A serviceable love story, assuming one can see past the unnecessary subplots involving the lovers’ siblings and the...

WHISKEY ROAD

A LOVE STORY

An improbable romance blossoms between a black paparazzo and a white working-class man in the latest from Siplin (His Insignificant Other, 2002, etc.).

Our heroine is spunky Jimi Anne Hamilton, a successful celebrity stalker whose hard-to-get shots of stars in disrepute earn her six-figure bounties. She’s the kind of character telegraphed as “wild” because she dyes her hair and wears leather pants. Fleeing Hollywood after a legally risky car crash that nets her a high-demand photo, she’s convinced it’s time to get out of her increasingly dangerous profession. Unfortunately, disaster strikes during her road trip back home to Brooklyn when she loses all her hard-earned cash and her motorcycle during a robbery in rural Pennsylvania. The reasons behind the mysterious attack on Jimi are confusing at best. Moreover, they’re tangential to the real story: Jimi’s relationship with Caleb Atwood, a soft-spoken “good ol’ boy” with a predilection for motorcycles, John Lee Hooker and simmering violence, whose baggage includes an estranged wife and a loveless affair with a friend’s wife. Plenty of shortcomings trip up the story, including Siplin’s unsophisticated and implausible narrative, characters straight out of central casting and soap-operatic dialogue. Despite these problems, there remains a certain naïve charm to rough-hewn Caleb and mistrustful Jimi, who finds herself attracted to a man completely outside of her experience.

A serviceable love story, assuming one can see past the unnecessary subplots involving the lovers’ siblings and the absurdities of Jimi’s existential crisis.

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7432-9762-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Washington Square/Pocket

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2008

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With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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The heartfelt soap appears to be Hannah’s chosen romance niche, and she mines it skillfully. (First printing of 125,000)

ANGEL FALLS

Hannah’s sequel to On Mystic Lake (1999) is yet another tear-jerker set in northwest Washington State.

Perfect mother Mikaela (“Mike”) Campbell takes a hard fall off a horse, hits her head, and sinks into a coma. In order to help bring her out of it, perfect husband-doctor Liam sits at her bedside and begins to talk to her about their life together. He brings her favorite music, scented potpourri, and, to place across her inert body, sweaters that may smell like home. He also tries to keep life as normal as possible for their two kids: Bret, nine years old, and Jacey, Mike’s teenaged daughter by her previous husband. Going through Mike’s closet to find a prom dress for Jacey, Liam stumbles on souvenirs of her first marriage and a picture of her ex—not just any old, anonymous first husband, but Julian True, a gorgeous superstar actor, the hero of women’s fantasies all over America. Liam has always known that he got Mikaela on the rebound; she was honest about the fact that he was not the love of her life. But she is the love of his life, and when she doesn't respond to the sound of his voice, he contacts Julian in hopes that the actor can save Mikaela. Julian travels up to Last Bend, a cutesy town founded by Liam’s larger-than-life father and filled with homey shops like the Emperor’s New Clothes store and Zeke’s Feed and Seed. When Mike finally comes out of unconsciousness and into her family’s emotional upheaval, she apologizes to Liam and bids goodbye to Julian. Yes, she’s discovered that it’s that gentle guy who stays with you through years of cramps and decorating the Christmas tree who defines what love really is.

The heartfelt soap appears to be Hannah’s chosen romance niche, and she mines it skillfully. (First printing of 125,000)

Pub Date: April 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-609-60592-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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