A fast-paced, funny romp with easy laughs, surprisingly complex characters, and plenty of quirky twists.

JESUS'S BROTHER JAMES

In this black comedy, fate throws together a suicidal man, a workaholic, a snob, and a tempted priest.

Mike was the type of guy who, as a young man, won “Best Hair”; had girls chasing after him; and easily became “regional manager” at his company. But now, he’s round, balding, soon to be twice-divorced, and has plateaued professionally. Fearful that his wife is cheating on him, Mike has decided to end it all because “life is too hard.” Meanwhile, a man named Paul represents everything that Mike is not: successful, adventurous, saying yes to any opportunity. He has Amber, the perfect girlfriend in that she is “beautiful, smart, and, best of all, she had trouble leaving the office in the evening.” But lately Amber has wanted more from Paul and more from her life than work. Confused and drunk on the night of her birthday, Amber winds up hitting on a muscular, tattooed, whiskey-drinking, cigarette-smoking priest. That priest, Father Coady, swallows his lust and tries to get away from temptation when he finds Mike waving a gun around his minivan. Mike wakes up the next morning in the hospital with a gunshot wound and a mysterious, perhaps even miraculous, figure at his side. Supernatural forces, startling coincidences, and even eBay purchases continue to bring these four people together in Reinhardt’s (Afaq, 2014) offbeat novel. His characters expertly walk a thin line between outlandish caricatures and relatable people dealing with the stress of modern life. Amber in particular easily wins both sympathy and laughs as she careens from her outrageous ambition to sympathetic jealousy within just a few paragraphs while Father Coady’s military backstory gives intriguing levels to his outlook on the others. The author’s rapid dialogue creates some genuinely amusing and unexpected exchanges—including a memorable slapstick fight scene involving Mike—but they won’t be for all tastes. Reinhardt’s jokes are often crude, and the book’s mysterious title character requires quite the leap of faith. Still, an exciting and off-kilter adventure awaits those readers willing to take it.

A fast-paced, funny romp with easy laughs, surprisingly complex characters, and plenty of quirky twists.

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68401-966-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Mascot Books

Review Posted Online: April 23, 2019

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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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The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

REGRETTING YOU

When tragedy strikes, a mother and daughter forge a new life.

Morgan felt obligated to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris, when she got pregnant with their daughter, Clara. But she secretly got along much better with Chris’ thoughtful best friend, Jonah, who was dating her sister, Jenny. Now her life as a stay-at-home parent has left her feeling empty but not ungrateful for what she has. Jonah and Jenny eventually broke up, but years later they had a one-night stand and Jenny got pregnant with their son, Elijah. Now Jonah is back in town, engaged to Jenny, and working at the local high school as Clara’s teacher. Clara dreams of being an actress and has a crush on Miller, who plans to go to film school, but her father doesn't approve. It doesn’t help that Miller already has a jealous girlfriend who stalks him via text from college. But Clara and Morgan’s home life changes radically when Chris and Jenny are killed in an accident, revealing long-buried secrets and forcing Morgan to reevaluate the life she chose when early motherhood forced her hand. Feeling betrayed by the adults in her life, Clara marches forward, acting both responsible and rebellious as she navigates her teenage years without her father and her aunt, while Jonah and Morgan's relationship evolves in the wake of the accident. Front-loaded with drama, the story leaves plenty of room for the mother and daughter to unpack their feelings and decide what’s next.

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1642-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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