A rake is redeemed and a spinster unspun in a sweet historical romance.



All a spinster wants for Christmas is a charming rake to call her own.

Paul Barstowe, the Duke of Southart, was a dissolute second son known for his disreputable behavior. The deaths of his father and elder brother days apart gave him the title and a new determination to change his ways. To start burnishing his reputation, he bids on a property where he hopes to establish a charity hospital, but temptation arrives in the form of heiress Lady Daphne Hallworth, the sister of Paul’s best friend–turned-enemy. Home Alone style, Daphne is abandoned in London by her family in their rush to depart for the Christmas holidays. She decides to get started investing her fortune and energies to found a charitable home for unwed mothers. Interest in the same property puts Paul and Daphne in close proximity, as does the loss of her reticule containing a journal in which she shared not only her family’s secrets, but some of her own, including a longing, since childhood, for the handsome Paul. Daphne’s trust in Paul to help her avoid scandal shocks him. As they become closer, “Something shifted within him. A crack opened up, allowing a want to crawl out from the depths of his soiled soul and emerge, shaking every manacle free.” MacGregor (The Luck of the Bride, 2018, etc.) weaves a compelling story redeeming Paul from rakish behavior depicted in previous installments of The Cavensham Heiresses. Paul works his way back into the good graces of his family and friends as Daphne discovers her independence and strength beyond the genteel, circumspect, and invisible good sister and good daughter she has always been. MacGregor’s prose is wordier and her plotting more leisurely than necessary, but Paul and Daphne are very appealing characters.

A rake is redeemed and a spinster unspun in a sweet historical romance.

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-29597-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Another success for the publishing phenom.


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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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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