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AN EARL, THE GIRL, AND A TODDLER

From the Rogues and Remarkable Women series , Vol. 2

A historical romance of impressive heft.

An accidental father and a woman without a past combine to create an unusual family.

In 1812, families across England are devastated to hear of the wreck of the Minerva, a passenger ship en route from Jamaica. None is more upset than Daniel Thackery, Earl of Ashbrook, who was expecting Phoebe Dunn to arrive after they fell in love by correspondence and married by proxy. When he arrives at the docks, he’s instead presented with a toddler, one of the only survivors. Though Phoebe hadn't said anything about having a child, the girl is a "Blackamoor," like Phoebe and Daniel, and he decides to pretend he's her father and raise her in London. He names her Hope. Unbeknownst to Daniel, however, the girl's actual mother has also survived the wreck. Jemina St. Maur arrived in England suffering from amnesia and was put straight into Bedlam Hospital; she's lucky to be liberated with help from the Widow's Grace, a secret group led by Daniel's aunt that's devoted to helping women in trouble. Daniel and Jemina are charmed by each other, but it isn't until Jemina learns that Daniel knows more about her unremembered past than he's let on that their lives truly collide. The more they interact—particularly after Hope meets Jemina and grows attached—the more it seems clear they should be together. But their relationship is built on a series of lies and possibly even a complex conspiracy against Jemina, so it’s not clear they will be able to do so. In the second volume of the Rogues and Remarkable Women series, Riley builds on the world she first unfolded in A Duke, the Lady, and the Baby (2020), and readers should start there before moving to this volume. But it’s worth the investment, and fans of the first book will be delighted by this story, which brings the same elaborate storytelling and portrayal of a more diverse Regency world than is traditionally found. Riley’s commitment to writing the complex emotions of motherhood remains a crucial part of the series—also a welcome addition to the genre. Well-researched, with a fascinating author's note at the end, this story proves the first was no fluke.

A historical romance of impressive heft.

Pub Date: April 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4201-5225-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Zebra/Kensington

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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THE RULE BOOK

Haphazard and undemanding.

A sports agent’s first official client is the man she dumped years ago in college.

After two years of hard work as an underling, Nora Mackenzie is finally being promoted to full-time sports agent. She’s worked hard, kept quiet, and allowed men in the office to call her Mac—a nickname she hates—all to show she’s a team player and “one of the guys.” Unfortunately, her boss instructs her to sign Derek Pender, a football player coming off an injury, who happens to be the man she heartlessly dumped in their senior year of college. Derek signs with her for revenge, seeing it as his opportunity to pay Nora back for callously breaking his heart eight years earlier. He insists she be at his beck and call: answering his emails, running his errands, cooking dinner for his dates. He also refuses to let her explain why she broke up with him without warning or explanation. Nora feels she has no choice but to acquiesce to Derek’s humiliating demands, since she’s worked too hard to let him ruin her dream job. She hopes he’ll thaw and they might become friends, but Derek’s bad behavior is designed to hide the fact that he’s still in love with her. Nora’s characterization is uneven, veering between anger at how she’s treated in the male-dominated field to immature bickering and bantering with Derek. Although Adams likely meant for Derek and Nora’s interactions to have an enemies-to-lovers vibe, the characters instead seem juvenile and stuck in the past. The novel is fueled by a string of tropes—second chance romance! married in Vegas! only one bed!—each randomly deployed to keep the book going despite thin characterization and wan plotting.

Haphazard and undemanding.

Pub Date: April 2, 2024

ISBN: 9780593723678

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dell

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

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BRIDE

Sink your teeth into this delightful paranormal romance with a modern twist.

A vampire and an Alpha werewolf enter into a marriage of convenience in order to ease tensions between their species.

As the only daughter of a prominent Vampyre councilman, Misery Lark has grown accustomed to playing the role that’s demanded of her—and now, her father is ordering her to be part of yet another truce agreement. In an effort to maintain goodwill between the Vampyres and their longtime nemeses the Weres, Misery must wed their Alpha, Lowe Moreland. But it turns out that Misery has her own motivations for agreeing to this political marriage, including finding answers about what happened to her best friend, who went missing after setting up a meeting in Were territory. Isolated from her kind and surrounded on all sides by the enemy after the wedding, Misery refuses to let herself forget about her real mission. It doesn’t matter that Lowe is one of the most confounding and intense people she’s ever met, or that the connection building between them doesn’t feel like one born entirely of convenience. There’s also the possibility that Lowe may already have a Were mate of his own, but in spite of their biological differences, they may turn out to be the missing piece in each other’s lives. While this is Hazelwood’s first paranormal romance, and the book does lean on some hallmark tropes of the genre, the contemporary setting lends itself to the author’s trademark humor and makes the political plot more easily digestible. Misery and Lowe’s slow-burn romance is appealing enough that readers will readily devour every moment between them and hunger to return to them whenever the story diverts from their scenes together.

Sink your teeth into this delightful paranormal romance with a modern twist.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9780593550403

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2023

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