A delightful romance that’s both cheerful and heart-wrenching.

SWEET WILD OF MINE

A curmudgeonly Scottish author volunteers to work at a small zoo to get his career back on track and is soon reluctantly falling in love with the town, the animals, and the local tea shop owner.

Magnus Gray’s life choices have included remote locations and minimal human interactions, balanced by an affinity for animals. When his memoirs become bestsellers, he moves to London, but his acerbic urban commentary falls flat with fans. To revive his career, Magnus volunteers at the zoo in Sagebrush Flats, U.S.A., where the first person he meets is June Winters, the town’s resident blonde bombshell, sunny personality, entrepreneur, and busybody. June is used to men falling all over her and prefers a different type from Magnus: “Yes, June enjoyed handsome, debonair men….In contrast, the scowling Mr. Rude looked like a grumpy Paul Bunyan.” Still, she’s intrigued by the glowering Scotsman. Magnus just wants to be left alone, but an unexpected side effect of June getting his hackles up is that it mitigates his speech disfluency, and her own family’s experience with stuttering turns into the foundation of a growing friendship. The two become helpmates and confidants, leading to a passionate love affair, but June’s deep need to meddle may drive them apart. Kerr’s (Wild on My Mind, 2018) sophomore effort, the second title in her Where the Wild Hearts Are series, maintains the poignancy and originality of the first. Polar cub Sorcha, Magnus’ complicated childhood, and June’s elderly grandmother provide an emotionally complex spectrum of issues and events that June and Magnus navigate. Revisiting Sagebrush residents, animal and human—especially another feisty honey badger—is an added treat, though Kerr's excessive, sometimes unwieldy, use of simile and metaphor weighs down her otherwise great writing.

A delightful romance that’s both cheerful and heart-wrenching.

Pub Date: May 28, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7088-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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A breezy tale perfect for a day at the beach, this one’s a real winner.

THE HATING GAME

Lucy Hutton absolutely detests her office mate Joshua Templeman. He’s a pompous, self-important, obnoxious ass. But, she’s got to admit, he is pretty cute.

From the moment they meet, a result of the unwelcome corporate merger between their employers, Lucy and Joshua are at odds. Joshua is assistant to the CEO of what was once Bexley Publishing, a numbers-crunching, foosball-playing frat house–cum-business. Lucy is assistant to the CEO of the now-defunct Gamin Publishing, a Birkenstock-clad, free-flowing commune of literary purists. When the two companies begrudgingly become one, so does the executive suite. Thus begins this hate-at-first-sight romantic comedy. Lucy and Joshua’s daily interactions include the staring game, the mirror game, and the HR game, each played with the intensity of the Hunger Games. Their mutual antipathy grows when a new executive position opens at Bexley-Gamin Publishing and both Lucy's and Joshua’s bosses think their protégés would be the perfect choice. Here the high-stakes game begins. After yet another 60-hour work week, which now includes prepping for upcoming interviews, Lucy logs off of her computer (Password: IHATEJOSHUA4EV@) to head home, but not before her rival hops into the elevator with her. When Joshua hits the emergency button and stops the ride, Lucy is certain her nemesis is going to kill her. Instead, he plants a (completely consensual) kiss on her that awakens something she hadn’t known existed. Debut novelist Thorne delivers something nearly impossible: an entirely predictable plot that is also completely fresh, original, and utterly charming. From the opening page, readers will know the outcome of Lucy and Joshua’s relationship, but what happens in between is magic. From Lucy’s hilarious inner dialogue to Joshua’s sharp retorts, the chemistry between them is irresistibly adorable—and smokin’ hot.

A breezy tale perfect for a day at the beach, this one’s a real winner.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-243959-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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