Silly debut. And not sexy at all.

SLOW HANDS

A sex club for women—staffed by monks.

Okay, they’re Zen monks, though not Asian, and they haven’t taken vows of chastity. Thus, they’re at one with the eternal whatever, and they’re never, ever rude or rushed, unlike most men. Their female clients—an unappealing bunch of whiners, bulimics, and workaholics, all in group therapy—crave sex and are willing to pay for it. So what’s wrong with that? According to Sara Halprin, the group’s therapist, absolutely nothing. She loves her husband, a kindly orthodontist, and her teenaged daughter, but something’s been missing in her comfortable life. Something really important: men aren’t looking at her anymore. So she and younger sister Coralee, an upscale caterer, pool an unexpected inheritance to buy a big old house in Berkeley and turn it into a bordello-cum-massage-parlor dubbed Slow Hands. After reviewing an unattractive parade of lovers-for-hire, the sisters eventually decide in favor of some displaced-by-a-dot-com Buddhist monks. These beautifully built (all that kendo) holy men justify sex for hire, without a trace of irony, as a form of spiritual practice, not prostitution. But, it’s whispered discreetly, some money will be required now and then for jasmine incense, tatami mats, Jamaican Mountain Blue coffee, and other fabulous Third World treats beloved of the renascent counterculture. For women only, Slow Hands caters to the unloved, unhappy, and merely horny as a lot of high-minded rationalization of this implausible enterprise is bandied about and politically correct motivation is duly provided (this is Berkeley). Just don’t call Sara a “madam.” Her staff turns tricks to help women, and certainly not—heaven forfend—to turn a profit. Then Coralee gets breast cancer, Sara’s husband finds out about Slow Hands, and a right-wing neighbor, furious over the fun everyone else is having, not to mention the loss of his parking space, calls the cops and all wind up in court.

Silly debut. And not sexy at all.

Pub Date: June 1, 2003

ISBN: 1-55166-718-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2003

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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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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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