A sweet, mishap-filled look at what it takes to create lasting love between two people with separate lives.

READ REVIEW

LOVE YOUR LIFE

An aspiring writer meets her dream man at a retreat in Italy…but when they’re back in London, real life gets in the way.

Ava is a copywriter for a pharmaceutical company in London, but she dreams of writing a book. So when she gets the chance to go to a writing retreat at a remote monastery in Italy, she jumps on it. At the retreat, real names and personal conversations aren’t allowed—instead, everyone wears linen kurta pajamas and goes by made-up names. Ava decides to go by Aria, and she quickly meets Dutch, who joins their group after his martial arts retreat is cancelled. Ava falls for him almost instantly, and the two spend their days cliff-jumping, eating ice cream, and writing thinly veiled sex scenes to share with the class. One thing they definitely don’t do? Talk about their real names, jobs, or living situations. Ava might not know Dutch’s name, but she knows they’ll stay together even when they head back to London. But it turns out that getting to know Dutch—or Matt—in real life is a bit trickier. Ava hates his industrial flat filled with creepy artwork, and Matt can’t stand her run-down place filled with “rescue books” and upcycled furniture that tends to break. Ava’s dog keeps destroying Matt’s shirts, and Matt isn’t a vegetarian. Perhaps most importantly, Matt is tied to a family job that makes him miserable, and his parents don’t care much for Ava. Can their relationship survive the real world, or are they doomed by their differences? Ava is a charming main character whose relentless positivity is often misplaced but usually quite funny. Her efforts to fit into Matt’s life, no matter where it leads her (sometimes into such awkward situations as a naked sauna with his extended family), are hilarious, but it’s more rewarding to watch her as she learns to take charge of her own life. As usual, Kinsella has created a lovely cast of quirky supporting characters—Ava and Matt’s friends might even be more fun to read about than the romance.

A sweet, mishap-filled look at what it takes to create lasting love between two people with separate lives.

Pub Date: tomorrow

ISBN: 978-0-593-13285-2

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Dial Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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A standard but satisfying twin-swap tale with a sweet love story at its center.

THE DUPLICATE BRIDE

In Baird’s romance novel, a young woman agrees to impersonate her twin sister but finds herself falling for her sibling’s fiance in the process.

Jackie Webb begs her identical-twin sister, Hope, to fly from North Carolina to Maine and pretend to be her. Jackie is scheduled to visit her fiance Brent Albright’s family, mere days before their wedding. She’s a wedding planner herself, unexpectedly forced to work during the scheduled visit—and she fears that if she doesn’t show up in New England as planned, her strained relations with Brent’s family will grow worse. Hope agrees to go the Maine, just to help with wedding preparations, and she has every intention of truthfully identifying herself. But when Brent’s mother immediately mistakes her for Jackie, things quickly spiral out of control. After Brent’s grandmother greets her with disdain, Hope decides to continue the ruse to win over the family. Then she learns that Jackie’s upcoming marriage to Brent, who knows nothing of the trickery, is more of a business deal than a romance. She resolves to save her sister’s future by creating a true bond with him. But unlike Jackie, she’s relaxed and fun-loving, and Brent finds himself delighted to be falling in love with her. As Jackie’s delay grows longer, Hope finds herself falling under Brent’s spell, as well. This wholesome and romantic tale by Baird, the author of An Unforgettable Christmas (2019) and many other romances, is engaging throughout as she tells it from Hope’s and Brent’s perspectives. Although most readers are likely to guess many key plot developments before the end of the first chapter, they’ll still find it great fun to watch the events unfold. The author presents a diverse cast of characters who are as entertaining as they are endearing, as well as many evocative descriptions of the beautiful Maine countryside. Although this novel is a light read, it alludes to deeper issues of confidence, loss, independence, and trust that give it some unexpected heft.

A standard but satisfying twin-swap tale with a sweet love story at its center.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68281-522-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2020

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A classic plot plus Lauren's trademark snark and steam add up to a winning rom-com full of heart and holiday cheer.

IN A HOLIDAZE

A Christmas wish leads to a Christmas nightmare when one woman gets stuck reliving the holiday season, Groundhog Day style.

Things aren’t going as planned for Maelyn Jones. At the age of 26, she’s living with her mom and stepdad, she’s stuck in a dead-end job, and, perhaps most important, she just had an eggnog-filled holiday hookup with Theo Hollis, her family friend and the brother of her unrequited lifelong crush, Andrew Hollis. Maelyn’s spent years waiting for Andrew to notice her as more than a friend, but now she knows she’s screwed things up for good by kissing his brother. The only thing that’s going perfectly in her life is the lovely Park City cabin where her family, Theo and Andrew’s family, and her parents’ other college friends get together every Christmas. But then, on the last day of their vacation, Theo and Andrew’s parents announce that they’re selling the cabin. On the drive to the airport, Maelyn miserably wishes that she could find out what would make her happy…and suddenly, she’s back on the plane to the cabin, pre-Christmas, about to live the whole week over again. With another (and another and another) chance to make things right, will she be able to finally tell Andrew how she feels and discover real happiness? Lauren—the author team behind The Honey-Don’t List (2020) and countless other romantic comedies—is as reliable as ever with this cheery holiday outing. Down-on-her-luck Maelyn is a likable protagonist, and it’s easy to relate to her desire to fix her life (even if most readers don’t have the benefit of time travel). Her conversations with Andrew are adorably banter-filled, and her relationship with her parents’ friend Benny, an aging, wacky stoner, is sweetly charming.

A classic plot plus Lauren's trademark snark and steam add up to a winning rom-com full of heart and holiday cheer.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982123-94-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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