A pleasantly sweet tale about true love, fate, and family.

DREAMING IN CHOCOLATE

A woman runs a magical chocolate shop in this heartwarming story from Crispell (The Secret Ingredient of Wishes, 2016).

Penelope Dalton and her mother, Sabina, run the Chocolate Cottage. They sell plenty of “regular” chocolate, but their most popular offerings include a little something extra: magic. Their special wares can make people dream about their futures and become temporarily happy or lucky. The magic comes from a mysterious cabinet that provides them with recipes for what they really need, like truffles that can mend a broken heart. But even though Penelope makes these chocolates, she doesn’t trust them. For all the magic her chocolate can produce, it can’t cure her daughter, Ella, who has an inoperable brain tumor. Ella doesn’t have long to live, so Penelope spends most of her time helping her check items off her bucket list—things like eating cake for breakfast and dyeing her hair purple. But a big distraction comes to town in the form of Noah Gregory, Penelope’s high school sweetheart—and, unbeknownst to him and everyone else, Ella’s dad. Under the hot chocolate’s spell, Penelope once dreamed that Noah was her true love—but when she told him so and he left town, she assumed the magic was wrong. Now that he’s back, Penelope has to juggle her feelings for him, her cynicism about the magic, and the desire to tell him the truth about Ella. All of this takes place in the charmingly named town of Malarkey, home to many quirky residents who love festivals and hold town meetings to mediate disputes—sort of like a fantastical version of Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls. How the cabinet came to produce magical recipes is never really explained in detail, and most townspeople seem to accept the magic a little too readily. That’s forgivable, though, since the focus here is more on the fraught relationships between characters instead of the mechanics behind the magic. Readers looking for a feel-good story with a little bit of enchantment sprinkled in will eat this one up.

A pleasantly sweet tale about true love, fate, and family.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-08907-6

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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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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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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