An interesting tale from a well-respected author.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE AND DUKES

In Victorian London, a businesswoman and a duke may disagree about everything and still find each other irresistible.

Henry Cavanaugh, Duke of Torquil takes his responsibilities to his family very seriously. So when his widowed mother runs off with an Italian painter, he does what he thinks he must—tries to block their marriage. But first, he has a score to settle with Lady Truelove, the author of the pseudonymous advice column published by a scandal sheet, who advised his mother to follow her heart. When he turns up at the newspaper’s office, he finds the paper’s publisher, Irene Deverill, inconveniently attractive. Irene is hard at work saving her family’s newspaper empire, and their financial security, since her father is too drunk and sickly to do it himself. Henry quickly identifies her as the columnist who led his mother astray and demands that she convince his mother not to marry her lover after all. Every interaction between them is challenging. For one thing, they have opposite worldviews. Irene is a suffragist, a proud member of the middle class, and a professional woman in a society that looks down on work. Henry is a member of the nobility, a patriarch, and a social scion. This new novel by Guhrke (No Mistress of Mine, 2016, etc.) is the first in her new Dear Lady Truelove series. While the characters are a bit stereotypical (duty-obsessed titled man who doesn’t express his feelings; passionate and independent suffragist), they do grow over the course of the story. Even better, the book is full of thought-provoking commentary on socio-economic class and how it shapes our morals and our identities. That makes the book worth reading even if it’s not the fun, escapist tale many readers look for in the romance genre.

An interesting tale from a well-respected author.

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-246985-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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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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On the day her fiance came out and left her at the altar, Faith escaped to the West Coast, where she’s had a thriving...

THE BEST MAN

When Faith Holland was abandoned at the altar three years ago, she left her hometown for San Francisco to regroup; coming home to Manningsport, she’ll have to confront her past and Levi Cooper, the disturbingly handsome chief of police she blames for ruining her life.

On the day her fiance came out and left her at the altar, Faith escaped to the West Coast, where she’s had a thriving professional life and a comical romantic life. Summoned home for a few months to work the harvest at her family’s winery and help with some crisis management, Faith realizes that some things in her small town will never change—for the good or the bad—but she knows the time has come to establish a new reality with her ex, her family and maybe even Levi Cooper, the best man who forced Jeremy to be honest with her and himself on their wedding day. It’s so much easier to blame and despise him; if she lets down her guard, she might have to deal with their short but profound shared past and her own guilt and secrets from a long-ago tragedy that has haunted her for most of her life. Higgins’ newest heart-tugging romantic comedy juggles a spectrum of emotionally powerful elements, including the death of a mother, the abandonment of a father and a sigh-worthy high school romance gone awry. With her typical engaging voice, compelling storytelling and amusing dialogue, Higgins keeps the audience flipping through pages as quickly as possible, but it is her spot-on ability to make her characters at once funny, authentic and vulnerable—vulnerable to the point of breaking, so they can heal, stronger and better and more able to love—that is her true genius and guarantees most romance fans will both laugh out loud and get teary, sometimes at the same time. Another sweet, touching must-read for Higgins fans and anyone who enjoys a perfect combination of humor and romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-373-77792-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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