A fun, sexy, and heartfelt love story that’s equal parts romance and bromance.

THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB

A baseball player attempts to heal his marriage with the help of his team’s romance-novel book club.

Gavin Scott has it all—a killer baseball career, twin daughters, and a devoted wife. But when Gavin discovers that Thea has been faking it in the bedroom, he’s distraught. The two have a blowup fight that ends with Gavin moving out and Thea asking for a divorce. Thea, however, has been faking it in more ways than one—even though she’s painting the picture of a happy baseball wife, she’s actually miserable in that role and wishes she could go back to school and pursue art. Between Gavin’s busy career and their young children, he hasn’t even noticed how unhappy she is, and she has no plans to tell him. When Gavin confides in his teammates that his marriage is in trouble, their advice comes from an unconventional source: romance novels, specifically Regency romances full of lords and countesses. Gavin is skeptical, but his teammates persist—the books help them understand what their wives are thinking and learn how to verbalize their feelings. Feeling desperate, Gavin decides to give them a chance, starting with a book called Courting the Countess. Surprisingly, the advice from his friends works—but what will Gavin do when he has to stop using the romance novel’s words and start using his own? Adams creates a refreshingly open group of male friends who talk about emotional labor, toxic masculinity, and how pumpkin spice lattes and romance novels are mocked because women like them. They’re also, however, hilariously and believably crude (case in point: a running joke involves one of Gavin’s teammate’s “digestive problems”). Alternating between Gavin's and Thea’s points of view, Adams never paints either character as the villain, instead pointing out how both spouses' lack of communication led to their current predicament. Also included are passages from Courting the Countess, a detail sure to please historical romance fans. Gavin and Thea’s story begins at such a low point that it’s hard to imagine how they’ll ever fall back in love, but their reconciliation is built so slowly and realistically that readers will be rooting for their happily-ever-after.

A fun, sexy, and heartfelt love story that’s equal parts romance and bromance.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0609-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

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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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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