A fun and fast-paced look at the risk and value of real intimacy.

READ REVIEW

MR. NICE GUY

A young journalist sleeps with a sex columnist and finds himself at the center of a viral sensation.

Lucas Callahan, a recent NYC transplant by way of North Carolina, is an aspiring journalist. Stuck at his desk as a fact-checker for Empire magazine, he’s lonely and frustrated. But when he meets a glamorous woman named Carmen at a bar and then spends the night at her apartment, things seems to be looking up…that is, until he reads a column in his own magazine and realizes that Carmen is Carmen Kelly, Empire’s sex columnist. In her column, she refers to him as “Mr. Nice Guy” and eviscerates his sexual performance. Humiliated, Lucas writes a scathing anonymous rebuttal from Mr. Nice Guy’s point of view, including plenty of criticism of Carmen herself. When his response goes viral, Empire proposes a new column: “Screw the Critics,” wherein Lucas and Carmen sleep together every week, then critique each other in print. Carmen, who knows she can write about so much more than just sex, feels backed into a corner. Lucas, however, relishes the opportunity to get his words in print, even if he doesn’t have a byline. Although the two hate each other at first, they quickly become partners in crime as the column becomes wildly popular. But as things progress and their feelings start to become real, the column, their jobs, and their relationship get complicated. Miller (The Year of the Gadfly, 2012, etc.) and Feifer hit all the beats of a satisfying rom-com while still managing to surprise. Lucas can be unlikable, but he always feels realistic as a young man in the city trying to climb the journalism ladder. Carmen is the more outwardly prickly and inwardly complex character, and if there is any criticism to be found, it’s that readers don’t get enough of her point of view.

A fun and fast-paced look at the risk and value of real intimacy.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-18988-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

THE DECEPTION

A successful businesswoman hires a smooth-talking bounty hunter to find a lead on her sister’s murder.

Kate Gallagher was the only one available to identify her younger sister Chrissy’s body after she was found dead, having run away from home two years earlier. Since Chrissy succumbed to drugs and turned to sex work to survive, her murder isn't taken seriously by the local homicide department. Kate is filled with grief and regret at not having been there for her sister, and she’s determined to find her killer as a kind of penance. Jason Maddox is the charming man Kate almost hooked up with at a local bar. He also happens to be on the payroll of the most successful investigation company in Dallas. He’s all too eager to help Kate out and spend more time getting to know the blonde he danced with at the Sagebrush Saloon. At first, Kate and Jason vow to keep things professional until the case is solved; there’s obvious attraction that they’re willing to pursue at a later date. But the increasing sense of danger mixed with Kate and Jason’s close proximity proves to be too heady of a combination. The tension never lets up as the pair visit seedy bars and interrogate unsavory characters. With a steamy romance and undeniably hot chemistry, the main characters are well matched. They’re both driven, slightly stubborn, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of catching criminals. Martin (The Conspiracy, 2019, etc.) doesn’t skimp on graphic, violent details as Chrissy’s murder leads her couple to something much bigger: human trafficking. Though not for the faint of heart given its weighty material, this is an un-put-down-able page-turner that’s sure to satisfy fans of romance and thrillers alike.

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00769-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more