Moyes has mastered the art of likable, not terribly memorable, but far from simple-minded storytelling.

READ REVIEW

ONE PLUS ONE

Popular British author Moyes (The Girl You Left Behind, 2013, etc.) offers another warmhearted, off-kilter romance, this one between a financially strapped single mother and a geeky tech millionaire.

Ten years ago, Jess Thomas got pregnant and dropped out of high school to marry Marty. Two years ago, hapless Marty temporarily moved out of their home on the southern coast of England to sort out his life. He never returned. Cleaning houses by day and working in a pub at night, Jess barely earns enough to support her 10-year-old daughter, Tanzie, and her 16-year-old stepson, Nicky, whom she’s been raising since he was 8. Jess worries constantly about sensitive Nicky, a moody goth regularly beaten up by the local bully. Math genius Tanzie presents a different crisis: She’s been offered a generous scholarship to a private school her current teachers say she needs, and Jess can’t come up with the balance. The only hope is winning prize money at a math tournament in Scotland, but how to get there? Meanwhile, one of Jess’ cleaning clients, computer whiz Ed Nicholls, has come to stay in his seaside vacation home to avoid publicity surrounding insider trading charges. He and Jess share an instant mutual dislike, but when he ends up drunk at the pub, Jess makes sure he gets home safely. Partly out of gratitude, but largely to escape pressure from lawyers, his ex-wife and his sister—who’s nagging him to attend his father’s birthday party—Ed offers to drive Jess, her kids and their large dog to Scotland. A road-trip-from-hell romantic comedy ensues, complete with carsickness, bad meals and missed signals. Unsurprisingly, hostility evolves into mutual attraction. But Moyes throws in a few wrenches, like Tanzie’s failure at the competition, Ed’s father’s cancer and the cash Jess has secretly kept since it fell out of Ed’s pocket at the pub that first night.

Moyes has mastered the art of likable, not terribly memorable, but far from simple-minded storytelling.

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-525-42658-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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