A delightful, feel-good novel that offers a fresh take on modern love.

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BEAUS AND ARROWS

A supernatural matchmaker faces a series of troubles in Williams’ debut fantasy romance.

Emory has become bored with his work; although his role as Cupid comes with great responsibility, he finds himself becoming increasingly disillusioned with the messiness of human emotions. Before long, this results in an abuse of power, as Emory begins to shoot his arrows randomly, causing all sorts of mismatched relationships. His carelessness results in Blair, his favorite human, getting a broken heart, and to his astonishment, it seems as if she’s lost all hope of finding her true love. But the bad news doesn’t stop there; Emory has also been selected by “the Powers that Be” for an audit, which will evaluate his effectiveness as Cupid on Earth. Desperate to keep his job, Emory scrambles to fix Blair’s troubles—even if it means suppressing his own feelings for her. An unexpected turn of events then forces him to redefine his definition of love and devotion. This witty, charming fantasy romance feels best suited to a younger adult audience, who will appreciate the book’s accurate portrayal of the dating scene. Emory’s sarcastic sense of humor and slight traces of pessimism are consistently amusing: “The last wedding he would ever attend in the Earth realm was going to be at a courthouse. On a Thursday. It was a fitting conclusion to his miserable career.” These human qualities are what make Emory such an engaging and relevant character despite his tendency for arrogance. Likewise, Blair’s tailspin into depression and loneliness feels authentic and unpretentious; after all, as everyone knows, there’s no quick fix for a broken heart. In the story, the color of a character’s aura indicates their readiness for love, and this device provides plenty of entertainment as Emory surveys his hunting grounds for suitable targets. Throughout, the plot zips along, providing intriguing developments with each new chapter.

A delightful, feel-good novel that offers a fresh take on modern love.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-948051-41-5

Page Count: 396

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2020

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A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

GHOSTED

In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

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THE STARLESS SEA

A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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