June 2023

Once More With Feeling

By Elissa Sussman
Elissa Sussman returns with another dual timeline celebrity romance that explores the pressure cooker of fame and the gift of growing older and wise.
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Funny You Should Ask author Elissa Sussman returns with another second-chance celebrity romance, Once More With Feeling. It’s an angsty enemies-to-lovers tale about former teen pop idols who blame each other for the implosion of their careers.

Told in dual timelines, just like Funny You Should Ask, the story rotates between the pop star heyday and later, more dignified Broadway periods of Kathleen Rosenberg and Cal Kirby. Cal was once a member of America’s hottest boy band, CrushZone, and Kathleen was Katee Rose, a dazzling pop superstar. They were glittery gods at the top of their field, until they had a one-night stand that changed the trajectory of their lives. More than a decade later, Kathleen has found comfort in the relative obscurity of New York City, but she can’t turn down the opportunity to star in a show directed by Cal, who traded stadium tours for a life backstage.

Most people face first loves, cheating and breakups at some point, but only a small cadre of people have to deal with them as publicly as Cal and Kathleen did, and Sussman cleverly shows how news cycles and the glare of the spotlight amplified their experiences. Kathleen wears her anger about her fall from grace like a shroud, and the story and romance resolve before she can really get out of her own way. Her willingness to mire in self-pity may test the patience of some readers. However, Kathleen and Cal’s evolution as a couple is refreshingly complex. The chemistry that has always bubbled under the surface during their interactions is more present than ever when they’re reunited, but they’re older and have even more at stake now. This is a story of reckoning, of revisiting the mistakes and knee-jerk reactions of youth and facing them with the help of time and maturity.

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Once More with Feeling

Once More with Feeling

By Elissa Sussman
ISBN 9780593357378

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