cover image A Novel Love Story

A Novel Love Story

Ashley Poston. Berkley, $19 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-64097-5

Stranger Than Fiction meets Virgin River in this incandescently clever meta rom-com from Poston (The Seven Year Slip). English professor Eileen “Elsy” Merriweather feels frozen in place after her fiancé breaks up with her a week before their wedding. Thankfully, there’s the promise of a “week of wine and happily ever afters” when her Super Smutty Book Club vacations together in a cabin in the Catskills. When Elsy gets lost in a storm on the way there, however, she winds up in Eloraton, the fictional small-town setting of bestseller Rachel Flowers’s hit Quixotic Falls series, the romances that brought the Super Smutty Book Club together in the first place. Flowers died before she could finish the series and Eloraton is stuck at the point where she stopped writing. The owner of the local bookstore, Anderson Sinclair, is the only person aware there’s anything odd about the town. He warns Elsy not to make ripples or change things, but she feels compelled to help her favorite characters find the happy endings their author planned for them. Poston gracefully walks the line between women’s fiction and romance—with just a hint of magic—providing an inspirational story of personal growth and second-chance romance alongside a fascinating exploration of transformative fiction, how readers and writers cocreate and share stories, and the value and purpose of escaping into one’s favorite novels. Readers will want to escape into this one again and again. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (June)