The May/December Twist

Why should men have all the fun? In a twist on the typical May/December romance, Humphrey’s new chick-lit is a romping good time.
Allie is 50 years old, and her love life is nonexistent. Though she has been divorced for nearly 10 years and her kids are grown, she has been focused on running her successful nonprofit organization, Twenty. Her three best friends (forming a group aptly named “The Four”) are her support and sounding board, having seen each other through life’s highs and lows. They also provide a reality check when needed and push Allie to sign up for a dating website. Allie bows to peer pressure and goes on a few dates with handsome, age-appropriate David. Yet Allie finds herself irrepressibly drawn to the much younger Jameson, a charismatic ball of energy who signs up as a volunteer for her organization. In addition to being smart, handsome, wealthy and highly motivated, he’s also an old soul who sees nothing wrong with a romance between himself and Allie. While fighting her growing attraction to Jameson, Allie is thrown into turmoil, envisioning all the problems inherent in dating a man closer in age to her own children. The reservations of The Four are a major consideration, especially those of the catty and typically unsupportive Jo. Following a breakup of her own, Jo embarks on an online dating adventure as well, managing to turn Allie’s dating experiment into a stressful competition. Full of peppy dialogue and engaging characters, Humphrey’s novel is a bubbly read that stays fresh and fun. Her subtle exploration of the shifting dynamics of The Four is well-done, perfectly capturing the complexities and beauty of female friendships. Allie is a relatable heroine, foundering with insecurity yet capable of rising to meet even the toughest challenges. The only hitch in Humphrey’s novel is Jameson, whose Zen outlook and philosophical viewpoints on age, money and time are admirable yet seem a little too good to be true.
Grab a towel and some sunscreen—Humphrey’s novel is the perfect book for a sunny day at the beach.

Pub Date: June 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1499231472

Page Count: 304

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

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

Did you like this book?

This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

OUTFOX

An FBI agent is determined to catch a man who bilks and murders wealthy women, but the chase goes slowly.

Brown (Tailspin, 2018, etc.) has published 70 bestsellers, and this one employs her usual template of thriller spiked with romance. Its main character, Drex Easton, is an FBI agent in pursuit of a serial killer, but for him it’s personal. When he was a boy, his mother left him and his father for another man, Weston Graham. Drex believes Graham murdered her and that he has killed at least seven more women after emptying their bank accounts. Now he thinks he has the clever Graham—current alias Jasper Ford—in his sights, and he’s willing to put his career at risk to catch him. The women Ford targets are wealthy, and his new prey is no exception—except that, uncharacteristically, he has married her. Talia Ford proves to be a complication for Drex, who instantly falls in lust with her even though he’s not at all sure she isn’t her husband's accomplice. Posing as a would-be novelist, Drex moves into an apartment next door to the Fords’ posh home and tries to ingratiate himself, but tensions rise immediately—Jasper is suspicious, and Talia has mixed feelings about Drex's flirtatious behavior. When Talia’s fun-loving friend Elaine Conner turns up dead after a cruise on her yacht and Jasper disappears, Drex and Talia become allies. There are a few action sequences and fewer sex scenes, but the novel’s pace bogs down repeatedly in long, mundane conversations. Drex's two FBI agent sidekicks are more interesting characters than he is; Drex himself is such a caricature of a macho man, so heedless of ethics, and so aggressive toward women that it’s tough to see him as a good guy. Brown adds a couple of implausible twists at the very end that make him seem almost as untrustworthy as Graham.

This thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer suffers from an unpleasant hero and a glacial pace.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4555-7219-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more