The Next Best Fling

Forever: Grand Central. (Librarians in Love, Bk. 1). Jul. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9781538726631. pap. $17.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
DEBUT Marcela’s best friend and secret crush, Ben, has just announced his engagement to Alice, who was Marcela’s friend, once upon a time. Marcela, a librarian, is crushed—all of her dreams about Ben one day realizing she’s the one for him are dashed. At Ben’s engagement party, Marcela intercepts Ben’s drunk brother, ex-NFL player Theo, on his way to declare his love to Alice. Marcela understands Theo’s pain, but there’s no way she can let him ruin his brother’s engagement. She hauls Theo back to her apartment and tucks him into her couch to sleep it off. The next day, everyone seems to know that Theo left the party with Marcela and stayed the night. She debates telling the truth about their non-relationship but then realizes that a rebound fling with Theo might be the perfect way to get over Ben once and for all. The novel’s protagonists are likable and realistic, and readers will enjoy watching Marcela find and embrace her power. Secondary characters are well-developed and instrumental in the protagonists’ growth, as well as setting the stage for the next book in the series.
VERDICT Gamez debuts with a contemporary rom-com, featuring hot chemistry and emotional depth.
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