Another impeccably crafted installment that will satisfy fans.

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FIRESTORM

From the Flashpoint series

When a CIA operator’s assignment puts her life in danger, a Green Beret may be her only hope for survival in the third book in Grant’s (Catalyst, 2017, etc.) Flashpoint series.

Savannah “Savvy” James is working with the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command at Camp Citron in Djibouti in Africa, but members of the team, especially Sgt. 1st Class Cassius Callahan, are suspicious of the spy’s activities. Green Beret Callahan, however, is exactly the partner she needs for her latest op. Jean Paul Lubanga, a government minister in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is planning a coup. Callahan, with his fluency in French and Lingala, can help her make the contacts she needs to get close to Lubanga. Callahan is attracted to James, although he doesn’t fully trust her, and he agrees to the assignment. Posing as a wealthy businessman and his mistress, Callahan and James gain an invitation to a party hosted by a Russian oligarch. Lubanga, who never travels anywhere without his laptop, is the oligarch’s guest, and James takes the opportunity to access the minister’s computer files. When she reads them, she’s shocked to discover that her mission has been compromised. And when she and Callahan fall in love, the stakes couldn’t be any higher. Grant expertly braids together action and romance in a propulsive, page-turning suspense thriller. James and Callahan, first introduced as secondary characters in 2017’s Tinderbox, are dynamic, multilayered heroes here. Grant laid the foundation for their relationship in the two previous books, and this installment deepens their attraction in scenes that underscore the erotic tension between them, despite Callahan’s initial mistrust. Grant also explores James’ background in detail, revealing her true identity and a vicious assault in her past at the hands of her trainer at the CIA. The intricate, tightly plotted story takes James and Callahan deep into the Congo as they pursue a dictator and the person responsible for blowing James’ cover. Grant deftly connects the central narrative with characters and events from previous installments while keeping the narrative lively and fast-paced.

Another impeccably crafted installment that will satisfy fans.

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-944571-15-3

Page Count: 280

Publisher: Janus Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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