A quirky novel perfect for rom-com fans and readers looking for a little sweet escapism.

NOT LIKE THE MOVIES

A Columbus, Ohio, woman who became the unwitting inspiration for a new rom-com struggles with all the ways her real life doesn’t seem destined for a happily-ever-after ending.

At almost 30 years old, Chloe Sanderson doesn't have the life she expected. Her mother disappeared from her and her twin brother Milo’s lives when they were just 10, and her father, whom she loves, was too shell-shocked to handle the responsibility. So Chloe, just a child herself, took care of them. Now she's trying to finish her college degree online, working in a coffee shop that she loves, and spending almost all her money and mental energy on her dad, who now has Alzheimer’s disease and is staying at an assisted living residence where Tracey, her ex-girlfriend, works. She's in constant turmoil about her need to run to her dad's side every time Tracey calls when every iota of her being just wants ignore the demands on her time and instead start a relationship with her boss, Nick, who's very interested in her. Her should-I/should-I-not anguish is significantly complicated by the fact that her best friend, Annie, has written a soon-to-premier rom-com, Coffee Girl, that imagines a world where Chloe and Nick (well Zoe and Rick) do get together. Fans of author Winfrey’s previous book, Waiting for Tom Hanks (2019), will recognize Chloe, Nick, and Annie, though this time Chloe is the heroine and Annie the sidekick. Winfrey excels at upending typical romantic comedy tropes, and Chloe is a complicated, realistic, believable character. Sitcoms, movies, and music are all heavily referenced in the story; fans of the TV series New Girl will no doubt love this book.

A quirky novel perfect for rom-com fans and readers looking for a little sweet escapism.

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984804-04-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

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

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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