Sexy fireman hero saves the heiress who has everything and nothing—what’s not to like? Smart, fun and engaging.

READ REVIEW

THE NIGHT BELONGS TO FIREMAN

After a dramatic rescue, a reclusive heiress and a sexy fireman navigate family tensions, media pressures and a shadowy enemy on their path to happy-ever-after.

Indulging in an uncharacteristic night on the town for a bridal shower, Rachel Allen meets firefighter Fred Breen in a bar and takes umbrage at his protective overtures, but everything changes minutes later when the limousine she and her friends are in is involved in a freak accident and Fred helps them to safety. Attractive but self-effacing, Fred is appalled when the local press whips the story into a media storm, referring to him as the Bachelor Hero. Not as appalled as Rachel, though, who has taken great pains to change her identity from Rachel Kessler, the daughter of multibillionaire Rob Kessler, who was kidnapped as a child and held in a cage until she managed to escape. With all the attention on Fred, Rachel was able to sneak away from the scene mostly unnoticed, but now the hunt is on to find the mysterious woman the Bachelor Hero rescued. Against her better judgment, Rachel feels honor-bound to contact Fred to thank him, and neither can ignore the sizzling attraction between them. Taking cautious steps into a relationship, the couple is undermined by Kessler’s overprotectiveness and Rachel’s resistance to it, despite her very real and haunting fears. Falling in love makes her question everything, but just as she begins to believe a bright future could be possible, her violent past rises up, demanding she and Fred fight for it. Bernard ends her Bachelor Firemen series with a fast-paced, witty read with a touch of danger that at moments seems far-fetched, but due to her impeccable storytelling and characterization, we buy in. Perhaps it’s a little too reliant on deus ex machina in the end, but most readers will be charmed enough to be forgiving.

Sexy fireman hero saves the heiress who has everything and nothing—what’s not to like? Smart, fun and engaging.

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-227369-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

OUTFOX

An FBI agent is determined to catch a man who bilks and murders wealthy women, but the chase goes slowly.

Brown (Tailspin, 2018, etc.) has published 70 bestsellers, and this one employs her usual template of thriller spiked with romance. Its main character, Drex Easton, is an FBI agent in pursuit of a serial killer, but for him it’s personal. When he was a boy, his mother left him and his father for another man, Weston Graham. Drex believes Graham murdered her and that he has killed at least seven more women after emptying their bank accounts. Now he thinks he has the clever Graham—current alias Jasper Ford—in his sights, and he’s willing to put his career at risk to catch him. The women Ford targets are wealthy, and his new prey is no exception—except that, uncharacteristically, he has married her. Talia Ford proves to be a complication for Drex, who instantly falls in lust with her even though he’s not at all sure she isn’t her husband's accomplice. Posing as a would-be novelist, Drex moves into an apartment next door to the Fords’ posh home and tries to ingratiate himself, but tensions rise immediately—Jasper is suspicious, and Talia has mixed feelings about Drex's flirtatious behavior. When Talia’s fun-loving friend Elaine Conner turns up dead after a cruise on her yacht and Jasper disappears, Drex and Talia become allies. There are a few action sequences and fewer sex scenes, but the novel’s pace bogs down repeatedly in long, mundane conversations. Drex's two FBI agent sidekicks are more interesting characters than he is; Drex himself is such a caricature of a macho man, so heedless of ethics, and so aggressive toward women that it’s tough to see him as a good guy. Brown adds a couple of implausible twists at the very end that make him seem almost as untrustworthy as Graham.

This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4555-7219-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A thoughtful and pensive tale with intelligent characters and a satisfying romance.

THE LAST LETTER

A promise to his best friend leads an Army serviceman to a family in need and a chance at true love in this novel.

Beckett Gentry is surprised when his Army buddy Ryan MacKenzie gives him a letter from Ryan’s sister, Ella. Abandoned by his mother, Beckett grew up in a series of foster homes. He is wary of attachments until he reads Ella’s letter. A single mother, Ella lives with her twins, Maisie and Colt, at Solitude, the resort she operates in Telluride, Colorado. They begin a correspondence, although Beckett can only identify himself by his call sign, Chaos. After Ryan’s death during a mission, Beckett travels to Telluride as his friend had requested. He bonds with the twins while falling deeply in love with Ella. Reluctant to reveal details of Ryan’s death and risk causing her pain, Beckett declines to disclose to Ella that he is Chaos. Maisie needs treatment for neuroblastoma, and Beckett formally adopts the twins as a sign of his commitment to support Ella and her children. He and Ella pursue a romance, but when an insurance investigator questions the adoption, Beckett is faced with revealing the truth about the letters and Ryan’s death, risking losing the family he loves. Yarros’ (Wilder, 2016, etc.) novel is a deeply felt and emotionally nuanced contemporary romance bolstered by well-drawn characters and strong, confident storytelling. Beckett and Ella are sympathetic protagonists whose past experiences leave them cautious when it comes to love. Beckett never knew the security of a stable home life. Ella impulsively married her high school boyfriend, but the marriage ended when he discovered she was pregnant. The author is especially adept at developing the characters through subtle but significant details, like Beckett’s aversion to swearing. Beckett and Ella’s romance unfolds slowly in chapters that alternate between their first-person viewpoints. The letters they exchanged are pivotal to their connection, and almost every chapter opens with one. Yarros’ writing is crisp and sharp, with passages that are poetic without being florid. For example, in a letter to Beckett, Ella writes of motherhood: “But I’m not the center of their universe. I’m more like their gravity.” While the love story is the book’s focus, the subplot involving Maisie’s illness is equally well-developed, and the link between Beckett and the twins is heartfelt and sincere.

A thoughtful and pensive tale with intelligent characters and a satisfying romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64063-533-3

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Review Posted Online: Jan. 2, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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