cover image Same Time Next Summer

Same Time Next Summer

Annabel Monaghan. Putnam, $17 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-593-54496-9

Monaghan (Nora Goes Off Script) reunites first loves in this masterful romance. Once a free spirit, Sam Holloway has sought practicality and predictability ever since her high school boyfriend, Wyatt Pope, broke her heart, leading her to a stuffy job as an HR consultant and engagement to a straitlaced doctor, Jack. On the brink of losing her job due to a misstep with a client, Sam returns to her family’s Long Island summer home to regroup and scope out a potential wedding venue with Jack—only to discover that Wyatt, a singer songwriter, is also back in town to host a music festival. Sam is thrown (“Wyatt is a locked-away memory of a time I don’t want to go back to and a person I can barely remember being. And somehow he’s thirty feet away, right next door”), but believes she’ll be able to avoid Wyatt—until Jack’s parents show up and Jack asks to extend the trip. Sam’s mother urges her to find closure with Wyatt, but the closeness brings up old feelings and memories of carefree summers together at the beach, leading Sam to question her life choices. Monaghan nails the second-chance romance trope, allowing the love between her leads to rekindle slowly as they forge a satisfying path to forgiveness (the reveal that Wyatt’s love songs are about Sam doesn’t hurt). This is a knockout. Agent: Marly Rusoff, Rusoff Agency. (June)