A tale full of romance and violence demanding readers not judge a book by its cover.

THE LOST FOR WORDS BOOKSHOP

A jaded bibliophile comes to terms with her dark past and learns to live in the present.

Set in a used bookshop, Butland’s (The Other Half of My Heart, 2015, etc.) latest novel tackles love, grief, violence, and friendship. Loveday Cardew—an anti-social, tattooed 25-year-old—works at Lost for Words, a secondhand bookstore in York. Despite her name, Loveday doesn’t much care for anyone or anything except for books. She’s reserved and painfully sarcastic, and the surrounding characters either exacerbate or quell this: Archie, the caring, larger-than-life bookstore owner; Nathan, the handsome, cravat-wearing poet; and Rob, the sullen, dangerous ex. Switching between the past and present, the chapters are organized by genre—Poetry, History, Crime, Travel, and Memoir—and correspond to the plot (i.e., Poetry chapters center around Nathan). Told from Loveday’s perspective, the casual first-person narration provides an entry point into an otherwise closed-off character, which works well save for a few startling fourth-wall breaks. Loveday’s descriptions of her childhood are among the strongest in the book: “His boots, which smelled of salt and oil, rubber and leather, lived outside,” and “the sea was part of their story.” As her charmed life descends into darkness, one life-altering moment shatters her world—and sense of self—forever. The buildup to and aftermath of this moment feel earned and purposeful. However, other things do not. Unfortunately, the book sometimes veers into unnecessary stereotypes about mental illness by equating (perhaps unintentionally) being mentally ill with violent behavior. If the novel feels particularly harrowing at times, the well-drawn romance helps temper and elevate the story. The hopeful ending is unexpected but not unwelcome—it’s exactly what Loveday deserves because she’s been through far too much.

A tale full of romance and violence demanding readers not judge a book by its cover.

Pub Date: June 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-12453-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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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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With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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