This is the only way you’re getting to Capri this year. Why resist?

SEX AND VANITY

True love will find a way, even among the status-obsessed and filthy rich.

There are few authors who could pull off wealth porn in the current cultural moment—perhaps only one. Kwan, author of the insanely popular Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, again manages to enchant, though this is crazy and rich without the Asian locales, food, and other cultural details. While the locations of this book—the isle of Capri and the Hamptons—are certainly glamorous and full of rich people, they are no Singapore or Hong Kong. Kwan overcomes that with his irresistibly knowing humor and delightful central characters. Lucie Tang Churchill ("92nd St. Y Nursery School / Brearley / Brown"; the educational resume of every character is provided like this) is Chinese American, and her love interest, George Zao, is “a Chinese boy from Hong Kong who had spent a few years in Australia,” leaving him with an Aussie accent and a surfboard. They meet and become aware of their furious vibrational connection at an over-the-top wedding on Capri—but a complete disaster intervenes to keep them apart. Well, not a disaster disaster, more of a public relations disaster. It involves drones. Next thing we know, Lucie is engaged to a simply awful, nouveau riche, social media–obsessed white boy named Cecil Pike, who has somehow been pronounced by Esquire “The Most Desired Dude on the Planet.” A faithful Kwan-ite will see poor Cecil immediately for the plot device he is: “The Obstacle,” who drives a Meteor over Fountain Blue Bentley Mulsanne and wears bespoke Corthay “Cannes” suede loafers. While he’s engineering the timeless love story and continuing our postgraduate education in all the things money can buy, Kwan manages to take a few swipes against snobbery and racism. Nice.

This is the only way you’re getting to Capri this year. Why resist?

Pub Date: June 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-385-54627-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

ALL YOUR PERFECTS

Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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