A fast-paced story with a surprisingly modern feel from an expert writer of historical romance.



From the The Four Hundred series , Vol. 3

A Gilded Age marriage of convenience that inconveniences everyone involved.

Lady Christina Barclay is desperate to escape her family, Brits temporarily in New York in search of a rich husband for her. But she’s not so desperate that she’ll accept the elderly letch Mr. Van Peet as her husband, no matter how her parents beg her to do so. She tries to find solace with Oliver Hawkes, her neighbor, but the reclusive inventor prefers to keep to himself. After losing his hearing as a teen, he’s found that despite his extraordinary wealth, most of the Four Hundred prefer to treat him as “one of those imbeciles.” However, after learning more about Christina's situation, Oliver agrees to help her out by getting married that very night, telling her it will be a yearlong, nonsexual marriage after which he will give her a financial settlement, they will annul the marriage and go back to being friends; despite his attraction to her, he's reluctant to change his ways and doesn't believe that she really wants to marry him, either. For her part, Christina is attracted to Oliver, especially as she learns more about how to communicate with him and they begin to share the details of their pasts with one another. But as their mutual focus narrows to each other, they don’t notice how many people around them seek to pull them apart—by any means necessary. The suspense in this story doesn’t come just from the sexual tension between its hero and heroine—it also comes from their shared fear that people will use Oliver’s deafness to ruin their developing bond. Shupe’s Four Hundred series has been marked by its appealing combination of suspense and spice, and the third entry is no exception, standing out thanks to Shupe’s thoughtful portrayal of deafness and a culture that does not understand or respect it. As always, precise Gilded Age details invigorate Shupe’s writing, but it is the chemistry between Oliver and Christina that truly brings the story to life.

A fast-paced story with a surprisingly modern feel from an expert writer of historical romance.

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267894-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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Another success for the publishing phenom.


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

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


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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