Another sparkling success for Dare and her delightful Girl Meets Duke series.

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THE WALLFLOWER WAGER

Under threat of being banished from London, Lady Penelope Campion enlists her new business-mogul neighbor to help her become less reclusive and shrink her sprawling menagerie. All goes well until Penny and her pets crack open his crusty heart.

To rescue her wayward (and profane) parrot, Delilah, Lady Penelope uses a spare key to let herself into the house next door. The mansion has recently changed hands, and, unbeknownst to her, the new owner has taken up residence. Delilah leads Penny to his bedchamber, where they meet in a most inappropriate way, and Penny realizes that her new neighbor is none other than the notorious Gabriel Duke, known for financial acumen and ruining noble families. Gabe is modernizing the property to sell it for a tidy profit: “New-money families would pay outrageous amounts to live next door to a lady, even if said lady was an unappealing spinster.” So when Penny’s brother, who's managing the family estate in Cumberland while their parents are serving as diplomats in India, sends their aunt to make Penny move to the countryside for good, saying she shouldn't be living by herself in London and implying that at age 26 she's unlikely to find a husband, Gabe offers to help her find new homes for the abandoned animals she cares for and mingle more in society. Penny’s not unappealing, though. She’s beautiful, spirited, and kind. As the two attend events together and discreetly enter into a torrid affair that would derail both of their goals if anyone discovered it, she begins to care for his wounded heart, he becomes her devoted champion, and they fall in love. Deep secrets and old habits cause bumps in the road, landing Gabe in life-threatening danger and forcing Penny to stand up for herself to save him and their love. Dare’s inimitable wit, charm, humor, and emotional intensity are on full display, and readers will be smitten.

Another sparkling success for Dare and her delightful Girl Meets Duke series.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-295256-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston’s debut.

Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the American President Ellen Claremont, knows one thing for sure: He hates Henry, the British prince to whom he is always compared. He lives for their verbal sparring matches, but when one of their fights at a royal wedding goes a bit too far, they end up falling into a wedding cake and making tabloid headlines. An international scandal could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances for re-election, so it’s time for damage control. The plan? Alex and Henry must pretend to be best friends, giving the tabloids pictures of their bromance and neutralizing the threat to Ellen's presidency. But after a few photo ops with Henry, Alex starts to realize that the passionate anger he feels toward him might be a cover for regular old passion. There are, naturally, a million roadblocks between their first kiss and their happily-ever-after—how can American political royalty and actual British royalty ever be together? How can they navigate being open about their sexualities (Alex is bisexual; Henry is gay) in their very public and very scrutinized roles? Alex and Henry must decide if they’ll risk their futures, their families, and their careers to take a chance on happiness. Although the story’s premise might be a fantasy—it takes place in a world in which a divorced-mom Texan Democrat won the 2016 election—the emotions are all real. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. McQuiston’s strength is in dialogue; her characters speak in hilarious rapid-fire bursts with plenty of “likes,” “ums,” creative punctuation, and pop-culture references, sounding like smarter, funnier versions of real people. Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life.

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31677-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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