Lush emotionalism, compelling characters and a moving storyline will win romance fans.

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HIGHLANDER MOST WANTED

When Scottish warrior Bowen Montgomery enters an enemy keep, he is surprised to find that the bravest person there is a mistreated captive of the clan, and the more he learns about the compelling, wounded Genevieve McInnis, the more sure he is that he’s met his match—and his mate.

After vanquishing the McHughs as an act of reprisal for abducting Laird Graeme Montgomery’s wife, the Montgomery clan takes over the McHugh keep, which most of the McHugh warriors have abandoned, including the laird, Patrick McHugh. Ian, Patrick’s spoiled, malevolent son, was responsible for the abduction and was killed in the rescue campaign. Bowen Montgomery, Graeme’s brother, has been left in charge of the keep and its survivors. He is intrigued by a young woman who often takes charge in the midst of chaos but is obviously disdained by the McHugh clan members. As Bowen takes measure of the situation, he realizes that Genevieve was also abducted by Ian and has been held captive for a year, despite being the only child of the laird of another clan. Sexually and physically abused by Ian and despised by his clan, Genevieve still speaks in their defense, begging for their safety and well-being, and asks only for the chance to be delivered to a convent where she may live in peace. As events play out, Genevieve proves herself to be smart, brave, skilled and true-hearted, despite everything that’s happened to her. Bowen falls in love with her but worries that she’ll never be happy until she reconciles with her family, who believes she’s dead—and whom she is too ashamed to contact. Banks has written an emotionally taut Highlands romance with a remarkably alpha-yet-perceptive-and-sweet hero and a heroine who has issues but overcomes them with the help of her perfect champion. A slight quibble with the credibility of the first love scene, given Genevieve’s recent traumatizing experiences, and a slightly rushed feeling to the ending, does not ultimately impact the success of the book.

Lush emotionalism, compelling characters and a moving storyline will win romance fans.

Pub Date: March 19, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-345-53324-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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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

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A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

THE DECEPTION

A successful businesswoman hires a smooth-talking bounty hunter to find a lead on her sister’s murder.

Kate Gallagher was the only one available to identify her younger sister Chrissy’s body after she was found dead, having run away from home two years earlier. Since Chrissy succumbed to drugs and turned to sex work to survive, her murder isn't taken seriously by the local homicide department. Kate is filled with grief and regret at not having been there for her sister, and she’s determined to find her killer as a kind of penance. Jason Maddox is the charming man Kate almost hooked up with at a local bar. He also happens to be on the payroll of the most successful investigation company in Dallas. He’s all too eager to help Kate out and spend more time getting to know the blonde he danced with at the Sagebrush Saloon. At first, Kate and Jason vow to keep things professional until the case is solved; there’s obvious attraction that they’re willing to pursue at a later date. But the increasing sense of danger mixed with Kate and Jason’s close proximity proves to be too heady of a combination. The tension never lets up as the pair visit seedy bars and interrogate unsavory characters. With a steamy romance and undeniably hot chemistry, the main characters are well matched. They’re both driven, slightly stubborn, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of catching criminals. Martin (The Conspiracy, 2019, etc.) doesn’t skimp on graphic, violent details as Chrissy’s murder leads her couple to something much bigger: human trafficking. Though not for the faint of heart given its weighty material, this is an un-put-down-able page-turner that’s sure to satisfy fans of romance and thrillers alike.

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00769-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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