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WAKE ME MOST WICKEDLY

From the Once Upon the East End series , Vol. 2

A beautifully romantic exploration of love, family, and community.

A woman living on the margins of London’s Jewish community in the 1830s finds love with a younger man.

This is the second in Grossman’s series of gender-swapped fairy tales that began with Marry Me by Midnight (2023). Hannah Moses’ parents died under shameful and tragic circumstances years earlier, leaving her no choice but to run the family business, a low-end pawn shop. Hannah is furious at the way the gentiles who use her shop prey on her vulnerability and insult her identity, and she’s heartbroken about the way the Jewish community has turned its back on her and her younger sister, treating them as outcasts. Hannah hopes to save enough for her sister’s dowry so she can reenter the community, even though it’s too late for Hannah. One night, she saves Solomon Weiss from a group of thugs who cornered him in an alley near her shop. Sol and Hannah are fascinated by each other, but each has their own reason for being wary. Hannah is older than Sol and knows her past misdeeds and notoriety will compromise him. Sol doesn’t care about Hannah’s reputation, but his older brother has been baptized and is courting a gentile, and he pleads with Sol to be as circumspect and respectable as possible. The novel is unusual in that the relationship between Hannah and Sol develops quickly and with little drama. They have great chemistry and agree to only a brief affair, but fate and their feelings keep bringing them together. The fairy-tale subplot—with Sol in the role of Snow White, in danger from a loved one—takes longer to unfold, but it’s also the most thematically interesting part of the book, touching on the ravages of antisemitism, on individuals and communities, and on the healing nature of love.

A beautifully romantic exploration of love, family, and community.

Pub Date: April 9, 2024

ISBN: 9781538722565

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Forever

Review Posted Online: April 20, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2024

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JUST FOR THE SUMMER

A wallowing, emotionally wrenching family drama that leaves little time for romance.

Two people with bad luck in relationships find each other through a popular Reddit thread.

Emma Grant and her best friend, Maddy, are travel nurses, working at hospitals for three-month stints while they see the country. Just a few weeks before they’re set to move to Hawaii, Emma reads a popular “Am I the Asshole” Reddit thread from a Minnesota man who thinks he’s cursed—women he dates find their soulmates after breaking up with him, and the latest one found true love with his best friend! Emma has had a similar experience, which inspires her to DM the man and commiserate. She’s delighted by her witty, lively interactions with software engineer Justin Dahl, and is intrigued when he suggests that if they date each other, maybe they’ll each find their soulmate afterward. Emma upends the Hawaii plan and convinces Maddy to move to Minneapolis for the summer so she can meet Justin in person. The overly complex setup brings Emma and Justin together and the two hit it off, with Justin immediately falling head over heels for Emma. Jimenez then pivots to creating romantic roadblocks and melodramatic subplots centering on each character’s family of origin. Justin’s mother is about to serve six years in prison for embezzlement, which means Justin must move back home to care for his three much younger siblings. Emma was traumatized by her own mother for much of her childhood, left to fend for herself and eventually abandoned in the foster system. When her mother shows up in Minnesota, Emma must face her traumatic childhood and admit that she has prioritized her mother’s well-being over her own. There is little time devoted to Emma’s painful efforts to heal herself enough to accept Justin’s love, which leaves the novel feeling unsatisfying.

A wallowing, emotionally wrenching family drama that leaves little time for romance.

Pub Date: April 2, 2024

ISBN: 9781538704431

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Forever

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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FUNNY STORY

Henry fans, rejoice: This is her best yet.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

A recently dumped librarian finds herself fake dating her polar opposite.

When Daphne Vincent’s fiance, Peter, dumps her, she’s shocked—but the worst part is that he’s leaving her for his gorgeous best friend, Petra, the woman he’d always told Daphne not to worry about. Now Daphne has to move out of Peter’s home and restart her life in the small Michigan town where she’d moved to be with him. Salvation comes in the form of Miles Nowak, Petra’s ex—he has a tiny spare room in his apartment, and he understands what it’s like to wallow in heartbreak. Daphne feels lucky to have her dream job as a children’s librarian, but other than that, she feels adrift and friendless in Waning Bay—and then she and Miles get invitations to Peter and Petra’s wedding. In a momentary lapse of judgment, Daphne not only says she’ll attend the wedding, but tells Peter she’s dating Miles. It would be the perfect way to show Peter and Petra that they’ve moved on…if only it were true. In the grand tradition of fake-dating romances, Daphne and Miles pretend to be in love, getting to know each other while having various adventures and misadventures. Daphne quickly learns that although she’d dismissed Miles as a pothead with a lack of direction, he’s actually a good time—and a loyal friend. But Daphne knows she needs to get out of Waning Bay, so this fake relationship can’t lead anywhere…can it? Reliable bestseller Henry has written another surefire hit that manages to be dramatic, sexy, and fun. Miles and Daphne have chemistry that leaps off the page, and their will-they-or-won’t-they energy propels the story to its satisfying conclusion. Daphne is an immensely likable character, one whose past realistically informs her current relationships. The world of Waning Bay is charmingly quirky, and Daphne’s co-workers at the library are endearing. As always, Henry’s biggest strength is the sharp, often hilarious dialogue that makes the story a joy to read.

Henry fans, rejoice: This is her best yet.

Pub Date: April 23, 2024

ISBN: 9780593441282

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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