A vigorous, sparkling, and entertaining love story with plenty of Austen-ite wit.

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GENTLEMAN JIM

A put-upon heiress pining for a lost love triangulates between a villainous guardian seeking her hand and a mysterious nobleman in this Regency romance.

Maggie Honeywell used to be a headstrong hellion who scandalized British high society by riding and shooting as well as any man and batting away countless proposals. Alas, by 1817, the 26-year-old has lost her health to flu complications and is about to lose her fortune unless she marries the loathsome Frederick Burton-Smythe. He was given control of her fabulous Beasley Park estate in a will and gets to keep it unless she marries someone he approves—namely, himself. Worse, Frederick has foolishly challenged the Viscount St. Clare, the best shot in London, to a duel over a card game, and if he dies, her assets will be forfeited. Maggie appeals for mercy to St. Clare, who sports over 6 feet of lean muscle and “lazy, masculine grace,” but when she gets a good look at his face, she faints dead away. He’s the spitting image of Nicholas Seaton, the bastard stable boy she fell in love with 10 years ago before Frederick framed him for theft and he ran off to find his father, the notorious highwayman Gentleman Jim. St. Clare ardently woos Maggie but denies that he is this Seaton fellow, all while fending off sly distant relations with a claim to his inheritance and pointed questions about his parentage. St. Clare feels flustered; Maggie feels gaslighted; and the jealous Frederick intensifies his controlling behavior and tries to assault her in a carriage, stopping only when a masked highwayman emerges from the darkness. In her latest yarn, Matthews serves up a savory blend of suspense, erotic infatuation, and marriage intrigue. Her characters are sharply drawn and captivating with lots of Hogarthian quirks; her scenes of balls, drawing-room manners, and vaporous anxieties over deportment are full of piquant details; and the dialogue is tartly elegant. (Frederick: “If you’d exert yourself to be sweet to me on occasion­––” Maggie: “I shall exert myself to slap your face if you don’t let go of me.”) Maggie and St. Clare’s amorous scenes are passionate but don’t unnecessarily drag out the mechanics; the two make for captivating romantic leads whose personalities are as magnetic as their looks.

A vigorous, sparkling, and entertaining love story with plenty of Austen-ite wit.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73305-699-1

Page Count: 376

Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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