cover image Love for Beginners

Love for Beginners

Jill Shalvis. Morrow, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-302543-1

Shalvis (The Forever Girl) returns to Wildstone, Calif., with a loaded romance that grapples with survivor’s guilt and the work it takes to form a true connection. Emma Harris wants to take charge of her life, but struggles to control her body after a coma-inducing accident a year earlier. She loves to look at her physical therapist, Simon Armstrong, but hates how hard he pushes her. When it’s finally time for Emma to be discharged from rehab, Simon offers to help her find an apartment, showing Emma a softer side she hadn’t known existed. Now Emma plans to buy her local doggy day care to save the business from closing and, hopefully, generate enough income to cover her continuing medical expenses. This plan forces her to work with her high school nemesis, Alison Pratt, who owns the building. Alison thrives at Armstrong Properties, but flounders in her personal life. She hopes to win back her ex-boyfriend Ryan Dennison, and to do so she’ll have to learn to loosen up. As Emma falls for Simon, and Alison works to reconnect with Ryan, the women form an unexpected friendship. Though somewhat repetitive, the novel whizzes by. Shalvis’s fans will be pleased with the message that everyone deserves a second chance. Agent: Robin Rue, Writer’s House. (June)