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From the Palace of Rogues series , Vol. 6

A Regency romantic drama seething with emotional quakes in the vein of Lisa Kleypas.

A smuggler-turned-privateer and a lady on the run are forced to seek shelter together in a stormy London.

The latest guests in the Grand Palace on the Thames boardinghouse have never known the safety of a loving home. When Lorcan St. Leger crosses paths with Lady Daphne Worth, he’s just brought his ship into port ahead of a storm that's shutting down the city. Lady Daphne is escaping out the window of a house where she fears assault from her new employer’s lecherous husband. Unwilling to abandon her to the dangers of the docklands, the hardened sailor escorts her to what he first assumes is a bordello but discovers is a cozy hotel filled with unusual occupants. Learning that there is only one available space—a two-bedroom suite—they claim to be married so they may wait out the tumultuous weather. Thus begins a lovely new episode in the Palace of Rogues series, in which the author works romance alchemy on the familiar tropes of forced proximity, opposites attract, and a fake relationship, with magical results. Along with the pleasures of peeking in on series regulars, readers will witness the slow build of sexual and emotional ties between a former orphan from the slums and a woman once destined to marry a fellow aristocrat. As they spend time alone in their suite to build a convincing story about their nonexistent couplehood, Lorcan and Daphne realize they’re revealing hidden facets of themselves that no one else has known or could have been trusted with. Long imbues their every gesture and utterance with delicate weight. Metaphor and similes abound, making visible the ineffable threads that weave two people into one self when they share past griefs, present desires, and future wishes. The emotional punch is lightened from time to time by the other guests’ quirks, culminating in the classic arc of a harmonious society. The couple’s dark moment of choosing between prescribed paths and taking a risk is inevitable but the narrative moves past it speedily. The epilogue might split readers, but most will enjoy its promise of more stories to come.

A Regency romantic drama seething with emotional quakes in the vein of Lisa Kleypas.

Pub Date: July 25, 2023

ISBN: 9780063280915

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2023

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Haphazard and undemanding.

A sports agent’s first official client is the man she dumped years ago in college.

After two years of hard work as an underling, Nora Mackenzie is finally being promoted to full-time sports agent. She’s worked hard, kept quiet, and allowed men in the office to call her Mac—a nickname she hates—all to show she’s a team player and “one of the guys.” Unfortunately, her boss instructs her to sign Derek Pender, a football player coming off an injury, who happens to be the man she heartlessly dumped in their senior year of college. Derek signs with her for revenge, seeing it as his opportunity to pay Nora back for callously breaking his heart eight years earlier. He insists she be at his beck and call: answering his emails, running his errands, cooking dinner for his dates. He also refuses to let her explain why she broke up with him without warning or explanation. Nora feels she has no choice but to acquiesce to Derek’s humiliating demands, since she’s worked too hard to let him ruin her dream job. She hopes he’ll thaw and they might become friends, but Derek’s bad behavior is designed to hide the fact that he’s still in love with her. Nora’s characterization is uneven, veering between anger at how she’s treated in the male-dominated field to immature bickering and bantering with Derek. Although Adams likely meant for Derek and Nora’s interactions to have an enemies-to-lovers vibe, the characters instead seem juvenile and stuck in the past. The novel is fueled by a string of tropes—second chance romance! married in Vegas! only one bed!—each randomly deployed to keep the book going despite thin characterization and wan plotting.

Haphazard and undemanding.

Pub Date: April 2, 2024

ISBN: 9780593723678

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dell

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

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Sink your teeth into this delightful paranormal romance with a modern twist.

A vampire and an Alpha werewolf enter into a marriage of convenience in order to ease tensions between their species.

As the only daughter of a prominent Vampyre councilman, Misery Lark has grown accustomed to playing the role that’s demanded of her—and now, her father is ordering her to be part of yet another truce agreement. In an effort to maintain goodwill between the Vampyres and their longtime nemeses the Weres, Misery must wed their Alpha, Lowe Moreland. But it turns out that Misery has her own motivations for agreeing to this political marriage, including finding answers about what happened to her best friend, who went missing after setting up a meeting in Were territory. Isolated from her kind and surrounded on all sides by the enemy after the wedding, Misery refuses to let herself forget about her real mission. It doesn’t matter that Lowe is one of the most confounding and intense people she’s ever met, or that the connection building between them doesn’t feel like one born entirely of convenience. There’s also the possibility that Lowe may already have a Were mate of his own, but in spite of their biological differences, they may turn out to be the missing piece in each other’s lives. While this is Hazelwood’s first paranormal romance, and the book does lean on some hallmark tropes of the genre, the contemporary setting lends itself to the author’s trademark humor and makes the political plot more easily digestible. Misery and Lowe’s slow-burn romance is appealing enough that readers will readily devour every moment between them and hunger to return to them whenever the story diverts from their scenes together.

Sink your teeth into this delightful paranormal romance with a modern twist.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9780593550403

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2023

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