cover image Token


Beverley Kendall. Graydon House, $17.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-5258-9997-3

Exes fake-date their way back to love amid a race relations scandal in this bold contemporary romance from Kendall (Played). Three weeks into a temp job, Kennedy Mitchell’s boss offers her $10,000 to pose as the only Black member of the company’s media relations team to woo a new Black client. Bogged down by student loans, Kennedy agrees—and the experience sparks an idea. She and her white best friend, Aurora, go on to start Token, a PR firm specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion. But Kennedy’s not expecting Nate Vaughn, Aurora’s brother and Kennedy’s onetime lover, to come to Token for help. His employees are suing him for discrimination, and though Kennedy refuses to take Nate on as a client, she does attend the press conference he holds to address the suit. When reporters become aggressive, Kennedy comes to Nate’s defense, sparking questions about her relationship with Nate. Naturally, the couple agrees to fake date to save face. The romance itself unfolds as expected, but it’s the fearless exploration of the hardships of being Black in white spaces that sets this apart. Kendall explores the nuances of interracial dating while still offering plenty of levity throughout. Readers looking for romance with grit should snap this up. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Jan.)