A tepid romance in an indulgent setting.



Beneath the Cancun sun, a free-spirited travel writer must teach a workaholic, blue-collar billionaire the art of relaxation.

Nearly two decades ago, 18-year-old Noah Sinclair was put in charge of his younger siblings by his mother's dying wish. Now his siblings are all adults, forging their own lives and finding love, and Noah’s brother Owen is determined to stage an intervention to get Noah to take some time off. To do so, he’s enlisted the help of family friend Andie Lawrence. It’s Andie’s job to spend two weeks in Cancun writing a travel story for her blog while also covertly coaxing Noah to stop checking his email and enjoy the vacation his siblings bought him for Christmas. Complications arise as Andie realizes her childhood crush on Noah isn’t exactly gone and Noah still can’t seem to remember her name. Though this is certainly a romance, with Andie playing the role of the off-limits best friend of Noah’s little brother, the writing about Cancun is intense in its aspirational, lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous level of detail. There are private jets, picturesque resorts, and bejeweled bracelets. It’s a fantasy that Andie and Noah give in to at the slightest nudge, quickly embarking on a vacation fling, but the reality is that both are masking grief: Noah with his demanding work schedule and Andie with her carefree, untouchable attitude. The conflict is nonexistent since the will-they-won’t-they hand-wringing never feels serious enough to keep Noah and Andie truly apart. It’s a surefire happy ending without any major stakes. The large Sinclair family is consistently involved in setting the main characters up; this will delight fans of Scott's Accidental Billionaires series, though it may feel overwhelming to new readers.

A tepid romance in an indulgent setting.

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1890-6

Page Count: 251

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Despite the false start, this heartwarming story sweetly balances friendship and mother-child bonding with romantic love.


Macomber (Be a Blessing, 2019, etc.) threatens to set her latest beach read in Paris, but her characters have other plans.

Maureen Zelinski and Jenna Boltz have been friends since college. Years ago, their plans to go to Paris were thwarted when Maureen found out she was pregnant. Now that they’re both single mothers whose children have left the nest, the time is right to dust off their passports and try again. In a somewhat disappointing turn of events, Maureen and Jenna don’t make it to Paris just yet. Instead, they stay in Seattle and pursue new love interests. Jenna, a nurse, meets orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rowan Lancaster in the emergency room after her mother falls and hurts her hip. Maureen, against her better judgment, accepts a date with Logan, a union plumber who frequents the library where she works. Jenna is afraid to date a co-worker after her workplace romance with her ex failed, but when Rowan proves to be a good listener, she’s more willing to discuss her options. Maureen doesn’t think she’ll fit in with Logan and his beer-drinking buddies, but she’s surprised when she enjoys their date at a football game. Meanwhile, Jenna worries about her children, Allie and Paul, as they navigate college and life. Though the story is primarily told from the two mothers’ perspectives, Allie breaks into the narrative with a surprising connection to Rowan. Maureen’s daughter, Tori, also takes on the role of confidante. The happy endings (and potential travel plans) unfold with a touch of realism to contrast the idyllic backdrop of the Pacific Northwest.

Despite the false start, this heartwarming story sweetly balances friendship and mother-child bonding with romantic love.

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-18133-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 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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