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Joy is in love with Malcolm.
But Malcolm really likes Summer.
Summer is in love with love.
And Fox is Summer’s ex-boyfriend.
Thirty, flirty, and asexual Joy is secretly in love with her best friend Malcolm, but she’s never been brave enough to say so. When he unexpectedly announces that he's met the love of his life—and no, it's not Joy—she's heartbroken. Malcolm invites her on a weekend getaway, and Joy decides it’s her last chance to show him exactly what he’s overlooking. But maybe Joy is the one missing something…or someone…and his name is Fox.
Fox sees a kindred spirit in Joy—and decides to help her. He proposes they pretend to fall for each other on the weekend trip to make Malcolm jealous. But spending time with Fox shows Joy what it’s like to not be the third wheel, and there’s no mistaking the way he makes her feel. Could Fox be the romantic partner she’s always deserved?
Kann (The Marvelous) steps out of the YA sphere with this glamorous contemporary romance, featuring another unforgettable Black asexual protagonist. Joy loves fashion, puns, her cat, and most of all, Malcolm, her boss and best friend since college. She's sure there will never be anyone else for her but he has his eye on Summer, and has planned an elaborate weekend getaway to impress her. There's only one problem: Summer is bringing along her friend, and ex-boyfriend, Fox, so Malcolm asks Joy to come along too, to meet Summer and to keep Fox company. Joy is crushed but finds an ally in Fox, who doesn't think Summer and Malcolm should be together either, and agrees that he will help Joy show Malcolm what he's missing. But as putting on a show with Fox turns into something deeper, Joy starts to see what she's been missing as well. Joy's relationship with Fox is (perhaps necessarily) less intense than her devotion to Malcolm, which somewhat dulls the happy ending, but it still leaves everyone moving toward better things. The heroine is, well, a joy, and Kann admirably portrays a distinctively asexual experience of attraction, dating, and romance on a deep level. This is a love story of a different and important type. Agent: Carrie Pestritto, Laura Dail Literary.