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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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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A breezy tale perfect for a day at the beach, this one’s a real winner.

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THE HATING GAME

Lucy Hutton absolutely detests her office mate Joshua Templeman. He’s a pompous, self-important, obnoxious ass. But, she’s got to admit, he is pretty cute.

From the moment they meet, a result of the unwelcome corporate merger between their employers, Lucy and Joshua are at odds. Joshua is assistant to the CEO of what was once Bexley Publishing, a numbers-crunching, foosball-playing frat house–cum-business. Lucy is assistant to the CEO of the now-defunct Gamin Publishing, a Birkenstock-clad, free-flowing commune of literary purists. When the two companies begrudgingly become one, so does the executive suite. Thus begins this hate-at-first-sight romantic comedy. Lucy and Joshua’s daily interactions include the staring game, the mirror game, and the HR game, each played with the intensity of the Hunger Games. Their mutual antipathy grows when a new executive position opens at Bexley-Gamin Publishing and both Lucy's and Joshua’s bosses think their protégés would be the perfect choice. Here the high-stakes game begins. After yet another 60-hour work week, which now includes prepping for upcoming interviews, Lucy logs off of her computer (Password: IHATEJOSHUA4EV@) to head home, but not before her rival hops into the elevator with her. When Joshua hits the emergency button and stops the ride, Lucy is certain her nemesis is going to kill her. Instead, he plants a (completely consensual) kiss on her that awakens something she hadn’t known existed. Debut novelist Thorne delivers something nearly impossible: an entirely predictable plot that is also completely fresh, original, and utterly charming. From the opening page, readers will know the outcome of Lucy and Joshua’s relationship, but what happens in between is magic. From Lucy’s hilarious inner dialogue to Joshua’s sharp retorts, the chemistry between them is irresistibly adorable—and smokin’ hot.

A breezy tale perfect for a day at the beach, this one’s a real winner.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-243959-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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