The other side of disappearing

Kate Clayborn

Book - 2024

Hairstylist Jess Greene has spent the last decade raising her younger half-sister, Tegan--and keeping a shocking secret. Ever since their reckless mother ran off with a boyfriend she'd known only a few months, Jess has been aware that he's the same accomplished con man who was the subject of a wildly popular podcast, The Last Con of Lynton Baltimore. Now thirty-one, Jess didn't bargain on Tegan eventually piecing together the connection for herself. But Tegan plans to do exactly what Jess has always feared--leave their safe, stable home to search for their mother--and she'll be accompanied by the prying podcast host and her watchful, handsome producer, Adam Hawkins. Unwilling to let the sister she's spent so much of... her life protecting go it alone, Jess reluctantly joins them. Together, the four make their way across the country, unraveling the mystery of where the couple disappeared to and why. But soon Jess is discovering other things too. Like a renewed sense of vulnerability and curiosity, and a willingness to expand beyond the walls she's so carefully built. And in Adam, she finds an unexpected connection she didn't even know was missing, if only she can let go and let him in... --

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FICTION/Clayborn Kate
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1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Clayborn Kate (NEW SHELF) Due May 3, 2024
Domestic fiction
Romance fiction
New York, NY : Kensington Publishing Corp [2024]
Main Author
Kate Clayborn (author)
Physical Description
373 pages ; 21 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Clayborn (Georgie, All Along) takes readers on an engrossing road trip romance that doubles as a journey of self-discovery. Ten years ago, hairstylist Jess Greene's mother, Charlotte, ran off with a known con man never to be heard from again, and the 21-year-old took over raising her eight-year-old half-sister, Tegan. Now 18, Tegan blindsides Jess when she invites a true crime podcast to help them locate Charlotte. Upon meeting Jess, college football star turned journalist Adam Hawkins is immediately concerned about his team's possible impact on her life, seeing how closed off she is and her resistance to the idea of confronting the past. When Jess reluctantly agrees to participate, Adam does his best to protect her and her sister from hurt and the public eye as they travel from state to state seeking clues about Charlotte's location. Jess, who's always been self-sufficient, slowly realizes that Adam is someone she can lean on, particularly after the road trip takes them to his family farm. Clayborn's sensitive characterization of Jess and Tegan's sisterly bond, as well as the intense chemistry building between Adam and Jess, will keep readers hooked. This is a treat. Agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary. (Apr.)

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Review by Library Journal Review

Jess, who is fiercely protective of her privacy, is shocked when celebrity podcast host Salem and her producer Adam show up to interview Jess for their hit true-crime show about a notorious con man named Lynton. Ten years ago, Jess's mother ran off with the infamous swindler and abandoned her and her eight-year-old sister Tegan. All these years later, Tegan has gone behind Jess's back to tell Salem the story of their mother and her involvement with the crook. Soon the sisters embark on a road trip with the podcasters to track down Lynton and their mother. Only along to protect her sister, Jess is extremely reluctant to talk about her life, but she begins to open up to Adam, who has his own painful past and understands her on a level no one has before. Their relationship begins to entangle messily, with divided loyalties, journalistic ethics, and the pursuit of truth all coming into play to challenge the possibility of love between them. VERDICT This slow-burn romance from Clayborn (George, All Along) has an intriguing mystery and will appeal to fans of true-crime podcasts, road-trip storylines, and novels with a deep emotional core.--Migdalia Jimenez

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

Two sisters drive across the U.S. in search of their missing mother--and find themselves along the way. Jess Greene has kept her emotional walls up for as long as she can remember--at least since her mother ran off with a shady new boyfriend a decade ago, sending only a handful of postcards over the years. She's spent that time trying to keep her younger half sister, Tegan, safe, protected, and in the dark about the fact that their mother's boyfriend was an infamous con artist. But the past comes knocking when Salem Durant, host of the popular true-crime podcast that exposed the boyfriend's crimes, shows up on Jess and Tegan's doorstep. It turns out that Tegan thinks she knows where their mom is--and is willing to take part in a podcast attempting to find her. Jess' first instinct is to shut the whole thing down, but something about Salem's quiet and soulful producer, Adam Hawkins, gives her second thoughts. Embarking on a cross-country road trip with Adam, Tegan, and Salem, with only their mom's old postcards to guide them, doesn't seem like a great idea to Jess. But the more they drive, the closer they get to uncovering what really happened all those years ago. On a more personal level, Jess begins to unearth things about herself, including her unexpected connection with Adam. While supporting Jess' pursuit of the truth, he reckons with his own past, including the complicated time he spent as a football player. Clayborn's latest romance is certainly about Jess and Adam's slow burn as a couple, but it also juggles an impressive number of other threads, including a dynamic sibling relationship and our collective obsession with true crime. The subject matter is a change of pace from Clayborn's previous novels, but the author's strength with character and emotion deftly shines through. A moving odyssey of family, self-discovery, and love. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.