cover image Always Something There to Remind Me

Always Something There to Remind Me

Beth Harbison, St. Martin's, $24.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-312-59910-2

Harbison (Shoe Addicts Anonymous) serves up a deliciously light blend of 1980s nostalgia and women's fiction. Parallel story lines pair teenage Erin Edwards, suffering the intense and melodramatic throes of first love with Nate Lawson, and contemporary 30-something Erin, an event planner and single mom. When contemporary Erin's good-looking if otherwise bland beau proposes, Erin's first thought is of Nate, and she finds herself waffling in the present as she dwells in the mysteries of the past: what happened to the perfect love she shared with Nate, and why can't she forget him now? Harbison packs the teenage flashbacks with age-appropriate miscommunications and emotional indecision, and cleverly uses an otherwise thin present-day story line involving the sweet 16 party of a spoiled teen to bring Erin to a point of understanding. Unsurprisingly, the adult Erin and Nate have a chance reunion, but a nice twist leads to some uncharacteristically unpleasant complications that are nonetheless neatly resolved. Harbison raises the emotional stakes and gives this story a little more bite than readers may expect without losing her fun, breezy style. (July)