cover image Getting His Game Back

Getting His Game Back

Gia de Cadenet. Dell, $17 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-35662-3

With this stellar debut, de Cadenet thoughtfully explores the complexities of interracial dating and the impact of mental health on relationships. When Black app developer Vanessa Noble walks into white, Algerian-French-American Khalil Sarda’s Detroit barbershop looking for a shape-up, neither is ready for the instant connection or lingering attraction that arises between them. Khalil’s been off his dating game while dealing with mental health issues and doesn’t know if he’s ready to get back out there, while Vanessa’s sworn off dating white guys following a string of misfires with men who performed wokeness but still committed microaggressions and othered her. Despite their doubts, Vanessa and Khalil’s friendship slowly develops into a romance born of mutual desire and clear communication. Their bond is put to the test, however, when Khalil’s depression flares up again and he pushes Vanessa away. If they want to weather the bad times as well as the good, they’ll both have to decide what’s truly important. De Cadenet sensitively tackles some heavy subject matter, which will hit close to home for some readers, but she never loses sight of the romance. Khalil and Vanessa set a high standard for couples with their patience, support, and respect for one another—combined with sizzling chemistry. The result is a thoroughly satisfying love story with a big, beating heart. Agent: Léonicka Valcius, Transatlantic Agency. (Jan.)