A poignant and skillfully crafted second-chance romance.

GREAT AND PRECIOUS THINGS

A father’s request leads a soldier back to his hometown and the woman he thought he’d lost forever in Yarros’ (The Last Letter, 2019, etc.) novel.

Growing up in the small town of Alba, Colorado, Camden “Cam” Daniels had a reputation as a troublemaker. After high school, he became a Green Beret and inspired his brother, Sullivan, to join the Army. When a split-second decision on the battlefield ends with Sullivan’s death, the dead soldier’s father, Arthur, and the town of Alba can’t forgive Cam. Six years later, however, Cam receives a voicemail message from his father. At 58, Arthur is dealing with the devastating effects of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and wants Cam to help him get the “do not resuscitate” order opposed by his elder son, Alexander, known as “Xander,” who’s become Alba’s mayor. Cam returns to Alba and encounters Willow Bradley, his childhood friend and Sullivan’s former girlfriend. He loves Willow but didn’t reveal it after she began dating his brother, and he’s unaware that she loves him, too. To garner support for his father’s case, Cam works with Willow to turn Alba’s historic Rose Rowan Mine into a tourist attraction, and their rekindled friendship turns passionate. But Cam wonders if their relationship can survive the pressures of his father’s court case and the town’s scrutiny. In chapters that alternate between Cam’s and Willow’s first-person perspectives, the romance develops at a slow burn as the couple struggles to make peace with Cam’s guilt over Sullivan’s death and other issues. Although their relationship is the heart of the novel, Cam’s efforts to help his father and resolve their troubled past form a well-developed subplot as he and his brother prepare to face off in court. A gifted storyteller, Yarros captures well the rhythms of life in a once thriving town, and her book succeeds as both a contemporary romance and a sensitively observed story of a son trying to reconnect with his estranged father before it is too late.

A poignant and skillfully crafted second-chance romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64063-816-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston’s debut.

Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the American President Ellen Claremont, knows one thing for sure: He hates Henry, the British prince to whom he is always compared. He lives for their verbal sparring matches, but when one of their fights at a royal wedding goes a bit too far, they end up falling into a wedding cake and making tabloid headlines. An international scandal could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances for re-election, so it’s time for damage control. The plan? Alex and Henry must pretend to be best friends, giving the tabloids pictures of their bromance and neutralizing the threat to Ellen's presidency. But after a few photo ops with Henry, Alex starts to realize that the passionate anger he feels toward him might be a cover for regular old passion. There are, naturally, a million roadblocks between their first kiss and their happily-ever-after—how can American political royalty and actual British royalty ever be together? How can they navigate being open about their sexualities (Alex is bisexual; Henry is gay) in their very public and very scrutinized roles? Alex and Henry must decide if they’ll risk their futures, their families, and their careers to take a chance on happiness. Although the story’s premise might be a fantasy—it takes place in a world in which a divorced-mom Texan Democrat won the 2016 election—the emotions are all real. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. McQuiston’s strength is in dialogue; her characters speak in hilarious rapid-fire bursts with plenty of “likes,” “ums,” creative punctuation, and pop-culture references, sounding like smarter, funnier versions of real people. Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life.

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31677-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

MAYBE SOMEDAY

Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

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