An entertaining and suspenseful dark comedy about a desperate suburban family man.

MONEY MAN

In this novel, a financial planner on the brink of a breakdown needs to make a drastic life change.

Tom Frye has reached his breaking point. His financial planning clients range from zany to dangerous, and each night, Tom returns home to his wife and two teenage daughters exhausted from the drama and turning to the bottle for refuge. Vicky, Tom’s wife, gives him an ultimatum: Take some time off, or get a new job. His life as he knows it is imploding, and in a moment near collapse, he decides to visit his favorite spot for clarity: “He wished for the days when he had felt fearless and brave and courageous. Not like the frustrated, sulking defensive man he had become. He realized then what he needed to do. Tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow he needed to go to the river.” Thus begins a series of strange, episodic adventures of a man on the edge that involve more than one sudden death. Bush’s comical yet sympathetic narration crafts an amusing story. Each scene with Tom’s clients is witty and entertaining as the protagonist subdues his ego and ends up in a range of unusual scenarios that range from him getting his newly purchased Italian leather shoes covered in mud to being forced to stare into the eyes of a “scary Dominatrix”—who’s actually a powerhouse lawyer. Over the course of the book, the protagonist’s eccentric clients, who include a mysterious and ungrateful furniture executive and a funeral director, progressively become the stuff of nightmares. Bush paints Tom as an affable but defeated antihero who’s a realist to a fault: “I know the family doctor thinks I need therapy, but Jesus, who has time for therapy?” He’s always longing for something different—and, as if in answer, the author keeps making things more complicated for him.

An entertaining and suspenseful dark comedy about a desperate suburban family man.

Pub Date: Jan. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-945670-71-8

Page Count: 174

Publisher: Year of the Book Press

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2020

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Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

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IT STARTS WITH US

The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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