This sexy, lighthearted romp brings the series to a satisfying close.

READ REVIEW

EVER AFTER

Deveraux (For All Time, 2014, etc.) saves the best for last in the final installment of the Nantucket Brides trilogy, in which a physical therapist rehabilitates a wounded military veteran in a haunted house.

When Hallie Hartley unexpectedly inherits a home on the island of Nantucket, she knows she’ll have to move quickly to keep it away from her spoiled stepsister, Shelly, who steals Hallie’s identity to try to claim the house for herself. Hallie hastily honors Shelly’s arrangement with veteran Jamie Taggert, who had planned to move into the Nantucket home with the woman he thought was Hallie for round-the-clock physical therapy to escape his meddling family. While Hallie insists that her massage therapy techniques are strictly professional, the innuendos practically write themselves: “It’s been a tough day and I took my anger out on you,” Hallie says to Jamie. “Why don’t you take your clothes off and let’s start over?” Legend has it that a pair of beautiful ghosts named Hyacinth and Juliana still haunt the house with the aim of uniting people with their true loves. Hallie believes she's already met hers, and she hopes that her childhood friend, Braden, will take his mother’s advice and propose to her. Braden, however, prefers lanky models, and curvy Hallie isn’t his type. Braden arrives at the house assuming that Jamie will feel the same way, which makes it all the more gratifying when Jamie says he likes Hallie’s curves, proving that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Hallie is still torn between the two men when a bevy of Montgomery-Taggert cousins from previous books invade the house for a wedding celebration, giving her blessings and warnings that muddle her feelings but thankfully don’t muddle the plot. Behind the scenes, the two scheming ghosts intervene with a whimsical touch, inspiring heartfelt revelations as both Hallie and Jamie heal old wounds to find new love.

This sexy, lighthearted romp brings the series to a satisfying close.

Pub Date: June 30, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-345-54185-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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

WINDOW ON THE BAY

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.

OUTFOX

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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