Sexy, sincere romance.

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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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Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

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THE VANISHING HALF

Inseparable identical twin sisters ditch home together, and then one decides to vanish.

The talented Bennett fuels her fiction with secrets—first in her lauded debut, The Mothers (2016), and now in the assured and magnetic story of the Vignes sisters, light-skinned women parked on opposite sides of the color line. Desiree, the “fidgety twin,” and Stella, “a smart, careful girl,” make their break from stultifying rural Mallard, Louisiana, becoming 16-year-old runaways in 1954 New Orleans. The novel opens 14 years later as Desiree, fleeing a violent marriage in D.C., returns home with a different relative: her 8-year-old daughter, Jude. The gossips are agog: “In Mallard, nobody married dark....Marrying a dark man and dragging his blueblack child all over town was one step too far.” Desiree's decision seals Jude’s misery in this “colorstruck” place and propels a new generation of flight: Jude escapes on a track scholarship to UCLA. Tending bar as a side job in Beverly Hills, she catches a glimpse of her mother’s doppelgänger. Stella, ensconced in white society, is shedding her fur coat. Jude, so black that strangers routinely stare, is unrecognizable to her aunt. All this is expertly paced, unfurling before the book is half finished; a reader can guess what is coming. Bennett is deeply engaged in the unknowability of other people and the scourge of colorism. The scene in which Stella adopts her white persona is a tour de force of doubling and confusion. It calls up Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, the book's 50-year-old antecedent. Bennett's novel plays with its characters' nagging feelings of being incomplete—for the twins without each other; for Jude’s boyfriend, Reese, who is trans and seeks surgery; for their friend Barry, who performs in drag as Bianca. Bennett keeps all these plot threads thrumming and her social commentary crisp. In the second half, Jude spars with her cousin Kennedy, Stella's daughter, a spoiled actress.

Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53629-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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