Effervescent and appealing despite some missteps.

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HEIRESS GONE WILD

When a man is named guardian of his best friend’s daughter, he’s expecting a child, not a gorgeous young woman who’s ready to take life by the horns and who’ll challenge every attempt to keep her staid and respectable.

Englishman Jonathan Deverill didn’t even know his American business partner had a daughter, so it comes as a surprise when he names Jonathan the girl’s guardian. He’s even more stunned to discover that the girl he’s visiting at New York’s Forsyte Academy is actually a beautiful young woman who’s been waiting her whole life for her father to take her away to live a life beyond the school. The fact that he never did, despite a lifetime of promises, makes Marjorie McGann angry and hurt, feelings exacerbated when she learns he’s died without ever visiting her, much less ushering her away from her boring, sheltered life. Marjorie is restless, ready to use her hefty inheritance to live an interesting life, get married, and have children. Jonathan infuriates her by telling her he needs to leave her at the school for a few more months while he gets some business settled and prepares a place for her with his family in London. Not interested in waiting one more day, she buys herself a cabin on his ship to England. So begins a battle of wills between two people who are fighting their attraction to each other while trying to do what’s best for themselves and each other, knowing their goals are far too different for them to be together. Or are they? Guhrke continues the Deverill family saga with Jonathan’s story, which is fun and engaging, though the author does her characters some disservice. At times, Marjorie and Jonathan both furiously resist things that make perfect sense and overemphasize conflict which feels easily solved.

Effervescent and appealing despite some missteps.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-285371-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Anyone who believes in true love or is simply willing to accept it as the premise of a winding tale will find this debut an...

ONE DAY IN DECEMBER

True love flares between two people, but they find that circumstances always impede it.

On a winter day in London, Laurie spots Jack from her bus home and he sparks a feeling in her so deep that she spends the next year searching for him. Her roommate and best friend, Sarah, is the perfect wing-woman but ultimately—and unknowingly—ends the search by finding Jack and falling for him herself. Laurie’s hasty decision not to tell Sarah is the second painful missed opportunity (after not getting off the bus), but Sarah’s happiness is so important to Laurie that she dedicates ample energy into retraining her heart not to love Jack. Laurie is misguided, but her effort and loyalty spring from a true heart, and she considers her project mostly successful. Perhaps she would have total success, but the fact of the matter is that Jack feels the same deep connection to Laurie. His reasons for not acting on them are less admirable: He likes Sarah and she’s the total package; why would he give that up just because every time he and Laurie have enough time together (and just enough alcohol) they nearly fall into each other’s arms? Laurie finally begins to move on, creating a mostly satisfying life for herself, whereas Jack’s inability to be genuine tortures him and turns him into an ever bigger jerk. Patriarchy—it hurts men, too! There’s no question where the book is going, but the pacing is just right, the tone warm, and the characters sympathetic, even when making dumb decisions.

Anyone who believes in true love or is simply willing to accept it as the premise of a winding tale will find this debut an emotional, satisfying read.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-57468-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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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