cover image The Tenderness of Thieves

The Tenderness of Thieves

Donna Freitas. Philomel, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-17136-9

The summer before her senior year, Jane Calvetti should be enjoying the beach and the company of her three best friends. Instead, she is reliving the terror of a violent break-in that resulted in the death of her father. Against the caution of her friends and many of those in the close-knit New England town where she’s lived her whole life, she becomes involved with local bad boy Handel Davies; despite his brooding eyes, notoriously dangerous friends, and secretive ways, he makes her feel not just safe, but alive and loved. As summer romances go, theirs is full of passion, tenderness, and fun. The good-girl meets bad-boy story line from Freitas (The Survival Kit), a PW contributor, plays out well, and readers will enjoy the chemistry that simmers between Jane and Handel. The mystery of Jane’s father’s death, woven throughout, doesn’t ramp up until the last few pages, at which point savvy readers may not be completely shocked by the final revelation. But for a summer romance with a twist, Freitas delivers. Ages 14–up. Agent: Miriam Altshuler, Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency. (May)