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BELLA CIGNA

From the Foreign Endearments series , Vol. 1

A charming and picturesque novel about love and new beginnings.

A newly single American woman takes an international teaching position and meets a handsome Italian man in this first romance in a series.

After getting a call from a fertility clinic, Sarah Flynn decides to take off work early and surprise her husband with the good news. Instead, she finds Philip home from work, packing his things. Just when Sarah thought they were going to start a family, he informs her that he’s leaving her. A few months afterward, Sarah’s best friend convinces her to sign up for an international teaching position, and Sarah ends up in scenic Rome, teaching English grammar at the all-girls Saint Theresa School. She was excited that room and board were included in the salary, but she didn’t expect such a tiny room—with a tiny bed to match. Before long, she finds herself slowly fitting into the social scene, befriending fellow teacher Anna. Sarah loves her classes and enjoys her occasional talks with Eduardo Rossini, a student’s father. However, she’s still getting over her divorce, and she’s not getting any better at learning Italian despite her immersion in the culture and language. Maybe some private tutoring lessons with handsome Eduardo will be just what she needs. Debut author Dass pens a charming novel that’s just as much a story of one woman’s journey to find herself as it is a search for love. Sarah is a particularly likable and empathetic protagonist, and readers will be able to identify with her feelings of displacement and loneliness. Some of the secondary characters are just as lovable, from the nosy but sweet Anna to the seemingly grumpy but kindhearted nun Sister Maria. But what truly makes this novel stand out are its vivid descriptions of beautiful scenery, which may make some readers homesick for a place they’ve never been: “Golden rays of light glistened on the rolling water. The water rippled and splashed against the embankment. Shadows of flags danced on the fortress walls.”

A charming and picturesque novel about love and new beginnings.

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5092-3259-8

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Wild Rose Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2020

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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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IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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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 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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