62 Booklist September 1, 2016 www.booklistreader.com
sonal story of the friendship of two remarkable
men. —Kathy Sexton
Vivian in Red.
By Kristina Riggle.
Sept. 2016. 352p. Polis, $25.95 (9781943818167).
Riggle moves away from her issue-driven
women’s fiction (The Whole Golden World,
2013) into historical fiction, telling the story
of Milo Short, a talented pianist who rose to
Broadway fame in the golden age of jazz. Short,
now nearing 90, still goes to his Manhattan studio every day, though he hasn’t written a new
lyric in years. One day on the hot sidewalk,
he spots a woman who looks exactly like Vivian Adair, the mysterious and lovely lady who
played a big role in his past—and her presence
startles him into a stroke. Milo’s niece Ellie is
dispatched to write his biography before it’s
too late. As she struggles to uncover secrets, the
narrative moves easily between the 1930s and
the present. Vivian continues to appear only to
Milo, Ellie finds her place in the family, and the
story of just what happened long ago unfolds at
a steady pace. Readers will enjoy this blend of
romance, historical fiction, and family drama,
especially those with a fondness for New York
in the Jazz Age. —Rebecca Vnuk
By Cat Winters.
Oct. 2016. 384p. Morrow, paper, $15.99
Winters follows The Uninvited (2015) with
another gripping historical novel, this one an
exploration of the effects of suppressed trauma
and desire. Alice Lind is a school psychologist in 1925, a time when men dominated the
academic world and women were expected to
be prim and proper. Alice arrives at the dreary
coastal town of Gordon Bay, Oregon, to administer IQ tests to a group of rural students.
There she is introduced to 7-year-old Janie
O’Daire, who tells disturbing stories of her past
life as Violet Sunday, a female mathematical
genius who died tragically at age 19. Though
ordinarily driven by logic, Alice breaks her own
rule against becoming too invested in others in
order to discover the truth behind Janie’s unbelievable claims of reincarnation. As she delves
deeper into Janie’s story, Alice’s scientific way of
thinking is shaken, and the terrifying mysteries
of her own past rise to confront her. Winters
unveils the unspoken complexities of humankind in this well-written tale that is suspenseful
in all the right places, and will keep readers
guessing at every page. —Emily Park
Baby, Come Back.
By Erica Spindler.
Sept. 2016. 256p. Severn, $28.99 (9780727886286).
Hayes Bradford and Alice Dougherty are
teenage lovers. When Alice gets pregnant and
loses the baby, the young couple splits up. Years
later, Alice has become a counselor working
with at-risk teens. One of them, Sheri, is preg-
nant. The baby’s father, Jeff, is none other than
Hayes’ son. Like his father before him when it
came to his and Alice’s relationship, Hayes will
stop at nothing to keep Jeff and Sheri apart. To
complicate things even further, Hayes and Alice
have found that even after all this time, their
love for each other is very much alive. Once
again, popular and prolific Spindler (Magno-
lia Dawn, 2015) presents a dramatic romance
about life repeating itself that will please readers
who enjoy novels brimming with emotion. In-
deed, there is much to love in this heartwarming
story about second chances. —Shelley Mosley
YA/M: Spindler’s tale of two generations
of teen love and pregnancy will resonate
with YA fans of romantic fiction. SM.
The Boy Is Back.
By Meg Cabot.
Oct. 2016. 368p. Morrow, paper, $15.99
Cabot returns to her loosely connected,
epistolary Boy books with this fourth spirited
sequel. Times have changed since the publication of Every Boy’s Got One (2005). Gone are
the Blackberry messages, interoffice memos,
and handwritten notes; this installment is
told through smartphones, chat apps, and
Buzzfeed-esque news reports. Becky Flowers
runs a moving company for relocating seniors
out of her Indiana hometown, working with
her family and dating a perfectly nice guy.
She’s completely satisfied with her life until
her high-school boyfriend walks back into
it. Reed Stewart, now a successful professional golfer, hasn’t been home in 10 years,
and Becky’s managed to (mostly) forget about
their electric connection and the terrible way
things ended. But Reed’s parents are in trouble. He and his siblings need to move them
across the country, and, well, Becky’s the local
pro. Is anyone surprised when sparks start to
fly again? This is frothy, laugh-out-loud fun
from a reliable favorite, and Cabot fans new
and old will embrace this romance for a new
decade. —Maggie Reagan
The Coldwater Warm Hearts Club.
By Lexi Eddings.
Oct. 2016. 320p. Kensington, paper, $9.95
Lacy Evans thought she had what it takes to
make it as a designer in Boston, and returning
to her quaint hometown of Coldwater, Okla-
homa, was never part of her plans. When her
partner leaves the country with their recep-
tionist and the money he’s embezzled, Lacy
realizes her plans need to change. Back home,
Lacy quickly finds an apartment that comes
with the cat-from-hell and a job writing for
the local newspaper. She runs into Daniel,
the one who got away, and Jake, the guy ev-
ery girl crushed on before realizing he’d never
commit. Jake has been running the Green
Apple Grill since he returned from Afghani-
stan with a prosthetic leg and traumatizing
flashbacks. He’s happy to be back home and
even happier to see Lacy. But her new plan
is to repay a crippling loan, keep her name
off the Methodist prayer chain, and stay away
from men and romance. The quirky charac-
ters, a minor mystery, and the down-home
feel in the first installment in Eddings’ Cold-
water series will delight readers looking for a
sweet small-town romance. —C. L. Quillen
An Indecent Proposal.
By Katee Robert.
Sept. 2016. 352p. Forever, paper, $5.99
(9781455590520); e-book (9781455590537).
The minute Cillian O’Malley walked into
the bar, Olivia Rashidi knew he was nothing
but trouble wrapped up in an irresistibly sexy
package. But her plan to ignore the Irish mob
boss’ son went right out the window the moment Cillian ordered a glass of apple juice.
Before the night is over, Olivia finds herself
engaging in a no-holds-barred, no-strings-attached sexual encounter with Cillian that
leaves them both shaken and more than a little
bit stirred. She tells herself this is it, because the
last thing she needs is to become involved with
someone her Russian-mob “family” considers
to be a serious business rival. Of course, giving
Cillian the romantic brush-off isn’t what Olivia wants to do the next time she bumps into
him. Nominated for a RITA this year, Robert
(The Wedding Pact, 2016) proves she is one of
the bright new stars of romance, and readers
who love tortured heroes with a violent past
but a heart of gold will snap up the latest in
her brilliantly imaginative and blisteringly hot
O’Malley series. —John Charles
My Fair Princess.
By Vanessa Kelly.
Sept. 2016. 352p. Zebra, paper, $5.99 (9781420141092);
For heaven’s sake, he’s a duke, not a miracle
worker! This is Charles Penley’s first thought
when Lady Lucy Marbury asks a favor of him.
She wants him to help polish the spiky edges
her granddaughter, Gillian Dryden, acquired
while living in Sicily and then help smooth
Gillian’s way into the ton. Since Gillian seems
to be more at ease with a rifle in her hands than
a fan, Charles knows he is going to have his
work cut out for him, teaching her how to be a
proper English lady. Yet the more time Charles
spends trying to turn Gillian into the brightest
gem of the social season, the more he begins
to miss the diamond in the rough he first met.
Kelly (Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom, 2014)
launches her new Improper Princesses series
with another superbly crafted Regency historical romance that puts a clever spin on My Fair
Lady while at the same time delivering the usual elegant writing tempered with a deliciously
dry wit and artfully nuanced characters readers
have come to expect from her. —John Charles
My Married Boyfriend.
By Cydney Rax.
Sept. 2016. 356p. Kensington/Dafina, $9.95
(9781496701381); e-book, $7.99 (9781496701398).
Kiara is pregnant and waiting for her divorce from Rashad to be finalized. Rashad is
living with his pregnant girlfriend, Nicole,