Another successful, absorbing winner from Castle. With dust bunnies.

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DECEPTION COVE

Alice North spent one honeymoon on Rainshadow Island, after which her husband turned up dead; still dealing with the ramifications of that marriage of convenience, she isn’t too keen on entering into another one, no matter how powerful, protective or sexy Drake Sebastian is.

Alice has taken care of herself for far longer than she should have had to, but things became even worse after she wed Fulton Whitcomb in a marriage of convenience and he wound up dead on Rainshadow Island, the mysterious island preserve known for its unstable paranormal energy. Fulton insisted the two spend their honeymoon there so they could track some ancients crystals that Alice has an affinity for. Since Fulton’s death, his powerful mother has made Alice’s life a living nightmare, so when magnate Drake Sebastian enlists Alice’s aid in cleaning up the mess Fulton left behind on the island and offers his protection through yet another marriage of convenience, Alice is skeptical. Yet the crystals and the island represent a connection to a grandfather she never knew and a legacy of wealth and family history she craves to learn more about, so she agrees. She finds herself falling in love with the compelling yet enigmatic Drake. In order to save the island, the two must face physical and paranormal peril. In order to find happiness, they must navigate emotional and earthly minefields and get past distrust and danger to forge a shared future. Castle (aka Jayne Ann Krentz and Amanda Quick) brings her signature smooth writing, deft plotting and artful romantic touch to another pitch-perfect romance, this one set in Harmony, Castle’s futuristic, yet recognizable world wherein the popular dust bunnies reside. Castle is a master at combining suspense elements with her own paranormal worldbuilding, tossing in tried-and-true romantic tropes, stirring them together and coming up with satisfying, innovative storylines, no matter the time period. Her newest is no exception.

Another successful, absorbing winner from Castle. With dust bunnies.

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-515-15285-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Jove/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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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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