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A LADY'S GUIDE TO FORTUNE-HUNTING

A sweet Regency debut for contemporary fans of classic romance.

She’s looking for a fortune—any fortune.

Kitty Talbot’s not like other fortune hunters of the ton. She was raised in Dorsetshire, far from the well-bred life of the season, and she has no interest in staying in town. She’s only in London because she has three months to snag a fortune, plus the man attached to it, so she and her four younger sisters can pay off her family’s debts and stay in their beloved home. She and her sister Cecily quickly get their feet on the first rung of the social ladder when they arrive, and Kitty employs some quick subterfuge to gain the interest of Archie de Lacy. He may not be the oldest son of his noble family, but he’s still good for “at least eight thousand a year,” and he nearly proposes to her—until his brother, Lord Radcliffe, comes home to put a stop to her conniving. At first she’s furious with Radcliffe, but they come to a mutual understanding, and he agrees to help her make a match with another high-born man who is debt-free and entitled to an allowance. Over several weeks, she and Cecily find their way into one society event after another, even snagging tickets to Almack’s Assembly Rooms, so Radcliffe and Kitty spend more time together as she tries to better understand the men she’s meeting. On the eve of a marriage proposal that could save her family, though, simultaneous family emergencies send Radcliffe off in pursuit of her sister and Kitty in pursuit of his brother, and the aftermath makes it difficult to deny what they have come to mean to each other. Irwin’s debut is charming, if a bit paint-by-numbers, recalling Georgette Heyer and other classics of the genre. In contrast to recent trends in historical romance, the hero and heroine don’t do much more than kiss on the page, and their romance develops quite late in the story; much of the plot focuses more on Kitty and Cecily’s introduction to the layers and intrigues of 1818 London. But it isn’t all Austen-esque; Kitty’s honesty about her aims, and Radcliffe’s acceptance of them, allows the story to suit modern sensibilities without sacrificing too much of the vintage feel.

A sweet Regency debut for contemporary fans of classic romance.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-59-349134-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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THE LAST LETTER

A thoughtful and pensive tale with intelligent characters and a satisfying romance.

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A promise to his best friend leads an Army serviceman to a family in need and a chance at true love in this novel.

Beckett Gentry is surprised when his Army buddy Ryan MacKenzie gives him a letter from Ryan’s sister, Ella. Abandoned by his mother, Beckett grew up in a series of foster homes. He is wary of attachments until he reads Ella’s letter. A single mother, Ella lives with her twins, Maisie and Colt, at Solitude, the resort she operates in Telluride, Colorado. They begin a correspondence, although Beckett can only identify himself by his call sign, Chaos. After Ryan’s death during a mission, Beckett travels to Telluride as his friend had requested. He bonds with the twins while falling deeply in love with Ella. Reluctant to reveal details of Ryan’s death and risk causing her pain, Beckett declines to disclose to Ella that he is Chaos. Maisie needs treatment for neuroblastoma, and Beckett formally adopts the twins as a sign of his commitment to support Ella and her children. He and Ella pursue a romance, but when an insurance investigator questions the adoption, Beckett is faced with revealing the truth about the letters and Ryan’s death, risking losing the family he loves. Yarros’ (Wilder, 2016, etc.) novel is a deeply felt and emotionally nuanced contemporary romance bolstered by well-drawn characters and strong, confident storytelling. Beckett and Ella are sympathetic protagonists whose past experiences leave them cautious when it comes to love. Beckett never knew the security of a stable home life. Ella impulsively married her high school boyfriend, but the marriage ended when he discovered she was pregnant. The author is especially adept at developing the characters through subtle but significant details, like Beckett’s aversion to swearing. Beckett and Ella’s romance unfolds slowly in chapters that alternate between their first-person viewpoints. The letters they exchanged are pivotal to their connection, and almost every chapter opens with one. Yarros’ writing is crisp and sharp, with passages that are poetic without being florid. For example, in a letter to Beckett, Ella writes of motherhood: “But I’m not the center of their universe. I’m more like their gravity.” While the love story is the book’s focus, the subplot involving Maisie’s illness is equally well-developed, and the link between Beckett and the twins is heartfelt and sincere.

A thoughtful and pensive tale with intelligent characters and a satisfying romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64063-533-3

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Review Posted Online: Jan. 2, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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MAYBE SOMEDAY

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

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Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2014

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