Higgins’ talent shines, as does her inimitable ability to hit romantic highs, make readers laugh and express heart-wrenching...

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WAITING ON YOU

Since Lucas Campbell broke Colleen O’Rourke’s heart 10 years ago, she’s become a star matchmaker while avoiding romantic entanglements herself, which suits her just fine—until Lucas comes back to town.

Colleen has been in love with Lucas ever since the first time she laid eyes on him, and for a time she thought they would be together forever. But after an argument led to a breakup, there were unexpected consequences on both sides. Lucas wound up in Chicago married to someone else, then divorced, and Colleen hid her broken heart behind a flirtatious, lighthearted attitude. Now, 10 years later, while his Uncle Joe lies dying and his cousin Bryce is in denial, Lucas is back in Manningsport to help navigate the situation. Lucas’ family relationships are nothing if not complicated, and stepping back into the dynamics after 10 years of separation have only made them worse. At first he's determined to avoid Colleen, but they find themselves thrown together by other people and external circumstances, and he decides she's worth pursuing. Again. They have a decade of hurt and misunderstandings to overcome, but as they start to heal from the past, there are some explosive secrets that could blow them apart again. Romance star Higgins continues the Blue Heron series with her signature combination of wit, humor and soul-jarring emotional depth. Colleen and Lucas travel a bumpy road to their happy ending, replete with misunderstandings and catastrophically bad timing. Occasionally, their inability to communicate the most basic insecurities is annoying, and a couple of jaw-dropping missteps are hard to believe, though they do leaven the characters’ flawed authenticity. At times their imperfections can almost make them unlikable, but their ability to forgive each other’s worst aspects makes their ultimate reconciliation especially gratifying.

Higgins’ talent shines, as does her inimitable ability to hit romantic highs, make readers laugh and express heart-wrenching emotion.

Pub Date: March 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-373-77858-4

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Harlequin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston’s debut.

Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the American President Ellen Claremont, knows one thing for sure: He hates Henry, the British prince to whom he is always compared. He lives for their verbal sparring matches, but when one of their fights at a royal wedding goes a bit too far, they end up falling into a wedding cake and making tabloid headlines. An international scandal could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances for re-election, so it’s time for damage control. The plan? Alex and Henry must pretend to be best friends, giving the tabloids pictures of their bromance and neutralizing the threat to Ellen's presidency. But after a few photo ops with Henry, Alex starts to realize that the passionate anger he feels toward him might be a cover for regular old passion. There are, naturally, a million roadblocks between their first kiss and their happily-ever-after—how can American political royalty and actual British royalty ever be together? How can they navigate being open about their sexualities (Alex is bisexual; Henry is gay) in their very public and very scrutinized roles? Alex and Henry must decide if they’ll risk their futures, their families, and their careers to take a chance on happiness. Although the story’s premise might be a fantasy—it takes place in a world in which a divorced-mom Texan Democrat won the 2016 election—the emotions are all real. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. McQuiston’s strength is in dialogue; her characters speak in hilarious rapid-fire bursts with plenty of “likes,” “ums,” creative punctuation, and pop-culture references, sounding like smarter, funnier versions of real people. Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life.

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31677-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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