A sweet, heartfelt series love story.

Opposite of Frozen

From the The Thurston Hotel Series series , Vol. 2

O’Hara’s debut romance stars a former Major League Baseball superstar with a major chip on his shoulder, a woman with an aversion to commitment, and a raucous crew of elderly vacationers.

In the second book of the Thurston Hotel series, our romantic heroes meet-cute on a tour bus containing 50-odd senior citizens, headed for Golden, British Columbia. Oliver Pike, 28, is the straight-laced tour guide who’s running the bus company temporarily for his sick brother. He discovers Page Maddux, 25, an orphan who attempted to stow away in the bus’s luggage compartment because she didn’t have money for bus fare; it was so cold inside that it left her as blue as the dyed streaks in her hair. Although she thaws relatively quickly, she finds herself squashed between two scantily clad seniors, Mavis and Avis, who debate the ethics of “checking if the collar and cuffs match.” It takes longer for Oliver’s icy temperament to warm up. When a winter storm strands the entire group in Harmony, Alberta, Oliver hires Page to help wrangle the pensioners. Although the younger couple’s will-they-or-won’t-they plot is good fun, it’s the “oldsters” who are the real heart of the novel. They include Mr. Dubois, an impeccably dressed resident “geriatric sex machine” who specializes in “horizontal crocheting,” and Mr. Lee, an elusive vacationer who later reveals unusual skills and a dry wit. O’Hara shows a mastery of situational comedy, as when 95-year-old Mrs. Horton snoozes through Page’s erotic dancing debut at the Wobbly Dog, as well as tragedy, as when Mavis and Avis deliver some heartbreaking news. All the while, Page is on the hunt for a mysterious man who stole her backpack from the luggage hold, and Oliver gradually copes with the accident that ended his baseball career; both make for nice subplots. It all leads up to a finale involving a seedy man with a snowmobile, snow kayaking, and, naturally, a marriage proposal. If O’Hara’s next books are anything like this one, she’s got a long career ahead of her.

A sweet, heartfelt series love story.

Pub Date: Nov. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9953012-1-4

Page Count: 292

Publisher: Tartitude Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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