CHIEF'S MESS

Anthony Talbot finds much more than a glorious hookup when he meets Noah Jackson in a bar. Their sexual chemistry is powerful and immediate, and falling in love is easy. But Noah has demons that Anthony doesn’t think he can face again.

Anchor Point, Oregon, is home to a Navy base. It’s also home to the man who abused Anthony’s sister. When his sister is attempting to reconnect her kids and her now-sober ex, Anthony goes along for moral support—and protection, if needed. But Clint is a new man. He’s clean, and his happy relationship with a former pilot named Travis drives Anthony crazy. Clint doesn’t deserve to have the kind of romance that has proven elusive for Anthony. Romance, however, is the last thing on his mind as Anthony walks into one of Anchor Point’s only gay bars. Noah isn’t looking for anything beyond a few beers when he spies the gorgeous, cocksure redhead. One night of primal passion turns into a long-distance fling thanks to sexting, webcams, and Anthony’s frequent trips back to Anchor Point. Then it becomes something more than just mind-blowing sex…but, as he gets closer to Noah, Anthony starts to see the signs of alcoholism. He knows what addiction can do to a relationship, and he’s afraid to get too close to someone who’s about to self-destruct. And Noah comes to understand that he’s risking everything—his career in the Navy and a chance at love with an incredible man. Readers familiar with Witt’s previous books will recognize characters from Afraid to Fly (2017) and Just Drive (2016). They’ll also find the same mix of emotionally honest romance and sizzling erotica. The sex scenes are a satisfying mix of rough and tender. Anthony and Noah aren’t just hot. They’re also believable characters, and Witt’s choice to let each narrate alternating chapters makes both men sympathetic.

Sexy, sincere romance.

Pub Date: June 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62649-604-0

Page Count: 291

Publisher: Riptide

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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