cover image In the Event of Love

In the Event of Love

Courtney Kae. Kensington, $16.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4967-3895-0

Kae’s delightful debut elevates the popular Christmastime trope of someone from the big city saving a small town from a heartless developer in a feel-good queer second-chance romance. Event planner Morgan Ann Ross needs to leave Santa Monica after tripping into a gossip-worthy scandal. She takes a gig organizing a fund-raising event in her hometown, Fern Falls, Calif., though she hasn’t been back since her father’s wealthy girlfriend, Christy Vaughn, cruelly rejected his marriage proposal, creating an emotional maelstrom that ruined Morgan’s relationship with her best friend and teen crush, Rachel Reed. Morgan initially balks when she learns that the client is Rachel and her family’s Christmas tree farm, but she softens when she realizes Rachel holds no hard feelings, and goes all in when she discovers that Christy, having taken over a nearby town and transformed it into a ski resort, now intends to raze beloved Fern Falls businesses for an outlet mall. Kae leans heavily into holiday magic without letting things get saccharine, balancing the sweetness of reconnection with steamy eroticism grounded in the feeling of coming home at last. The secondary characters also sparkle, providing cozy feelings of community and support. Readers of all orientations will devour this rainbow-tinted confection. (Sept.)