McAdams (Taking Chances) has been prolifically spinning new adult romance series for the past several years, making this standalone romance a rare opportunity to showcase focused plotting skills. It’s an opportunity not taken. The hyperactive narrative jumps around between Aurora Wilde’s last summer of college and her first year of teaching. The point of view likewise jitters between Aurora and her one-night stand, Jentry. That dynamic pointedly leaves out Aurora’s boyfriend, Declan, with whom she lives in Wake Forest, N.C. Jentry is Declan’s adopted brother, and Aurora can’t get her hot night with the wrong brother out of her mind. Throw in their “bless your heart” steel magnolia of a mother and a ne’er-do-well, lock-picking sister, and the real question is why Aurora doesn’t simply run for her life instead of angsting narcissistically over her choice between these two men. There’s no sense that McAdams grasps what real young adults think or feel; Aurora is a clichéd collection of hormones, self-absorption, and irrational feelings, and her soap opera story is driven by random dramatic occurrences at opportune times. Agent Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/24/2016 Release date: 11/01/2016 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.