When Grumpy Met Sunshine

St. Martin’s Griffin. Feb. 2024. 336p. ISBN 9781250867933. pap. $18. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Mabel Willicker is a ghostwriter, a good one. Her newest project is the memoir of ex-footballer Alfie Harding. She’s the 17th writer they’ve tried—Alfie has rejected all of them so far. Then Mabel walks in and calls him on his behavior. Their chemistry and banter have Alfie opening up about things he never thought he’d reveal, but when a fan sees Mabel leaving Alfie’s house—a house even his friends have never visited—everyone assumes she’s his new girlfriend. To preserve the facade that Alfie is writing his own memoir, he and Mabel agree to a fake relationship until the book is released. Soon their friendship turns into something much steamier, and Mabel is no longer sure what’s fake and what’s real. This opposites-attract, fake-relationship romantic comedy features the ultimate cinnamon-roll hero. Alfie is short-tempered and belligerent with everyone except Mabel, who uncovers the lovable man underneath. With Mabel, he’s different, but she’s the only one who doesn’t see it for what it is.
VERDICT Upbeat, engaging, witty, and funny, this book from Stein (The Professor) will captivate readers. Highly recommended for all collections.
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