An engaging, lighthearted novel likely to appeal to all romance readers.

SATISFACTION GUARANTEED

A straight-laced New York businesswoman inherits half of a sex-toy shop in Portland, Oregon, from her free-spirited aunt.

Cade Elgin seems downright conservative to her artistic family. Her parents own one of New York’s most famous art galleries, and although Cade has an eye for discovering new artists, she spends most of her time managing the business side of things. After her Aunt Ruth’s funeral, Cade learns she has inherited half of her quirky aunt’s sex-toy shop, Satisfaction Guaranteed. The other half was left to Selena Mathis, Ruth’s friend and tenant. The shop is in dire financial straits, and even though she knows it’s a lost cause, Cade agrees to work with Selena to try to turn it around. Cade has never had much luck with girlfriends or sex, so she finds Selena’s sensuality and playfulness hard to resist. Meanwhile, Selena admires Cade’s easy confidence and calm demeanor. Selena has her own personal struggles with ex-lover Alex, who wants to get back with Selena after finally leaving her husband. Alex was one of her professors, and after their affair ended, Selena dropped out of art school and burned all her paintings. Determined to stay celibate until she straightens out her life, Selena tries to avoid her strong attraction to Cade while dodging Alex’s high-pressure push to reconcile. Cade and Selena are likable characters in a sticky situation, and they respect each other’s faults and foibles. Cade learns to let loose while Selena rediscovers her love of painting. Much of the novel’s humor derives from the differences between Cade and Selena, but Stetz-Waters never makes either of them the butt of the joke. It’s a truly funny rom-com that’s full of heat and heart.

An engaging, lighthearted novel likely to appeal to all romance readers.

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5387-3552-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Forever

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

A warm and winning "When Harry Met Sally…" update that hits all the perfect notes.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 32

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION

A travel writer has one last shot at reconnecting with the best friend she just might be in love with.

Poppy and Alex couldn't be more different. She loves wearing bright colors while he prefers khakis and a T-shirt. She likes just about everything while he’s a bit more discerning. And yet, their opposites-attract friendship works because they love each other…in a totally platonic way. Probably. Even though they have their own separate lives (Poppy lives in New York City and is a travel writer with a popular Instagram account; Alex is a high school teacher in their tiny Ohio hometown), they still manage to get together each summer for one fabulous vacation. They grow closer every year, but Poppy doesn’t let herself linger on her feelings for Alex—she doesn’t want to ruin their friendship or the way she can be fully herself with him. They continue to date other people, even bringing their serious partners on their summer vacations…but then, after a falling-out, they stop speaking. When Poppy finds herself facing a serious bout of ennui, unhappy with her glamorous job and the life she’s been dreaming of forever, she thinks back to the last time she was truly happy: her last vacation with Alex. And so, though they haven’t spoken in two years, she asks him to take another vacation with her. She’s determined to bridge the gap that’s formed between them and become best friends again, but to do that, she’ll have to be honest with Alex—and herself—about her true feelings. In chapters that jump around in time, Henry shows readers the progression (and dissolution) of Poppy and Alex’s friendship. Their slow-burn love story hits on beloved romance tropes (such as there unexpectedly being only one bed on the reconciliation trip Poppy plans) while still feeling entirely fresh. Henry’s biggest strength is in the sparkling, often laugh-out-loud-funny dialogue, particularly the banter-filled conversations between Poppy and Alex. But there’s depth to the story, too—Poppy’s feeling of dissatisfaction with a life that should be making her happy as well as her unresolved feelings toward the difficult parts of her childhood make her a sympathetic and relatable character. The end result is a story that pays homage to classic romantic comedies while having a point of view all its own.

A warm and winning "When Harry Met Sally…" update that hits all the perfect notes.

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0675-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 34

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more