A heartwarming and funny romance.

LAST DUKE STANDING

A crown princess must find a worthy husband, but no candidate is as tantalizing as the man least suitable for the job.

Crown Princess Justine of Wesloria is heartbroken: Not only is she recovering from an international scandal caused by a previous misalliance, but she's also forced to accept the prospect of losing her father, whose health is steadily deteriorating. She needs to get married and swiftly prepare herself to rule a small but prosperous nation. Prodded by Dante Robuchard, the Machiavellian prime minister of Wesloria, Justine sets sail to England to learn the royal ropes from Queen Victoria and wed an eligible British gentleman. Robuchard, who needs a finger in every pie, asks William, Lord Douglas, heir to the Scottish Duke of Hamilton, to tail the princess and send him regular updates on her progress. Cornered into accepting the mission by his cash-strapped father, who's made an unwise investment in the Weslorian coal industry, the notoriously rakish William does what he can to aid the princess. Justine and William have met before, and they have a history of getting on each other’s nerves, but it appears that he's the only one who can offer her sound advice. As she begins to count on his support, Justine finds it harder to even think of a gentleman other than William, but William’s past threatens to obscure every future prospect. London trots out several secondary characters from her previous books for the first installment of the Royal Match series, and each of them adds to the charm and sweetness of the central love story. While Justine is charming as a sharp princess who knows when she’s being outmaneuvered but feels helpless to prevent it, she is absolutely fabulous as a powerful woman who learns to stand up for herself. William and Justine’s interactions are consistently endearing and witty, but when the focus shifts to his past, the urgency of her present predicament falls by the wayside.

A heartwarming and funny romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 22, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-335-63986-8

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Harlequin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022

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Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

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IT STARTS WITH US

The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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

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IT ENDS WITH US

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 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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