’s child, she heads back to her empty life in the Malibu Colony. The baby arrives prematurely, and mean-spirited Blake doesn’t even stick around to support his wife. At this point, it’s perfectly clear to Annie—and the reader—that she’s justified in taking her newborn daughter and driving back north. Hannah’s characters indulge in so many stages of the weeps, from glassy eyes to flat-out sobs, that tear ducts are almost bound to stay dry. (First printing of 100,000; first serial to Good Housekeeping; Literary Guild/Doubleday book club selections)

Pub Date: March 31, 1999

ISBN: 0-609-60249-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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