A meet-cute, quirky characters and heated passion are necessary elements of a romance novel. “A Brush with Love” by Bay Village native Mazey Eddings brings more.
It takes place at a (fictional) dental school in Philadelphia, where Harper Horowitz is a senior waiting to hear which residency program she has been accepted into. On a miserable December day, Harper comes in from the freezing rain to attend a lecture and slips on the wet floor, falling down a flight of stairs onto a young man.
His name is Dan, and he’s not at all bothered by being knocked down by Harper. He is, however, dismayed that the dental mold he was holding has smashed on the floor. She knows they are among the most difficult projects for students and offers to help him make a new one. This calls for vulgar comments from friends on both sides.
Eddings layers on the sexual tension, and Dan immediately asks Harper for a date. He walks her home. So far, so good. Dan is struggling in school; he didn’t want to be a dentist in the first place but his parents expected them to take over their practice. When Dan began a successful career in finance his father called him “a stain on the family,” and now that his father is dead his mother is layering on the guilt.
“Lab goddess” Harper seems to have it together in comparison with her associated stellar grades, but she’s hiding an anxiety disorder that causes her to have incapacitating panic attacks and other symptoms. On their first date, she tries to think of a way to ask that they sit at separate tables, which seems endearing until the reader grasps the depth of Harper’s struggle. Eddings shows the debilitating effects of an attack with painful realism. The sex scenes are far from chaste but not raunchy.
“A Brush with Love” (336 pages, softcover) costs $16.99 from st. Martin’s Griffin. Mazey Eddings’ next book, “Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake,” about a baker with ADHD, is scheduled for September, and “The Plus One” for April 2023. Mazey Eddings is a dentist in Philadelphia.
‘A Sketchy History of Akron’
Do you remember when the University of Akron tried to sell the Rubber Bowl on eBay? When Geauga Lake amusement park was sold, soon to be closed? Those are only two of hundreds of blips on Akron’s recent timeline represented in “A Sketchy History of Akron: A Compilation of Cartoons from the Pages of the West Side Leader and South Side News Leader, 2000-2021” by Craig A. Marks.
Beginning with a gag about the digital Millennium Clock at Canal Park, which was set to count down to the wrong date, the cartoons range in subject from the comical (Fairlawn enacted an ordinance prohibiting the keeping of roosters) to the somber (the 2011 mass shooting of seven people in Copley Township.
Politics, sports (LeBron James is a frequent subject), weather, road construction and all the other day-to-day aspects of life in Akron pass through the “nondescript characters” Marks draws; they have no distinguishable characteristics. The last topics covered, in December 2021, are the Zips’ new football coach and TubaChristmas.
“A Sketchy History of Akron” (268 pages, softcover) costs $10.99 from online retailers.
Former Warren resident and University of Akron student Brian Broome has won the 2022 Lambda Literary Award in the Gay Memoir/Biography category for “Punch Me Up to the Gods.” The book also won the 2021 Kirkus Prize for nonfiction.
Loganberry Books (13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights): Stephen Post signs “Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People: How Caregivers Can Meet the Challengers of Alzheimer’s Disease,” 1 pm Sunday; at 2 pm Sunday, Christopher Appling signs his comic book “Matinee Idol.”
Rocky River Public Library (1600 Hampton Road): Julia Finley Mosca (“The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin”) presents a two-part writing workshop for students in grades 7-12, 2 p.m. Tuesday and June 28. Register at rrpl.org.
Hudson Library & Historical Society: MSNBC anchor Katy Tur talks about “Rough Draft: A Memoir” in a Zoom event at 7 pm Tuesday. Register at hudsonlibrary.org.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (North Royalton branch, 5071 Wallings Road): Former NCAA and Big Ten basketball official Phil Bova talks about “Throwing Back the Chair,” 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Register at cuyahogalibrary.org.
Canton Palace Theater (605 Market Ave. N.): Jamie Ford, whose “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” won the “Best Fiction” prize in the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature, joins the Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books Series from 6:30 to 7:30 pm Tuesday, including a question-and-answer period and book signing. Register at starklibrary.org.
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Green branch, 4046 Massillon Road): Children’s author Lindsay Bonilla tells (“Polar Bear Island”) stories about whales, dolphins and other ocean creatures, 11 am to 12 pm Wednesday. Seating is limited.
Cuyahoga County Public Library: Thriller writers Hank Phillipi Ryan (“Her Perfect Life”) and Hannah Mary McKinnon talk about McKinnon’s “Never Coming Home” in a Zoom event from 7 to 8 pm Wednesday. Register at cuyahogalibrary.org.
Mac’s Backs (1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights): Chad Bilyeu, author of the comic book series “Chad in Amsterdam,” signs his work 6 to 8 pm Friday.
Visible Voice Books (2258 Professor Ave., Cleveland): Scott Longert signs “Victory on Two Fronts: The Cleveland Indians and Baseball through the World War II Era,” 7 pm Friday.
Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson): Carie Dubiel, Mike Welch and Aly Welch sign “Family: A Writing Bloc Anthology,” 11 am to 1 pm Saturday; from 1 to 3 pm Saturday, Kyle Jekot signs “A Cure for the Common Scam: A Non-Technical Scam for Navigating the Pitfalls of the Internet.”
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Beachwood branch, 25501 Shaker Blvd.): Alex Oselu Owiti talks about “Health Benefits of Vitamins” from 2 to 3 pm Saturday. Register at cuyahogalibrary.org.
John A. Spitzer Conference Center (1005 Abbe Road N., Elyria): The North Coast Indie Author Book Expo features more than 60 self-published and independent authors who will sign their books from 2 to 6:30 pm Saturday.
Twinsburg Public Library (10050 Ravenna Road): Authors including Julie Ann Lindsay, Kylie Logan, Kathryn Long, Amanda Flower and Jane Turzillo sign their books and give away advance reader copies in an Author Fair and Book Expo from 1 to 3 pm June 26. Registration required; go to twinsburglibrary.org.
Email information about books of local interest, and event notices at least two weeks in advance to BeaconBookTalk@gmail.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbara McIntyre tweets at @BarbaraMcI.