cover image A LOVE STORY


Denene Millner, Nick Chiles, . . Dutton, $23.95 (244pp) ISBN 978-0-525-94824-7

Dual narrators enliven this best-friends romance by husband/wife duo Millner and Chiles (Love Don't Live Here Anymore ). Aaron Simmons and Nina Carruthers met in kindergarten and established an unwavering bond that only grew stronger over the next 25 years. Aaron, an aspiring photographer, tends bar at a strip club, while Nina works in marketing. They finally consummate their relationship, begin a passionate love affair and decide to live together, but conflict arises. Never comfortable with Aaron's job, Nina sneaks a visit to the club, curious about the only dancer Aaron once confessed he might date. In fact, before Aaron and Nina were a couple, he had a brief sexual encounter with Cocoa, but his is not the only secret in their relationship: Nina doesn't tell Aaron when she has to bail her father out of jail. Hoping for a fresh start, Nina offers to support Aaron while he pursues his photography career. Things brighten briefly, but photos of Cocoa revive Nina's insecurities just as she and Aaron must confront a critical decision. Astute readers will guess the plot twist that shapes the novel's closing pages, but the skillful and balanced rendering of his/her voices deepens the reader's insights into the characters' symbiotic relationship. This above-average summer romance should find its way to many beach blankets. Agent, Victoria Sanders . (June)