cover image Loathe at First Sight

Loathe at First Sight

Suzanne Park. Avon, $15.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-299069-3

Enemies turn to lovers in YA author Park’s punchy adult debut set in the world of video game design. Melody Joo, a newly hired production assistant at Seventeen Studios, is determined to fight the “unescapable bro culture” within the gaming industry. But this proves nearly impossible while surrounded by cardboard cutouts of the studios’ scantily clad, anatomically impossible heroines. When her misogynistic boss, Ian MacKenzie, overhears her joking about a gender-swapped version of their popular games, which would follow male strippers fighting off the apocalypse, he tasks her with launching it as a mobile app to prove that the company is, in his words, “menstrual friendly.” But it was never meant to be a serious idea and Ian only gives her six months to achieve the impossible. If Melody’s going to prove herself, she can’t have any distractions. But Nolan MacKenzie, the handsome, infuriating intern who also happens to be Ian’s nephew, is a distraction too tempting to resist. Though they initially butt heads, Melody can’t deny the butterflies that follow when he smiles at her. Park (The Perfect Escape) makes tough topics go down easy by couching them in wry humor and lighthearted romance, and her fierce, snarky heroine is irresistible. This smart rom-com is a winner. Agent: Brent Taylor, Triada US Literary Agency. (Aug.)