A heartwarming story about faith and starting over.

COWBOY FOR HIRE

From the Wishing River series , Vol. 2

An unexpected relationship blooms in rural Montana in James’ latest romance novel, the second in her Wishing River series.

After her widowed mother died, Sarah Turner suddenly found herself in charge of the vast Montana ranch that had been in her family for generations. She’s shy but strong-willed; however, she feels overwhelmed with the staggering responsibility of running the ranch. Thankfully, she has her loyal housekeeper, Edna Casey, by her side, but even Sarah knows she’ll need to hire more help if she’s to get the ranch back on its feet. So when she puts an ad in the local paper for a ranch foreman, the last thing she’s expecting is romance. But that’s just what she gets when the ruggedly handsome Cade Walker comes into her life. Cade and Sarah seem to come from two different worlds, but that doesn’t stop the sparks from flying every time they’re together. As their feelings for each other become undeniable, Sarah feels that she must choose between her newfound independence and a chance at true love. The shadow of Sarah’s family tragedy offers fine character motivation and conflict; the emotional turmoil feels genuine and never overdone, and it’s interesting to see how it shapes her decisions: “She asked to have the strength to continue living without them. She prayed to God that she would one day find her purpose, a man to love, a family to raise.” Still, there’s also plenty of humor and tongue-in-cheek banter. Cade’s reserved nature enjoyably contrasts with Sarah’s self-reliant attitude, and it’s satisfying to watch the pair interact. The book’s approach regarding unknown possibilities and new beginnings is appealing throughout.

A heartwarming story about faith and starting over.

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64063-821-1

Page Count: 359

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

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IT STARTS WITH US

The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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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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