A poignant romance that explores the complexities of a long-distance relationship.


Personal and professional pressures threaten to undermine a young couple’s attachment in this sequel.

Matthew Campbell and Lilia Bennett-Parker could not be happier. Friends since childhood, the two have watched their relationship blossom into a long-distance romance. Lilia, a cellist, attends graduate school in Boston while Matt lives in Pennsylvania, where his company, Knowledge Portal, is a leader in math and science education software. During a performance in Boston, Lilia catches the eye of Eduardo Santana, an acclaimed pianist and composer. He is writing a score for a new film and approaches Lilia with an offer to audition for the orchestra that will play the music. Lilia is conflicted by the proposal because she will need to move to California. Matt has problems of his own in Pennsylvania. His brother, Paul, a recovering addict, has moved back home, and Matt’s business partner wants to enter the online competitive gaming market. Matt is supportive when Lilia is accepted into the orchestra, but the distance puts a strain on their relationship. As they face professional stress and personal tragedy, and Eduardo’s campaign to seduce Lilia intensifies, they wonder whether their love will survive. Carr’s (The Bennett Women, 2015) novel is fast-paced and satisfying and could be enjoyed as a stand-alone. The author is adept at rendering a vivid portrait of Matt’s and Lilia’s distinctive worlds. Matt is passionate about STEM education while Lilia’s string-instrument talents lead her to California playing alongside the best musicians in the industry. The couple are surrounded by strong supporting characters, including the dashing Eduardo and violinist Mei Li, whose desire to become a mother culminates in a health crisis. Although the dialogue occasionally lapses into exposition (“Anyway, we’ve known each other since we were kids,” says Matt. “Having our grandparents live next door to one another”) and some of the subplots are resolved a little too conveniently, the story is well-developed. Ultimately, Carr demonstrates a knack for creating appealing and nuanced characters.

A poignant romance that explores the complexities of a long-distance relationship.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-973867-94-4

Page Count: 472

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2017

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.


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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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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