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THE PARTNER PLOT by Kristina Forest Kirkus Star


by Kristina Forest

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 2024
ISBN: 9780593546451
Publisher: Berkley

Two high school sweethearts reconnect in Vegas, where their relationship goes from nonexistent to newlyweds.

When Violet Greene and Xavier Wright met on their first day of 11th grade, they knew they'd found their person for life. Through the ups and downs of cafeteria arguments, prom, and late-night rendezvous, the two always found their way back to each other, vowing to stay together through the long-distance college years and beyond. But Xavier's NBA dreams were sidelined after he tore his Achilles tendon, and, not wanting to hold back Violet, who was on the fast track to becoming a stylist for the stars, he ended things, and they haven't seen each other since. Now, nine years later, Violet dresses A-listers from New York to Los Angeles, while Xavier has settled down as an English teacher and assistant basketball coach at their former New Jersey high school. Neither of them has been able to hold a steady partner, and when they run into each other at a club in Las Vegas, they somehow end up at a pretend wedding chapel and wake the next morning with rings on their fingers and no memory of how they got there. They each chalk it up to liquor and old feelings, and Violet hopes to leave their reunion in the past...until she impulsively tells a magazine interviewer that she just got married. Word travels fast, so to save further embarrassment, Violet and Xavier agree to keep up the ruse for a month, which means living together and being, well, married. As they reconnect, they begin to realize that maybe their relationship is more real than fake, but they have to decide whether they're willing to reopen old wounds. Forest's novel is a sweet portrayal of first love and second chances. Violet and Xavier are memorable, real, and vulnerable as they struggle with career sacrifices and the fear of more heartbreak. Yet they were destined from the start—and Forest's romance never misses a shot.

A second-chance slam-dunk.