James’ star shines even brighter with this smart, sparkling winner.



Two FBI agents who had a rocky relationship at the FBI Academy are paired in an undercover operation, forcing them to re-evaluate their first impressions, work as a team, and maybe find true love.

After his girlfriend cheats on Special Agent John Shepherd and he loses her, their shared apartment, and some of his best friends in one fell swoop, he feels the timing is good for a fresh start and applies to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. Practically cooling his heels until he learns if he’s been accepted, he’s teamed with a new agent in the Chicago office who’s just transferred from Los Angeles. Their undercover case in Jacksonville, Florida, is supposed to be a quick investigation of the popular mayor for illegal pay-for-play accusations but is complicated when it turns out that John’s new partner is none other than Jessica Harlow, his nemesis from Quantico, who's moving back to her hometown after her marriage crumbled. At first old hostilities fly—behind closed doors, since both agents are consummate professionals—and they must figure out how to work together as partners, but as they do, they come to trust and respect each other, then give in to their growing attraction. After all, neither is looking for a real relationship, especially since John will likely be moving to Virginia. The partners go back and forth to Florida and grow emotionally closer, so when the investigation takes an unexpected turn and John gets news about HRT, their path to a happiness they weren’t looking for becomes threatened. James (It Happened One Wedding, 2015, etc.) has carved out a particular niche with FBI characters, light but intelligent suspense, and witty repartee that ratchets up sexual tension at the same time it illuminates characters who are strong yet vulnerable, especially to each other. Her newest title highlights her talent for sexy opposites-attract romantic conflict while offering a plot that is even more layered and sophisticated than her previous distinguished work.

James’ star shines even brighter with this smart, sparkling winner.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-425-27377-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Another success for the publishing phenom.


An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston’s debut.

Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the American President Ellen Claremont, knows one thing for sure: He hates Henry, the British prince to whom he is always compared. He lives for their verbal sparring matches, but when one of their fights at a royal wedding goes a bit too far, they end up falling into a wedding cake and making tabloid headlines. An international scandal could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances for re-election, so it’s time for damage control. The plan? Alex and Henry must pretend to be best friends, giving the tabloids pictures of their bromance and neutralizing the threat to Ellen's presidency. But after a few photo ops with Henry, Alex starts to realize that the passionate anger he feels toward him might be a cover for regular old passion. There are, naturally, a million roadblocks between their first kiss and their happily-ever-after—how can American political royalty and actual British royalty ever be together? How can they navigate being open about their sexualities (Alex is bisexual; Henry is gay) in their very public and very scrutinized roles? Alex and Henry must decide if they’ll risk their futures, their families, and their careers to take a chance on happiness. Although the story’s premise might be a fantasy—it takes place in a world in which a divorced-mom Texan Democrat won the 2016 election—the emotions are all real. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. McQuiston’s strength is in dialogue; her characters speak in hilarious rapid-fire bursts with plenty of “likes,” “ums,” creative punctuation, and pop-culture references, sounding like smarter, funnier versions of real people. Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life.

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31677-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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