cover image Then, Now, Always

Then, Now, Always

Mona Shroff. HQN, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-335-01318-7

Shroff manages to make several of romance’s most enduring tropes feel fresh in her cute contemporary debut. Sam Hutcherson and Maya Rao first fell in love 15 years ago, when Maya worked as a nanny for Sam’s niece and nephew in Maryland, bonding over their shared Indian heritage and affection for the kids. When Maya found out she was pregnant with Sam’s child, she dumped Sam without explanation, breaking his heart. Now the co-owner of a bakery café in Queens, N.Y., Maya has raised her daughter, Samantha, on her own. But when teenage Samantha lands in legal trouble at her snooty Manhattan prep school, Maya has no choice but to reach out to her daughter’s father and her first love for help. Sam is now a successful attorney, and is happily engaged to another woman. But the discovery that he has a daughter, along with the reappearance of Maya in his life, throws his world off-kilter. Their sweet second-chance romance is rendered with nimble prose, quick plotting, and rich cultural details, making it clear that Shroff a writer to watch. [em]Agent: Rachel Brooks, Bookends. (Jan.) [/em]