An exciting tale that offers an entertaining mix of action and romance.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

TINDERBOX

From the Flashpoint series , Vol. 1

An American archaeologist in Africa uncovers a dangerous conspiracy while investigating the discovery of a lifetime in Grant’s (Poison Evidence, 2016, etc.) thriller.

Dr. Morgan Adler is driving toward the U.S. military base Camp Citron in Djibouti. The base is the only place she knows that could protect the fossilized bones that she’s carrying—part of a stunning paleoanthropological discovery that could change evolutionary science. Cal Callahan and Pax Blanchard, two Green Berets, intercept her near the base, acting on a tip that a local warlord, Etefu Desta, has sent a “message” with her. As they question her, the soldiers discover that her car has been secretly rigged with a bomb. She manages to avoid the resulting explosion, but the bones are destroyed. Afterward, Adler wants to return to the United States; however, she also wants to ensure the remainder of the skeleton, which she calls “Linus,” is secure. The U.S. Navy also wants her to complete her contract, so she agrees to stay, and Blanchard is assigned to protect her. He’s impressed with her intelligence and resourcefulness, and they feel a mutual attraction; however, a romance is off-limits, as she’s a general’s daughter and under his protection. When Adler uncovers a conspiracy involving a missing geologist, Blanchard finds himself in a race against time to rescue the woman he’s grown to love. This first novel in Grant’s Flashpoint series offers a multilayered, suspenseful plot that’s strengthened by its appealing characters, strong attention to detail, and a healthy dose of romance. The story kicks off with a bang, literally and figuratively, and Grant keeps the momentum going through a series of plot twists and well-staged action sequences that plunge the heroes into the path of a vicious warlord who’ll stop at nothing to consolidate his power in the region. The author, a professional archaeologist herself, successfully draws upon her expertise to create a vivid portrait of Djibouti as well as of Adler’s work. The romantic relationship between the two main characters is similarly well-developed; it proceeds at a slow burn as they discover common ground and indulge in playful, erotic banter.

An exciting tale that offers an entertaining mix of action and romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-944571-06-1

Page Count: 302

Publisher: Janus Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner

  • National Book Award Finalist

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more