An effervescent Regency romantic mystery brings a decrepit estate to life.


A hunt for treasure—and treasures of the heart.

Peter Rathbone, the Duke of Compton, isn’t ever expecting visitors—his estate is so impoverished that he keeps a tennis racquet at the dinner table to fend off attacks from bats. Suddenly, however, he becomes the host to two parties: the Earl of Macklin, whom he hasn’t seen in six months, and a group of young women (plus chaperone, naturally) who went to school with his late sister, Delia. Led by Miss Ada Grandison, Sarah and Charlotte and Harriet are all eager to help the duke uncover a secret that Delia told Ada about just before her accidental death. Though the house is in disrepair, they all settle in, with chaperone Aunt Julia taking the opportunity to teach them how to run a household. Ada keeps looking for chances to be alone with the duke, to discuss Delia’s secret, and their private encounters spark a mutual interest. But Peter, for his part, won’t act on his feelings, having nothing to offer her, and Ada grows frustrated. After they all discover that Delia’s secret is a potential treasure trove hidden on the estate, the girls race to solve the puzzle Delia left behind and find the fortune. Peter’s not sure anything will come of it—but the chemistry between Ada and him continues, treasure or not. In the fourth volume of her The Way to a Lord’s Heart series (How To Cross a Marquess, 2019), Ashford continues her explorations of a world outside, but not apart from, London society. With a light mystery and evocative detail, she sketches a gentler side of Regency life, away from the haut ton. Although the budding romance between Ada and Peter is sweet and compelling, it’s the friendship between Ada and her three girlfriends that really sets the book apart. All of the dialogue, but especially theirs, is fast-paced and charming, adding a welcome richness to the story. The appearance of Lord Macklin might seem odd to readers who are new to the series, but the book can be read on its own, and fans of the series are sure to enjoy the latest entry.

An effervescent Regency romantic mystery brings a decrepit estate to life.

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6344-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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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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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...


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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