Leo has long joked that, in the event of his death, he wants his best friend Garrett, a lifelong bachelor, to marry his wife, Audrey. One drunken night, he goes so far as to make Garrett promise to do so. Then, twelve years later, Leo, a veteran firefighter, dies in a skiing accident.
As Audrey navigates her new role as widow and single parent, Garrett quits his job in Boston and buys a one-way ticket out west. Before long, Audrey's feelings for Garrett become more than platonic, and Garrett finds himself falling for Audrey, her boys, and their life together in Portland. When Audrey finds out about the drunken pact from years ago, though, the harmless promise that brought Garrett into her world becomes the obstacle to his remaining in it.
About the Author
Polly Dugan lives in Portland, Oregon, and is a reader at Tin House magazine. A former employee of Powell's Books and Guide Dogs for the Blind, she is an alumna of the Tin House Writer's Workshop. She is the author of the story collection So Much a Part of You.
"The Sweetheart Deal
hits all of my favorite topics: loss, pain, friendship, betrayal-but ultimately love. It's the most romantic story I've read in years."—Elin Hilderbrand, author of Beautiful Day and The Matchmaker
"Heartfelt and wise, Polly Dugan's The Sweetheart Deal
reminds us that every difficult ending can lead to a beautiful new beginning."—Sarah Jio, author of The Violets of March and Goodnight June
"The Sweetheart Deal
, a beautifully-written debut, proves that the best love stories are the unconventional ones. Fans of Good Grief
and PS, I Love You
will adore this novel, which is brimming with heart and hope and perfectly balanced by the bittersweet."—Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Opposite of Me
"A poignant exploration of a family not just recovering from loss, but growing stronger in its wake. Polly Dugan's debut novel moved me to tears and challenged my assumptions as it explored what any of us would do when offered a second chance at love."
—Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, author of Bittersweet
"Recently, I tore through The Sweetheart Deal
...and was captivated by the surprising twists and the quiet strength of the heroine, a widow and single mother."—Sarah Pekkanen, Washington Independent Review of Books
"All the ingredients for a great story: love, loss, secrets, betrayal, and the chance to love again."
"A sensitive portrayal of friendship, family, and loss."
—Mary Ellen Quinn, Booklist
"Intimately explores how grief can affect a family."
"There is tender romance here, but it's more richly a story of an old family falling away and a new one beginning."
"A charming, poignant novel of dealing with grief and finding love again, this is the perfect light-hearted page-turner for the shore."
"A perfect summer read."
—Karen Winters Schwartz, New York Journal of Books
"The local beach read of the summer."