Annoying forced drama and a heroine who will call her abusive ex-boyfriend on the cellphone she bought to avoid him when she...

BREATHE INTO ME

Lacey St. James has hit rock bottom; just as she decides she needs to make changes, she meets Everett, an intriguing stranger who helps her make more empowering choices.

Lacey has an abusive boyfriend, an abusive family and abusive friends—and a much younger brother. In the past, she was the victim of a tragic incident that gave her a terrible reputation; she reacted by dropping out of school, working at dead-end jobs, partying with so-called friends who treated her badly and hooking up with awful men. On the night her boyfriend, Macon, practically rapes her, she goes out with Ashley, a “friend” who obviously doesn’t care about her at all. Macon shows up at the bar and tries to force her to have sex with some friends of his behind the building. Lacey escapes and comes to the conclusion that maybe she shouldn’t move in with him (you think?), and maybe her friends aren’t really quality people (really?). She meets Everett, a Very Sexy Guy, in the bar that night, and for some inexplicable reason he is wildly attracted to her. They become friends, then more, as Lacey tries to clean up her life. Everett is the moon and stars, until she (thinks she) finds out his Horrible Secret and, without asking any questions, drops him like a cement balloon. Until his dying sister (yes, really) comes out of nowhere and confesses The Truth to her, and she begs his forgiveness. Meanwhile, after years of poorly explained estrangement, Lacey picks up the phone and contacts people she should have called five years ago, who take steps to solve the dilemma of her abusive family and help protect her younger brother.

Annoying forced drama and a heroine who will call her abusive ex-boyfriend on the cellphone she bought to avoid him when she needs a little help: Skip it.

Pub Date: July 29, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-04851-6

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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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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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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