The Break-Up Pact

St. Martin’s Griffin. Aug. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781250845306. pap. $18. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
June Hart has been adrift since her sister Annie died several years ago. Her quiet life operating the not-so-successful Tea Tide tea shop in her hometown of Benson Beach is turned upside down when she becomes an internet meme after her boyfriend breaks up with her on national television. When June’s former best friend, Levi Shaw, whom she hasn’t spoken to since high school, returns to Benson Beach after his own very public breakup with his celebrity girlfriend, they agree to fake a relationship in order to make Levi’s ex jealous and generate more business for June’s struggling tea shop. All they have to do is convince their followers that they’re in love. Their fake relationship soon takes on a life of its own, but June must work through her feelings over Levi’s betrayal a decade ago before it can turn into a real romance.
VERDICT The richly drawn setting and characters make this sweet, steamy slow-burn the perfect small-town romance for summer. Recommend YA author Lord’s (The Getaway List) adult debut to fans of Sarah Adams and Emily Henry.
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