A thrilling gothic-romance novel that melds family secrets, magic, and marriage—with room for a sequel, of course.

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The Angel of the Mansion

A young aspiring model becomes embroiled in supernatural family dynamics in Rich’s debut paranormal romance.

Mediterranean-born, 18-year-old Anis accompanies her best friend to a modeling contest. There, Anis is noticed by the booking agency’s reps for having a look with “naturalness and genuineness,” and, in a lucrative arrangement, she begins working with them. In Manhattan, she meets Michael Solomon, a mysterious, obsessive, controlling man almost twice her age, at a fashion show. Not long afterward, she’s mysteriously attacked by an unknown man. As she recovers, Michael continues to pursue her, and he seems to exhibit a mystical power over her. He soon proposes marriage, and eventually she returns his affections. She discovers that he lives on a grand family estate, as he’s a descendant of the wealthy, powerful Solomon banking family. The couple’s marriage confronts the complications of business schedules as well as the awkwardness of befriending in-laws. Against a backdrop of international political unrest, Anis becomes acquainted with the house and its residents, but her loneliness deepens, and her habitual drinking and bizarre ghostly visions don’t help. Although her best friend, John, visits and offers solace, “the golden cage was beginning to lose its interest, and the role of the frosty queen had frozen me too,” she laments, and she despairs of the fact that she’s bound to Michael through a premarital agreement. Rich throws other elements into the moody mix: mystery women, including Michael’s obsessed ex-lover Grace; initiation rites; temples; magic spells; a mysterious brotherhood; and remote locales, such as Lake Como in Italy and Agio Oros in Greece. These aspects elevate the novel, as told from Anis’ first-person perspective, from a mere marital melodrama to an otherworldly, exquisitely detailed saga of mythical, spectral proportions. Although Anis eventually pleads for Michael to “take me out of this circus,” readers will be happy that they stand strong through it all. Overall, Rich has an impressive knack for literary pacing, and she also has the intuition not to overcomplicate her fiction with too many digressions. These qualities make it ideal for both YA and adult audiences who are eager for a sweeping, potent brew of danger and wizardry.

A thrilling gothic-romance novel that melds family secrets, magic, and marriage—with room for a sequel, of course.   

Pub Date: July 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4917-9848-5

Page Count: 526

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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The perfect bonbon to pick up for distraction during those long production numbers at the actual Oscars.

BOMBSHELL

Think the competition among Oscar nominees is a blood sport? You have no idea.

Desperation at Dawn has snared Academy Award nominations for writer/director Peter Barrington; his wife, composer Hattie Barrington; lead actress Tessa Tweed; supporting actor Mark Weldon; and Tessa’s husband, Ben Bacchetti, who, as head of Centurion Studios, would bask in the award for best picture. Tessa’s nomination is nice for her, but it grates on Viveca Rothschild, the blonde bombshell who, determined that her own third nomination will be the charm, resolves to do whatever it takes to undermine Tessa, beginning with getting hired on Trial by Fire, Tessa’s aptly named new film, and planting snippy items about her in gossip columns. But that’s far from the biggest problem lurking beneath the tinsel. Viveca’s boyfriend, Iraq War vet Bruce, has PTSD and a much less nuanced approach than his girlfriend to stopping Tessa in her tracks. Even worse, crime boss Gino Patelli, suspecting that his uncle and predecessor, Carlo Gigante, was offed by Centurion producer Billy Barnett, hires a series of variously hapless underlings to find and kill him. As Billy tells his attorney, Peter’s father Stone Barrington, when he’s arrested for a rare murder he didn’t commit, “It seems to be open season on Billy Barnett.” But the predators’ job is considerably complicated by the fact that Billy, like Mark Weldon, is an alter ego of former CIA operative Teddy Fay, who effortlessly spots every Patelli employee early on, switches identities in a flash to escape them, and shoots them when he can’t. So the suspense in this enjoyably weightless tale is focused on the climactic Academy Award ceremonies. Who wants to bet that Tessa or Teddy will get killed or that Desperation at Dawn won’t sweep the categories in which it’s nominated?

The perfect bonbon to pick up for distraction during those long production numbers at the actual Oscars.

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-08325-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

THE A LIST

A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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