cover image Change of Plans

Change of Plans

Dylan Newton. Forever, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-5387-0372-4-

Newton (All Fired Up) skillfully combines pathos and humor in a first-rate small-town romance. After chef Bryce Weatherford’s brother and sister-in-law die in a car accident, she relocates from Florida to Wellsville, N.Y., to take care of her three nieces—12-year-old June, eight-year-old Cecily, and five-year-old Addison—in the midst of a tense and expensive custody battle with her late sister-in-law’s parents. One day, Cecily gets stuck under a grocery store shelving unit, and gorgeous Marine-turned-mechanic Ryker Matthews, who’d been shopping with his own infant niece, Elise, helps extricate her. Bryce soon learns her hot supermarket hero is also her employer’s son, who, after losing part of his leg to an IED in Afghanistan and ending his military career, is trying to settle down in his quaint hometown. Sparks fly between Bryce and Ryker, but to be together, they must navigate roadblocks aplenty—especially Ryker’s insecurities that his perceived shortcomings will be too much for Bryce to accept. Newton handles heavy topics—including PTSD, death, and grief—with grace, and readers will be utterly sucked in by her lovable and believably flawed leads. This deeply felt love story proves irresistible. Agent: Cori Deyoue, Three Seas Literary. (Aug.)