A light, leisurely novel with a wholesome love story.

READ REVIEW

THE HEART'S BIDDING

A store owner falls in love with an auctioneer in this romance.

Kay didn’t intend to spend so much money at an auction, but she couldn’t stop listening to the voice of the handsome auctioneer, Gerald. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, she managed to drop her expensive item, an oak door, right on her foot. Gerald volunteers to drive her to the urgent-care center. Despite the circumstances, Gerald and Kay have a fun night together, chatting about work and family. Kay is working hard to keep Vintage at Heart, her family’s struggling vintage clothing and furniture business, afloat. She was having some success by selling items via online auctions, but thanks to a new law, she can no longer do that without obtaining an auctioneer’s license. Lucky for her, a class is about to start that will help her do so—and Gerald happens to be helping to teach it. Unfortunately for Kay, the instruction is definitely not cheap, and she’s already having a hard time just keeping the lights on. She makes a deal with Gerald’s mentor, which gets her into the class, but how is she going to manage the store, her grandfather’s greedy girlfriend, the bills piling up, and her attraction to the man who’s now her teacher? Swan present a wholesome romance between two adults just trying to find their places in the world. The real selling point for this novel is the characterization, as both the main and secondary players feel true to life. Kay, in particular, is fully believable and relatable as a college dropout doing her best to get by without losing herself in the process. The book’s pace is rather slow, which may cause some readers to lose interest. Those that stick with it, though, will enjoy its pleasant, low-key story.

A light, leisurely novel with a wholesome love story.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73558-750-9

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Story Garden

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2020

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A standard but satisfying twin-swap tale with a sweet love story at its center.

THE DUPLICATE BRIDE

In Baird’s romance novel, a young woman agrees to impersonate her twin sister but finds herself falling for her sibling’s fiance in the process.

Jackie Webb begs her identical-twin sister, Hope, to fly from North Carolina to Maine and pretend to be her. Jackie is scheduled to visit her fiance Brent Albright’s family, mere days before their wedding. She’s a wedding planner herself, unexpectedly forced to work during the scheduled visit—and she fears that if she doesn’t show up in New England as planned, her strained relations with Brent’s family will grow worse. Hope agrees to go the Maine, just to help with wedding preparations, and she has every intention of truthfully identifying herself. But when Brent’s mother immediately mistakes her for Jackie, things quickly spiral out of control. After Brent’s grandmother greets her with disdain, Hope decides to continue the ruse to win over the family. Then she learns that Jackie’s upcoming marriage to Brent, who knows nothing of the trickery, is more of a business deal than a romance. She resolves to save her sister’s future by creating a true bond with him. But unlike Jackie, she’s relaxed and fun-loving, and Brent finds himself delighted to be falling in love with her. As Jackie’s delay grows longer, Hope finds herself falling under Brent’s spell, as well. This wholesome and romantic tale by Baird, the author of An Unforgettable Christmas (2019) and many other romances, is engaging throughout as she tells it from Hope’s and Brent’s perspectives. Although most readers are likely to guess many key plot developments before the end of the first chapter, they’ll still find it great fun to watch the events unfold. The author presents a diverse cast of characters who are as entertaining as they are endearing, as well as many evocative descriptions of the beautiful Maine countryside. Although this novel is a light read, it alludes to deeper issues of confidence, loss, independence, and trust that give it some unexpected heft.

A standard but satisfying twin-swap tale with a sweet love story at its center.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68281-522-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2020

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A quick, fun enemies-to-lovers tale that’s equal parts hilarious and sexy.

THE WEDDING DATE DISASTER

An ambitious country transplant gets saddled with an infuriating plus-one in this romance.

Hadley Donavan moved to Harbor City with big dreams—namely, taking nonprofit organizations to the next level as a charitable giving consultant. Sadly, things aren’t going to plan. She’s broke, shares a tiny apartment with a roommate, and is fired from her job thanks to an unexpected kiss at a work event with Will Holt, an old-money CEO and the “evil” twin brother of Hadley’s best friend, Web. Now Hadley’s heading home to Nebraska for her sister’s wedding and a week of festivities with her tightknit, blended family, with Web as her platonic date. But thanks to a last-minute bout of food poisoning, it’s Will—who’s fighting his lust for Hadley while questioning her intentions with his open-hearted brother—who shows up at the airport to escort her to the wedding. As they fake a relationship for her relatives, the city boy’s and country girl’s clashing personalities soon result in an unforgettable sexual encounter. While Will wins over her protective but loving relatives through quirky game nights and a surprise dance at a retirement home, Hadley must reconcile her growing feelings for him with the secret she’s keeping from her family: that her supposedly glamorous urban life is actually full of uncertainty. Though Will uses the term “gold digger” one too many times in describing Hadley’s possible motivations, Flynn’s writing is sharp and sweet, with two finely drawn main characters with relatable obstacles and hang-ups. Hadley wants to find success in Harbor City while making a difference, and Will—an orphan with a privileged but lonely upbringing—is fiercely protective of his twin brother. Hadley’s extended family is a pure joy to read about, especially her nurturing rancher stepfather, Gabe Martinez, and PawPaw, her spunky grandfather who proudly juggles three girlfriends. PawPaw quickly figures out Hadley and Will’s relationship lie and their growing affection for each other. Intimate scenes strike the perfect balance of sensual and emotional.

A quick, fun enemies-to-lovers tale that’s equal parts hilarious and sexy.

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64063-912-6

Page Count: 330

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Review Posted Online: Aug. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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