And although her attempt to build suspense is weak, the author’s description of the beautiful Australian coastline will...

LIGHTHOUSE BAY

Freeman’s romance (Wildflower Hill, 2010) weaves together the stories of two women, separated by a century, who finally move to embrace their futures.

When Isabella Winterbourne accompanies her wealthy husband on a voyage from England to Australia in 1901, she’s still grieving the death of their infant son a few years earlier. She despises her authoritarian husband, Arthur, and his family, renowned for their jewelry empire. The couple is accompanying a piece of great value, a jewel-encrusted gold mace, which was commissioned by the queen as a gift for the Australian Parliament. But the ship sinks off the Australian coast during a storm, and Isabella is the only survivor. She saves the chest that contains not only the mace, but a small bracelet she’s hidden there, the only remaining memento of her son. Barely alive when she reaches Lighthouse Bay, she’s cared for by Matthew, the lighthouse keeper, who buries the mace after Isabella retrieves the bracelet. Isabella, desperate to travel to America to be with her sister, adopts an alias to avoid detection and finds work as a nanny for a local family whose son was born on the same date as her late child. She hopes to earn enough money for her passage, but her plans are delayed. In a slightly less interesting account and over 100 years later, Libby Slater, distraught over the death of her married lover, returns to her hometown and settles into a cottage adjacent to the same lighthouse that once was a haven to Isabella. Libby’s dead lover, Mark, was Arthur Winterbourne’s great-grandnephew. Her sister, Juliet, runs a B&B nearby, but the two are estranged because of a tragedy that occurred 20 years earlier. Libby’s unsure about her future, but she accepts work from Mark’s widow and considers an offer that would make her quite wealthy, a proposal she knows will put her at further odds with her sister. Smoothly transitioning between the two tales, Freeman establishes a believable link between Isabella and Libby and allows each storyline to play out to a reasonable resolution.

And although her attempt to build suspense is weak, the author’s description of the beautiful Australian coastline will linger with readers long after they finish the book.

Pub Date: April 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4516-7279-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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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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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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