A satisfying reinvention story that handles painful issues with a light and uplifting touch.



After her financier husband commits suicide rather than face jail time for stealing from his clients, Emma Shay Compton comes home to Sonoma with the shadow of his crimes over her and must reinvent herself in a hostile landscape while reconnecting with friends she’d thought lost forever.

When Emma married her wealthy husband, she had no idea he was running a Ponzi scheme, but that doesn’t make it any easier to convince people of her innocence once he’s accused and kills himself. Going from mad wealth to mere sustenance isn’t as hard as knowing her husband ruined lives, but when she moves back to her hometown and finds it almost impossible to get a job, Emma begins to wonder if she’ll be able to survive, much less thrive. With help from a friend she finds a place to live and gets a terrible job that doesn’t last, but through it she runs into Adam, the brother of Riley, her childhood best friend. Riley had betrayed Emma in college, having an affair with her longtime boyfriend, which ended the friendship for good. But now Riley runs a cleaning company with better opportunities than anything Emma can find, so Adam encourages her to get in touch with Riley and see if she can help. Emma swallows her pride and asks Riley for a job, which she gives her, but the two still hold grudges from the past, and neither is interested in trying to rekindle their friendship. Riley is surprised to discover, however, that Emma is truly determined to work hard and embrace her new, simpler life, and both women discover they admire and like the older versions of each other. And when circumstances threaten their families and happiness, they’ll both question what they’re holding onto—for instance, anger, resentment, and pride—and what they’re missing out on. Carr’s take on this complicated situation is interesting, though readers seeking a deeper reflection from Emma in the aftermath of her husband’s death or her stepmother’s spite may be disappointed.

A satisfying reinvention story that handles painful issues with a light and uplifting touch.

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 9780778319672

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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Another success for the publishing phenom.


An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.


A successful businesswoman hires a smooth-talking bounty hunter to find a lead on her sister’s murder.

Kate Gallagher was the only one available to identify her younger sister Chrissy’s body after she was found dead, having run away from home two years earlier. Since Chrissy succumbed to drugs and turned to sex work to survive, her murder isn't taken seriously by the local homicide department. Kate is filled with grief and regret at not having been there for her sister, and she’s determined to find her killer as a kind of penance. Jason Maddox is the charming man Kate almost hooked up with at a local bar. He also happens to be on the payroll of the most successful investigation company in Dallas. He’s all too eager to help Kate out and spend more time getting to know the blonde he danced with at the Sagebrush Saloon. At first, Kate and Jason vow to keep things professional until the case is solved; there’s obvious attraction that they’re willing to pursue at a later date. But the increasing sense of danger mixed with Kate and Jason’s close proximity proves to be too heady of a combination. The tension never lets up as the pair visit seedy bars and interrogate unsavory characters. With a steamy romance and undeniably hot chemistry, the main characters are well matched. They’re both driven, slightly stubborn, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of catching criminals. Martin (The Conspiracy, 2019, etc.) doesn’t skimp on graphic, violent details as Chrissy’s murder leads her couple to something much bigger: human trafficking. Though not for the faint of heart given its weighty material, this is an un-put-down-able page-turner that’s sure to satisfy fans of romance and thrillers alike.

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00769-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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