cover image The Truth According to Ember

The Truth According to Ember

Danica Nava. Berkley, $19 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-64260-3

“This story started as a question: Why are there no Native American rom-coms?” writes Nava in the afterword to her delightful debut. Ember Lee Cardinal, an enrolled Chickasaw citizen in Oklahoma City, Okla., has been working in low-level, poorly paid positions when she gets the exciting opportunity to become an accounting assistant at tech startup Technix—that is, if she fudges her résumé a bit. After adding some fraudulent qualifications and listing her race as white, she lands the job. Enter Technix’s Cherokee IT specialist Danuwoa Colson (whom Ember’s ebullient roommate Joanna dubs “the Native Daddy of our girly fantasies”). Their attraction is immediate, but Ember’s dealing with a litany of pressures in her personal life—her irresponsible brother, Sage, skipped bail after a DUI and forfeited Ember’s hard-earned college fund—and inter-office dating is discouraged at Technix, so the relationship should be a nonstarter. But as Nava ratchets up the sexual tension, will her characters be able to resist? The author delivers some delicious rom-com moments while also sensitively portraying the overt and covert racism her characters face. There’s also a helpful guide to tribal language. With wit, smarts, and abundant heart, this office romance is a triumph. (Aug.)