A romantic comedy with a lively, funny cast, including a lovable main character.

READ REVIEW

The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan

In Dineen’s (She Sins at Midnight, 2014, etc.) latest novel, a 30-something public relations professional finds that getting a guy can be complicated.

Mimi Finnegan, a PR maven, is single and a size 12. She joins Weight Watchers to get fit and ease the strain on her bunion, which she’s named “Edith Bunker.” At work, she represents British author Elliot Fielding, and on her part, it seems to be hate at first sight. However, she soon realizes that’s she’s not feeling hate but lust, which turns to love, despite Elliot’s buttoned-up demeanor. The problem is that he’s in a relationship and about to become engaged. Mimi decides to transform herself by losing weight in order to get his attention. She accompanies Elliot to New York to help promote his book, and she finds out that he has strong feelings for her—but his relationship with his soon-to-be-fiancee is complicated. Mimi’s new confidence also attracts Richard Bingham, a New York City advertising executive, who sweeps her off her feet and has no problem with a little competition. After Mimi returns home to her small town, she hopes that Elliot will choose her, but instead she finds out that he’s finally popped the question. Devastated, she moves to New York, where she’s been offered a job and Richard is waiting with open arms. Mimi then learns a secret about Elliot’s relationship, and her love for him deepens. Soon they reunite in New York and try to figure out if they can be together. This novel has myriad outrageous moments and some touching ones, as well, such as when Mimi learns that her sisters consider her the most supportive sibling—and not just the sister who has a bunion. The author openly pays homage to characters such as Bridget Jones and Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, but she still gives Mimi her own spice and personality. The repetitive jokes about bunions and the bad writers of Mimi’s life’s script, though, sometimes make the prose fall a little flat. However, the story also has a deeply emotional side as well as a satisfying ending.

A romantic comedy with a lively, funny cast, including a lovable main character.

Pub Date: May 12, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5118-5673-7

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2015

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A heartfelt look at taking second chances, in life and in love.

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BEACH READ

Two struggling authors spend the summer writing and falling in love in a quaint beach town.

January Andrews has just arrived in the small town of North Bear Shores with some serious baggage. Her father has been dead for a year, but she still hasn’t come to terms with what she found out at his funeral—he had been cheating on her mother for years. January plans to spend the summer cleaning out and selling the house her father and “That Woman” lived in together. But she’s also a down-on-her-luck author facing writer’s block, and she no longer believes in the happily-ever-after she’s made the benchmark of her work. Her steadily dwindling bank account, though, is a daily reminder that she must sell her next book, and fast. Serendipitously, she discovers that her new next-door neighbor is Augustus Everett, the darling of the literary fiction set and her former college rival/crush. Gus also happens to be struggling with his next book (and some serious trauma that unfolds throughout the novel). Though the two get off to a rocky start, they soon make a bet: Gus will try to write a romance novel, and January will attempt “bleak literary fiction.” They spend the summer teaching each other the art of their own genres—January takes Gus on a romantic outing to the local carnival; Gus takes January to the burned-down remains of a former cult—and they both process their own grief, loss, and trauma through this experiment. There are more than enough steamy scenes to sustain the slow-burn romance, and smart commentary on the placement and purpose of “women’s fiction” joins with crucial conversations about mental health to add multiple intriguing layers to the plot.

A heartfelt look at taking second chances, in life and in love.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0673-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Jove/Penguin

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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