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New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren (the pen name of best friends and co-authors Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) brings us Wicked Sexy Liar, book four in the Wild Seasons series.

London Hughes is happy to surf by day and bartend by night as she slowly puts together a graphics arts portfolio to go with the degree she recently earned at UC San Diego. At the same time, she’s building friendships with an already tight group of friends—all of whom are in committed relationships. She occasionally feels as if everyone in the world is paired off except for her, but that’s all right. Her one and only serious relationship ended disastrously, and she is in no burning hurry for another. Then Luke Sutter walks into her bar.

Luke has been on a hookup bender for so long, he rarely thinks about what he’s doing anymore. However, there is just something about London that knocks him for a loop. Maybe it’s because she let him to call her by the wrong name their entire first night together without once bothering to correct him. Or the fact she never hesitates to call him on his nonsense. Whatever it is, she is getting under his skin. Feeling something real for a woman for the first time in a long time makes him realize that he has never truly moved on from the long-ago breakup with a woman he believed was his soul mate—a woman who is now one of London’s friend. And discovering the identity of Luke’s past love ushers in the exact complications London has tried so hard to avoid.

Fresh, hip and energetic, Wicked Sexy Liar layers earthy sexiness with raw, honest dialog to create a page-turning keeper. London and Luke's journey toward grown-up love is a satisfying trip worth taking.

Susan Andersen is a New York Times bestselling author of 23 romance and romantic-suspense novels.

New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren (the pen name of best friends and co-authors Cristina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) brings us Wicked Sexy Liar, book four in the Wild Seasons series.

Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to her popular Wait for You series with a suspenseful and sexy New Adult romance about taking second chances and learning to heal. 

Bartender and burgeoning artist Roxy has loved Reece for years. She was there for him when they grew up, when he came back from serving in the Marines and after a particularly harrowing event while he was on duty as a police officer. But the implications of a one-night stand together put an awkward strain on their once strong friendship. With the tension increasing between them as the elephant in the room goes ignored, a painful reminder from Roxy’s past returns, and a killer begins terrorizing women in the area.

The way Reece and Roxy dance around each other will have readers biting their nails in anticipation.

Both Roxy and Reece have their own demons to address, and it’s a great juxtaposition to see how they handle various situations with their very different attitudes. Reece is protective, honest and oh-so-earnest in everything he does. Meanwhile, Roxy is the definition of quirky and fun, and it’s hard not to smile every time she’s talking.

However, Roxy’s carefree demeanor hides a deep loss. Her best friend was the victim of a hate crime that left him in the care of a facility, unable to speak or do anything on his own. Henry, the man responsible, has just been released from prison, bringing Officer Reece back into Roxy’s life after nearly a year of avoiding one another. Add in a man targeting and attacking women in town, and discussing the repercussions of their night together isn’t a priority for Reece and Roxy, despite the fact that their attraction is becoming increasingly hard to ignore.

Though Fall with Me is the fourth book in the Wait for You series, Armentrout does a flawless job of introducing previous characters and setting the scene without that pesky feeling of being left out. The way Reece and Roxy dance around each other—flirting and toeing that line of no-going-back—will have readers biting their nails in anticipation as both characters strive to peel back each other's layers of guilt and grief. There’s no shortage of page-turning action, either. As Henry tries to make amends with Roxy for the pain he’s caused, the very serious threat of a murderer is making headlines in the news. Whether readers are new to Armentrout or longtime fans, this passionate, heartfelt romance is sure to satisfy .

New York Times best-selling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to her Wait for You series with another suspenseful installment. Fall with Me is a New Adult romance about risking second chances, overcoming misunderstandings and learning how to heal.

Developmentally disabled teens Biddy and Quincy have just graduated from high school. Biddy’s been living with her grandmother, and Quincy with various foster families, but now they need jobs and new living arrangements. A team of counselors arranges for the two graduates to share an apartment above a local widow’s garage. At first, Quincy and Biddy resent each other’s company, and mixed-race Quincy isn’t sure how she feels about interacting with a white landlady. But their strengths and weaknesses complement each other, and soon all three discover a sense of family and belonging that’s long eluded them.

Like other books in the emerging “new adult” category, Girls Like Us tackles issues like transitioning from school to work, paying bills for the first time and negotiating chores and boundaries with roommates. (There’s no consensual sex, although characters grapple with the lasting effects of sexual assault.) In alternating first-person narrations inspired by author Gail Giles’ longtime work with special-education students, Biddy and Quincy talk openly about their feelings, fears and daily struggles and triumphs. Sections are short (sometimes as brief as a paragraph or a single sentence), and the girls’ language is realistically simple.

This highly readable story is a welcome addition to a growing literature about teens with mental and physical challenges. Echoing the characters in John Green’s seminal YA novel The Fault in Our Stars, these two newly independent teens know that their disabilities aren’t their fault—and aren’t the only factors that define who they are.

 

This article was originally published in the June 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Jill Ratzan reviews for School Library Journal and works as a school librarian at a small independent school in New Jersey. She learned most of what she knows about YA literature from her terrific graduate students.

Developmentally disabled teens Biddy and Quincy have just graduated from high school. Biddy’s been living with her grandmother, and Quincy with various foster families, but now they need jobs and new living arrangements. A team of counselors arranges for the two graduates to share an apartment above a local widow’s garage. At first, Quincy and Biddy resent each other’s company, and mixed-race Quincy isn’t sure how she feels about interacting with a white landlady.

J.A. Redmerski’s The Edge of Never became a New Adult blockbuster when it was published in 2012, just as this vanguard genre was finding traction in the literary world and with readers. The story swept readers up in the romance between 20-year-olds Camryn Bennett and Andrew Parrish, capturing the wild, sometimes reckless desires to leave home and live an authentic, fulfilling life—both defining themes of this new category of fiction. Add in sexual discovery and emotional growth, and you get a true archetype of the genre. 

The Edge of Always begins with the couple living in Texas. In love, engaged and with a baby girl on the way, they are looking toward the future: where they will live, what they will do and how they can stay true to themselves in the process. Andrew’s love for cars has him working at a garage, even though his hefty inheritance is more than enough to keep them afloat for a good long time. And Camryn is mulling over whether they should move to North Carolina or stay in Texas. Meanwhile, they indulge their passion for music by playing in clubs at night, with both of them singing and Andrew playing guitar. But life doesn’t always follow an easy road, of course. When tragedy hits, Camryn tailspins into old patterns of withdrawl and new levels of self-destruction. This time it’s Andrew’s turn to take her hand and lead her back to life. 

One of the book’s biggest strengths is the dialogue, which is striking in its honesty. There are no pretentions, and the characters aren’t trying to sound smarter than they are. The slang, the cursing, the earnest admissions seem to be what would actually come out of the mouth of a 20-something. 

No matter what question or obstacle they face, Andrew and Camryn always answer with "I love you." And the inexorable forever assumed in their love is a model of perfection one hopes exists in the real world. With this base of strength, the characters are able to face challenges on their own terms and fully realize themselves in the process. They are not relegated to norms or the normal path in life, because they have the courage (and the bank account) to pave their own way.

The Edge of Always is at heart a testament to the staying power of true love, and a reminder that, no matter how hard life gets, if we are lucky, there is someone there to see us through our trials. 

J.A. Redmerski’s The Edge of Never became a New Adult blockbuster when it was published in 2012, just as this vanguard genre was finding traction in the literary world and with readers. The story swept readers up in the romance between 20-year-olds Camryn Bennett and Andrew Parrish, capturing the wild, sometimes reckless desires to leave home and live an authentic, fulfilling life—both defining themes of this new category of fiction. Add in sexual discovery and emotional growth, and you get a true archetype of the genre. 

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