An enjoyable, intelligent read that triumphs over its minor shortcomings.



An unexpected romance blossoms during a murder investigation in Geiger’s debut mystery.

When anchorwoman Michelle Osher is found nearly decapitated in her expensive apartment, suspicion focuses immediately on her husband, Paul. Police uncover a pattern of calls linking Paul to Sheyla Samonte, an entertainer at a nightclub called Pearls of Asia that features transgendered entertainers. Samonte quickly joins the suspect list when it is discovered that she enjoyed a lavish lifestyle on Paul’s dime, leaving police to wonder whether she wanted a promotion from mistress to wife. When Samonte refuses to cooperate unless Homicide Inspector Mac Fleet takes her to brunch, Fleet knows he needs to regain control of the investigation. That’s easier said than done, as he grows increasingly infatuated with Samonte. Convinced of her innocence, Fleet devotes himself to finding the real killer. The ensuing investigation uncovers infidelities, betrayals and a host of people who might want Michelle Osher dead. Geiger centers much of the action on the Pearls of Asia entertainers, whom he generally portrays with emotional depth and complexity. Occasionally, though, Geiger gives in to the temptation of cheap titillation and offers readers one-dimensional, hypersexual caricatures of the transgendered women. His writing style is similarly uneven. The book begins with snappy lines—"the gourmet kitchen was bigger than his first apartment, and it looked as though it made more reservations than recipes" and “jalapeno and garlic was the best California combination since Beach and Boy”—but later in the story, the witticisms focus primarily on crude sexual innuendos (“does that mean I get to go down on your periscope?” or “[she] called me right as my Latin boyfriend was rolling over to give me ‘room service’”). However, these small missteps do little to detract from the overall appeal of this fast-paced romp that has plenty of plot twists. Geiger deftly balances the murder investigation with the developing relationship between Fleet and Samonte until the book’s end, which rushes to a barely credible and somewhat unsatisfying resolution.

An enjoyable, intelligent read that triumphs over its minor shortcomings.

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2011

ISBN: 978-1463587567

Page Count: 248

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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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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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...


An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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