An enjoyable, if implausible, journey story.




A Job-like pastor comes to terms with his dramatic past in this Christian novel.

Hunky pastor Jack Douglas has a perfect life outside Savannah, Georgia, until his wife and two children are killed in a horrible car accident. The trauma of the loss shakes Jack’s faith in God, so he sells his house and car, buys some supplies from a sporting goods store, and sets out on foot into the anonymous vastness of North America. “I have to just go,” he thinks, walking along the highway, “go somewhere, anywhere but Georgia to sort things out. This is not about finding myself, purpose, or even about finding God. Heck, I thought I’d found Him before. It’s about moving. Keep on moving.” As he wanders overland, he encounters duplicitous homeless men, wild bears, and armed robbers before taking a job at an oil rig in North Dakota. When tragedy strikes the rig, Jack realizes he must get even farther away from civilization than he’s been thus far, so he sets out for the Last Frontier. He ends up befriending a wolf, whom he names Amaroq, in the Alaskan wilderness. Even more surprising, he meets an innkeeper in Nome—an Inuit woman named Qaniit—who takes his mind off his tragic past. But if Jack thinks he can escape tragedy in the far north, he has another thing coming. The question is, will God find him there as well? Charles (My War with Hemingway, 2015) writes in a muscular prose that suits the no-nonsense directness of his protagonist: “He lowers the knife and unzips the tent. Peering out through the opening, he sees a large stag standing nearby watching him. Stark naked, he eases out of the tent, stands, holding the knife in his hand.” Jack has perhaps too much of an action hero in him—he wins many fistfights, tames a wolf, and becomes the object of affection of every woman he meets—and the novel is loaded with familiar tropes. Even so, the plot and setting are wild enough to keep the audience entertained. Charles’ tale probably won’t affect readers’ faith in God, but it might stir their wanderlust.

An enjoyable, if implausible, journey story.

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-984198-61-7

Page Count: 274

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2018

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Another success for the publishing phenom.


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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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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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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