Shallow, repetitive and predictable.

EASY ON THE EYES

Aging out of her role as “America’s Sweetheart,” TV anchor Tiana Tomlinson fights for her job and realizes she wants more.

She hates the idea of plastic surgery. But when her producers threaten to bring in a ten-years-younger co-host to revive her top-rated weeknight show, pushing-40 Tiana must consider the possibility. Her career has been her life since her beloved husband, a serious journalist, was killed seven years earlier, and he in turn had filled the void created when her family died in a horrific accident years before. But even as she campaigns for her high-profile job, Tiana is ambivalent. The news show she once anchored has become increasingly focused on celebrity gossip; she herself has made its headlines through her romance with a much-younger actor. But she has become intrigued by more serious stories. Stir in a strong, if conflicted attraction to Hollywood’s top plastic surgeon, Dr. Michael O’Sullivan, and the recipe for chick-lit romance is set. The match-up with Michael is obvious from the start (“the suddenly husky note in his voice makes my stomach do a little flip,” Tiana says), so the will-they-or-won’t-they suspense is not long sustained. By the time he shows his altruistic side, luring her on a medical mission to Africa, their destiny is clear. While not even Porter (Mrs. Perfect, 2008, etc.) can undo aging, her contemporary fairy tale finds a way for Tiana to triumph. Larding a light entertainment with actual celebrities, the author aims for real-life star power. But her simplistic approach, with Tiana constantly lamenting TV realities as if they were new, grows tiresome. Aging TV stars may be the hot new heroines—at least in books by Julie Kramer or Hank Phillippi Ryan—but Porter never gets beneath her pretty woman’s skin. Only the thinly disguised Hollywood gossip may sell this to a few readers.

Shallow, repetitive and predictable.

Pub Date: July 22, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-50940-4

Page Count: 338

Publisher: 5 Spot/Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2009

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With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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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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