by Kerry Winfrey ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 26, 2023
Holiday hijinks and fake dating make Winfrey’s romantic comedy a cozy classic.
A 30-something magazine columnist pretends to be her homesteading twin sister in Winfrey’s Christmas caper.
Laurel Grant is a hot mess—or, at least, the Old Laurel was. Six months ago, the New Laurel Grant officially left the “Hot Mess Express” and now lives a productive life as a columnist for Buckeye State of Mind, a local Ohio magazine. There, she writes about her scenic life running a nearby farm with her doting husband and two kids, and her boss, Gilbert, is none the wiser that he’s reading one giant lie. Well, more a stretch of the truth: Laurel doesn’t have a husband or kids, but Meadow Rise Farm does exist, and Laurel does work there…as the social media manager. The farm actually belongs to her twin sister, Holly, and her husband, Darius, who make homemade soap and cinnamon rolls and are the complete opposites of the free-wheeling, scatterbrained Laurel. But when Gilbert, heartbroken that his wife has left him for their accountant, invites himself to the farm for the traditional Christmas Eve Eve dinner, Laurel enlists her sister to help keep her precarious ruse afloat. At the farm, she’s convinced she can play the role of loving wife and mother to her sister’s family, until Holly reveals that Laurel will be fake-married to their other holiday guest, Max Beckett. Max is Laurel’s self-proclaimed nemesis and a professional grump—how can she pretend to be married to someone she completely loathes? However, when a blizzard traps the Grants, Max, and Gilbert in one throw-pillow-heavy farmhouse, Laurel realizes she may not hate Max or a well-balanced life as much as she imagined. In Winfrey’s latest rom-com, opposites attract amid festive holiday fun. Max and Laurel are quintessential enemies to lovers—“You yourself are a headache designed expressly for me”—and Gilbert excels in his role of pitiful and fatherly comic relief. Winfrey mixes up a tale of tenderness, mischief, and friendship as inviting as your favorite Hallmark movie.Holiday hijinks and fake dating make Winfrey’s romantic comedy a cozy classic.
Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023
Page Count: 336
Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2023
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by Ali Hazelwood ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 7, 2023
Readers will devour this swoonworthy romance in one sitting.
Two talented chess players challenge each other on and off the board in bestselling author Hazelwood’s YA debut.
Eighteen-year-old Mallory Greenleaf is no longer interested in chess, not since her hypercompetitive dad left—the game calls up painful memories. But she grudgingly agrees to play in a charity tournament as a favor to best friend Easton Peña. After she unexpectedly beats current world champion Nolan Sawyer, she’s offered a fellowship that will prepare her to play professionally. Even though Mallory doesn’t want to play anymore, she needs the money that winning would provide; she’s delayed college to support her family, since her mother is chronically ill with rheumatoid arthritis and is unable to work regularly. The more time she spends with Nolan, the more Mallory comes to like and respect him—and the more time she spends playing chess, the more she remembers how much she loved it. But when she learns that Nolan has been keeping a big secret from her, she isn’t sure if she’ll be able to move past it to build a relationship with him. Filled with the author’s signature humor, well-developed characters, and realistic conflicts, plus the fully realized setting of competitive chess, this captivating romance will delight teen readers as well as Hazelwood’s adult fans. Mallory and Nolan are both cued white; there is some racial diversity among the supporting cast. Mallory and Easton are queer.Readers will devour this swoonworthy romance in one sitting. (author’s note) (Romance. 14-adult)
Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023
Page Count: 368
Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023
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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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