A unique, winning romance that explores universal themes through an uncommon plot and eccentric characters, leading to a...

THE UGLY DUCHESS

Though they love each other, a young heiress feels betrayed by her husband soon after the wedding and throws him out, sending them each on journeys of discovery that will impact their future in astonishing and potentially insurmountable ways. 

When the duke of Ashbrook convinces his son and heir, James, to cover up a crime by marrying the duke’s ward, the less-than-beautiful Theodora Saxby, they are all surprised by how well the match goes over. Until Theo learns the truth—that James doesn’t love her, but married her only for her dowry and to shelter the nobleman from censure. Except that isn’t the truth. James actually does love her, but under the circumstances, she’s not willing to listen and throws him out of his house and their marriage. Heartbroken and guilt-ridden, James takes to the high seas on a boat his father owns—and disappears. Seven years later, just as the House of Lords is prepared to declare James dead and Theo a widow, James shows up in dramatic fashion, and the two must reconnect as their older, worldlier selves and sift through years of distrust, misinformation and the sharp, sniping commentary on their persons and their history. Regency favorite James’ charming romantic take on an “Ugly Duckling” storyline offers intense emotional stakes and characters who have headed down unexpected paths which may ultimately stand as obstacles to their shared happiness. Spanning seven years, the story sees James and Theo move from close childhood friends who discover a special connection through marriage to two separately formidable, triumphant characters. But after such starkly disparate paths and some hard-earned emotional equilibrium, can the two manage to find their way back to each other and the wholeness they knew together? James deftly navigates emotionally complex characters and situations with a chronologically long yet fascinating storyline, maintaining interest and clarity in their separate adventures, while managing to intensify the romantic tension through their estrangement. 

A unique, winning romance that explores universal themes through an uncommon plot and eccentric characters, leading to a hard-won yet satisfying happily-ever-after.

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-202173-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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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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FINDERS KEEPERS

Smashingly successful soapster Michaels (Vegas Sunrise, 1997, etc.) takes on Charleston, South Carolina, and the story of wealthy young Jessie Roland—old soap in a new wrapper. What can you say about Jessie’s bony adoptive mother, Thea Roland, who—thrice miscarrying, with two stillborns and a dead baby daughter—lights a cigarette on page two, drinks from a gold flask, then blows a smoke ring, and—stunning them—improbably announces to her surprised doctor and husband that she’s a drunk? Next, Thea kidnaps a golden-haired baby from a filling station and cries, “FINDERS KEEPERS!” as her husband drives her and her new treasure home. Years pass. Kidnaped baby Jessie becomes a solemn schoolgirl equipped with a $100 book-bag and a three-room playhouse, then as a college girl splits from tearful Thea, who replenishes Jessie’s trust fund by selling, one by one, her 73 Greek tankers. When Jessie becomes pregnant, she marries lover Tanner Kingsley but loses the baby during an accident—a baby she hopes will be cared for in heaven by Sophie, the best friend who committed suicide and has left her a fortune. When Thea dies, she leaves her tell-all diaries to Jessie, who discovers the identity of her real parents and, after reuniting with them, leaves for Nairobi. Paralyzingly ladylike junk that’s bloated with redundant dialogue and that, going by Michaels’s record, will sell.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1998

ISBN: 1-57566-323-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Kensington

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1998

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