Love Buzz

Harper Perennial. May 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780063292918. pap. $17.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
DEBUT Growth, change, and a little bit of luck are at the center of Alexander’s romantic debut. The story follows Serena Khan, who feels an instant spark of attraction with a man named Julian in a Bourbon Street bar, 2,000 miles away from their homes in Seattle. Their chance meeting—during which they never exchange contact details—causes Serena to rethink her career, her boyfriend, and her relationship with her family, which fractured after her mother’s sudden death. The novel technically ticks all the romance boxes, but while love—or at least a love interest—is at the center of the story, the focus is more on Serena reevaluating her life for the majority of the book. Still, the novel and its characters are well-written, though a few of the more serendipitous moments may strain credulity. Many readers will forgive the more unbelievable moments, though, in service of an emotionally satisfying conclusion for Serena’s story, in multiple areas of her life.
VERDICT Will appeal to romance readers who like their books with a hefty dose of personal growth and women’s fiction aficionados seeking a happily-ever-after.
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