cover image The Rule Book

The Rule Book

Sarah Adams. Dell, $18 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-72367-8

Adams (The Cheat Sheet) dazzles in her latest, a saucy second chance rom-com. Quirky Nora “Mac” Mackenzie struggles to make a name for herself as a sports agent. After working her way up through the male dominated corporate ladder, she finally has a chance to represent legendary NFL tight end Derek Pender. There’s just one problem: eight years ago, Nora walked away from Derek, her first love, without explanation. Never one to back down from a challenge, she’s determined to be the best agent ever to him. Meanwhile, Derek, at a crossroads following a career-threatening injury, is still heartbroken from Nora’s abandonment. The pair agree to a list of rules to help them keep things professional, a comically flawed endeavor that goes disastrously awry during a work trip to Vegas, where the pair get drunk, get married, and post the whole thing to Instagram. Derek proposes a radical damage control tactic: they stay married and convince both Nora’s bosses and the public that they are deeply in love. Adams injects the fun of fake dating with some serious emotion as the pair revisit their past and bond in the present, validating each other’s struggles and realizing they each love who the other has become. Determined Nora and swoony Derek prove a perfect match. Agent: Kim Lionetti, BookEnds Literary. (Apr.)