Out of Office

Afterglow. Apr. 2024. 288p. ISBN 9781335041623. pap. $12.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Cunningham’s (A Turn in the Air) latest takes readers from the laid-back beaches of Panama to the busy boardrooms of South Florida and back. Genevieve Raymond has spent her life trying to live up to the example set by her mother, a renowned Black entrepreneur and mentor. Hovering dangerously close to burnout, Gen schedules herself a two-week beach vacation after finishing her latest big project. There, she meets local Adrián Nicholas. A healthy work-life balance is paramount to Adrián, who realized its importance the hard way after a family tragedy. Though their long-term goals seem incompatible—she is on track for a big city promotion, he’s devoted to his small hometown and family business—the chemistry the two of them share is undeniable. Can Gen and Adrián have a future that lasts beyond a vacation fling?
VERDICT Cunningham’s characters struggle with a plethora of real-life issues( grief, guilt, chronic overachievement, and the impact of gentrification), which makes their story feel both relevant and highly relatable. Their romance has plenty of steam as well.
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