Simses’ portrait of small-town Maine is enchanting, a place for a reader to linger; it’s unfortunate the plot is so...

THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE

A New York lawyer travels to Maine and encounters enough surprises to reconsider her whole life in this conventional romance.

Ruth had a dying last wish: for her granddaughter Ellen to send a very special letter, an apology to Chet Cummings, the small-town boy whose heart she broke 60 years ago. Ellen decides to travel to Gran’s hometown of Beacon, Maine, to hand-deliver the note, and so begins a week of transformation for a woman who already has it all. Ellen is so charmed by the scenery in Beacon that she walks out on a private dock to indulge her photography hobby. The dock breaks beneath her, and she is swept out in a riptide. Thankfully, someone saves her from drowning. On the beach, she is shocked and relieved. In the arms of handsome savior Roy, she gives him a big kiss. Embarrassed by the incident, she slinks back to the B&B. When her fiance calls, she doesn’t tell him a thing. Why not? Hayden Croft is handsome, elegant and heir apparent to an American political dynasty. And she has the rock from Van Cleef & Arpels to prove it. But she can’t stop thinking about Roy and that kiss. The next day, they have a few rowdy, infuriating and wonderful hours at the local bar. The day after, with a hangover and vague memories of Roy, Ellen sets upon her quest to find Chet. Along the way, she discovers paintings by her grandmother and learns she was so talented she was given an art scholarship. Revelations follow. When Hayden comes to Maine to rescue Ellen, she has to consider the kind of life she really wants to live.

Simses’ portrait of small-town Maine is enchanting, a place for a reader to linger; it’s unfortunate the plot is so predictable.

Pub Date: July 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-316-22585-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 17

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