cover image The Holiday Trap

The Holiday Trap

Roan Parrish. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $15.99 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-1-72825-627-6

Parrish (The Lights on Knockbridge Lane) unabashedly embraces rom-com tropes in this charming if slightly overcrowded queer holiday romance. On tiny Owl Island, Maine, out lesbian Greta Russakoff falls out with her meddling Jewish family after they sign her up for a charity dating auction to be bid on by men. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, Truman Belvedere is heartbroken to discover that his boyfriend of a year has a secret husband. Both need a getaway, but Truman can’t travel with his Great Dane and Greta worries about her carnivorous plant collection. So, at the urging of a mutual friend, they swap houses for the holidays to recuperate. Greta adores New Orleans, finding a vibrant queer community and falling headfirst for grad student Carys. Meanwhile, Truman tentatively builds a slow-burning relationship with local florist Ash. As both Truman and Greta confront their pasts, they plan for unexpected futures. The lovable characters are sure to win fans, but myriad subplots, including tangents about Truman investigating the connection between Owl Island and his favorite author and Carys’s housemates starting a business, make the story feel bloated. Still, the believable stakes and strong sense of place in both settings keep the romance grounded throughout. This is a fluffy wintertime treat. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary. (Sept.)