A witty and often amusing marriage drama.


A young woman must choose between old loyalties and a new beginning in Taylor’s debut novel.

Kassie O’Callaghan is a successful 54-year-old marketing executive with a knack for details, which has served her well during her long and admirable career. Now, she’s using her gift to orchestrate a very different kind of project: divorcing Mike Ricci, her husband of 30 years. After years of dealing with Mike’s emotional abuse, she’s finally had enough. But just as she’s about to take the leap, she gets some disastrous news—Mike has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. The news throws her emotions into confusion and complicates her plans to move in with Chris Gaines, a younger man she met while traveling in Venice, Italy. After she postpones her divorce and her other future plans, she comes across clues indicating that Mike may be deceiving her. Kassie eventually faces an impossible decision that might ruin her chance at happiness. Taylor’s dialogue is snappy and contemporary, and the book reads like a fun romantic comedy at times, despite the rather heavy subject matter. Kassie’s inner monologues occasionally provide humorous insights into her personality; when speaking with a doctor involved in her husband’s case, for instance, she thinks to herself, “Oh, that’s reassuring. Let’s suspend with the pleasantries already, shorty, and tell Bad Kassie what’s going on.” The chapters move along briskly without skimping on the finer points of the plot, and there’s even a Spotify playlist and book club discussion questions at the end for those who may be looking for a deeper reading experience. Secondary characters add intriguing layers of complexity to the story, and each plays a role in influencing Kassie’s decisions. The protagonist’s inner struggle feels genuine and heartfelt, and anyone who’s lived through a divorce will find it easy to relate to her.

A witty and often amusing marriage drama.

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63152-745-6

Page Count: 316

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2020

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Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner.


When a devoted husband and father disappears, his wife and daughter set out to find him.

Hannah Hall is deeply in love with her husband of one year, Owen Michaels. She’s also determined to win over his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey, who has made it very clear that she’s not thrilled with her new stepmother. Despite the drama, the family is mostly a happy one. They live in a lovely houseboat in Sausalito; Hannah is a woodturner whose handmade furniture brings in high-dollar clientele; and Owen works for The Shop, a successful tech firm. Their lives are shattered, however, when Hannah receives a note saying “Protect her” and can’t reach Owen by phone. Then there’s the bag full of cash Bailey finds in her school locker and the shocking news that The Shop’s CEO has been taken into custody. Hannah learns that the FBI has been investigating the firm for about a year regarding some hot new software they took to market before it was fully functional, falsifying their financial statements. Hannah refuses to believe her husband is involved in the fraud, and a U.S. marshal assigned to the case claims Owen isn’t a suspect. Hannah doesn’t know whom to trust, though, and she and Bailey resolve to root out the clues that might lead to Owen. They must also learn to trust one another. Hannah’s narrative alternates past and present, detailing her early days with Owen alongside her current hunt for him, and author Dave throws in a touch of danger and a few surprises. But what really drives the story is the evolving nature of Hannah and Bailey’s relationship, which is by turns poignant and frustrating but always realistic.

Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7134-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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For devoted Hannah fans in search of a good cry.


The miseries of the Depression and Dust Bowl years shape the destiny of a Texas family.

“Hope is a coin I carry: an American penny, given to me by a man I came to love. There were times in my journey when I felt as if that penny and the hope it represented were the only things that kept me going.” We meet Elsa Wolcott in Dalhart, Texas, in 1921, on the eve of her 25th birthday, and wind up with her in California in 1936 in a saga of almost unrelieved woe. Despised by her shallow parents and sisters for being sickly and unattractive—“too tall, too thin, too pale, too unsure of herself”—Elsa escapes their cruelty when a single night of abandon leads to pregnancy and forced marriage to the son of Italian immigrant farmers. Though she finds some joy working the land, tending the animals, and learning her way around Mama Rose's kitchen, her marriage is never happy, the pleasures of early motherhood are brief, and soon the disastrous droughts of the 1930s drive all the farmers of the area to despair and starvation. Elsa's search for a better life for her children takes them out west to California, where things turn out to be even worse. While she never overcomes her low self-esteem about her looks, Elsa displays an iron core of character and courage as she faces dust storms, floods, hunger riots, homelessness, poverty, the misery of migrant labor, bigotry, union busting, violent goons, and more. The pedantic aims of the novel are hard to ignore as Hannah embodies her history lesson in what feels like a series of sepia-toned postcards depicting melodramatic scenes and clichéd emotions.

For devoted Hannah fans in search of a good cry.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-2501-7860-2

Page Count: 464

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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