It has been barely one month since Bolu Babalola’s debut novel titled Honey and Spice was published, and we already have news of a sequel. The novel is titled Sun Under Skin and will be published in 2024 by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishing.
Bolu Babalola is a UK based writer of Nigerian descent, a “self-coined ‘romcomoisseur'” who focuses on creating stories about “dynamic women with distinct voices who love and are loved audaciously.” Her first book titled Love in Colour, a Sunday Times (UK) bestselling short story collection, reimagines tales about love. Honey and Spice is her second book and continues the theme of love. It follows Kiki Banjo, the host of a student radio show “Brown Sugar”, who finds her self in a messy situation. On the show, she is a relationship guru, making sure “the women of the African-Caribbean Society at Whitewell University do not fall into the mess of “situationships”, players, and heartbreak.” But when she publicly kisses Malakai Korede who she denounced as “The Wastemen of Whitewell,” in front of the entire campus, she soon finds herself in a fake relationship to save her reputation. However, as time goes on, the pair grows closer and closer, leading to a “sexy, messy and wry” story full of ups and down.
Sun Under Skin follows the lives of Kiki and Malakai, a few years into their future. Kiki, now “a rising podcast star who gave up on love to pursue her career ambitions,” has to attend her best friend’s wedding which brings her back to her old flame Malakai. From there, the story centers on a second chance at love, a trope Babalola enjoys writing about, as she remarks to Entertainment Weekly:
I think second-chance romance is so uniquely beautiful though because it takes a lot of courage and belief to go back to a place and hope it works out again. It takes immense vulnerability but also faith — that’s at the core of love generally, and I think second chance romance really hones in on that.