A surfeit of mental lusting only slightly mars a rich romance between two very different Chicagoans of Puerto Rican descent...

READ REVIEW

THEIR PERFECT MELODY

A tough Chicago cop can’t stop thinking about the softhearted victims’ advocate who drives him crazy in ways both good and bad.

Lilí, the youngest of the three close-knit Fernandez sisters, is a victims’ advocate at a clinic on Chicago’s West Side. After experiencing some difficult times, she is determined to help those who suffer from injustice, especially women and children. Her caring approach clashes with the hard-nosed tactics of cop Diego Reyes, who has seen it all and doubts that violent offenders can change. Despite clashing professionally, Lilí and Diego are attracted to one another, an attraction that deepens when they realize they share a love of music. Diego plays classical guitar, while Lilí once danced and sang with her father’s trio. They both believe that “Familia primero”: “The faraway, almost blissful expression on Diego’s face as he spoke about his mami was like a lasso looped around Lilí, drawing her to him. It spoke of a kindred yearning for those who had shaped their lives, and continued to do so, even though they were no longer with them.” Lilí’s loving, boisterous family entices Diego, but he has familial secrets, keeping him frustratingly elusive. The third entry in Oliveras’ Matched to Perfection series returns readers to the multilayered, nuanced portrayal of Chi-Town, from Lilí’s posh condo in the Loop to the working-class neighborhoods Diego patrols to the middle-class suburb of Oakton where the Fernandez sisters were raised. New readers will have no trouble jumping in, although the action picks up right where the second book ended. Oliveras (Her Perfect Affair, 2018, etc.) tackles domestic violence and substance use disorder with nuance and empathy, though at times her depiction is limited by genre requirements, as when Lilí and Diego smolder at each other over a crime scene.

A surfeit of mental lusting only slightly mars a rich romance between two very different Chicagoans of Puerto Rican descent whose clashes over social justice are less important than their love of music, family, and each other.

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4201-4430-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Zebra/Kensington

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more