An engaging and unconventional love story.



From the Enchantress series , Vol. 1

Two wallflowers bond over books in this debut historical romance.

Lizbeth Trethow is a “determined spinster and future lady’s companion,” but the prospect of a love match changes her mind. Her charming courtship with Roddam begins in a library, where they’ve both sought refuge from a tiresome party. Their shared interest in books arouses Lizbeth’s intellect and sparks her desire, but she has trouble locating her mystery man once they part ways. After an unfortunate mix-up with him and his raffish cousin Drake, the duke of Annick, Lizbeth learns that her Mr. Roddam is actually Sebastian, the earl of Roddam. Her Aunt Hazel says the nobleman is a highly desirable match for a woman of her station, but Lizbeth won’t settle for a marriage of convenience. And Sebastian, who harbors a terrible secret from his childhood, fears emotional intimacy. When he discovers that he and Lizbeth both live in cities connected to King Arthur, Sebastian’s idol, she seems almost too good to be true. Even the frosty dowager duchess begrudgingly approves of her. The historical touches within each decadent ball, the allure of Sebastian’s castle restoration project, and the discussion of old books like Samuel Richardson’s Pamela when they were much newer enhance the 1790 setting. And the mystery of Sebastian’s haunted past lends intrigue to Golden’s series opener long after the couple say I do, expanding its scope. Meanwhile, Lizbeth’s sister, Charlotte, is willing to marry for status. That is, until she weds Drake and finds that she’s lonely. (He may be a rake, but his sense of humor makes him worthy of a second chance in the sequel.) Both romantic plotlines continue well beyond the initial happily-ever-after, offering unexpected twists and further character development. The author adds a few extra ingredients to the romantic formula, with pleasing results.

An engaging and unconventional love story.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-73283-420-0

Page Count: 466

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.

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A financier's Ponzi scheme unravels to disastrous effect, revealing the unexpected connections among a cast of disparate characters.

How did Vincent Smith fall overboard from a container ship near the coast of Mauritania, fathoms away from her former life as Jonathan Alkaitis' pretend trophy wife? In this long-anticipated follow-up to Station Eleven (2014), Mandel uses Vincent's disappearance to pick through the wreckage of Alkaitis' fraudulent investment scheme, which ripples through hundreds of lives. There's Paul, Vincent's half brother, a composer and addict in recovery; Olivia, an octogenarian painter who invested her retirement savings in Alkaitis' funds; Leon, a former consultant for a shipping company; and a chorus of office workers who enabled Alkaitis and are terrified of facing the consequences. Slowly, Mandel reveals how her characters struggle to align their stations in life with their visions for what they could be. For Vincent, the promise of transformation comes when she's offered a stint with Alkaitis in "the kingdom of money." Here, the rules of reality are different and time expands, allowing her to pursue video art others find pointless. For Alkaitis, reality itself is too much to bear. In his jail cell, he is confronted by the ghosts of his victims and escapes into "the counterlife," a soothing alternate reality in which he avoided punishment. It's in these dreamy sections that Mandel's ideas about guilt and responsibility, wealth and comfort, the real and the imagined, begin to cohere. At its heart, this is a ghost story in which every boundary is blurred, from the moral to the physical. How far will Alkaitis go to deny responsibility for his actions? And how quickly will his wealth corrupt the ambitions of those in proximity to it? In luminous prose, Mandel shows how easy it is to become caught in a web of unintended consequences and how disastrous it can be when such fragile bonds shatter under pressure.

A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-52114-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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