There’s magic in an artist’s newfound powers, but it’s her fated love that’s truly magical.

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The Magic of Cape Disappointment

A Native American may be destined to find the love of her life and become her tribe’s most powerful medicine woman in 200 years in this debut romance novel.

Kay Baker, who grew up outside her Clatsop tribe, enjoys life as a New York artist. Her parents’ deaths in a car accident, however, take her back to Ilwaco, her Washington state hometown. Kay doesn’t believe in fate, but this may change when she meets Sam Morandi, a neighbor helping her care for her Alzheimer’s-ridden grandmother, Hannah. Sam’s the spitting image of Motorcycle Man from a series Kay painted back in New York. She also realizes that her mother may have had the power to see the future. Kay has that, too, and then some: she learns she’s a legendary medicine woman, or keelalle, with further abilities of healing and controlling the weather. Destiny, it seems, has something in store for her, and she’ll have to wait to see what that is. The novel, despite Kay’s apparent supernatural capabilities, doesn’t play like a fantasy. Manthey aptly focuses on the dramatic overtones, starting with Kay coming to terms with her new existence. She, for example, doesn’t just lose her parents, but her New York life as well, since she’d promised her mom not to put Hannah in a nursing home. Her powers, too, aren’t otherworldly, as they’re often tied to her loved ones, such as predicting a friend’s undiagnosed cancer or creating a snowstorm when saddened by recent losses. Kay and Sam fall in love rather quickly, but the notion that they’re likely soul mates gives credence to their swift romance. And there’s plenty of starry-eyed moments: “In love, all things are possible,” says John Lane, the tribe’s council chairman, after Kay’s thoughts of Sam explain why the snow may be melting. Where Kay’s destiny takes her is something Manthey saves until the end. This includes her fascinating back story: she’s a descendent of Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark), but the historical claim that Lewis died childless has erased her lineage. Lewis’ missing journal pages and his possible murder, meanwhile, add a dash of mystery to the plot.

There’s magic in an artist’s newfound powers, but it’s her fated love that’s truly magical.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-5150-9788-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2015

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Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

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 romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

THE DECEPTION

A successful businesswoman hires a smooth-talking bounty hunter to find a lead on her sister’s murder.

Kate Gallagher was the only one available to identify her younger sister Chrissy’s body after she was found dead, having run away from home two years earlier. Since Chrissy succumbed to drugs and turned to sex work to survive, her murder isn't taken seriously by the local homicide department. Kate is filled with grief and regret at not having been there for her sister, and she’s determined to find her killer as a kind of penance. Jason Maddox is the charming man Kate almost hooked up with at a local bar. He also happens to be on the payroll of the most successful investigation company in Dallas. He’s all too eager to help Kate out and spend more time getting to know the blonde he danced with at the Sagebrush Saloon. At first, Kate and Jason vow to keep things professional until the case is solved; there’s obvious attraction that they’re willing to pursue at a later date. But the increasing sense of danger mixed with Kate and Jason’s close proximity proves to be too heady of a combination. The tension never lets up as the pair visit seedy bars and interrogate unsavory characters. With a steamy romance and undeniably hot chemistry, the main characters are well matched. They’re both driven, slightly stubborn, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of catching criminals. Martin (The Conspiracy, 2019, etc.) doesn’t skimp on graphic, violent details as Chrissy’s murder leads her couple to something much bigger: human trafficking. Though not for the faint of heart given its weighty material, this is an un-put-down-able page-turner that’s sure to satisfy fans of romance and thrillers alike.

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00769-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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