A light, enjoyable novel with pleasant holiday cheer.

TANGLED UP IN CHRISTMAS

A young woman runs into an old flame in her Texas hometown in this romance.

Once a Texan, always a Texan—or so the saying goes. This is certainly true for 28-year-old Hannah, who’s just moved back to her hometown of Sweetwater in October after a botched attempt to make it in Los Angeles. At first, she has no job prospects in sight and nowhere permanent to live—until she runs into her ex-boyfriend Roarke Frost. Although Hannah’s memories of how he broke her heart come rushing back, she can’t help but notice how handsome he still is, and the way that he says her name makes her weak in the knees, just like it did all those years ago. But as she starts to make a life for herself and hone her photography skills, she vows to avoid entanglement with Roarke at all costs. This proves to be easier said than done, though, as it seems that he’s everywhere she goes—and she can’t stop thinking about him. Will she be able to stay focused while avoiding the mistakes she once made? The dialogue is snappy and funny throughout, and Hannah’s encounters with Roarke generate some satisfying sexual tension, which only escalates as the story goes on; at one point, Hannah observes that Roarke’s “brown eyes are still that warm milk chocolate, but I was always the one who melted in the heat of any moment spent with this man.” It’s easy to sympathize with the protagonist in her attempts to start afresh, and the concept of running away from a painful past is relatable. Although this romantic narrative is a bit predictable, an intriguing conflict develops halfway through the story that feels realistic and consistent. There are also thought-provoking themes of forgiveness and second chances, and the later Christmastime setting gives the story an upbeat tone.

A light, enjoyable novel with pleasant holiday cheer.

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64063-762-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

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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With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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