Cheers all around for Bolu Babalola!

The Bookseller recently reported that UK, Commonwealth, and translation rights for Babalola’s Honey & Spice and a second novel were pre-empted by Katie Packer, commissioning editor at Headline Review, whereas US and Canadian rights for Honey & Spice were pre-empted by William Morrow for a six-figure sum.

Honey & Spice is forthcoming summer 2022. Below is a summary of the novel drawn from The Bookseller‘s report:

Honey & Spice will tell the story of the sharp-tongued (and secretly soft-hearted) Kiki Banjo, an expert in relationship evasion, as well as the women who make up the Afro-Caribbean Society at Whitewell University, and their attempts to avoid the mess of “situationships”, players and heartbreak. But when Kiki meets newcomer Malakai Korede—who she has publicly denounced as “The Wasteman of Whitewell”—her defences are weakened. A clash embroils them in a fake relationship to salvage both their reputations, and soon she finds herself in danger of falling for the very man she warned her girls about.

Packer worked previously with Babalola on her first story collection, Love in Colour, which was shortlisted for Waterstones’s Book of the Year 2020 and is one of our Notable African Books of 2020. The book was widely praised for its decolonization of love tropes and centering Black women in love stories.

Babalola shared the news on her Twitter account, noting that her books were four years in the making and that she was “excited…to be continuing this journey” with Packer.

Huge congratulations, Bolu Babalola!