cover image More Than Words

More Than Words

Mia Sheridan. Forever, $14.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-5387-2739-3

Sheridan explores the power of first love in a tale of childhood friends parted and reunited. After meeting in an abandoned boxcar in California, 11-year-old Jessie Creswell and 12-year-old Callen Hayes become friends. She reads him books from her French school and introduces him to music, and they share a first kiss. Then Callen fails to show at their next planned meeting, and Jessie is crushed. Ten years later, in the present day, Jessie is working part-time in Paris as a waitress while looking for a translating job. Callen, a famous composer with a hard-partying bad-boy reputation, comes to the bar where Jessie works. Though he hits on her and they enjoy a far more sizzling second kiss, Jessie is disappointed that he doesn’t recognize her. At a chance meeting in the Loire Valley, where Jessie is translating some recently discovered cave writings that tell a love story connected to Joan of Arc, Callen recognizes her from the bar and realizes that she is the Jessie from his childhood. Jessie and Callen’s touching whirlwind romance is balm for Callen’s wounded soul, though Jessie remains wary of being just another conquest. Cleverly juxtaposing Callen and Jessie’s relationship against the cave writings’ 15th-century story of longing lovers, Sheridan keeps readers enthralled. Agent: Kimberly Brower, Browery Literary and Management. (June)