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ISABEL AND THE ROGUE

A satisfying sequel in a great historical romance series.

Two spies find each other while skulking around the same dark corners.

Isabel has gotten used to being the invisible Luna sister. In 1865, all three women are stuck in England, trying to influence the ton into supporting their beloved Mexico in its fight against the French invasion, and Isabel has secretly promised to sneak away at balls and look for any information that could help her family and country. After years of being ignored in favor of her stunning sisters, she’s happy to go unseen in order to help her country, but unfortunately, one man sees her all too well: Captain Sirius Dawson, whom she knows as a handsome rogue. They first meet when he’s trying to have an assignation in the same office she’s scoping out, and when she unexpectedly finds herself staying at his country house, he discovers that she has “fascinating depths to her.” After finding her hiding in yet another dark room, he realizes that she snoops as much as he does as part of his secret work for the Home Office. For their own reasons, they’re each haunted by feelings of inadequacy and are thus well practiced at sneaking around in the shadows of the aristocracy—and surprised to meet another person who sees them for who they really are. As a result, their mutual attraction doesn’t surprise anyone, even as both try to stay focused on their respective missions and what seem destined to be separate futures. De la Rosa’s sequel to Ana María and the Fox (2023) will delight fans of that book; Isabel is temperamentally quite different from Ana María but just as compelling. The well-written story has a rich combination of suspense and complex character development, not to mention a red-hot scene when the two are trapped underneath a desk together, but what will stick with readers is the dramatic and moving ending. An excellent author’s note adds welcome context to a book that brings to life an underreported story of the Victorian era so well.

A satisfying sequel in a great historical romance series.

Pub Date: June 4, 2024

ISBN: 9780593440902

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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JUST FOR THE SUMMER

A wallowing, emotionally wrenching family drama that leaves little time for romance.

Two people with bad luck in relationships find each other through a popular Reddit thread.

Emma Grant and her best friend, Maddy, are travel nurses, working at hospitals for three-month stints while they see the country. Just a few weeks before they’re set to move to Hawaii, Emma reads a popular “Am I the Asshole” Reddit thread from a Minnesota man who thinks he’s cursed—women he dates find their soulmates after breaking up with him, and the latest one found true love with his best friend! Emma has had a similar experience, which inspires her to DM the man and commiserate. She’s delighted by her witty, lively interactions with software engineer Justin Dahl, and is intrigued when he suggests that if they date each other, maybe they’ll each find their soulmate afterward. Emma upends the Hawaii plan and convinces Maddy to move to Minneapolis for the summer so she can meet Justin in person. The overly complex setup brings Emma and Justin together and the two hit it off, with Justin immediately falling head over heels for Emma. Jimenez then pivots to creating romantic roadblocks and melodramatic subplots centering on each character’s family of origin. Justin’s mother is about to serve six years in prison for embezzlement, which means Justin must move back home to care for his three much younger siblings. Emma was traumatized by her own mother for much of her childhood, left to fend for herself and eventually abandoned in the foster system. When her mother shows up in Minnesota, Emma must face her traumatic childhood and admit that she has prioritized her mother’s well-being over her own. There is little time devoted to Emma’s painful efforts to heal herself enough to accept Justin’s love, which leaves the novel feeling unsatisfying.

A wallowing, emotionally wrenching family drama that leaves little time for romance.

Pub Date: April 2, 2024

ISBN: 9781538704431

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Forever

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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FUNNY STORY

Henry fans, rejoice: This is her best yet.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

A recently dumped librarian finds herself fake dating her polar opposite.

When Daphne Vincent’s fiance, Peter, dumps her, she’s shocked—but the worst part is that he’s leaving her for his gorgeous best friend, Petra, the woman he’d always told Daphne not to worry about. Now Daphne has to move out of Peter’s home and restart her life in the small Michigan town where she’d moved to be with him. Salvation comes in the form of Miles Nowak, Petra’s ex—he has a tiny spare room in his apartment, and he understands what it’s like to wallow in heartbreak. Daphne feels lucky to have her dream job as a children’s librarian, but other than that, she feels adrift and friendless in Waning Bay—and then she and Miles get invitations to Peter and Petra’s wedding. In a momentary lapse of judgment, Daphne not only says she’ll attend the wedding, but tells Peter she’s dating Miles. It would be the perfect way to show Peter and Petra that they’ve moved on…if only it were true. In the grand tradition of fake-dating romances, Daphne and Miles pretend to be in love, getting to know each other while having various adventures and misadventures. Daphne quickly learns that although she’d dismissed Miles as a pothead with a lack of direction, he’s actually a good time—and a loyal friend. But Daphne knows she needs to get out of Waning Bay, so this fake relationship can’t lead anywhere…can it? Reliable bestseller Henry has written another surefire hit that manages to be dramatic, sexy, and fun. Miles and Daphne have chemistry that leaps off the page, and their will-they-or-won’t-they energy propels the story to its satisfying conclusion. Daphne is an immensely likable character, one whose past realistically informs her current relationships. The world of Waning Bay is charmingly quirky, and Daphne’s co-workers at the library are endearing. As always, Henry’s biggest strength is the sharp, often hilarious dialogue that makes the story a joy to read.

Henry fans, rejoice: This is her best yet.

Pub Date: April 23, 2024

ISBN: 9780593441282

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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