cover image Written in the Stars

Written in the Stars

Alexandria Bellefleur. Avon, $15.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-300080-3

A disastrous blind date kicks off Bellefleur’s excellent rom-com debut. Elle Jones, an eternally optimistic astrologist, and Darcy Lowell, a tightly buttoned actuary who’s given up on love after a past betrayal, realize almost immediately that, though their physical chemistry is electric, their personalities mix like oil and water. Still, when Darcy’s brother, Brendon, who set them up, asks Darcy how it went, she says it was great to get him to stop worrying about her love life. Elle resents being pulled into the lie—but agrees to play along to get her own family off her back. As the women spend more time together, ironing out the details of their fake relationship and going on double dates with Brendon, they begin to see each other’s differences as turn-ons rather than turn-offs, and the line between reality and pretend blurs. Readers will be rapt by the sensuous love scenes once Darcy and Elle throw pretense aside—but Darcy’s inability to admit her feelings might still keep the couple from their happy ending. A moving subplot about Elle’s fight for her family’s acceptance rounds out the story, while astrology memes (“What brunch food are you based on your zodiac?”) and nods to Pride and Prejudice scattered throughout add texture. This is a delight. Agent: Sarah Younger, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (Nov.)