Friends, Family, Lovers: Pop Fiction, Nov. 2023, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Tales of happy families and happy couples—or not. 

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Awad, Amal. Courting Samira. HarperVia. Nov. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780063317673. pap. $18.99. CD. ROMANCE

Cantor, Jillian. The Fiction Writer. Park Row: Harlequin. Nov. 2023. 292p. ISBN 9780778310839. $30; pap. ISBN 9780778334187. $17.99. lrg. prnt. CD. GOTHIC

Dolan, Naoise. The Happy Couple. Ecco. Nov. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780063330467. $28.99. CD. FAMILY LIFE

Hennigan, Rosemary. The Favorites. Graydon House: Harlequin. Nov. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781525805097. $28.99. CD.

Mitchard, Jacquelyn. A Very Inconvenient Scandal. Mira: Harlequin. Nov. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780778369370. $30. CD. WOMEN

Novak, Brenda. The Talk of Coyote Canyon. Mira: Harlequin. Nov. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780778305323. $30; pap. ISBN 9780778334286. $9.99. CD. ROMANCE

Nunez, Sigrid. The Vulnerables.Riverhead. Nov. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780593715512. $28. FRIENDSHIP

Shipman, Viola. The Wishing Bridge. Graydon House: Harlequin. Nov. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781525812002. $30; pap. ISBN 9781525804861. $18.99. CD. HOLIDAYS

In Awad’s Courting Samira, set in a Muslim community in Sydney, Australia, late-twenties Samira finds herself trapped in a love triangle and contending with a suddenly evasive childhood friend and a promotion she isn’t sure she wants. In Jillian Cantor’s The Fiction Writer, a wealthy man hires the protagonist to discover whether Daphne du Maurier plagiarized Rebeccafrom his grandmother (75,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). Following her Women’s Prize/Dylan Thomas long-listed Exciting Times, Dolan introduces The Happy Couple—ever-unfaithful Luke and piano-obsessed Celine, about to be married—and the three friends fretting over this relationship (125,000-copy first printing). Hennigan, an award-finalist short story writer, makes her U.S. debut with The Favorites, about a young woman who wriggles into a much-sought-after Law and Literature course to meet the professor she’s convinced caused her sister’s death—and exact revenge (75,000-copy first printing). In Mitchard’s A Very Inconvenient Scandal, Frankie returns to Cape Cod, brimming with the joyous news that she’s pregnant and engaged, only to learn that her widowed father is marrying her best friend, Ariel, also pregnant—and that Ariel’s long-gone mother has suddenly, suspiciously reappeared (50,000-copy first printing). Second in a trilogy (after Lulu’s Back in Town), Novak’s The Talk of Coyote Canyon features pierced, tattooed, and spiky-haired Ellen Truesdale, working hard to maintain a well-drilling company that competes with her father’s yet falling for her father’s business partner, Hendrix Durrant (300,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). From National Book Award–winning Nunez, The Vulnerables features a quietly contained woman narrator reflecting on contemporary life and learning that small acts of kindness can go far. In Shipman’s The Wishing Bridge, a specialist in corporate takeovers fearing for her job heads home to Michigan for the holidays to persuade her parents to sell their world-renowned Christmas store but instead rediscovers the joys of small-town business, life, and love (75,000-paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing).

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; winner of ALA's Louis Shores Award for reviewing; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle, which awarded her its inaugural Service Award in 2023.

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