cover image By Any Other Name

By Any Other Name

Lauren Kate. Putnam, $16 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-7352-1254-1

Kate (The Orphan’s Song) delivers a delightful rom-com that begs to be devoured in one sitting. Lanie Bloom comes from a family of doctors and always intended to follow in their footsteps—until she fell in love with romance novels in college. Lanie ditched pre-med to pursue a career in New York City publishing, eventually becoming the editor of one of romance’s biggest names, Noa Callaway. Though she’s never met the mysterious author in person, they’ve worked together via email for years, and Lanie’s always been a fan, even creating a list of aspirational qualities for her perfect partner based on one of Noa’s first books. When Noa admits to writer’s block, Lanie’s job rides on getting the next bestseller produced, and she’ll stop at nothing to generate inspiration—leading to their first IRL meeting and a reveal that shakes Lanie to her core. Most readers won’t be surprised to discover the reason Noa is so reclusive, but this doesn’t take away from enjoying the slow burning central relationship. Kate surrounds both Noa and Lanie with well-drawn friends and family who add welcome backstory and create a sense that these are two people with full lives outside of each other meeting in the middle. The result is both smart and adorable. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.)