cover image Full Exposure

Full Exposure

Thien-Kiim Lam. Avon, $16.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-323729-2

A whirlwind vacation fling kicks off this rushed and unsatisfying romance from Lam (Happy Endings). On an impromptu New Orleans vacation, photographer Josie Parks accidentally bonks a handsome stranger in the head with some freshly caught Mardi Gras beads. Dazed but still conscious enough to notice how attractive she is, NOLA local Spencer Pham seizes the chance to ask her out. They share a first date that Lam works a bit too hard to convince readers is magical, skipping right past any kind of getting-to-know-you dance. After serendipitously running into each other again the next day, fate tempts them to explore their connection further. Spencer offers to help Josie build her photography portfolio for an art gallery, and Josie encourages Spencer to finally fulfill his dream of making films. But Josie is only in town for a week, and both are acutely aware that the deeper they fall for each other, the harder it will be when their time runs out. It’s not entirely unusual for romance protagonists to fall in love in such a short time frame, but Lam fails to make her protagonists’ spontaneous connection convincing through a disjointed and unnaturally paced plot. It’s a shame, because the New Orleans backdrop is vibrant and alive. This one misses the mark. Agent: Tara Gelsomino, One Track Literary. (Feb.)