A satisfying romance with well-drawn characters.

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THIS REMINDS ME OF US

From the St. Caroline series , Vol. 4

A devastating car accident forces a happily married couple to confront a new reality in this novel.

When Serena Irving met Oliver Wolfe at a firemen’s carnival in St. Caroline, a small town on the eastern shore of Maryland, their attraction was immediate. After a whirlwind romance, the Princeton-educated daughter of a wealthy New York family married the firefighter and settled in St. Caroline despite her parents’ objections. Eight years later, Serena and Oliver have two sons, Mason and Cam, and she is pregnant again when a car accident leaves her in a coma for four months. When she wakes, Oliver is surprised to discover Serena has no memory of the past seven years. After physical therapy, she returns to a house she does not recognize and tries to adjust to life as the mother of two young sons. She finds support from her best friend, Ashley Wardman, a photographer coping with the recent death of her husband, Ben. Oliver, reeling from the death of his mother, Angie, tries to help; but he senses something is different about his wife. As her memories return, Serena discovers she has a talent for teaching. When a letter arrives for Serena from an attorney representing Ben, Oliver suspects that his wife may have had a secret life. This fourth installment of Gabriel’s (Hearts on Fire, 2017, etc.) St. Caroline series is an appealing contemporary romance and an affecting portrait of a family recovering after a shattering tragedy. The story opens with Serena emerging from her coma. The author deftly establishes the history of Serena and Oliver’s relationship through flashbacks and their memories. The two are winsome protagonists whose romance endures despite her parents’ belief that the couple would “split up within the year.” While Oliver’s suspicions about his wife seem overblown, the subplot does allow the author to effectively explore the firefighter’s fears that the life he can offer Serena in St. Caroline cannot compete with her privileged upbringing. Readers of the series will recognize characters from the previous installments, including Becca Trevor and Jack Wolfe as well as other members of their extended families.

A satisfying romance with well-drawn characters.

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9996548-9-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Serif Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

GHOSTED

In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

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THE STARLESS SEA

A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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