Paranormal elements blend with everyday experiences to add a dash of the unexpected to a traditional romance story.



A traumatized woman heals a weather-beaten security agent with a combination of supernatural powers and ordinary human compassion, discovering her own identity in the process.

Jenna has spent two decades in Texas as the isolated captive of a religious cult, exploited for her superhuman healing powers. She manages to flee the cult and is being pursued by a band of armed men when she encounters Isaac Washington, an employee of a private security firm, as she tries to steal his SUV during the course of her getaway. Isaac sympathizes with Jenna, who's obviously been beaten, and is just offering to buy her a meal when shots ring out and he's hit by gunfire. Jenna miraculously heals Isaac's sure-to-be-fatal wound with the touch of her hands, and he develops a fierce attachment to this at-risk woman. Moved by a strong sense of possessiveness, and deeply unsettled by how little Jenna knows about herself and the outside world, Isaac marshals the formidable clout of Devereaux Security Services to protect her from imminent danger. Since the cult has brainwashed Jenna into considering herself a satanic burden, she is initially wracked with guilt for putting Isaac and his friends in mortal danger but gradually begins to believe that she deserves his concern and affection. However, her journey toward self-discovery is threatened by the looming specter of a powerful man who desires sole command over Jenna’s powerful gift. The fifth installment in Banks’ Slow Burn series (With Every Breath, 2016, etc.) simmers with emotional tension and steamy sex but stops short of delivering a truly combustible climax. Jenna perfectly embodies the wounded bird archetype, and her plucky personality has just enough chutzpah to rescue her from blandness. Although Isaac’s internal transformation seems abrupt because Banks doesn't spend much time unraveling the threads of his past, his tortured musings about Jenna’s plight will tug at the heartstrings of romance readers. Strong secondary characters—and hints about their painful histories—enrich the novel's emotional palette.

Paranormal elements blend with everyday experiences to add a dash of the unexpected to a traditional romance story.

Pub Date: May 23, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-241018-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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Another success for the publishing phenom.


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 clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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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

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