FOR LOVE

Here, the author of Family Pictures (1990), etc., graces us with nothing less than a disputation on the nature of love—from whence, at least in Miller's world, all other emotions (and a great deal of often extreme behavior) come. This time out, her extraordinarily intelligent, if agonized, protagonist is Charlotte Reed, a nonfiction writer and divorcee with a grown son, Ryan, and new husband, Jack, a widowed oncologist. But as the story begins, Charlotte's left Jack, presumably to get her aging mother's Cambridge home in shape to be sold—since her brother, Cam, has put their mother in a home. Charlotte's other reason for flying the coop is that she doesn't think she can hack the new marriage: Jack's teenaged daughter is a pain, and Jack himself seems unable to stop grieving for his first wife. And her real reason, she comes to understand, has to do with being afraid that she doesn't love Jack the way she used to. She yearns for a kind of wild, romantic love, and sees it in the way her brother behaves with his new flame, Elizabeth, a neighbor in Cambridge. Elizabeth has returned home because her husband is playing around. She starts doing so, too, with Cam, though for him the relationship is less a fling than an expression of his unbalanced approach to life. Tragedy strikes in the form of an accident that kills Elizabeth's au pair girl, with Cam behind the wheel. Her death sets Charlotte off on an intense emotional hegira, which eventually leads her back to Jack and a different kind of love—a love that has as much loss in it as passion. Seared by several extraordinary arguments—between Lottie and Cam and others—and by a handful of characterizations so full that they suggest whole novels revolving around Miller's secondaries. Miller's special brand of intelligent emotionalism reaches its zenith here: it's deep, resonant, splendid.

Pub Date: April 21, 1993

ISBN: 0060929995

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

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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A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

THE DECEPTION

A successful businesswoman hires a smooth-talking bounty hunter to find a lead on her sister’s murder.

Kate Gallagher was the only one available to identify her younger sister Chrissy’s body after she was found dead, having run away from home two years earlier. Since Chrissy succumbed to drugs and turned to sex work to survive, her murder isn't taken seriously by the local homicide department. Kate is filled with grief and regret at not having been there for her sister, and she’s determined to find her killer as a kind of penance. Jason Maddox is the charming man Kate almost hooked up with at a local bar. He also happens to be on the payroll of the most successful investigation company in Dallas. He’s all too eager to help Kate out and spend more time getting to know the blonde he danced with at the Sagebrush Saloon. At first, Kate and Jason vow to keep things professional until the case is solved; there’s obvious attraction that they’re willing to pursue at a later date. But the increasing sense of danger mixed with Kate and Jason’s close proximity proves to be too heady of a combination. The tension never lets up as the pair visit seedy bars and interrogate unsavory characters. With a steamy romance and undeniably hot chemistry, the main characters are well matched. They’re both driven, slightly stubborn, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of catching criminals. Martin (The Conspiracy, 2019, etc.) doesn’t skimp on graphic, violent details as Chrissy’s murder leads her couple to something much bigger: human trafficking. Though not for the faint of heart given its weighty material, this is an un-put-down-able page-turner that’s sure to satisfy fans of romance and thrillers alike.

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00769-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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