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

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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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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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This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

OUTFOX

An FBI agent is determined to catch a man who bilks and murders wealthy women, but the chase goes slowly.

Brown (Tailspin, 2018, etc.) has published 70 bestsellers, and this one employs her usual template of thriller spiked with romance. Its main character, Drex Easton, is an FBI agent in pursuit of a serial killer, but for him it’s personal. When he was a boy, his mother left him and his father for another man, Weston Graham. Drex believes Graham murdered her and that he has killed at least seven more women after emptying their bank accounts. Now he thinks he has the clever Graham—current alias Jasper Ford—in his sights, and he’s willing to put his career at risk to catch him. The women Ford targets are wealthy, and his new prey is no exception—except that, uncharacteristically, he has married her. Talia Ford proves to be a complication for Drex, who instantly falls in lust with her even though he’s not at all sure she isn’t her husband's accomplice. Posing as a would-be novelist, Drex moves into an apartment next door to the Fords’ posh home and tries to ingratiate himself, but tensions rise immediately—Jasper is suspicious, and Talia has mixed feelings about Drex's flirtatious behavior. When Talia’s fun-loving friend Elaine Conner turns up dead after a cruise on her yacht and Jasper disappears, Drex and Talia become allies. There are a few action sequences and fewer sex scenes, but the novel’s pace bogs down repeatedly in long, mundane conversations. Drex's two FBI agent sidekicks are more interesting characters than he is; Drex himself is such a caricature of a macho man, so heedless of ethics, and so aggressive toward women that it’s tough to see him as a good guy. Brown adds a couple of implausible twists at the very end that make him seem almost as untrustworthy as Graham.

This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4555-7219-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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