cover image The Long Game

The Long Game

Elena Armas. Atria, $17.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-6680-1130-0

An unlikely duo find love while coaching a children’s soccer team in this adorable small-town romance from bestseller Armas (The American Roommate Experience). After a video of Adalyn Reyes, “the overachieving daughter” of the owner of professional soccer team the Miami Flames, in an altercation with the Flames’ mascot goes viral, her father comes up with an unconventional plan to divert the bad press. He exiles Adalyn for the rest of the Flames’ season, sending her to manage a struggling team in need of a boost. Adalyn doesn’t know until she arrives that the North Carolina Green Warriors are a bunch of unruly nine-year-olds—nor is she expecting their coach to be former hotshot goalie Cameron “Cam” Caldani. The pair get off on the wrong foot when Adalyn nearly hits Cam with her car, an encounter that leaves Cam determined to run Adalyn out of town. But Adalyn is intent on proving herself to her father by steering the adorable but chaotic Warriors to victory. Armas’s leads feel fully fleshed out, and the pacing of their transition from enemies to lovers is just right. With plenty of hilarious and swoonworthy interactions set against a quaint backdrop, this is sure to please Armas’s many fans. Agent: Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijsktra Literary. (Sept.)