cover image 10 Things That Never Happened

10 Things That Never Happened

Alexis Hall. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $16.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-72824-510-2

Hall spins off his fan favorite Boyfriend Material with a droll enemies to lovers rom-com that offers a fresh take on the amnesia trope. When Sam Becker, manager of the struggling Sheffield, England, branch of bed and bath retailer Splashes & Snuggles, is summoned to London by the chain’s owner, prickly profit-driven Jonathan Forest, he knows he’s going to be fired. He’s not expecting Jonathan to announce that he’s axing all of Sam’s employees as well. In the ensuing confrontation, Sam falls into a display shower and passes out. The harried ER doctor misdiagnoses him with amnesia and insists that Jonathan should look after him for a fortnight. Sam runs with it, pretending he doesn’t remember any part of his tense relationship with Jonathan, let alone being fired, and hatching a plan to use this new status quo to soften Jonathan up. As they spend more time together, however, Sam realizes that he might not mind Jonathan’s prickliness as much as he thought. The plotting is rom-com gold, Hall’s typical wit is on display, and the eclectic supporting cast charms, but the heroes themselves feel ever so slightly underdeveloped. Still, fans of grumpy/sunshine romances will eat this up. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary. (Oct.)