A beautifully told rom-com that’s full of laughs, heart, and scorching sexual tension.

THE SINGLES TABLE

A fun-loving lawyer promises to play matchmaker for a surly (but smoking-hot) businessman.

It’s wedding season, and Zara Patel is getting used to her seat at the singles table. Although her aunties are always trying to set her up with eligible bachelors, she’d rather focus on her own successful matchmaking efforts. Helping other people find their happily-ever-afters is a lot easier than attempting a relationship herself, especially since Zara thinks she’s “too much” for most men. Fellow singles table resident Jay Dayal, an Air Force veteran and current security company owner, immediately knows that Zara isn’t the woman for him (not that he’s even looking for a woman). She’s loud, impulsive, and so klutzy she often ends up in the ER. However, neither of them can deny the sparks that fly between them when they meet during a bachelor/bachelorette party paintball game and Zara shoots him in the butt. When Jay’s mother begs him to find a partner, Zara agrees to use her matchmaking skills to set him up with someone if he promises to use his business to help her struggling law firm find clients. As they spend more time together, though, their chemistry becomes impossible to ignore, and their deal turns into a no-strings-attached relationship. But between Zara’s reluctance to fall in love and Jay’s inability to open up, things are more complicated than they expected. Can they let their walls down and see that the perfect match might be right in front of them? Desai creates a romantic comedy that has both genuine laugh-out-loud moments (usually because of Zara’s antics) and quieter, more emotional scenes (including Jay’s struggle to tell Zara about his combat-related PTSD and Zara’s deep wounds from her parents’ acrimonious divorce).  Zara and Jay both feel like real people with believable flaws, and their relationship plays out in a way that feels earned, with plenty of steamy moments along the journey.

A beautifully told rom-com that’s full of laughs, heart, and scorching sexual tension.

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-10060-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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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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