Though sometimes the language isn't as witty or romantic as it's trying to be, Topper makes good use of the dress as a plot...

DICTATORSHIP OF THE DRESS

Two strangers in transit share plenty of baggage in Topper’s (Louder Than Love, 2013) second romance.

Former Marvel Comics illustrator Laney Hudson isn't thrilled about having to transport her mother’s wedding gown from New York to Hawaii as carry-on luggage. Naturally, though, when people see a woman lugging a wedding gown, they're going to assume she's the bride, which Laney uses to her advantage to get bumped to first class on the first leg of her journey, from New York to Chicago. Seated next to her is Noah Ridgewood, a software designer with an acute fear of flying and a demanding socialite fiancee who's giving him a serious case of cold feet. When a flight attendant mistakenly announces Laney’s and Noah’s pending nuptials with a champagne toast, they have no choice but to ride out the charade until they land in Chicago. From there, they will surely go their separate ways. His destination is Vegas, where his bachelor party is already underway, and she has miles to go before she can watch her mother get married on Waipouli Beach. Fortunately, a bad storm grounds both of their connecting flights, giving Laney and Noah more time to get to know each other. Their interactions evolve in a typical arc, starting with faintly antagonistic banter and ending with intimate epiphanies, but Laney and Noah are unique, likable characters worth rooting for as they fall in love and try to overcome the complications of their situation. At the end of their magical layover, Noah still needs to contend with his fiancee, Sloane, who is also the boss’s daughter, and Laney still has to face her own romantic past: a turbulent relationship with her rock drummer boyfriend who suffered an untimely death. And let’s not forget Laney’s mother, waiting in Hawaii for her wedding dress.

Though sometimes the language isn't as witty or romantic as it's trying to be, Topper makes good use of the dress as a plot device and infuses enough fun and suspense into the rollicking storyline to make it a satisfying read.

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-425-27625-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Berkley Sensation

Review Posted Online: Nov. 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

MAYBE SOMEDAY

Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

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With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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