With characters you care for, a smooth, engaging plot and an interesting reflection on values and success, romance/women’s...

RETURN TO WILLOW LAKE

Sonnet Romano has spent her adult years working hard to make a name for herself out in the real world, far away from her idyllic hometown, Willow Lake.  But when life takes some unexpected turns, she may just realize that everything she’s been looking for is right back where she started.

Sonnet has checked off most of the big boxes on her "must-do-before-age-thirty" list, and she’s over-the-moon about her life in Manhattan, her job with UNESCO and the opportunities on the horizon from winning a prestigious international program fellowship. But everything comes to a screeching halt when she learns her newly married mother—who had Sonnet as a teenager and raised her as a single mom—is pregnant and sick. Forsaking the fellowship, Sonnet moves back to Willow Lake to be with her mother, risking disapproval from her father, who’s running for the U.S. Senate, and her fledgling boyfriend, who’s working on her father’s campaign. She accepts a job on a reality show being shot in the town, featuring an infamous female rapper and bunch of inner-city kids, and learns that her estranged best friend has been hired as the lead cameraman. Sonnet and Zach have been friends forever, but he is part of her past, and they are on different paths in life. Despite a sizzling newfound attraction between them, she wants her mom to get well, the baby to be born and the show to be wrapped, so she can get back to the city and her own fast track to the successful, prestigious future she’s always worked toward. But slowing down has a funny way of forcing Sonnet to take stock, and maybe her idea of a perfect life will alter with a little help from the old and new important people in her life and the picture-perfect town she grew up in.

With characters you care for, a smooth, engaging plot and an interesting reflection on values and success, romance/women’s fiction favorite Wiggs sends up another charming winner in the Lakeshore Chronicles series.

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7783-1384-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2012

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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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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

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MAYBE SOMEDAY

Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

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