If Facebook COO (and first-time author) Sandberg succeeds, it will be because she's made us mad—and more than willing to act. With no small amount of self-deprecating humor, a massive quantity of facts and research, plus a liberal dose of very personal anecdotes, Sandberg forces each one of us—woman and man—to reexamine ourselves at work and in life, using a unique filter. Are we more concerned about being liked than succeeding? Do we think of our career as a series of upward ladders rather than a jungle gym? Do our authentic selves—and honesty—show up in business? In short, every single undoing of a woman's career is examined thoughtfully and with twenty-first-century gentleness and exposed with recommended remedies. Her colleagues act as advocates for her theme: lean in, or take a risk and drive change for us all. And though there are no solutions offered, except in the formation of communities around the country and (we hope!) around the world, there's tremendous reenergy in feeling that, thanks to Sandberg, the world just might be a different place. (booklist *Starred Review*)
by Martin Ford
by Steven Kotler
Noted technological maven and futurist Ford returns with more reasons for working men and women to fear for their futures.
Imagine a world in which the want ads, if they appear at all, simply read: "Humans Need Not Apply." That nightmarish scenario might be enough to cause all but the idle rich to lay awake at night. The most terrifying thing about the author's fearful forecast, however, is that this dystopian future - where shrewdly sophisticated and ruthlessly cost-effective robots eliminate the need for those anachronistic things once called "jobs" - sounds much more inevitable than incredible. For both scientific and economic reasons, which Ford outlines with a comprehensiveness that boarders on chilling, there is simply no way in this relentlessly capitalist society to avoid being replaced by a robot. In the labor pyramid to come, even some of the lucky few occupying the white-collar pinnacle will not be safe. Ford's argument is frightening because it does not offer even a whiff of alarm or hysteria. Instead, the author's discourse feels as dispassionate and merciless as the circuitry silently running inside his subjects' metallically whirring bodies. Humankind's inescapable predicament appears so bleak that the only alternative to total societal collapse that Ford can identify is to fashion a system in which the great majority of the working class receives "a basic income guarantee." Elected officials—from President Barack Obama all the way down to a small-town mayor—may steadfastly bang the drum for more education and training as the way out of the unemployment morass, but Ford clearly demonstrates that free market forces and consumer demand (already on display in Amazon's increasingly automated warehouses) will soon make it nearly impossible to continue employing large numbers of human beings in the workplace.
A careful and courageous examination of automation and its possible impact on society. (Kirkus Reviews)
An examination of the scientific and technological developments that have transformed fantasy into reality.
It's not quite the age of flying cars and space colonies, but we are not that far off either. The dreams of yesteryear are becoming the reality of the present day with remarkable speed. Flow Genome Project director of research Kotler (The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance, 2014, etc.) first realized this paradigm shift in technological development during a pivotal meeting in the late 1990s, when he learned about new competitions and ventures into commercial space travel. From that moment onward, the author began cataloging the disruptive moments that would change how humanity interacts with and envisions technology. From the awe-inspiring wonders of bionics helping disabled veterans return to a life of normalcy to the unnerving possibility of inserting microchips into human brains to record and store memories, thoughts, and emotions for future downloading, the trends of the current technological revolution point to the seemingly inevitable moment when man and machine finally merge. That moment, known as the singularity, might even be achieved as quickly as 2029. Examples like the latter also raise serious ethical issues and question the very nature of ontology and epistemology. If a person's thoughts can be replayed infinitely, can he live forever? The scale of Kotler's entertaining investigation encapsulates the future of asteroid mining, the microscopic frontier of stem cells, the human world and the insect world, the natural environment, and the environment of the mind. More than just focusing on technology, the author studies the obsessive people behind the science. His portraits range from humane and gripping stories of redemption to indifferent research scientists unsure if their developments will even make the world a better place.
An insightful overview of the many ways technology has caught, if not surpassed, our wildest dreams—and it shows no signs of stopping. (Kirkus Reviews)
When the Heavens Fall by Marc Turner
If you pick a fight with Shroud, Lord of the Dead, you had better ensure your victory, else death will mark only the beginning of your suffering.
A book giving its wielder power over the dead has been stolen from a fellowship of mages that has kept the powerful relic dormant for centuries. The thief, a crafty, power-hungry necromancer, intends to use the Book of Lost Souls to resurrect an ancient race and challenge Shroud for dominion of the underworld. Shroud counters by sending his most formidable servants to seize the artifact at all cost.
However, the god is not the only one interested in the Book, and a host of other forces converge, drawn by the powerful magic that has been unleashed. Among them is a reluctant Guardian who is commissioned by the Emperor to find the stolen Book, a troubled prince who battles enemies both personal and political, and a young girl of great power, whose past uniquely prepares her for an encounter with Shroud. The greatest threat to each of their quests lies not in the horror of an undead army but in the risk of betrayal from those closest to them. Each of their decisions comes at a personal cost and will not only affect them, but also determine the fate of their entire empire.
The first of an epic swords & sorcery fantasy series, Marc Turner's When the Heavens Fall features gritty characters, deadly magic, and meddlesome gods. (Publisher Summary)
As summer draws to a close, a Small Long Island town is plagued by a series of mysterious deaths— and one young man, a loner taken in by a local, tries to piece together the crimes before his own time runs out.
Orient is an isolated hamlet on the North Fork of Long Island—a quiet, historic village that swells each summer with vacationers, Manhattan escapees, and wealthy young artists from the city with designs on local real estate. On the last day of summer, a teenage drifter named Mills Chevern arrives in town. Soon after, the village is rocked by a series of unsettling events: the local caretaker is found floating lifeless in the ocean; an elderly neighbor dies under mysterious circumstances; and a monstrous animal corpse is discovered on the beach not far from a research lab often suspected of harboring biological experiments. Before long, other more horrific events plunge the community into a spiral of paranoia.
As the village struggles to make sense of the wave of violence, anxious eyes settle on the mysterious Mills, a troubled orphan with no family, a hazy history, and unknown intentions. But he finds one friend in Beth, an Orient native in retreat from Manhattan, who is determined to unravel the mystery before the small town devours itself.
Suffused with tension, rich with character and a haunting sense of lives suspended against an uncertain future,Orient is both a galvanic thriller and a provocative portrait of the dark side of the American dream: an idyllic community where no one is safe. (Publisher Summary)
A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . . Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth. (Publisher Summary)
Norfolk is suffering from record summer heat when a construction crew unearths a macabre discovery—a downed World War II plane with the pilot still inside. Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn’t possibly be the pilot, and DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea. When the remaining members of the Blackstock family learn about the discovery, they seem strangely frightened by the news. Then human bones are found on the family’s pig farm. Can the team outrace a looming flood to find a killer? (Publisher Summary)
"Agnieszka loves her quiet village, the forests, and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose"-- (Publisher Summary)
Kate Atkinson's dazzling Life After Life explored the possibility of infinite chances and the power of choices, following Ursula Todd as she lived through the turbulent events of the last century over and over again. A GOD IN RUINS tells the dramatic story of the 20th Century through Ursula's beloved younger brother Teddy--would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather-as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. After all that Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is living in a future he never expected to have. An ingenious and moving exploration of one ordinary man's path through extraordinary times. (Publisher Summary)
The American Southwest has been decimated by drought. Nevada and Arizona skirmish over dwindling shares of the Colorado River, while California watches, deciding if it should just take the whole river all for itself. Into the fray steps Las Vegas water knife Angel Velasquez. Detective, assassin, and spy, Angel “cuts” water for the Southern Nevada Water Authority and its boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious archeology developments can bloom in the desert and that anyone who challenges her is left in the gutted-suburban dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. (Publisher Summary)
When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities,The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age. (Publisher Summary)
Early Warning opens in 1953 with the Langdon family at a crossroads. As the country moves out of post–World War II optimism through the darker landscape of the Cold War and the social and sexual revolutions of the 1960s & ’70s, and then into the unprecedented wealth—for some—of the early 1980s, the Langdon children each follow a different path in a rapidly changing world. And they now have children of their own: twin boys who are best friends and vicious rivals; a girl whose rebellious spirit takes her to the notorious Peoples Temple in San Francisco; and a golden boy who drops out of college to fight in Vietnam—leaving behind a secret legacy that will send shock waves through the Langdon family. (Publisher Summary)
In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf’s inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis’s wife. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. (Publisher Summary)
In such a small community as the Falkland Islands, a missing child is unheard of. In such a dangerous landscape it can only be a terrible tragedy, surely... When another child goes missing, and then a third, it's no longer possible to believe that their deaths were accidental, and the villagers must admit that there is a murderer among them. Even Catrin Quinn, a damaged woman living a reclusive life after the accidental deaths of her own two sons a few years ago, gets involved in the searches and the speculation. And suddenly, in this wild and beautiful place that generations have called home, no one feels safe and the hysteria begins to rise. (Publisher Summary)
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The stark white tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery appear to be much the same at first glance. But as this reverent tribute shows, the men and women buried there have a wide range of stories to tell. Following Poole's On Hallowed Ground, about the history of Arlington, Section 60 describes a portion of the cemetery where soldiers from the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are being laid to rest. In crisp prose suited to its military topic, Poole eloquently shares the stories of these casualties and those they left behind, such as the woman who received a soldier's heart, the sergeant who must live with his regrets, and the father who searched for answers about how his son was killed. The deaths are a jumping-off point into larger stories of the conflicts, with detailed battle accounts and an examination of the newest challenges in warfare. But the book draws its greatest strength from the personal tales among the statistics, as the mournful notes of "Taps" drift over the fresh graves, again and again. (Booklist Reviews)
Men of War by Alexander Rose
To an unprecedented degree, Men of War brings home the reality of combat and, just as important, its aftermath in the form of the psychological and medical effects on veterans. Drawing on an immense range of firsthand sources from the battlefield, Rose begins by re-creating the lost and alien world of eighteenth-century warfare at Bunker Hill, the bloodiest clash of the War of Independence—and reveals why the American militiamen were so lethally effective against the oncoming waves of British troops. Then, focusing on Gettysburg, Rose describes a typical Civil War infantry action, vividly explaining what Union and Confederate soldiers experienced before, during, and after combat. Finally, he shows how in 1945 the Marine Corps hurled itself with the greatest possible violence at the island of Iwo Jima, where nearly a third of all Marines killed in World War II would die. As Rose demonstrates, the most important factor in any battle is the human one: At Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima, the American soldier, as much as any general, proved decisive.
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight. Unbroken Tells the gripping true story of a U.S. airman who was the soul survivor when his bomber crashed into the sea during World War II and had to face thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater.
A native Texan who learned to shoot on childhood hunting trips with his father, Kyle was a champion saddle-bronc rider prior to joining the Navy. After 9/11, he was thrust onto the front lines of the War on Terror, and soon found his calling as a world-class sniper who performed best under fire. He recorded a personal-record 2,100-yard kill shot outside Baghdad; in Fallujah, Kyle braved heavy fire to rescue a group of Marines trapped on a street; in Ramadi, he stared down insurgents with his pistol in close combat. Kyle talks honestly about the pain of war—of twice being shot and experiencing the tragic deaths of two close friends. American Sniper also honors Kyles fellow warriors, who raised hell on and off the battlefield. And in moving first-person accounts throughout, Kyles wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their marriage and children, as well as on Chris.
Spanning the years from 1776 to 1782, the sequel to Rise to Rebellion captures a pivotal period in the American Revolution as the colonists face an uphill battle in their quest for freedom and General George Washington makes a fateful--and desperate--decision to cross the Delaware River and confront the enemy in New Jersey. (Publisher Summary)
Pledging her loyalty to the North at the risk of her life when her native Virginia secedes, Quaker-educated aristocrat Elizabeth Van Lew uses her innate skills for gathering military intelligence to help construct the Richmond underground and orchestrate escapes from the infamous Confederate Libby Prison. (Publisher Summary)
Based on local history and family stories passed down by the author's great-great-grandfather, Cold Mountain is the tale of a wounded soldier Inman, who walks away from the ravages of the war and back home to his prewar sweetheart, Ada. Inman's odyssey through the devastated landscape of the soon-to-be-defeated South interweaves with Ada's struggle to revive her father's farm. (Publisher Summary)
A tragic wartime romance set against the brutal and chaotic backdrop of World War I is the classic story of a volunteer ambulance driver wounded on the Italian front and the English nurse he loves and leaves behind. A story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion. (Publisher Summary)
In this poignant novel of love and friendship tested by separation and war, Kezia struggles to keep her ordered life from unraveling after her husband enlists to fight for his country, while Thea, her best friend, sister-in-law and suffragette, is drawn reluctantly to the battlefield. (Publisher Summary)
In Sleep in Peace Tonight, a tale of courage, loyalty, and love, and the sacrifices one will make in the name of each, James MacManus brings to life not only Blitz-era London and the tortuous politics of the White House but also the poignant characters and personalities that shaped the course of world history.(Publisher Summary)
Portrays the contrasting personalities and nostalgic reminiscences of a group of American soldiers engaged in a combat operation against the Japanese during World War II, fighting for the possession of the Japanese-held island of Anopopei. (Publisher Summary)
A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene,The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. (Publisher Summary)
Returning with deep psychological scars after a tour of duty in Iraq, woman soldier Lauren Clay guides her younger brother to an upstate New York oil field that has become the subject of her obsession and begins teaching him survival skills while revealing her experiences. (Publisher Summary)
Fermor primarily made his name with two companion books, which chronicled his walk across Europe as a teenager in 1933 and 1934. A third volume, did not see publication during his lifetime. Now, his literary executors have prepared the manuscripts he intended to use for the third volume—and thus the trilogy is complete. The notably handsome and inexhaustibly curious Englishman walks, on this final portion of his trek, through Bulgaria and Romania. Being on foot, he naturally experiences the landscape and the locals on an especially intimate level. As history has spilled heavily over these two countries since the time of the Ottoman Turks, history is woven into Fermor's enlightening account. People, customs, and geography are what good travel writers seek and share, Fermor foremost among them. (Booklist *Starred Review)
Curiosity. Hope. Passion. Courage. Independence. Self-discipline. Perseverance. Dugard identifies these as the qualities that successful explorers display over the course of their journeys and from which the rest of us can learn. As the foundation for his argument, the author uses the 1857–58 expedition of Richard Francis Burton (1821–90) and John Hanning Speke (1827–64) to find the source of the Nile River, noting the difficulties they experienced in traveling into Africa, the clash of their personalities, and the fallout from their conflicting conclusions regarding the river's source. Dugard arranges his chapters by the traits listed and investigates related psychological/behavioral research then meanders on a far-ranging journey through time and other explorers who have displayed similar attributes. (Library Journal Reviews)
This travel memoir charts the author's own South Pacific voyage, replicating (to a degree) Stevenson's, In the South Seas. The trip was partly therapeutic—Troost, a recovering alcoholic, has a big problem with continents ("Bad things happened to me on large land masses. Terrible things")—and going somewhere small and isolated seemed just the thing to ease a troubled spirit. But there was also an educational component. Troost was trying to experience the voyage in two ways: as a modern-day adventure, but also as a way to explore an episode of Stevenson's life, to get to know this man and writer he'd neglected for far too long. Like Bill Bryson, Troost deftly combines humor, commentary, and education. Troost is a very funny guy, but he also has a lot of serious things to talk about. (Booklist *Starred Review*)
The World's Best Brunches, where to find them and how to make them. A term originally coined for Saturday night carousers who couldn't wake up for breakfast, brunch has evolved into a sunny, social meal beloved the world over. And so...here is The World's Best Brunches, a collection of mid-morning meals accompanied by the origin of each dish, the best place to sample a bite, and an easy-to-prepare recipe for cooking it at home. Includes a collection of 100 authentic recipes with simple, clear instructions for perfect preparation. A glossary of exotic ingredients with easy-to-find alternatives. With a foreword and recipe by top Australian chef Bill Granger. (Publisher Summary)
Audiobooks read by the Author
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy. (Publisher Summary)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
A man returns to the site of his childhood home where, years before, he knew a girl named Lettie Hempstock who showed him the most marvelous, dangerous, and outrageous things, but when he gets there he learns that nothing is as he remembered. This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real…(Publisher Summary)
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live. (Publisher Summary)
American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson
With his Scottish accent and lively personality, no one could do more justice to Ferguson's memoir than the comedian himself. In "American on Purpose," Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and achingly funny memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland, to the comedic promised land of Hollywood. Along the way he stumbles through several attempts to make his mark--as a punk rock musician, a construction worker, a bouncer, and, tragically, a modern dancer. (Publisher Summary)
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler'sYes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy's parents—Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza. Amy Poehler reveals personal stories and offers her humorous take on such topics as love, friendship, parenthood, and her relationship with Tina Fey. (Publisher Summary)
Little Princes by Conor Grennan
For Conor, what began as a footloose adventure becomes a commitment to reunite the children he had grown to love with their families, but this would be no small task. He would risk his life on a journey through the legendary mountains of Nepal, facing the dangers of a bloody civil war and a debilitating injury. Little Princes is a true story of families and children, and what one person is capable of when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. (Publisher Summary)
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
In this new anthology, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath. Trigger Warning explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them to reveal our vulnerabilities and our truest selves. Here is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explore the realm of experience and emotion. (Publisher Summary)
A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander
Believing she will never marry because of her plain features, Eleanor Braddock finds a sense of purpose by building a home for Civil War widows and orphans with the help of an Austrian architect who hides the truth about his aristocratic heritage. (Publisher Summary)
The Beekeeper's Ball by Susan Wiggs
While transforming Bella Vista, her childhood home, into a destination cooking school, celebrated chef Isabel Johansen finds her plans interrupted by war-torn journalist Cormac O'Neill who has arrived to dig up old history. (Publisher Summary)
Evening Stars by Susan Mallery
While nurse Nina Wentworth—torn between two very different men—struggles to leave Blackberry Island, her sister Averil returns, complicating things even further until their reckless mother makes a shocking discovery that changes everything. (Publisher Summary)
Hell for Leather by Julie Ann Walker
When her uncle disappears, Delilah Fairchild turns to Black Knights Inc. operator, Bryan "Mac" McMillan, for help, but when someone attempts to kidnap Delilah and bullets start to fly, these two are in for a passion-filled thrill ride. (Publisher Summary)
Heroes are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
A down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows finds herself trapped on a remote island off the coast of Maine with a sexy horror novelist who knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. (Publisher Summary)
How to Handle a Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy
Volunteering to teach foster kids how to ride, former rodeo cowboy Ridge Cooper shows jaded social worker Sierra Dunn that together they can change the world one child at a time. (Publisher Summary)
The Pelican Bride by Beth White
She's come to the New World to escape a perilous past. But has it followed her to these far shores? A feisty young Frenchwoman gets more than she bargained for when she flees to the New World as a mail-order bride. (Publisher Summary)
River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz
Returning thirteen years after an embarrassing incident from her teens to the hometown of her beloved late aunt, forensic genealogist Lucy Sheridan makes shocking discoveries about her aunt's death, the disappearance of a cold-blooded local, and an attractive former cop. (Publisher Summary)
Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James
When Thorn Dautry, the bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife, he enlists Lady Xenobia India to help make him over into a more civilized man, unaware of the passion that will explode between them. (Publisher Summary)
What a Duke Dares by Anna Campbell
After turning down the Duke of Sedgemoor's marriage proposal, Miss Penelope Thorne runs off to the Continent until, at her dying brother's request, the duke is sent to bring her home. (Publisher Summary)
Lily Wilder is getting married in six days to a man who really lights her fire, but she still has one big decision to make: does she actually want to get married? Lily is a lawyer who loves her job, enough to be excited about working a huge environmental case the week of her wedding in Key West. But prepping a witness is only one of many distractions keeping Lily from figuring out her true feelings: "Do I want to call this off?...Do I love Will?" Is she capable of being faithful, and does she even want to be? Will is a sexy nerd who speaks multiple languages and works as a curator at the Met in New York. He's essentially perfect. But as Lily's mom reminds her, "You're such a…a free spirit!" That's putting it mildly. Lily's comfortable downing vodka for breakfast. She gives her wedding planner—who is a special kind of kooky—hell just for her own amusement. And she'll find a hot stranger to make out with within five minutes of being left alone. But, despite a difficult past and the judgment of her peers, she likes who she is. In Kennedy's debut, career takes a back seat to exploring the benefits of an unconventional love life. In this whirlwind story, which reads not unlike a quickie engagement, the ultimate question is whether one can be both promiscuous and in love. Lily, basking in the glow of Key West's free-love attitude, is guided toward yes. This book has the effect of three Bloody Marys at brunch: it'll leave you flushed, giddy, and prepared to embrace your wild side. (Kirkus Reviews)
The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer
Everything is better at the beach—even divorce—in the bestselling author's (Nantucket Sisters, 2014, etc.) latest love story set in Nantucket.When Sophie's husband announces that he's leaving her for a younger colleague at his architecture firm, Sophie packs up their two children and heads to her friend Susie's sprawling guest cottage for the summer. What she doesn't know is that Susie's cousin Sven has simultaneously rented the house to his friend Trevor and Trevor's son, Leo. With no contracts to settle the dispute, Sophie and Trevor amicably decide to share the space. Though their chemistry is palpable, Sophie isn't prepared for a fling with a younger man. Trevor's wife, Tallulah, was a self-absorbed actress who died of a drug overdose, but he doesn't portray her as a villain. Though she wasn't a traditional mother, Leo adored her. Skipping ahead to the happy ending, the two broken families fall into a pleasant routine of beach combing and sharing meals against the beautiful backdrop of the East Coast. Sophie's emotional maturity is her greatest asset as she reconciles her feelings of relief with the hurt she expected to feel about her divorce. When her friend Angie seduces Trevor one night, Sophie takes it in stride, and she's not offended when Trevor's vegetarian friend, Candace, scolds her for serving meat. Instead, Sophie takes up the piano after years of silence and grows out her hair. She is so detached from her crush on Trevor that when the more age-appropriate Hristo offers her a ride on his yacht, she accepts without worrying about Trevor's feelings. Trevor, however, has other plans for her future. It's a pleasant escape to a state of mind in which rebuilding a life is as simple as pitching an umbrella and spreading out a towel. (Kirkus Reviews)