A sweet but slow-moving tale of a love affair in Paris.



A financially strapped university student in Paris starts an affair with a sophisticated married woman over the course of one tumultuous year.

Marc Fontbleu is a 23-year-old French student who makes ends meet by mowing lawns. When he glimpses Emma Delors, the wife of a faculty member, walking past him early one morning, his world is rocked. He can’t help but approach beautiful Emma, who reveals that, as usual, her husband is out of town. Emma readily relays that her husband often neglects their marriage in favor of his archaeology studies. Marc and Emma begin a deep and intense affair, spending long hours getting to know each other in and out of bed. They gallivant through parks, restaurants, and the attractions of Paris, falling deeply in love. Marc confesses that he has published poetry under the pseudonym Léopold Montblé and hopes to become famous. Emma worries that she is too old for Marc and should set him free. As they luxuriate in their mutual feelings, they are simultaneously troubled by their own worries about protecting the happiness of the other. Told in the third person, the narrative is broken into four sections based on the temporal seasons and interspersed with short poems and uncredited artwork. There is a heavy emphasis on monologues and dialogue, both internal and external, throughout Cullen’s sentimental story. For the first two-thirds of the book, the main action consists primarily of lengthy conversations between the two central characters. The plot does move more quickly as the novel approaches its conclusion, and if readers can hang on, the tale becomes increasingly engrossing. While there are some stylistic oddities (such as a plethora of parentheses) and errors (like the scene in Chapter 6 in which Emma takes her shoes off after having already removed them), the story features lovely descriptions of French foods, locations, and landmarks. There are also several beautifully rendered moments of human connection and self-sacrifice.

A sweet but slow-moving tale of a love affair in Paris.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-7433-2154-9

Page Count: 244

Publisher: Clocktower Books

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2020

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A gentle love story perfect for anyone looking for love amid personal, family, and financial crises.


With her promotion to vice president of digital inventory at a Sonoma winery, Natalie Harper finally has the financial security she's always wanted, but a sudden tragedy sends her home to rescue her late mother's charming bookstore.

Once in San Francisco, Natalie moves back into her childhood home, an eclectic set of apartments above the bookshop, a home she shares with her grandfather Andrew, who is suffering from dementia and other mysterious ailments. Blythe, Natalie's mother, loved books, but she was not a savvy businesswoman. Natalie arrives to find unpaid bills and back taxes. Housed in the historic Sunrose Building, the bookshop certainly has stories of its own to tell: Originally a saloon and brothel, it was eventually bought by Natalie's great-grandparents, who converted it into a home and apothecary. Luckily, “hammer for hire” Peach Gallagher shows up. Strong and gorgeous, the contractor catches Natalie's eye, and he certainly is drawn to the curly-haired proprietress. But Peach doesn't date clients, and Natalie is gun-shy from her previous relationship. Plus, she's already met Peach’s adorable little girl, Dorothy. Natalie isn't about to break up a marriage, but she doesn’t know Peach is actually divorced. Wiggs skillfully manipulates the stock in trade of a master romance novelist as she orchestrates Peach and Natalie's inevitable love story. To challenge Peach, enter Trevor Dashwood, a gorgeous and wealthy children's book author, whose books have already won Dorothy's heart. Hosting a book signing with Trevor might help the store’s bottom line. Meanwhile, Natalie, Peach, and Andrew find historical artifacts hidden in the Sunrose building’s walls. Will it be enough to save the store?

A gentle love story perfect for anyone looking for love amid personal, family, and financial crises.

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-291409-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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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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