cover image Kiss Her Once for Me

Kiss Her Once for Me

Alison Cochrun. Atria, $17.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-982191-13-9

A sparkling winter wonderland, quirky family traditions, and a messy “love trapezoid” make the yuletide gay in this earnest queer rom-com from Cochrun (The Charm Offensive). The previous Christmas, anxious aspiring animator Ellie Oliver spent one magical day stranded in a Portland, Ore., snowstorm with a gorgeous woman, Jack, who she’s pined for ever since. This year, Ellie’s holidays look far grimmer. She’s lost her animator job and she’s on the brink of losing her apartment—until the landlord of the coffee shop where she now works, the stunning Andrew Kim-Prescott, offers her a deal: if she’ll marry him to help him access his $2 million inheritance, he’ll give her 10% of the money. But first, she must pose as his fiancée at a weeklong family Christmas celebration. Ellie’s genre-savvy enough to know that fake dating often ends in real love and she’s excited to finally move on—until Jack walks through the Kim-Prescott’s door. Turns out, she’s Andrew’s sister, and her best friend, Dylan, is Andrew’s ex. Sparks fly between these mismatched couples against a backdrop of cozy holiday cheer. Cochrun can go a bit heavy on the exposition, but it’s delightful to watch this clever spin on the fake dating trope unfold. This is a winner. Agent: Bibi Lewis, Ethan Ellenberg Literary. (Nov.)