SMOOTH MOVES

Harte blends action, heat, and emotion in mostly satisfying ways.

Cash Griffith is navigating a lot of complicated emotions, so getting involved with a bold, sexy co-worker might be a bad idea since she’s juggling a few stressors of her own.

After losing his mother and watching his brother fall in love, Cash feels slightly lost. He knows getting involved with anyone right now is a bad idea, especially someone who works with him at the moving company he partially owns with his brother and cousin. Yet Jordan, the “sexy ex-Army MP,” gets to him: “Just being around her heated his blood.” When Jordan asks for help with her struggling teenage brother, he agrees to step in. Suddenly the two feel like partners, which gives them the courage to face a variety of challenges. Plus they can’t keep their hands off each other. Jordan isn’t used to someone fighting her battles, and Cash is convinced he doesn’t deserve the fierce, beautiful warrior. Their feelings for each other are powerful, but overcoming a lifetime of independence and admitting to vulnerability are different kinds of conflicts. In an age of billionaire romances, prolific author Harte (Contract Signed, 2019, etc.) has staked a claim in the blue-collar realm and made herself at home. Her Movin’ On series (The Whole Package, 2019) is another creative canvas on which to draw characters who fight to balance power, attachment, uncertainty, and tenderness. In Book 2, Cash and Jordan confront everyday obstacles as well as dangerous events, so the plot moves apace, but seemingly lifelong conflicts feel too easily resolved, and the time it takes Cash and Jordan to admit to themselves they’re in love versus when they tell each other seems too long, dulling the tension.

Harte blends action, heat, and emotion in mostly satisfying ways.

Pub Date: May 28, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7047-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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IT ENDS WITH US

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

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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 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

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

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. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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