An independent-minded lord and lady find comfort in each other rather than Regency society.

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THE BRIDE WHO GOT LUCKY

Nosy noble nabs bold bluestocking.

Yes, of course Lady Emma Cavensham finds Nicholas St. Mauer attractive—she even kissed him once—but that doesn’t mean she wants to marry him. Or anybody, for that matter, since none of the men of the ton are “able or willing to accept a woman as an equal partner.” Nick’s interference three years earlier, when she tried to purchase a rare copy of Bentham’s Essays, led to her parents removing her from society. And in any event, her only goal in life now is to prove that her best friend, Lena, died not from an accident, but at the hand of her abusive husband. However, after her vengeful return to London, it’s not long before Nick intrudes again, when Emma’s quest comes close to the border of impropriety, and this time, his meddling leads to a forced betrothal. Though they both accept their fate, Nick’s long estrangement from his father, the Duke of Renton, and Emma’s desire for the freedom of spinsterhood mean both are reluctant to abandon their prized solitude—even in the face of their powerful attraction. The second title in the Cavensham Heiresses series again proves that MacGregor has a real talent for developing every facet of a romance; it can be read independently from the first book, but readers of one will devour the other. In steamy scenes as well as emotional ones, Emma and Nick develop not just as a couple, but also as individuals, each thanks to the other’s affections. After a lengthy buildup of tensions outside their love story, some readers may find the ending somewhat abrupt, but all will be glad to see the protofeminist couple reach their happily-ever-after together—and as equals.

An independent-minded lord and lady find comfort in each other rather than Regency society.

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-11614-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 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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