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THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND

From the Rokesby series , Vol. 2

Quinn's fans will be grateful she's crossed the pond for this textured look at life in New York during the 1770s.

A young Englishwoman travels to New York during the Revolutionary War and ends up impulsively passing herself off as the wife of an injured officer.

Cecilia Harcourt has too much bad news all at once. Her father dies and leaves her alone, she receives word that her brother, Thomas, has been injured fighting in the American Revolution, her loathsome cousin pressures her to marry him, and she stands to lose her only home if her brother doesn’t survive to inherit it. She does the only thing she can think to do — sail for America to care for Thomas. But when she gets there, she finds her brother missing and his best friend unconscious in a hospital on the island of Manhattan. Only immediate family is allowed to care for him, so Cecilia passes herself off as his wife. That’s how Capt. Edward Rokesby, second son of the Earl of Manston, came to wake up and find himself married to a woman he’d never met in person. But he does know her—and is half in love with her—just from reading the letters she sent to her brother. A head injury keeps Edward from remembering the past few months, so Cecilia’s cover is not immediately blown. By the time the mix-up is all sorted out, Cecilia is thoroughly compromised and Edward and Cecilia are thoroughly in love. This is one of those novels where the reader longs to shout at the characters to tell each other the truth already, but it is a great read nevertheless, with mystery and adventure and, yes, romance. This is the second of Quinn’s (Because of Miss Bridgerton, 2016, etc.) Rokesby novels and a prequel to her popular Bridgertons series.

Quinn's fans will be grateful she's crossed the pond for this textured look at life in New York during the 1770s.

Pub Date: May 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-238817-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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SEEING RED

As the plot grows more complicated, it also sheds believability, leaving sex and witty banter to carry the day.

Brown (Mean Streak, 2014, etc.) ticks off the boxes that elevate her books to the bestseller lists in this sexy romantic thriller set in Texas.

Rock-jawed hero with a dark past: check. Strong-willed, beautiful woman who resists his charms: check. A Whitman’s Sampler of bad guys: check. And finally, a convoluted and not always plausible plot: check. In this latest outing, readers meet TV journalist Kerra Bailey, whose family was torn apart years ago by a hotel bombing that killed 197 people in Dallas. Just in time for the 25th anniversary, Kerra scores an interview with the notoriously private Maj. Trapper, who saved her life, among others, when he emerged from the blast to lead the survivors out of danger. There's an iconic, prizewinning photo of the major carrying a little girl from the wreckage, but the child has never been identified—until now, when Kerra goes public with the information that it was her. Just after they finish filming the interview in his home, the major is shot, and an injured Kerra escapes in the confusion. The major’s son, disgraced Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent John Trapper—a name M*A*S*H fans will appreciate—steps in, igniting a chain of events that leads to murder, intrigue, betrayal, and a series of dark revelations. As with most of Brown’s heroes and heroines, there’s palpable sexual tension between Trapper, whose taut rear occupies ample literary real estate, and Kerra, who when dealing with Trapper feels “like he’d lightly scratched her just below her bellybutton” when he’s not making her “pleasure points throb.” The complex plot plays out in a round of reveals that don’t always make a lot of sense, but that’s not why Brown’s fans read her books. They check in for the witty, pitch-perfect dialogue and fluid writing. A master of her genre, Brown knows how to please her most ardent readers but relies too often on the same basic formula from novel to novel.

As the plot grows more complicated, it also sheds believability, leaving sex and witty banter to carry the day.

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4555-7210-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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ON MYSTIC LAKE

Hannah, after eight paperbacks, abandons her successful time-travelers for a hardcover life of kitchen-sink romance. Everyone must have got the Olympic Peninsula memo for this spring because, as of this reading, authors Hannah, Nora Roberts, and JoAnn Ross have all placed their newest romances in or near the Quinault rain forest. Here, 40ish Annie Colwater, returns to Washington State after her husband, high-powered Los Angeles lawyer Blake, tells her he’s found another (younger) woman and wants a divorce. Although a Stanford graduate, Annie has known only a life of perfect wifedom: matching Blake’s ties to his suits and cooking meals from Gourmet magazine. What is she to do with her shattered life? Well, she returns to dad’s house in the small town of Mystic, cuts off all her hair (for a different look), and goes to work as a nanny for lawman Nick Delacroix, whose wife has committed suicide, whose young daughter Izzy refuses to speak, and who himself has descended into despair and alcoholism. Annie spruces up Nick’s home on Mystic Lake and sends “Izzy-bear” back into speech mode. And, after Nick begins attending AA meetings, she and he become lovers. Still, when Annie learns that she’s pregnant not with Nick’s but with Blake’s child, she heads back to her empty life in the Malibu Colony. The baby arrives prematurely, and mean-spirited Blake doesn’t even stick around to support his wife. At this point, it’s perfectly clear to Annie—and the reader—that she’s justified in taking her newborn daughter and driving back north. Hannah’s characters indulge in so many stages of the weeps, from glassy eyes to flat-out sobs, that tear ducts are almost bound to stay dry. (First printing of 100,000; first serial to Good Housekeeping; Literary Guild/Doubleday book club selections)

Pub Date: March 31, 1999

ISBN: 0-609-60249-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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