A funny, poignant reminder that the baggage our exes leave can’t stop love from moving us forward.

NOW THAT IT'S YOU

An ambitious chef learns the meaning of “too soon” when she falls in love shortly after her ex-fiance’s death—with his brother.

After leaving her cheating fiance at the altar, Meg Delaney arrives at the hospital to wish him well after a routine procedure only to discover that Matt Midland is dead and his mother still hates her. But his brother, Kyle, has always had a thing for Meg, and now might be his last chance to tell her. To make matters worse, Kyle’s mother is suing Meg for using Matt’s photos in her bestselling cookbook. Now Kyle and Meg must hide their love in unconventional places, such as the closet at Matt’s funeral reception, and share their grief over dinners made from her and Matt’s recipe book instead of the usual first-date small talk. While Meg serves Kyle wine, his mother’s lawyer serves her papers, and so on, until circumstances force them to decide if the time will ever be right for them to be together. The story’s strength is its authentic portrayal of the mixed feelings that follow a death—there are jokes as well as tears, and the family feud feeds on heightened emotions rather than hatred. If anything, Fenske (The Hang Up, 2016, etc.) is too apologetic about her characters’ delayed or seemingly inappropriate responses to grief. In the end, she says, finding the right partner is like finding a bra that “cups your boobs exactly the right way,” and Meg and Kyle are bra cups worth rooting for.

A funny, poignant reminder that the baggage our exes leave can’t stop love from moving us forward.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5039-3777-2

Page Count: 314

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 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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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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