cover image Smart Girl

Smart Girl

Rachel Hollis. Lake Union, $14.95 ISBN 978-1-5039-5326-0

An inveterate romantic convinces the promiscuous man she loves to return her affections in Hollis’s fluffy third Girls novel (after Sweet Girl). Months of subtlety accomplished nothing, so Miko Jin, a 26-year-old designer, consults the “aha” moments for her favorite books’ romantic heroes and begins enacting them in her business meetings with Liam Ashton, with comically disastrous results. Liam, the wealthy, second-generation Los Angeles restaurateur—who’s brother to one of her besties—has hired her to design his new project. Liam’s secret vulnerability barely compensates for his blithe attitude toward women; at least he has enough awareness of the problems with his rakish behavior to fight his attraction to Miko, trying to protect her from himself, before ultimately caving. When their one-night stand leads to multiple nights, Miko is in heaven. But the naive heroine must grow up and take a stand when she realizes she is his booty call, leaving Liam to decide whether he’ll change his ways. Hollis’s inclusion of esoteric romance references should please longtime fans of the genre, but at times the obvious foreshadowing and overly precious language become grating. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (Jan.)