An engagingly written story of a woman’s transformation that’s begging for a sequel.



A physician from Philadelphia experiences a new life in Africa in Woodson’s (Adios Amarillo, 2018, etc.) novel.

Young doctor Sarah Whitaker is as naïve about love as she is idealistic about medicine. She’s engaged to a physician named David, who’s the only boyfriend she’s ever had. In their nearly six years together, he’s often been the decision-maker in the relationship. They prepare to go to Africa so that David can work on a malaria vaccine project, but then the funding evaporates. “We’ll just have to wait to go to Africa…someday when we’re rich doctors,” he says. That triggers hidden mettle in Sarah, who decides to go overseas now—with or without him. She’s already accepted a scholarship to research maternal mortality in childbirth, a scourge in sub-Saharan Africa, and she feels duty-bound to keep her word. When she gets there, she begins to wonder whether her shifting feelings about David provided the real motivation for her to go. The vivid portrayals of the African landscape read like a travelogue, and the operating scenes are graphically realistic (Woodson is a throat surgeon). As one point, a disfigured patient is described as “a Picasso portrait—as if some tectonic rift had shifted the halves of her face.” Sarah delivers babies under conditions that would rattle a very experienced obstetrician, which she is not; she also encounters a black mamba, which is described as the deadliest snake in Africa, and she even contracts red-eye fever. She also connects with Pieter Meijer, a Dutch anesthesiologist, who causes her to question her devotion to David. Not until the final pages does the word “after” in the book’s title make sense: It’s less about Sarah’s time in Africa than about who she’s become after she leaves.

An engagingly written story of a woman’s transformation that’s begging for a sequel.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63152-660-2

Page Count: 340

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • IndieBound Bestseller


The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston’s debut.

Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the American President Ellen Claremont, knows one thing for sure: He hates Henry, the British prince to whom he is always compared. He lives for their verbal sparring matches, but when one of their fights at a royal wedding goes a bit too far, they end up falling into a wedding cake and making tabloid headlines. An international scandal could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances for re-election, so it’s time for damage control. The plan? Alex and Henry must pretend to be best friends, giving the tabloids pictures of their bromance and neutralizing the threat to Ellen's presidency. But after a few photo ops with Henry, Alex starts to realize that the passionate anger he feels toward him might be a cover for regular old passion. There are, naturally, a million roadblocks between their first kiss and their happily-ever-after—how can American political royalty and actual British royalty ever be together? How can they navigate being open about their sexualities (Alex is bisexual; Henry is gay) in their very public and very scrutinized roles? Alex and Henry must decide if they’ll risk their futures, their families, and their careers to take a chance on happiness. Although the story’s premise might be a fantasy—it takes place in a world in which a divorced-mom Texan Democrat won the 2016 election—the emotions are all real. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. McQuiston’s strength is in dialogue; her characters speak in hilarious rapid-fire bursts with plenty of “likes,” “ums,” creative punctuation, and pop-culture references, sounding like smarter, funnier versions of real people. Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life.

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31677-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

On the day her fiance came out and left her at the altar, Faith escaped to the West Coast, where she’s had a thriving...


When Faith Holland was abandoned at the altar three years ago, she left her hometown for San Francisco to regroup; coming home to Manningsport, she’ll have to confront her past and Levi Cooper, the disturbingly handsome chief of police she blames for ruining her life.

On the day her fiance came out and left her at the altar, Faith escaped to the West Coast, where she’s had a thriving professional life and a comical romantic life. Summoned home for a few months to work the harvest at her family’s winery and help with some crisis management, Faith realizes that some things in her small town will never change—for the good or the bad—but she knows the time has come to establish a new reality with her ex, her family and maybe even Levi Cooper, the best man who forced Jeremy to be honest with her and himself on their wedding day. It’s so much easier to blame and despise him; if she lets down her guard, she might have to deal with their short but profound shared past and her own guilt and secrets from a long-ago tragedy that has haunted her for most of her life. Higgins’ newest heart-tugging romantic comedy juggles a spectrum of emotionally powerful elements, including the death of a mother, the abandonment of a father and a sigh-worthy high school romance gone awry. With her typical engaging voice, compelling storytelling and amusing dialogue, Higgins keeps the audience flipping through pages as quickly as possible, but it is her spot-on ability to make her characters at once funny, authentic and vulnerable—vulnerable to the point of breaking, so they can heal, stronger and better and more able to love—that is her true genius and guarantees most romance fans will both laugh out loud and get teary, sometimes at the same time. Another sweet, touching must-read for Higgins fans and anyone who enjoys a perfect combination of humor and romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-373-77792-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?