WHAT THE HEART KNOWS

A MILFORD-HAVEN NOVEL

Former Days of Our Lives actress Purl imbues her soap opera finesse into the fictional setting of Milford-Haven, a sleepy California coastal town where a cast of characters balance matters of the head and heart.

It’s the mid-1990s, and nature artist Miranda Jones has left the urban hustle of San Francisco for the quaint allure of Milford-Haven, a town that seduces passersby with its homey aromas wafting from Sally’s Restaurant, and where lighthouses and seashells afford its denizens a quiet serenity. Miranda’s inspiration is her paintbrush, and the town’s seascape is her muse. Sally O’Mally is an Arkansas transplant with a nose in everyone’s business, especially Samantha Hugo’s, the ex-wife of her boyfriend, Jack Sawyer. News reporter Christine Christian goes missing after a secret source leads her to a mansion under construction, and her oil mogul boyfriend, Joseph Calvin, the senior partner of Calvin Oil, is worried. In nearby Santa Barbara, Miranda’s opportunistic manager, Zelda McIntyre, also sets her sights on the eldest Calvin, while Joseph’s son, Zackery, is smitten with the mysterious Miranda. The plethora of lives that interweave in Milford-Haven is dizzying at first, but in true serial form, they slowly collide, enticing the onlooker. Simmering just below the gossip that pervades the resident’s lives are heavy-hitting issues, including Samantha’s deeply held familial secret, as well as her professional commitment to protect the environment from new construction stemming from Jack’s building company. This may be Apple Pie, USA, but hearts are on the line, professions are at stake and a possible murder has tainted the landscape. Ending each plot line in a cliffhanger, Purl closes the saga with a peek at the next installment in the Milford-Haven series. A whirlwind of juicy drama with dangling-carrot closure.

 

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2011

ISBN: 978-1936878017

Page Count: 266

Publisher: Bellekeep

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more