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This Time Next Year


This Time Next Year

Minnie Cooper knows she has a terrible, groan-inducing name. But she also knows she was supposed to be named Quinn. While in labor in a London hospital on December 31, 1989, Minnie's mom, Connie, confided her choice of baby name to her roommate, Tara Hamilton, who was going through her own difficult labor.

Imagine Connie’s dismay the next day when she learned that Tara had her baby at the stroke of midnight, complete with huge fanfare, press coverage and a cash prize for giving birth to the first 1990s baby in London --- and she named him Quinn. Obviously Connie couldn’t use that name anymore, so she named her daughter Minnie. Just like that, all the built-in luck flew out the window.

"THIS TIME NEXT YEAR is a slow-building romance novel that is just as much about self-discovery as it is about the love story."

Now Minnie is about to turn 30, and she’s always been a bit resentful of that mysterious Quinn Hamilton who stole her name --- and her luck. She’s had a horrible run of disastrous New Year’s Eves/birthdays over the course of her life, and her 30th doesn’t seem to be much better, after she loses her coat, collides with a waiter, is vomited on and gets locked in a bathroom all on the same evening. Things turn around when she meets a handsome stranger the following morning, and they watch the first sunrise of the new year together --- only to discover that this charismatic, attractive man is none other than Quinn Hamilton, famed name stealer and birthday twin.

Unfortunately, Minnie’s bad luck has extended to the small business she launched with her best friend a few years earlier, delivering homemade savory pies to care homes and the elderly. Minnie adores the work, as well as her employees and her clients, but they just can’t seem to make ends meet when they’re relying on grants and donations to survive. Once Minnie’s path crosses with Quinn, her luck seems to be changing for the better. But can it last? And what happens if Quinn’s seemingly charmed life isn’t so perfect after all?

THIS TIME NEXT YEAR is a slow-building romance novel that is just as much about self-discovery as it is about the love story. Readers especially will enjoy the flashbacks to New Year’s past as they discover the many times Minnie and Quinn’s fates have already been entwined --- even without them realizing it! Both are realistically flawed, complex characters, and the supporting players (especially Minnie’s employees) are particularly funny and well-drawn.

As a bonus, debut novelist Sophie Cousens includes recipes for Minnie’s savory pies and fruit cake at the back of the book, so readers can try their hand at recreating her delicious dishes --- and maybe capture some of her newfound luck in the process.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on December 11, 2020

This Time Next Year
by Sophie Cousens