Heart-wrenching and uplifting, with witty dialogue, emotional depth, and details that give substance and texture to an...

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HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS

Sick, broke and homeless, Annie Hewitt must retreat to the cottage her mother left her, even if it is on a remote island off the coast of Maine—and even if Theo Harp, the boy who tried to kill her when they were teenagers and who is now a best-selling horror author, is ensconced in the Gothic mansion next door.

After making her narcissistic mother’s last days as pleasant as possible, Annie falls ill with pneumonia and bottoms out financially. Desperate, she makes her way to Moonraker Cottage, the small home Mariah loved and bequeathed to Annie, along with a deathbed promise of a valuable legacy hidden there. Annie has avoided the island since she was a teen, when she developed a huge crush on Theo—the psychopathic boy who played on her emotions and ultimately tried to kill her. She’d like nothing better than to never see him again, but once she arrives, in the dead of winter, she finds herself drawn into the lives of the people at Harp House: Jaycie, the injured housekeeper with a tragic past; her mute daughter, Livia; and Theo himself, sexy as sin and, she realizes, completely different from the evil teen she remembers. The longer Annie stays, the more it becomes clear that someone doesn’t want her there, but for the first time in her life, she feels a sense of purpose and belonging, and she’s not going anywhere without a fight. Harp House and Moonraker Cottage both conceal a wealth of secrets, and finding the truth could offer the whole island a better future. Ventriloquist Annie, with her cozy puppets and emerging fierceness, might save everyone—especially Theo, whose past has convinced him he's a villain but who is really a hero at heart. Romance star Phillips takes a new and intriguing direction that reads like an homage to the classic gothic novel yet maintains her typical pitch-perfect characters and compelling, complex plot.

Heart-wrenching and uplifting, with witty dialogue, emotional depth, and details that give substance and texture to an already entertaining, engrossing story.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-210607-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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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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