Neither the consequences of war nor the ties that bind generate a satisfying conflict for this emotional tryst.

MARGARET FROM MAINE

With enemy fire slamming into his hand, leg and neck, Sgt. Thomas Kennedy instinctively uses his body to protect another soldier. Not because he is brave, but because he is a decent man from Maine.

Monninger (The World as We Know It, 2011, etc.) exquisitely evokes the horrific ballet of a body riddled by bullets, as well as the enchantment of snow falling on lilacs. His latest novel pits love and duty against each other in the tale of Margaret Kennedy. Six years after her husband, Thomas, was shot in Afghanistan, Margaret carries on her duties selflessly, day after day. On a Maine farm, she rises early to tend the cows with her father-in-law and then turns to her 6-year-old son, Gordon, who has only ever known his father as a wounded, comatose veteran. Although her beauty has faded from fiery to elegant, Margaret seeks nothing more than to do right by Thomas. Little does she suspect how her life will change when she accepts an invitation to Washington D.C., to show support for a bill sponsoring aid for wounded soldiers. A handsome, wounded warrior himself, Foreign Service officer Charlie King arrives to personally escort her to the capital. Astonishingly quickly, Margaret and Charlie fall in love and into bed. And so begins a love affair filled with beautiful words and beautiful places, including the blooming of the rhododendrons along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Yet their romance lives within a glass bubble. Can her love for Charlie keep Margaret from her loyalties back home? 

Neither the consequences of war nor the ties that bind generate a satisfying conflict for this emotional tryst.

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-452-29868-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Plume

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

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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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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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