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THE BRIGHT SPOT

An easy-to-read, forced-proximity romance filled with quirky characters, strong—but flawed—women, and supportive men.

A 29-year-old woman inherits 50% of a farm near Lake Tahoe and must work with the other owner to save the property.

Luna Wright has a huge chip on her shoulder: Adopted at birth and hurt in love, she’s worked hard to be successful in her five years as the manager of Apple Ridge Farm, a gorgeous 150-acre spread in the Sierras. Which she thought she’d managed to do, with the help of friends and family—Willow, her best friend; Stella, her grandmother; and Chef, her first boyfriend and now good friend—despite the farm’s grumpy owner, whom all the employees hate, and her own history of failure. But then Silas Wittman, that grumpy owner, dies, and she finds out that not only was he her biological grandfather, making her hiring smack of nepotism, but he’s left her half the farm and a balloon payment that’s due in 60 days. And then her new business partner, Jameson Hayes, Silas’ investment manager, turns out to be a hot guy she met at a bar who turned her down cold. So to add to her stress about making the farm a success, and the fact that she’s convinced her beloved co-workers will hate her once they find out she’s part-owner, she has the embarrassment of working with a guy who rejected her. Jameson has secrets of his own, and he promised Silas he would stay at the farm for two months to help Luna, which won’t be easy.

An easy-to-read, forced-proximity romance filled with quirky characters, strong—but flawed—women, and supportive men.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2024

ISBN: 9780063235755

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2023

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THE RULE BOOK

Haphazard and undemanding.

A sports agent’s first official client is the man she dumped years ago in college.

After two years of hard work as an underling, Nora Mackenzie is finally being promoted to full-time sports agent. She’s worked hard, kept quiet, and allowed men in the office to call her Mac—a nickname she hates—all to show she’s a team player and “one of the guys.” Unfortunately, her boss instructs her to sign Derek Pender, a football player coming off an injury, who happens to be the man she heartlessly dumped in their senior year of college. Derek signs with her for revenge, seeing it as his opportunity to pay Nora back for callously breaking his heart eight years earlier. He insists she be at his beck and call: answering his emails, running his errands, cooking dinner for his dates. He also refuses to let her explain why she broke up with him without warning or explanation. Nora feels she has no choice but to acquiesce to Derek’s humiliating demands, since she’s worked too hard to let him ruin her dream job. She hopes he’ll thaw and they might become friends, but Derek’s bad behavior is designed to hide the fact that he’s still in love with her. Nora’s characterization is uneven, veering between anger at how she’s treated in the male-dominated field to immature bickering and bantering with Derek. Although Adams likely meant for Derek and Nora’s interactions to have an enemies-to-lovers vibe, the characters instead seem juvenile and stuck in the past. The novel is fueled by a string of tropes—second chance romance! married in Vegas! only one bed!—each randomly deployed to keep the book going despite thin characterization and wan plotting.

Haphazard and undemanding.

Pub Date: April 2, 2024

ISBN: 9780593723678

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dell

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

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BRIDE

Sink your teeth into this delightful paranormal romance with a modern twist.

A vampire and an Alpha werewolf enter into a marriage of convenience in order to ease tensions between their species.

As the only daughter of a prominent Vampyre councilman, Misery Lark has grown accustomed to playing the role that’s demanded of her—and now, her father is ordering her to be part of yet another truce agreement. In an effort to maintain goodwill between the Vampyres and their longtime nemeses the Weres, Misery must wed their Alpha, Lowe Moreland. But it turns out that Misery has her own motivations for agreeing to this political marriage, including finding answers about what happened to her best friend, who went missing after setting up a meeting in Were territory. Isolated from her kind and surrounded on all sides by the enemy after the wedding, Misery refuses to let herself forget about her real mission. It doesn’t matter that Lowe is one of the most confounding and intense people she’s ever met, or that the connection building between them doesn’t feel like one born entirely of convenience. There’s also the possibility that Lowe may already have a Were mate of his own, but in spite of their biological differences, they may turn out to be the missing piece in each other’s lives. While this is Hazelwood’s first paranormal romance, and the book does lean on some hallmark tropes of the genre, the contemporary setting lends itself to the author’s trademark humor and makes the political plot more easily digestible. Misery and Lowe’s slow-burn romance is appealing enough that readers will readily devour every moment between them and hunger to return to them whenever the story diverts from their scenes together.

Sink your teeth into this delightful paranormal romance with a modern twist.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9780593550403

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2023

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