O’Connell makes this sweet treat go down smoothly thanks to snappy dialogue and evocative scenes of Chicago in the summer.

OFF THE RECORD

O’Connell (Bachelorette #1, 2003) takes another stab at poolside reading, this time examining the disparate worlds of pop music and corporate law.

Jane Marlow, a buttoned-up Chicago attorney, is gunning for partnership at her law firm. In her determined effort to get ahead, she has woefully neglected all the other areas of her life: family, friends and especially romance. Life gets deliciously complicated for Jane when her slacker brother, Andy, discovers that a decade-old pop song, “Janey 245,” was written about her. While Jane learns to kick up her heels and enjoy her celebrity status as “Janey,” Teddy Rock, the song’s author, is attempting to make a comeback. After years out of the spotlight, Teddy basks in the media attention Andy and Jane bring to his legendary song. Although O’Connell’s characters are thinly drawn and even predictable at times, they are also delightfully self-centered. Through her relationship with Teddy, Jane hopes to gain a lucrative client for her law firm and secure the coveted partnership. In turn, Teddy latches on to Jane for an image boost—Jane’s fresh-scrubbed appeal offers a welcome break from his past. Teddy hopes to distance himself from tabloid articles regaling his trips to rehab and his tawdry affairs. O’Connell is adept at exposing the manipulative nature of both the legal profession and the music industry. It’s decadent fun to see Teddy’s oleaginous agent create a media circus as Teddy and Jane rekindle their childhood relationship in full view of the paparazzi. The action is a bit sluggish until O’Connell tosses in the requisite plot twist, in the form of a love triangle. Just as Jane is becoming intoxicated with her taste of the rock-’n’-roll life, Drew Weston, a handsome lawyer, shows up at Jane’s firm to lend a hand on a million-dollar case and remind Jane of her true nature.

O’Connell makes this sweet treat go down smoothly thanks to snappy dialogue and evocative scenes of Chicago in the summer.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2005

ISBN: 0-451-21645-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: NAL/Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

A smooth blend of suspense and romance. As ever, the author's trademark effortless style keeps a complex plot moving without...

THE VILLA

Megaselling Roberts (River's End, 1999, etc.) goes to Napa Valley for the tale of an Italian-American family wine producers rocked by scandal and a series of murders.

Dynasty head Tereza Giambelli knows that her granddaughter Sophia is the only family member capable of running a multimillion-dollar wine business—and no one contradicts La Signora. It's just as well the lovely young woman is still single: Tereza has plans for her. The matriarch has recently married Eli MacMillan, the American founder of another famous wine company. Eli's grandson Tyler knows everything there is to know about producing wine, from the vineyard to the vat. Ruggedly handsome, intelligent and earthy, he's a perfect match for public-relations whiz Sophia—or so thinks Tereza. The two young people begin to work together; Tyler teaches Sophia the fine art of making wine and making love. But other family members hope to claim their share of the Giambelli fortune, and people start dying mysteriously, including Sophia's good-for-nothing father, Tony Avano. Long divorced from long-suffering Pilar Giambelli, Tony led an opulent, self-indulgent life that provides plenty of murder suspects. He might have been killed by the mob, or a jealous mistress, or his spoiled brother-in-law, Tereza's lazy son, who's produced a passel of brats with his foolish Italian wife in the hopes of making Tereza happy. Everyone has a motive, and nothing is what it seems, Sophia discovers, but Tyler stands by her. Then a bottle of tainted merlot kills a company exec. A tragic mishap caused by poisonous plants growing near the vines? Or deliberate product tampering intended to destroy the company? Sophia and Tyler will need to delve even deeper into the convoluted and sometimes unsavory history of the family and its three-generation business.

A smooth blend of suspense and romance. As ever, the author's trademark effortless style keeps a complex plot moving without a hitch.

Pub Date: March 19, 2001

ISBN: 0-399-14712-8

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more