cover image Just for the Summer

Just for the Summer

Abby Jimenez. Forever, $17.99 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-5387-0443-1

Bestseller Jimenez (Yours Truly) delivers an emotional tour de force in this intense tale of love, loss, and childhood trauma. Emma’s life has been defined by the chaos caused by her unstable mother, Amber, who abandoned her for long stretches of her childhood. Now a traveling nurse, Emma avoids putting down roots and doesn’t form emotional bonds outside of her best friend, Maddy. When she does date, her exes always seem to go on to find the love of their lives immediately after the breakup. After Emma and Maddy stumble on a Reddit thread from a man with the same “curse”—every woman he dates meets “the one” after dumping him—she impulsively reaches out to commiserate, putting her in the orbit of cute, funny, and strong Justin Dahl. Justin’s life is in a state of upheaval—his mother is about to serve a prison sentence for embezzlement and he’s taking custody of his young siblings—but he falls hard for Emma, who takes a temporary nursing gig in Minneapolis to explore their chemistry and hopefully break their shared curse. When all hell breaks loose in Emma’s life after shocking family secrets come to light, will their relationship withstand the emotional fallout? Jimenez has a clear-eyed and empathetic take on how childhood trauma can affect adult relationships, and keeps the story grounded in the characters’ complex and believable emotional realities. Readers will be deeply moved. (Apr.)

This review has been updated to remove spoilers and correct the misspelling of a character’s name.