A playful, well-researched thriller that remains romantically genuine throughout.

INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE

From the McAllister Justice Series series

This third volume of a series finds a family of lawmen—and a veterinarian—trying to thwart a scheme to manipulate the populace with microchips.

Megan Chauner is a veterinarian in the Portland, Oregon, area. When she receives a strange package from her best friend, investigative reporter Jackie Milburn, she follows its instructions. Megan pulls up stakes and rents a remote cabin, hoping to keep the package—containing evidence of unethical work performed by CSV Pharmaceuticals—secure. The company's research revolves around quantum tunneling and carbon nano tubes as drug delivery systems. When Megan learns that Jackie has been killed, she fears that she’s next. Heavy footsteps arrive outside the cabin, and she and Leyna, a white shepherd dog, stand ready. But the grizzly sized man who’s arrived is none other than Detective Lucas McAllister, part-time resident of the cabin. Still wounded from the gang-related ambush that killed his partner, Lucas is easily tranquilized and trussed up by Megan. After a cooling-off period, he decides to help her investigate the sinister plans of CSV and the company ClickChip, which makes implantable chips that can dissolve inside a living organism, leaving no trace of the owner’s manipulation. But Lucas has lost one partner in the line of duty. Does he dare place another in jeopardy? Though the sex jokes fly with campy abandon, Garrett (Bound by Shadows, 2017, etc.) ensures that the hero’s emotional healing remains the backbone of the narrative. In the first half, readers will likely titter at the verbal foreplay between Megan and Lucas, as when she says, “Make it quick, since that’s probably your trademark.” Despite an instant physical attraction, their romance develops organically. Later the McAllister clan appears, including Caden, Ethan, and Billy, as well as Lexi Donovan, the hacker from Digital Velocity (2017). Garrett keeps the science components accessible, as in the line “The chip is a polymer that dissolves when the temperature drops, as in when the animal dies.” Those unfamiliar with the McAllisters should enjoy this installment, though a full series read will deliver the maximum emotional impact.

A playful, well-researched thriller that remains romantically genuine throughout.

Pub Date: March 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9989265-3-7

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Garrett Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2018

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 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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