Devout chick-lit lovers could do worse than this breezy romance—but they’ve likely been there, read that.

SEX WITH THE EX

A bright, totally predictable Bridget Jones–esque trifle.

Gorgeous, just-over-30 PR maven Lola seems to have it all: the hippest job in London (in-house rep for the trendy private club, Posh House); a body to die for; a chic, all-that posse of close girlfriends/drinking buddies; a sweet, deep-pocketed, devastatingly handsome boss, Charlie; not to mention an adorable pet rabbit. But one night, as she’s surveying the Posh House party crowd, Lola sees two of her ex-boyfriends huddled together with her ex-husband, and it hits her: She doesn’t have a man! Suddenly, Richard, the ex-husband and most troublesome of the bunch, seems irresistible. Of course, there are a few tiny obstacles to their fairy tale ending, including (but not limited to): his cash-flow problem, current girlfriend, willingness to cheat on said girlfriend, glaringly evident recurring cocaine abuse and denial of all of the above. So what’s a single successful girl to do? (Run, you say? Pshaw!) Flouting her friends’ advice, Lola sneaks around for illicit rendezvous with Richard, starts slacking off at work and effortlessly deludes herself for hundreds of pages. Unfortunately, it takes much less time for everyone else to figure out that Richard’s a cad and a cokehead, while Charlie, Lola’s rich, hot boss (who might as well be named Mister Darcy) is head-over-heels for her. So what might’ve been a thoroughly entertaining single-woman’s romp through the London dating scene becomes, instead, a mildly frustrating page-flipper bound to make any reader want to reach through the pulp and slap our heroine across the face. Luckily, Lola’s idiocy is one-dimensional—she’s eminently likable, if a bit too otherwise perfect to be true—so she’s fairly fun to follow as the story zips along toward it’s inevitable conclusion: Girl realizes error of her judgment and falls into the arms of the good guy who’s been in love with her all along. Cue sappy pop ballad.

Devout chick-lit lovers could do worse than this breezy romance—but they’ve likely been there, read that.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-373-89536-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Red Dress Ink

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2005

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 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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