A sweet, heartfelt series love story.

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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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Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

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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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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