cover image Long Past Summer

Long Past Summer

Noué Kirwan. HQN, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-335-44882-8

Kirwan’s excellent debut brings charm, complexity, and plenty of heat. Lawyer Mikaela Marchand is just one case away from being promoted to partner at the firm where she works. As a Black woman in the legal field, she’s had to be twice as good as her white colleagues to be considered qualified, and now that she’s steps away from her goal, the inveterate people-pleaser doesn’t need any distractions. Then she learns that her next case involves defending her ex-boyfriend, photographer Cameron Murphy, against his ex-wife and Mikaela’s childhood friend, Julie. Cameron sold a photo of Julie and Mikaela from one of the summers they spent together as teens to a fashion magazine, and Julie is suing. It should be a simple lawsuit, but old rivalries—and old feelings—soon resurface. Flashbacks to the tempestuous trio’s adolescent summers add texture, and Kirwan does an excellent job making all three characters flawed but empathetic. Even as they wade through some truly messy situations, it’s easy to root for Mikaela and Cameron’s happy ending. This mature, steamy romance will have readers swooning. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Aug.)