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A predictable but satisfying journey filled with lust, danger, and drama.

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Combining action and romance, this series opener features assassins, vendettas, and star-crossed lovers.  

Sensitive, beautiful, and bored, Isabel Foster has moved to Rio de Janeiro to teach English, finding solace in the vibrant distraction of its unfamiliar streets. She hopes eventually to forget her old lover Tristan Stone, who joined the U.S. Army and disappeared from her life six years ago. Unbeknown to her, they’re about to cross paths again: Tristan (now a highly trained assassin with no memory of his previous life) has been ordered to kill her. When he learns that Isabel could be the key to understanding his past, he decides to protect her instead, whisking her away to a country manor. But he doesn’t anticipate the force of their chemistry or the complications of recovering his memory: “I’ve built this new life on the surety of the kill. The simplicity of it. Nothing is simple now.” For her part, Isabel tries to make sense of the cold, calculating figure in front of her, wondering, “Is there anything left of the man I fell in love with so many years ago?” As they flee from Brazil to the United States, they try to uncover who’s seeking revenge on Isabel’s family, all the while rediscovering the qualities that drew them to each other as teenagers. But what kind of future can they build together if they’re always on the run? Wild (Misadventures of a Virgin, 2017, etc.) treads familiar territory for regular readers of romance and suspense, with plenty of passionate sex scenes, bloody shootouts, and collateral deaths. There’s never much doubt as to where the various narrative strands will lead, but the specifics of the plot are beside the point; Wild seeks to entertain, and her fast-paced, punchy style should keep readers happily turning the pages. Similarly, Tristan and Isabel may represent every improbably gorgeous couple torn apart and reunited by fate, but their relationship quickly moves beyond questions of love to questions of trust—altogether more difficult to answer.   

A predictable but satisfying journey filled with lust, danger, and drama.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-64263-028-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Waterhouse Press

Review Posted Online: July 9, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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