Roberts’ newest is part thriller, part romance, part survivors’ psychological study with a touch of New Age magic—and a...

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SHELTER IN PLACE

The victims of a mass shooting—including two young heroes from the tragedy—are moving forward in their lives, affected in different ways, when they're stunned to discover a serial killer is targeting survivors.

Simone Knox and Reed Quartermaine were both survivors of a mass shooting at a mall in Portland, Maine. Afterward, Simone, grateful to be alive, vows to be a better daughter and at first tries to conform to her parents’ conservative expectations. However, she soon realizes she’ll never be happy appeasing them and finally chooses to follow her artistic dreams in order to lead a more authentic life. Reed, inspired by Essie McVee, the first police officer on the scene, becomes a detective, eventually becoming Essie's partner and close friend. Years later, survivors of the massacre begin to die, and Reed is convinced the deaths are connected—but not even Essie takes him seriously until the killer targets him. Reed is wounded but survives, and suddenly everyone believes him. The cunning psychopath escapes into the ether, armed with money, lots of false identification, and a seething desire for revenge. Taking time to heal, Reed visits Tranquility Island, Maine, his childhood vacation spot, and falls in love with the place. He also meets a charismatic older woman who helps him land the house of his dreams and the position of police chief. Falling in love with her granddaughter, Simone—whom he had been aware of since the tragedy but had never met—seems like fate. Reed settles into his new job and hooks up with the FBI regarding the case, convinced their face-off has frustrated the vengeful killer. As heroic survivors, Reed and Simone are prime targets, and now that they’ve found each other, the stakes are higher than ever. Facing the hunter means fighting for their lives, love, and happiness while silencing the violent echoes of the worst day of their lives. Fascinating characters—Simone's grandmother is a standout—and a sprawling plot that covers a lot of ground yet keeps the reader engaged offer a surprisingly compelling and poignant redemption story that begins with a tragic mass shooting.

Roberts’ newest is part thriller, part romance, part survivors’ psychological study with a touch of New Age magic—and a lively, captivating read.

Pub Date: May 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-16159-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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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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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

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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