Despite some missteps, this is a powerful story of a marriage in trouble.

LOVE HER OR LOSE HER

From the Hot and Hammered series , Vol. 2

A working-class couple on Long Island fights to save their marriage.

Rosie and Dominic Vega were middle school sweethearts who married right before Dominic deployed with the Army after high school. Ten years later, Rosie realizes she’s tired of working at the department store perfume counter. She decides to pursue her dream of opening a restaurant specializing in the Argentinian cuisine she learned from her beloved mother. Dominic and Rosie’s sex life is as explosive and satisfying as ever, but it also illustrates the holes in the rest of their marriage. Rosie realizes they never talk anymore—she doesn’t know how to talk to him about the restaurant—and she decides their stagnant marriage must change if she’s going to change the rest of her life. Dominic knows that something has been amiss, but his own insecurities have led him to follow his father’s example: He works hard and provides and hopes the rest will work itself out. Rosie asks Dominic to go to marriage therapy, convinced he’ll never agree. Their hippie marriage counselor, along with adding a needed measure of comic relief, helps Dominic and Rosie realize they each played a role in the disintegration of their relationship. The exploration of their marriage is emotionally satisfying, but a subplot involving implausible real estate dealings is hard to believe. It’s worth noting that, although Rosie is biracial, with an African American father and Argentinian mother, and Dominic is from a Puerto Rican family, the most well-developed connection to either of their cultural identities is Rosie's love of Argentinian cuisine. Readers hungry for diversity and inclusivity in their romance deserve more than superficial identity markers like these. However, Bailey (Fix Her Up, 2019, etc.) crafts an emotionally wrenching and compelling story of a marriage and how the spouses' different love languages cause them to miss each other’s signals.

Despite some missteps, this is a powerful story of a marriage in trouble.

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-287285-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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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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