Effervescent and clever amusement best enjoyed by those whose hearts beat faster at the thought of thousand-dollar baby...



London’s daffiest über-consumer Becky Brandon is having a baby.

Life is going swimmingly for Becky (The Undomestic Goddess, 2005, etc.). She’s happily married to PR whiz Luke Brandon; she’s in talks to acquire a dream house; and she’s tapped “celebrity” obstetrician Venetia Carter to deliver her firstborn. Drawn to promises of Thai massage and aromatherapy (not to mention the goodie bag), she also hopes to befriend her holistic young doctor’s celeb clients. It comes as a shock, then, when Luke recognizes the stunning MD from their student days at Cambridge, where they were an item. Luke and Venetia start spending time together, and Venetia, for her part, seems eager to pick up where she and Luke left off. She takes every chance to belittle our heroine in front of her hubby, and she leaves him possibly incriminating Latin text messages. Becky also gets suspicious when she catches Luke, who is in the middle of some extremely stressful business dealings, in lies. She guiltily enlists the services of a private detective to follow him. Of course, she also has the PI track down the secret location of a colleague’s fabulous eyebrow-shaping facility. Because . . . well, why not? But Becky’s worst-case scenario comes to be when Venetia confesses that she and Luke are having an affair, and that he is going to ask for a divorce. Can it be true? Meanwhile, Becky must come to the aid of her anti-consumerist half-sister Jess, who has taken up with her depressed childhood neighbor Tom, and appear in Vogue’s “yummiest mummies” issue. Always resourceful, Becky scrambles to save her marriage, not look puffy for her photo shoot and have that baby.

Effervescent and clever amusement best enjoyed by those whose hearts beat faster at the thought of thousand-dollar baby furniture.

Pub Date: March 6, 2007

ISBN: 0-385-33870-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2006

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston’s debut.

Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the American President Ellen Claremont, knows one thing for sure: He hates Henry, the British prince to whom he is always compared. He lives for their verbal sparring matches, but when one of their fights at a royal wedding goes a bit too far, they end up falling into a wedding cake and making tabloid headlines. An international scandal could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances for re-election, so it’s time for damage control. The plan? Alex and Henry must pretend to be best friends, giving the tabloids pictures of their bromance and neutralizing the threat to Ellen's presidency. But after a few photo ops with Henry, Alex starts to realize that the passionate anger he feels toward him might be a cover for regular old passion. There are, naturally, a million roadblocks between their first kiss and their happily-ever-after—how can American political royalty and actual British royalty ever be together? How can they navigate being open about their sexualities (Alex is bisexual; Henry is gay) in their very public and very scrutinized roles? Alex and Henry must decide if they’ll risk their futures, their families, and their careers to take a chance on happiness. Although the story’s premise might be a fantasy—it takes place in a world in which a divorced-mom Texan Democrat won the 2016 election—the emotions are all real. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. McQuiston’s strength is in dialogue; her characters speak in hilarious rapid-fire bursts with plenty of “likes,” “ums,” creative punctuation, and pop-culture references, sounding like smarter, funnier versions of real people. Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life.

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31677-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Another success for the publishing phenom.


An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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