Readers are sure to fall under the magic spell of Thistle Grove and its inhabitants.

PAYBACK'S A WITCH

From the Witches of Thistle Grove series , Vol. 1

A young witch, desperate for a normal life, reluctantly returns to her magical hometown for a traditional gathering.

After almost five years living a magic-free life in Chicago, Emmy Harlow thought she'd finally gotten Thistle Grove out of her system for good. Driven away by a horrible breakup with her first love, Gareth Blackmoore, and her dissatisfaction with being a member of the weakest of the town’s four witchy clans, Emmy is sure she’s much happier in the city working for faux magic subscription service Enchantify than she ever could be at home. But her duty as scion of the Harlow family means her presence is expected at this year’s Gauntlet of the Grove. Held every 50 years, the competition tests the strength, wit, and skills of each of the town’s three most powerful families—the Blackmoores, the Avramovs, and the Thorns—with the Harlows acting as arbiters and record-keepers. The winning family’s magic power is increased, bending fortune in their favor and giving them ultimate influence over the town and its economy. Since the Blackmoores have been winning “since pretty much time’s inception,” the other families and their respective businesses are now struggling to survive. When Emmy is approached by her best friend, Linden Thorn, and the gorgeous Avramov scion, Talia, with a scheme to rig the competition against Blackmoore scion Gareth, she agrees—changing the course of the families’ histories forever in the process. The action of the Gauntlet takes a back seat to the characters’ personal dramas and the intense romance that develops between Emmy and Talia. But the author’s writing shines in the small moments, particularly in the lush language used to capture the enchanting, autumnal atmosphere of quaint Thistle Grove and its supernatural allure.

Readers are sure to fall under the magic spell of Thistle Grove and its inhabitants.

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-33606-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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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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Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

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IT STARTS WITH US

The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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