A gratifyingly lush, vibrant, and emotional romance.

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MY AMERICAN DUCHESS

Merry, an American heiress in Regency England, meets her perfect match, the Duke of Trent; unfortunately, she has a reputation as a runaway fiancee, and she’s betrothed to his twin brother.

After two ill-fated engagements, Merry Pelford has come to England to find a husband. Swept off her feet by the handsome and charming Lord Cedric Allardyce, she agrees to be his wife just moments before she meets a mysterious, compelling stranger who she soon discovers is her brother-in-law-to-be, the Duke of Trent. Trent and Cedric are obviously not on the best of terms, and Merry misinterprets the duke's quiet warnings about his brother’s drinking and profligate ways as nothing more than competitive sour grapes—and tries to ignore the blazing chemistry she shares with him. But once the engagement is established, Cedric begins to pick at nearly every aspect of Merry’s person and personality, while the duke clearly wants her just as she is, which is confusing and attractive. Merry is a bright fish-out-of-water who isn’t intimidated by anyone and is unafraid to speak her mind, a situation that attracts Trent, embarrasses Cedric, and alternately fascinates and irritates the British aristocracy. At first Trent suppresses his interest in Cedric’s intended, but the more Merry is made to feel inadequate and unworthy, the more determined he becomes to have her for himself. Merry knows that jilting Cedric will ruin her completely, but when a social misstep humiliates a friendly hostess, Trent comes to the rescue and seals their fate in a surprising way. However, her supposedly fickle nature and his mistrust of tender emotions may prove potent obstacles to a happy-ever-after. James’ newest historical starts slowly, but ultimately the nontraditional plot provides an interesting and moving take on courtship and marriage, plus an engaging American’s view of Regency England.

A gratifyingly lush, vibrant, and emotional romance.

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-238943-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

THE DECEPTION

A successful businesswoman hires a smooth-talking bounty hunter to find a lead on her sister’s murder.

Kate Gallagher was the only one available to identify her younger sister Chrissy’s body after she was found dead, having run away from home two years earlier. Since Chrissy succumbed to drugs and turned to sex work to survive, her murder isn't taken seriously by the local homicide department. Kate is filled with grief and regret at not having been there for her sister, and she’s determined to find her killer as a kind of penance. Jason Maddox is the charming man Kate almost hooked up with at a local bar. He also happens to be on the payroll of the most successful investigation company in Dallas. He’s all too eager to help Kate out and spend more time getting to know the blonde he danced with at the Sagebrush Saloon. At first, Kate and Jason vow to keep things professional until the case is solved; there’s obvious attraction that they’re willing to pursue at a later date. But the increasing sense of danger mixed with Kate and Jason’s close proximity proves to be too heady of a combination. The tension never lets up as the pair visit seedy bars and interrogate unsavory characters. With a steamy romance and undeniably hot chemistry, the main characters are well matched. They’re both driven, slightly stubborn, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of catching criminals. Martin (The Conspiracy, 2019, etc.) doesn’t skimp on graphic, violent details as Chrissy’s murder leads her couple to something much bigger: human trafficking. Though not for the faint of heart given its weighty material, this is an un-put-down-able page-turner that’s sure to satisfy fans of romance and thrillers alike.

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00769-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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