A chaotic welter of loose ends that Fallon himself couldn’t unsnarl.

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IN TOO DEEP

Premiere of Krentz’s new trilogy about a psychic detective agency.

In this latest addition to the Arcane Society series, para-detective Fallon Jones has finally met his match in Isabella Valdez, who has washed up in his home base, a remote, cliffside Northern California village called Scargill Cove. A few decades back, a commune of hippies lived here, under the sway of a guru who disappeared under mysterious circumstances but whose skeletal remains were later found in a bomb shelter hidden behind the Cove’s no-tell motel. Scargill, a “nexus” of psychic energy, is a magnet for the preternaturally endowed. Strong, silent Fallon, whose psychic “talent” empowers him to see order in chaos, is instantly drawn to Isabella. Isabella invites herself to join Fallon’s agency, Jones & Jones, as an investigator. Fallon is descended from those paranormal aristocrats the Joneses, Victorian-era pillars of the Arcane Society. For centuries, the Society, a shadowy league of talents working for good, has battled the minions of occult evil. The first case Isabella takes on, a routine ghost check of a mansion listed for sale, uncovers much more than she bargained for: a serial killer, a basement hiding human remains and, more importantly for Jones & Jones, a clock invented by Victorian genius, and Jones’ nemesis, Mrs. Bridewell. That’s just the beginning of this impossibly convoluted saga. Fallon and Isabella succumb all too soon to blistering passion, but probably not often enough for romance readers’ expectations. The plot connecting the sex scenes, which involves internecine warfare among good psychics, bad psychics and clandestine government agencies, not to mention factions within the Society itself, soon becomes too “arcane” to sustain interest.

A chaotic welter of loose ends that Fallon himself couldn’t unsnarl.

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-15702-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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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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