A fun, delightful yet emotionally poignant late-Regency romance which succeeds on every level.

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SECRETS OF A RUNAWAY BRIDE

Annie Andrews is young, headstrong and determined to marry Mr. Arthur Eggleston; Jordan Holloway, Earl of Ashbourne, is a confirmed bachelor, best friend to Annie’s new brother-in-law and determined to stop her.

With her sister Lily happily married and off on her honeymoon, Annie sees the perfect opportunity to convince Mr. Arthur Eggleston to ask for her hand in marriage. When she realizes that Lily has tasked Jordan with keeping an eye on her, she sets out to elude him but is foiled time and again. The cat-and-mouse game which starts out somewhat in fun becomes more high-stakes as Annie begins to make choices that threaten her reputation, and Jordan finds himself increasingly annoyed at, yet also protective of and attracted to, his young charge. Whisking her away to his country estate, he sees a new side to the young woman he’d considered a flighty nuisance and takes steps to find her a groom, stunned when his attempts backfire, hurting her feelings and offending him on her behalf—and stirring emotions he didn’t believe he was capable of. Could it be he’s met his match in the vexing chit? This book is the follow-up novel to Bowman’s debut, Secrets of a Wedding Night (2012), and it shines with the same charm and wit. The dialogue sparkles, and the characters—especially Annie—have unexpected depth and subtle layers that make them relatable and authentic, even when they’re doing things that, on surface level, we know they shouldn’t. Watching cynical Jordan succumb to Annie’s naively seductive personality is sweet and touching, and we are thoroughly invested in the relationship long before the main characters understand that they are falling in love, which makes their romantic enlightenment more potentially devastating and ultimately satisfying.

A fun, delightful yet emotionally poignant late-Regency romance which succeeds on every level.

Pub Date: March 26, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-250-00896-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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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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A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

THE DECEPTION

A successful businesswoman hires a smooth-talking bounty hunter to find a lead on her sister’s murder.

Kate Gallagher was the only one available to identify her younger sister Chrissy’s body after she was found dead, having run away from home two years earlier. Since Chrissy succumbed to drugs and turned to sex work to survive, her murder isn't taken seriously by the local homicide department. Kate is filled with grief and regret at not having been there for her sister, and she’s determined to find her killer as a kind of penance. Jason Maddox is the charming man Kate almost hooked up with at a local bar. He also happens to be on the payroll of the most successful investigation company in Dallas. He’s all too eager to help Kate out and spend more time getting to know the blonde he danced with at the Sagebrush Saloon. At first, Kate and Jason vow to keep things professional until the case is solved; there’s obvious attraction that they’re willing to pursue at a later date. But the increasing sense of danger mixed with Kate and Jason’s close proximity proves to be too heady of a combination. The tension never lets up as the pair visit seedy bars and interrogate unsavory characters. With a steamy romance and undeniably hot chemistry, the main characters are well matched. They’re both driven, slightly stubborn, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of catching criminals. Martin (The Conspiracy, 2019, etc.) doesn’t skimp on graphic, violent details as Chrissy’s murder leads her couple to something much bigger: human trafficking. Though not for the faint of heart given its weighty material, this is an un-put-down-able page-turner that’s sure to satisfy fans of romance and thrillers alike.

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00769-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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