A warm, heartfelt novel that’ll get stuck in your head like your favorite love song.

JUST ANOTHER LOVE SONG

A small-town gardener with big dreams reunites with her ex-boyfriend, a famous alt-country singer, in this sweet second-chance romance.

Sandy Macintosh imagined hundreds of different scenarios in which she’d run into her ex-boyfriend Hank Tillman, but being covered in dirt in the soda aisle of her local grocery store wasn’t one of them. The last time she’d seen him was eight years ago…with his new wife. Before Hank was a married country-music star, he and Sandy were high school sweethearts, bonding over a desire to venture beyond their small town of Baileyville, Ohio. An aspiring artist, Sandy hoped to follow Hank to college in Massachusetts, until a scholarship mishap forced her to attend a local community college. Fearing that she would hold him back from his big break, Sandy ended things and has stayed in Baileyville ever since: “I’ve been letting my roots grow deeper and deeper here in town, so deep that they’re now all tangled and gnarled far below the surface.” For the past 16 years, Sandy has worked hard to make peace with the life she was given, buying her own greenhouse and developing a knack for gardening. But seeing Hank—who’s now divorced and thinking about moving back home—threatens the fragile surface of her contentment, and when he volunteers to help Sandy raise funds for the Baileyville Street Fair, she can’t help but wonder if she could finally allow herself the happiness she deserves. Winfrey’s romance is sweet as honey, and Sandy’s long-awaited journey to living out her dreams is touching and gratifying. Better yet, Hank is the quintessential kindhearted golden boy: “His eyes showed me everything I loved about Baileyville and everything I dreamed about in the outside world….Those blue-gray irises sparkled with the gently swaying flowers of my present and the skyscrapers of my dreams.” With hilarious best friends like Honey and Shelby and memorable oddities like Hotpants Ed, Sandy and Hank’s quaint country town feels larger than life.

A warm, heartfelt novel that’ll get stuck in your head like your favorite love song.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-33343-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

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

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IT ENDS WITH US

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 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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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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