cover image Smart Girl Summer

Smart Girl Summer

Kristin Rockaway. Montlake, $12.99 trade paper (282p) ISBN 978-1-5420-2630-7

Rockaway (Life, Unscheduled) strikes gold with this beachy rom-com. Physicist Abby Atkinson speaks up after her PhD adviser steals her research, an act that costs her the summer teaching position she was banking on for cash. Luckily, she soon lands a tutoring job that sends her to the Mediterranean aboard a luxurious yacht owned by billionaire Richard Vale, whose 12-year-old daughter, Bijou, just flunked sixth-grade math. Abby initially buys into the tabloids’ characterization or Richard as a typical playboy billionaire, but slowly comes to learn that he’s actually a hardworking philanthropist and a dedicated single father. After Richard seeks Abby’s counsel about how to engage his distant daughter—and it works—the pair fall for each other, though they attempt to keep their relationship on the down-low. They’re not successful for long, and when the tabloids catch wind of their fling and publish articles impugning Abby’s reputation and ethics, their relationship hits the rocks. Smart, snappy prose, a lovably nerdy billionaire for a hero, and a complex tween who steals most scenes she’s in, make this instantly appealing. It’s perfect summer reading. Agent: Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Aug.)