Old Flames and New Fortunes

Putnam. Apr. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9780593715055. pap. $18. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Hogle (Just Like Magic) returns with a delightfully magical second-chance romance. Romina spends her days with her sisters, working in her grandmother’s candle shop and creating floral arrangements in her own style of magic called flora fortuna, using the language of flowers to help the lovelorn find their way. The shop is expanding and in need of a cash infusion, so Romina agrees to fake-date her best friend Trevor so his soon-to-be-married financier father will put up seed money. There’s one catch—the son of the financier’s bride is Alex, Romina’s first love whom she’s never quite gotten over. Sparks are definitely flying, and Romina isn’t sure her business or her heart can survive the wedding week. On the surface, this is a lighthearted rom-com, but there’s a thread of real loneliness and longing underpinning the fake-dating high jinks. While second-chance tropes don’t appeal to every reader, the reasons Romina and Alex have been apart feel true-to-life.
VERDICT The world Hogle has created is cozy and warm, and fans of her previous work or of witchy romances will be crossing their fingers that this is the start of a series.
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