by Katie MacAlister ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 6, 2015
A meandering plot detracts from a quirky, enjoyable voice.
The itinerary looks promising, but the excursions are disappointing in MacAlister’s (Time Thief, 2013, etc.) contemporary romance set on a cruise ship—the first book in the Ainslie Brothers series.
A broken engagement shouldn’t stop Alice Wood from enjoying her honeymoon cruise by herself. Unfortunately, the ship is much smaller than it looked in the brochures, and when the groom gives away his ticket to a friend, Alice is stuck in very close quarters with Elliott Ainslie, the eighth baron of a crumbling English estate who somehow supports his eleven siblings with his career as a novelist and needs time alone to write. Their trip will take them along the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers and straight into the Port of Missed Opportunities. At a coffeehouse in Amsterdam that’s known for serving marijuana, they don’t inhale anything beyond secondhand smoke and then claim to have hangovers the next day. At a sex club in Germany, they check into a pirate-themed room but have to leave early when Elliott gets stuck in a torture device before he has a chance to experience the parrot-shaped nipple clamps. Whereas Alice charms with kooky dialogue—“Now you’re my prisoner, Lord Hunkybuns”—Elliott sounds stilted with his flowery speeches (“I want to be with you for all the days that remain to me”) and his questionable British accent (“A gull tried to eat my shoe earlier today. It was most amusing”). Even less convincing is Alice’s theory that Elliott is a spy. Despite living inches away from Elliott’s side of the cabin, Alice asks him very few questions about his supposed work. She doesn’t have much evidence to go on until the other passengers finally reveal what’s been happening right under her nose. But love prevails, and Elliott’s brother Gunner should be the next in line to find a bride.A meandering plot detracts from a quirky, enjoyable voice.
Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2015
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014
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by Colleen Hoover ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 2, 2016
Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.
At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.
Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016
Page Count: 320
Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016
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by Christina Lauren ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2018
With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.
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
Page Count: 416
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018
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