Greenwood weaves some unique threads into her Regency romance, heightening the sexual stakes and rendering a wholly...

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THE BEAUTIFUL ONE

Hounded by an unscrupulous artist determined to ruin her, Anna Black winds up as governess to a lonely orphan whose guardian uncle has retreated from the world.

After the death of her father, a doctor who generally ignored his daughter, Anna carves out a simple but satisfying life as an art teacher in her village, until one of her father’s former assistants slithers back into her life with a portfolio of scandalous drawings he did of her without her knowledge. Determined to make his reputation as an artist himself, the cad approaches a reprobate aristocrat, who pays the artist to have Anna pose nude for a portrait. She refuses and flees her home, landing a servant position in a girls’ school, then is called upon to attend one of the pupils when she's sent in disgrace back to her guardian, Will Halifax, the Viscount of Grandville. Anna agrees to stay as Elizabeth’s governess, since not only are the generous funds hard to refuse, but Anna recognizes the teen’s rebelliousness as a cry for help and hopes to bridge a connection between niece and uncle. After years of mourning a beloved wife, Will is drawn to the brave woman he’d first seen emerging from a carriage “with a jaunty, boyish energy that had reminded him of a toy jack-in-the-box springing free” and finds himself mending fractured relationships under her influence. It’s clear Anna has a secret, and she's loath to trust anyone to help her, but as the net of the dastardly artist tightens, Anna may realize for the first time in her life that she's not alone, and love is a powerful ally.

Greenwood weaves some unique threads into her Regency romance, heightening the sexual stakes and rendering a wholly satisfying happy ending for this touching love story.

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4926-1365-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 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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This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

OUTFOX

An FBI agent is determined to catch a man who bilks and murders wealthy women, but the chase goes slowly.

Brown (Tailspin, 2018, etc.) has published 70 bestsellers, and this one employs her usual template of thriller spiked with romance. Its main character, Drex Easton, is an FBI agent in pursuit of a serial killer, but for him it’s personal. When he was a boy, his mother left him and his father for another man, Weston Graham. Drex believes Graham murdered her and that he has killed at least seven more women after emptying their bank accounts. Now he thinks he has the clever Graham—current alias Jasper Ford—in his sights, and he’s willing to put his career at risk to catch him. The women Ford targets are wealthy, and his new prey is no exception—except that, uncharacteristically, he has married her. Talia Ford proves to be a complication for Drex, who instantly falls in lust with her even though he’s not at all sure she isn’t her husband's accomplice. Posing as a would-be novelist, Drex moves into an apartment next door to the Fords’ posh home and tries to ingratiate himself, but tensions rise immediately—Jasper is suspicious, and Talia has mixed feelings about Drex's flirtatious behavior. When Talia’s fun-loving friend Elaine Conner turns up dead after a cruise on her yacht and Jasper disappears, Drex and Talia become allies. There are a few action sequences and fewer sex scenes, but the novel’s pace bogs down repeatedly in long, mundane conversations. Drex's two FBI agent sidekicks are more interesting characters than he is; Drex himself is such a caricature of a macho man, so heedless of ethics, and so aggressive toward women that it’s tough to see him as a good guy. Brown adds a couple of implausible twists at the very end that make him seem almost as untrustworthy as Graham.

This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4555-7219-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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