A touching, sexy and surprising story of two people from completely different worlds who turn out to be a perfect match.

INDECENT PROPOSAL

After an uncharacteristic one-night stand, congressional candidate Harrison Montgomery is facing scandal when Ryan Kaminski winds up pregnant; marrying her is the obvious solution, but falling in love is an unexpected surprise.

After facing a family crisis, Harrison gives into temptation and connects with Ryan, the beautiful, compassionate bartender with blue-collar roots and a slightly shady past he meets in his hotel. After a sizzling one-night stand, he leaves her a sweet note that nonetheless expresses his intention to never see her again, then feels betrayed when he learns she’s pregnant and claims the baby is his. Desperate to salvage his reputation, he convinces her to marry him, but while the two maintain a very cozy and romantic public image, privately they are too clouded by distrust and uncertainty to forge an authentic relationship, especially since Harrison’s parents and sister are struggling to navigate their own personal and public personae. Ryan wants to learn more about the “real” Harrison she met in a Manhattan hotel room but is stymied by the cool, remote man he’s become since their quick wedding. Set against the backdrop of Southern politics, the book is a modern rendition of the classic “marriage of convenience” romance trope, and in O’Keefe’s very capable hands, readers are drawn into Ryan and Harrison’s engaging journey to understanding and love. With two generations of Montgomery family scandal and drama to sift through, Harrison’s parents, especially, seem to shift from supporters to saboteurs and back again, while Ryan, especially, is an intriguing character who surprises everyone, including herself, by becoming an asset rather than a liability. Overall a great read, though there are perhaps too many moments when Ryan and Harrison seem on the brink of emotional breakthrough, only to retreat into yet another moment of uncertainty. O’Keefe, however, is a master of explaining—and selling—character motivations. 

A touching, sexy and surprising story of two people from completely different worlds who turn out to be a perfect match.

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-345-54905-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Bantam

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

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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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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

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