One hopes the Dalai Lama gets his hands on this book as soon as possible. If he can’t clear up the morality questions, he’ll...

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BRIDGET JONES'S BABY

THE DIARIES

One thing’s for sure: one of these two ex-boyfriends is the father of Bridget Jones’ baby.

“What would the Dalai Lama do?” Bridget asks herself when she arrives 15 minutes late to the christening of her friend Magda’s baby in the opening pages of Fielding’s (Mad About the Boy, 2013, etc.) fourth entry in this still-funny series about everyone’s favorite dizzy British blonde. The Dalai Lama would probably not proceed to shag her ex-boyfriend Mark Darcy, whom she hasn’t seen in years and who was until very recently married to a “stick insect” but has been sneakily appointed godfather to the same baby. When Darcy comes to his senses and makes himself scarce post-shag, would the Dalai Lama proceed to get drunk and naked with another famous fuckwit, her ex-boss, pompous television personality–turned-novelist Daniel Cleaver? Well, you never know. Perhaps the Dalai Lama would prudently refuse to have amniocentesis to determine the paternity of the baby out of fear of harming both the fetus and the gauzy thing that passes for a plot in these pages. (Though if you’ve read the previous book in the series, set many years in the future, you know whose child it is.) Pregnant Bridget is caught between her perennially smashed and slurring singleton friends and the tedious “Smug Marrieds”: “Guess what? We’ve found you a nanny: Eastern European. She’s got a degree in neuroscience from the University of Vilnius.” Distracted by her predicament, Bridget’s job performance is not at 100 percent. When a new producer is brought in to clean house at Sit Up, Britain, demanding stories with tension, action, and suspense, Bridget scours the news to no avail. “They’re slimy, they’re creepily silent—and they’re lurking in your arugula—frogs!” “They’re hexagonal, they suddenly change their form and they gouge out your eyes—umbrellas!”

One hopes the Dalai Lama gets his hands on this book as soon as possible. If he can’t clear up the morality questions, he’ll at least get a good laugh.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3240-0

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

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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...

THE BEST MAN

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

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

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

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