A poignant romance anchored by a rich cast of characters and detailed setting, which will likely appeal to fans of...

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HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE ME?

In Tag’s historical romance, a Japanese-American woman unravels a closely guarded family secret and discovers the depths of her mother’s love.

For Kazuko Armstrong and her younger brother, Patrick, October 2000 is a time of great sadness. Their father, James, is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease and their mother, Keiko, has suffered a debilitating stroke. Despite their grief, the siblings take great comfort in their parents’ love, which has endured despite many hardships and tragedies. Keiko Tanaka and James Armstrong grew up in Bellevue, Washington, and became engaged shortly after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. They married just before the Tanaka family was sent to a series of internment camps, including the Tule Lake Relocation Center in California, and James enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Kazuko was born at Tule Lake, and the Armstrong family wouldn’t be reunited after the end of the war. During the Tanakas’ internment, they suffered the loss of Keiko’s twin sister, Misaki, and older brother, Masao. Years later, with Keiko on her deathbed, a surprise visitor provides Kazuko with an intriguing connection to her family’s past. Tag successfully combines the story of James and Keiko’s romance with a compelling mystery. The parallel narrative skillfully weaves Kazuko’s modern-day story with Keiko’s experiences in the early 1940s, resulting in a fully realized portrait of both women and their families. The tale is further enriched by its well-developed supporting characters, including Keiko’s parents, Akemi and Isamu; and Takeo Sato, Misaki’s fiancé at Tule Lake. Tag handles the central theme of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II in a forthright, sensitive manner, presenting a variety of viewpoints on the moral and ethical issues involved. The Tanaka, Armstrong and Sato families have very different responses to life in the camps, and as the story develops, Tag shows how the children are affected by their parents’ points of view.

A poignant romance anchored by a rich cast of characters and detailed setting, which will likely appeal to fans of historical fiction.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1462114474

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Sweetwater Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 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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A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

THE DECEPTION

A successful businesswoman hires a smooth-talking bounty hunter to find a lead on her sister’s murder.

Kate Gallagher was the only one available to identify her younger sister Chrissy’s body after she was found dead, having run away from home two years earlier. Since Chrissy succumbed to drugs and turned to sex work to survive, her murder isn't taken seriously by the local homicide department. Kate is filled with grief and regret at not having been there for her sister, and she’s determined to find her killer as a kind of penance. Jason Maddox is the charming man Kate almost hooked up with at a local bar. He also happens to be on the payroll of the most successful investigation company in Dallas. He’s all too eager to help Kate out and spend more time getting to know the blonde he danced with at the Sagebrush Saloon. At first, Kate and Jason vow to keep things professional until the case is solved; there’s obvious attraction that they’re willing to pursue at a later date. But the increasing sense of danger mixed with Kate and Jason’s close proximity proves to be too heady of a combination. The tension never lets up as the pair visit seedy bars and interrogate unsavory characters. With a steamy romance and undeniably hot chemistry, the main characters are well matched. They’re both driven, slightly stubborn, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of catching criminals. Martin (The Conspiracy, 2019, etc.) doesn’t skimp on graphic, violent details as Chrissy’s murder leads her couple to something much bigger: human trafficking. Though not for the faint of heart given its weighty material, this is an un-put-down-able page-turner that’s sure to satisfy fans of romance and thrillers alike.

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00769-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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