Passionate Hearts: 5 Activist Romances

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A value-priced collection featuring couples who disagree about political and social issues—but still manage to find their happily-ever-after endings.

Rise up! Resist! Romance? These five couples try to deny the sparks that fly with those on the opposite side of their picket lines. But love has a way of finding the perfect compromise.

Core Attraction: When Dr. Declan MacCarthy protests outside the power plant where Fiona Halpin handles public relations, she’s almost too busy doing damage control to notice how gorgeous he is. As Fiona slowly warms to Declan and his passion for his cause, can she drop her defenses enough to let him reach her inner core?

Hard Knocks: Neurologist Helen Chang Frobisher is writing op-eds against Portland’s new hockey rink to try to prevent the kinds of concussive brain injury that plagues her father. Oregon Wolves player Adam Magnus is fighting to build a successful career on the ice. But while the two spar in public over the future of a sports franchise on the brink, in private, they battle an impossible attraction.

California Sunrise: Dr. Raúl Mendez finds himself drawn to plucky single mother Alicia Fuentes after he diagnoses her young son on the autism spectrum. Can their blossoming relationship withstand the political and very personal battles surrounding immigration?

The Very Thought of You: San Francisco builder Nick Mancini has offered the tenants in his new apartment house a good deal: twenty-five grand to vacate the premises so he can demolish it for his next project. Molly Hewitt is rallying everyone to hold out for far more cash. Surely he can flirt his way out of this roadblock—or are the stakes too high this time?

Edie and the CEO: Edie Rowan is passionate about workers’ rights, but when her protests backfire, championing the little guy gets her in trouble with sexy CEO Everett Kirk. He sends her to attend management camp—and even drives her there himself. But when they let down their professional guard, the sparks start to fly.

Sensuality Level: Sensual
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About the author

Ruby Lang is the pen name of nonfiction writer Mindy Hung. She has written for The New York Times, The Toast, and Salon. She enjoys running (slowly), reading (quickly), and ice cream (at any speed). She lives in New York with a small child and a medium-sized husband. Find Ruby Lang at and on Facebook.

Casey Dawes lives in Big Sky Country where eagles, herons, deer, and the ever-changing landscape of the Clark Fork River distract her while she’s writing contemporary romances. Find Casey Dawes at, on Facebook, and on Twitter @CaseyDawesAutho.

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Additional Information

Simon and Schuster
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Published on
May 1, 2017
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Fiction / Romance / Collections & Anthologies
Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Political Science / Women in Politics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A brilliant, authoritative, and fascinating history of America’s most puzzling era, the years 1920 to 1933, when the U.S. Constitution was amended to restrict one of America’s favorite pastimes: drinking alcoholic beverages.

From its start, America has been awash in drink. The sailing vessel that brought John Winthrop to the shores of the New World in 1630 carried more beer than water. By the 1820s, liquor flowed so plentifully it was cheaper than tea. That Americans would ever agree to relinquish their booze was as improbable as it was astonishing.

Yet we did, and Last Call is Daniel Okrent’s dazzling explanation of why we did it, what life under Prohibition was like, and how such an unprecedented degree of government interference in the private lives of Americans changed the country forever.

Writing with both wit and historical acuity, Okrent reveals how Prohibition marked a confluence of diverse forces: the growing political power of the women’s suffrage movement, which allied itself with the antiliquor campaign; the fear of small-town, native-stock Protestants that they were losing control of their country to the immigrants of the large cities; the anti-German sentiment stoked by World War I; and a variety of other unlikely factors, ranging from the rise of the automobile to the advent of the income tax.

Through it all, Americans kept drinking, going to remarkably creative lengths to smuggle, sell, conceal, and convivially (and sometimes fatally) imbibe their favorite intoxicants. Last Call is peopled with vivid characters of an astonishing variety: Susan B. Anthony and Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan and bootlegger Sam Bronfman, Pierre S. du Pont and H. L. Mencken, Meyer Lansky and the incredible—if long-forgotten—federal official Mabel Walker Willebrandt, who throughout the twenties was the most powerful woman in the country. (Perhaps most surprising of all is Okrent’s account of Joseph P. Kennedy’s legendary, and long-misunderstood, role in the liquor business.)

It’s a book rich with stories from nearly all parts of the country. Okrent’s narrative runs through smoky Manhattan speakeasies, where relations between the sexes were changed forever; California vineyards busily producing “sacramental” wine; New England fishing communities that gave up fishing for the more lucrative rum-running business; and in Washington, the halls of Congress itself, where politicians who had voted for Prohibition drank openly and without apology.

Last Call is capacious, meticulous, and thrillingly told. It stands as the most complete history of Prohibition ever written and confirms Daniel Okrent’s rank as a major American writer.
With majestic mountains, quiet vineyards, charming coasts, and Hollywood glitz, the Golden State offers the perfect backdrop for love. Romance blossoms under the California sun in this heartwarming collection:

California Sunset: Annie Gerhard is struggling to keep her Silicon Valley techie job during a recession, while John Johnson is trying to make a go of his bookstore. Neither has time for romance, but fate is taking care of business.

California Wine: Italian Marcos Gamari has one goal in life: to create the world's finest wine from the best vineyards in the world. Then he meets single mother Elizabeth Ladina, who shows him that his real dream just may reside in the mountains of Santa Cruz.

California Homecoming: After returning from duty in the Middle East wounded in both body and spirit, Hunter Evans volunteers to help Sarah Ladina fix up a run-down Victorian in Costanoa's beach town. Can they get beyond their painful past and complicated present to find the love and respect they need?

California Thyme: Mandy Parker has sworn to avoid the Hollywood scene that sucked in her mother, until she takes a gig to cater to a movie set. She soon finds herself helping sexy locations manager James Lubbock discover who is sabotaging his career and losing her heart in the process.

California Sunrise: Dr. Raul Mendez finds himself drawn to single mother Alicia Fuentes, but their blossoming relationship must withstand the political and very personal battles surrounding immigration.

Sensuality Level: Sensual
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