cover image Kiss the Girl

Kiss the Girl

Zoraida Córdova. Hyperion Avenue, $15.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-368-05336-5

A pop star goes incognito in this entertaining rom-com twist on The Little Mermaid, the third installment of the multiauthored Meant to Be series (after Jasmine Guillory’s By the Book). Córdova (the Hollow Crown series) introduces singer Ariel del Mar as someone who just wants to live a normal life away from the watchful eye of her controlling father. Soon, she gets her chance: without her glitzy costumes and brightly colored wigs, Eric Reyes, the leader of up-and-coming rock group Star Crossed, doesn’t recognize her when they meet at his concert. Ariel is delighted that Eric treats her like a regular person and, when he asks her to go on tour with the band as their merch vendor, she agrees, eager to spend some time out of the spotlight. Though the rest of the band and their manager discourage Ariel and Eric from dating, their chemistry is palpable. But what will happen when Eric learns Ariel’s true identity? Ariel finds out the answer to that question sooner than she’d hoped when her father tracks her down. Though the Hannah Montana-esque premise strains credulity, plentiful romance and humor make this worthwhile. Readers will have no trouble cheering on Ariel and Eric. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf. (Aug.)