A thoughtful and sensitive romance that makes for a dynamic series installment.


From the Damaged Heroes series , Vol. 3

A bitter custody fight leads to an unexpected connection in the third installment of Andre’s (Capturing the Queen, 2017, etc.) romance series.

Lt. Patrick “Trick” Quinn is a respected firefighter in Chicago who’s never lost anyone that he was sent to rescue. He’s seemingly happily married to his wife of nearly 17 years, Eve, with whom he has two young daughters, Amy and Tina. A surprise $4 million lottery win seems to continue his unbroken streak of good fortune. But shortly before their anniversary, Trick is blindsided when Eve gets a restraining order against him, alleging that he abused her and their daughters. Desperate to clear his name, Trick agrees to monitored visits with his daughters, supervised by social worker Zamira Bey. A dedicated professional and a devout Muslim, Zamira is torn between her family’s wish that she marry the assistant to the imam at their mosque and her own interest in pursuing an independent life, like her sister, Shadi. Initially, Zamira is skeptical of Trick’s insistence that he never hurt his family, but eventually, she begins to believe him. Meanwhile, the city is rocked by a series of terrorist bombings linked to Islamic extremism. As Zamira tries to help Trick prove his innocence, they discover that they share a deep, profound emotional bond. However, a mysterious fire and an ominous new danger threaten to permanently separate them. Andre’s latest book offers fast-paced romantic suspense with well-developed characters and a multilayered, nuanced plot with a poignant love story at its center. The personal journeys of Trick and Zamira anchor Andre’s sprawling narrative, and their relationship develops slowly and methodically in scenes marked by introspective conversations, such as one about the importance of religion in their lives. The novel opens with the charges that alter Trick’s life, and Andre skillfully uses flashbacks to trace the history of Trick’s relationship with Eve and the sequence of events that led to the accusations. Along the way, the narrative deftly and satisfyingly moves between Trick’s fight to clear his name and the investigation into the terrorist bombings.

A thoughtful and sensitive romance that makes for a dynamic series installment.

Pub Date: April 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946310-03-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Beach Reads

Review Posted Online: Aug. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.


Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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