Foster's loyal fans might be satisfied with this effort, but they deserve better.

DON'T TEMPT ME

It’s lust at first sight and a double romance in this new novel of neighbors helping neighbors by the prolific Foster (Fighting Dirty, 2016, etc.).

When 29-year old Honor Brown and her best friend, Lexie Perkins, pull a moving van up to Honor’s new house in a rough neighborhood in Clearbrook, Ohio, they didn’t expect to find such hot neighbors. A shirtless Jason Guthrie, his brother, Hogan, and nephew, Colt, all offer to help her move into the new house. Determined to be independent and way too distracted by Jason’s perfect physique, Honor repeatedly refuses Jason’s help, even though the neighborhood is not particularly safe for a young, single woman. After someone blows up Honor’s mailbox with a pipe bomb, she decides to accept the help of Jason and other neighbors, including a sheriff and a martial arts instructor. Things get steamy with Jason, but with a family history of abandonment and a beloved grandfather on his deathbed, Honor doesn’t know if she wants to trust him. Meanwhile, best friend Lexie goes on a date with the martial arts instructor Sullivan Dean. Their attraction is so explosive they don’t even get through their dinner before going home and tearing each other’s clothes off. They both think they want only a one-night stand, but they soon realize there's more to their relationship than just sex. Although the premise of sexy neighbors finding romance is admirable, trying to pack two romances into one book falls flat. Honor and Jason are the primary couple, but none of the characters have enough time to develop, and the plot lacks drama. The characters often seem interchangeable, and the first third of the book could be spent just keeping the names straight.

Foster's loyal fans might be satisfied with this effort, but they deserve better.

Pub Date: July 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-373-78972-6

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harlequin

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Guillory’s debut is a mix of romance and raunch that will charm rom-com fans.

THE WEDDING DATE

A fake romance starts becoming surprisingly real.

Alexa is a lawyer-turned–chief of staff for the mayor of Berkeley. Drew is a pediatric surgeon from LA in town for his ex-girlfriend’s wedding. When the two get stuck in an elevator in a San Francisco hotel, they unexpectedly hit it off, and Drew convinces Alexa to be his plus-one at the wedding, leading to a whole fake-relationship scheme. The relationship may be fake, but Alexa and Drew are very clearly interested in each other. As a one-night stand becomes a two-night stand becomes weekend trips between Berkeley and LA, both are in denial about how important they are to each other. As they face ups and downs, ultimately they must decide if they want to try to make a real relationship work. The writing is fast-paced, jumping between Alexa's and Drew’s points of view. The two leads are charming, and both have quirky friends who add flavor to the story. The issue of race comes up since Alexa is black and Drew is white; Alexa is more aware of situations that may turn ugly, and Drew becomes more mindful of his privilege, a timely lesson that adds depth to the story. The book is also unexpectedly raunchy, since Alexa and Drew’s connection starts as a purely physical one and they only later develop deeper feelings. The characters never find a situation that doesn’t turn them on at least a little bit.

Guillory’s debut is a mix of romance and raunch that will charm rom-com fans.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-58766-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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An entertaining page-turner.

MET HER MATCH

Terri Rayburn is devastated that her perfect man belongs to someone else, but once Nate Taggert realizes that Terri's the one for him, her complicated past still stands in the way of their being together.

Terri is attracted to Nate the moment she lays eyes on him, and soon they fall into an easy partnership at the Virginia lake resort she runs with her father. Nate is upfront about being engaged to the mayor’s daughter, Stacy, but she’s in Europe for a few weeks, and it quickly becomes clear to Terri that Nate and Stacy aren’t a great match. However, Terri, whose mother left when she was 2, has always had a problematic relationship with the citizens of Summer Hill. Since Leslie disappeared, the town gossip has made sure everyone remembers her as a promiscuous vixen, a label which tainted Terri as she got older and made her look like a problem when, as Nate begins to understand, she was really a victim. It’s clear to everyone around them that they are falling in love, but even as Nate realizes it himself, Terri is adamant that they can’t be together. She won’t steal him from the popular Stacy because it would mean she’d never be able to live in Summer Hill, and she won’t abandon her father. Deveraux spins an intriguing and unorthodox romance, continuing her Summer Hill branch of the Taggert/Montgomery series with two characters who have some unique, interesting obstacles in their paths and navigate through them with secrets uncovered and old wounds healed. The story is well plotted, though Nate is unnecessarily oblivious sometimes and the book takes an unexpected swing into romantic suspense territory in the last quarter. The solved mystery resolves Nate and Terri’s conflict, though the villain’s motivations seem a little cartoonish.

An entertaining page-turner.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7783-5124-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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