Delicately sensual East-meets-West historical romance.

READ REVIEW

THE CHINA BRIDE

The forbidden world of 19th-century China opens its gates to a wandering Scottish lord and the beautiful Eurasian girl who serves as his guide.

Born to a Scottish trader and his Chinese wife, Troth Mei-Lian Montgomery is fluent in both English and Chinese. Although her elderly uncle took her in out of kindness and a sense of duty, he has now forced her to adopt the dress and name of a man in order to spy on the foreigners who throng Canton’s trading companies in search of fortunes in tea and precious goods. But Kyle Renbourne, Viscount of Maxwell, is an adventurer and romantic in search of more than mere wealth. Captivated by the legends of this ancient land, Kyle yearns to journey to its heart to see the mysterious (and fictional) inland temple of Hoshan. He quickly discovers that his guide is a woman, and a lovely one at that, but both must travel in disguise. So Troth leads him to Hoshan, earnestly explaining centuries of Chinese history and customs along the way. Once there, they become lovers but are quickly found out, whereupon Kyle is thrown into prison to await his inevitable execution, though first making Troth his wife with a handclasp ceremony traditional among the Scots. Afterward, Troth goes to Scotland to tell his noble family of his death—although, unbeknownst to her, he’s still alive. He too returns to Scotland, there to battle with the unprincipled trader who cheated Troth’s father long ago and who wants to kill Kyle now. Troth calls upon her kung fu skills to save her love and her life, vanquishing the enemy easily. Putney (The Wild Child, 1999) weaves the threads of her story deftly, with scarcely a pause until the dramatic conclusion. She does her utmost to give her non-English characters dignity and presence, scrupulously avoiding pidgin speech and ethnic stereotyping.

Delicately sensual East-meets-West historical romance.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-345-43335-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Despite the false start, this heartwarming story sweetly balances friendship and mother-child bonding with romantic love.

WINDOW ON THE BAY

Macomber (Be a Blessing, 2019, etc.) threatens to set her latest beach read in Paris, but her characters have other plans.

Maureen Zelinski and Jenna Boltz have been friends since college. Years ago, their plans to go to Paris were thwarted when Maureen found out she was pregnant. Now that they’re both single mothers whose children have left the nest, the time is right to dust off their passports and try again. In a somewhat disappointing turn of events, Maureen and Jenna don’t make it to Paris just yet. Instead, they stay in Seattle and pursue new love interests. Jenna, a nurse, meets orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rowan Lancaster in the emergency room after her mother falls and hurts her hip. Maureen, against her better judgment, accepts a date with Logan, a union plumber who frequents the library where she works. Jenna is afraid to date a co-worker after her workplace romance with her ex failed, but when Rowan proves to be a good listener, she’s more willing to discuss her options. Maureen doesn’t think she’ll fit in with Logan and his beer-drinking buddies, but she’s surprised when she enjoys their date at a football game. Meanwhile, Jenna worries about her children, Allie and Paul, as they navigate college and life. Though the story is primarily told from the two mothers’ perspectives, Allie breaks into the narrative with a surprising connection to Rowan. Maureen’s daughter, Tori, also takes on the role of confidante. The happy endings (and potential travel plans) unfold with a touch of realism to contrast the idyllic backdrop of the Pacific Northwest.

Despite the false start, this heartwarming story sweetly balances friendship and mother-child bonding with romantic love.

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-18133-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

OUTFOX

An FBI agent is determined to catch a man who bilks and murders wealthy women, but the chase goes slowly.

Brown (Tailspin, 2018, etc.) has published 70 bestsellers, and this one employs her usual template of thriller spiked with romance. Its main character, Drex Easton, is an FBI agent in pursuit of a serial killer, but for him it’s personal. When he was a boy, his mother left him and his father for another man, Weston Graham. Drex believes Graham murdered her and that he has killed at least seven more women after emptying their bank accounts. Now he thinks he has the clever Graham—current alias Jasper Ford—in his sights, and he’s willing to put his career at risk to catch him. The women Ford targets are wealthy, and his new prey is no exception—except that, uncharacteristically, he has married her. Talia Ford proves to be a complication for Drex, who instantly falls in lust with her even though he’s not at all sure she isn’t her husband's accomplice. Posing as a would-be novelist, Drex moves into an apartment next door to the Fords’ posh home and tries to ingratiate himself, but tensions rise immediately—Jasper is suspicious, and Talia has mixed feelings about Drex's flirtatious behavior. When Talia’s fun-loving friend Elaine Conner turns up dead after a cruise on her yacht and Jasper disappears, Drex and Talia become allies. There are a few action sequences and fewer sex scenes, but the novel’s pace bogs down repeatedly in long, mundane conversations. Drex's two FBI agent sidekicks are more interesting characters than he is; Drex himself is such a caricature of a macho man, so heedless of ethics, and so aggressive toward women that it’s tough to see him as a good guy. Brown adds a couple of implausible twists at the very end that make him seem almost as untrustworthy as Graham.

This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4555-7219-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more