A LITTLE FOLLY

Released from their domineering father’s strict expectations by his unexpected death, siblings Valentine and Louisa decide to explore life beyond his rigid boundaries. Heading to London, they are tested by their newfound freedom.

When their father seems to die from an actual fit of apoplexy, Valentine and Louisa are, for the first time in their lives, free to do as they please, which given the tight leash he has maintained on every detail of their existence, is heady indeed. Acquainting themselves to relatives they never knew, they are easily convinced to head into London to get a taste of sophisticated city life. Valentine becomes embroiled in an affair with a married woman who leads him in a merry dance on the edges of propriety, entangling him in murky debts and pushing him into events that could have devastating consequences. Meanwhile, Louisa, who finally has the ability to refuse the man her father expected her to marry, dips her toes into romance and begins to realize that freedom has pros and cons. As circumstances grow complicated and sinister, Valentine and Louisa revisit what matters most and understand the value of having friends they can depend on, even from surprisingly familiar quarters. This book is a witty, intelligent, Regency-set light romance that is reminiscent of such writers as Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. The language and storyline are clever and highly polished, though almost too much so; often it seems that the distinctly historical tone and cerebral style get in the way of moving the story forward. While the characters are engaging even as they embroil themselves in situations that make the reader want to reach into the book and shake them, they don’t have the compelling qualities for which Austen or Heyer characters are famous, and therefore, the ironic, detached narrative style seems at times annoying and obstructive rather than charming. This entry misses the mark of Morgan’s previous forays into historical romantic fiction.

Many modern romance readers will find the book slow-moving and florid, while others may find the core of the story too lightweight.

Pub Date: March 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-250-02227-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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MAYBE SOMEDAY

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

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Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2014

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