A high-energy love story about identity and attachment, perfect for fans of romances with unlikely pairings.

EXPOSURE

A LOVE STORY

From the A Love Story series , Vol. 8

A contemporary romance about a woman who returns to California after years of photographing bears in the Arctic and falls in love with a movie star. 

In the most recent installment of her Love Stories series, Ewens (Playbook, 2017, etc.) follows Megara Jeffries, an accomplished magazine photographer who’s decided to move back to her hometown of San Francisco and finally put down roots. As a means of earning money now that she’s no longer traveling to exotic locations on shoots for National Geographic, Meg acquires an agent and is soon booked to speak at several public events. At the first, a nervous Meg is escorted onstage by Westin Drake, a Hollywood A-lister whose name means nothing to her. They quickly form a bond, though, as West helps Meg stave off a panic attack and get through her first public appearance. Soon the press becomes obsessed with their budding relationship. As a result of their shared interest in environmentalist causes, Meg and West are thrown together time and again, and each time, they grow steadily more attached to each other. Unfortunately, the closer they get, the more Meg realizes that West lives in a world that she may not care to inhabit. As Ewens creates one obstacle after another for the couple, she also explores deeper questions about personal choices and the true meaning of success. Along the way, she effectively shows how the pair struggles with whether they can have a meaningful future with each other and how they begin to question their own individual paths. The narrative has a light and fast-paced feel throughout, and, as in Ewens’ other books, it engagingly tackles complicated questions without ever sacrificing its quick tempo. As the eighth book in the series, this satisfying tale of love and risk does recycle some characters from prior installments, including Meg’s sisters, but for newcomers, it will stand solidly on its own.

A high-energy love story about identity and attachment, perfect for fans of romances with unlikely pairings.

Pub Date: March 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9976838-4-4

Page Count: 278

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2017

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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A steamy, glitzy, and tender tale of college intrigue.

THE CHASE

From the Briar U series

In this opener to Kennedy’s (Hot & Bothered, 2017, etc.) Briar U romance series, two likable students keep getting their signals crossed.

Twenty-one-year-old Summer Heyward-Di Laurentis is expelled from Brown University in the middle of her junior year because she was responsible for a fire at the Kappa Beta Nu sorority house. Fortunately, her father has connections, so she’s now enrolled in Briar University, a prestigious institution about an hour outside Boston. But as she’s about to move into Briar’s Kappa Beta Nu house, she’s asked to leave by the sisters, who don’t want her besmirching their reputation. Her older brother Dean, who’s a former Briar hockey star, comes to her rescue; his buddies, who are still on the hockey team, need a fourth roommate for their townhouse. Three good-looking hockey jocks and a very rich, gorgeous fashion major under the same roof—what could go wrong? Summer becomes quickly infatuated with one of her housemates: Dean’s best friend Colin “Fitzy” Fitzgerald. There’s a definite spark between them, and they exchange smoldering looks, but the tattooed Fitzy, who’s also a video game reviewer and designer, is an introvert who prefers no “drama” in his life. Summer, however, is a charming extrovert, although she has an inferiority complex about her flagging scholastic acumen. As the story goes on, the pair seem to misinterpret each other’s every move. Meanwhile, another roommate and potential suitor, Hunter Davenport, is waiting in the wings. Kennedy’s novel is full of sex, alcohol, and college-level profanity, but it never becomes formulaic. The author adroitly employs snappy dialogue, steady pacing, and humor, as in a scene at a runway fashion show featuring Briar jocks parading in Summer-designed swimwear. The book also manages to touch on some serious subjects, including learning disabilities and abusive behavior by faculty members. Summer and Fitzy’s repeated stumbles propel the plot through engaging twists and turns; the characters trade off narrating the story, which gives each of them a chance to reveal some substance.

A steamy, glitzy, and tender tale of college intrigue.    

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-72482-199-7

Page Count: 372

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

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