“A nuanced and sexy take on growing up and learning to accept who you are.”
Nick Melnikov doesn’t know where he belongs. He was just a kid when his Russian-Jewish family immigrated to Michigan. Now he’s in London for university, overwhelmed by unexpected memories. Socially anxious, intensely private, and closeted, Nick doesn’t expect to fall in so quickly with a tight-knit group of students from his college, and it’s both exhilarating and scary. Hanging out with them is a roller coaster of serious awkward and incredible longing, especially when the most intimidating of the group, Dex, looks his way.
Dex Cartwell knows exactly who he is: a black queer guy who doesn’t give a toss what anybody thinks of him. He is absolutely, one-hundred-percent, totally in control of his life. Apart, maybe, from the stress of his family’s abrupt move to an affluent, largely white town. And worrying about his younger brother feeling increasingly isolated as a result. And the persistent broken heart he’s been nursing for a while . . .
When Nick and Dex meet, both find themselves intrigued. Countless late-night conversations only sharpen their attraction. But the last thing Nick wants is to face his deepest secret, and the last thing Dex needs is another heartache. Dex has had to fight too hard for his right to be where he is. Nick isn’t even sure where he’s from. So how can either of them tell where this is going?
A master of building tender and meaningful characters with heartbreaking stakes, Liz Jacobs deftly introduces audiences to the compelling, deeply personal narratives possible in coming-of-age and New Adult romance. ABROAD is an instant classic that approaches LGBTQIA+ and immigrant experiences from a powerful own-voices perspective.
Nick Melnikov has finally done it — he’s come out.
To himself. To his sister. And to Dex, who listens, hears him, and understands. To Dex, who kisses him and shows him all that they could be, if Nick could only find the courage. It’s one thing to let yourself be open thousands of miles away from your family, but exchange student Nick is uncomfortably aware that his time with Dex is running out. Who will he be when he goes home again?
Dex Cartwell is as happy with Nick as he’s ever been, but he can’t ignore the shadow of Nick’s inevitable departure from London, back to his life in Michigan. Is it worth it for Dex to expose his heart to another doomed relationship with a predetermined expiration date? What does Dex really want for the beginning of the next chapter in his life, post-graduation?
Dex wants to turn to his best friend in the struggle to find a way forward, but Izzy Jones has her own problems. She’s got one friend in love with her, and when she turns to another for help things get twice as complicated. Izzy never wanted complicated, but life just keeps getting in the way — and sweeping her off her feet.
Then Nick’s mom and sister come for a visit, and he is forced to decide between living his truth and protecting himself from fear and change. It’s going to take a lot of courage and a few leaps in the dark if Nick, Dex, and Izzy are to find a way to live and love on their own terms.
“Written from a beautiful and intimate ‘own voices’ perspective, Liz Jacobs’s Abroad is a delight. Accurate and nuanced writing is becoming the norm with Brain Mill Press, and Abroad continues this trend, and raises the bar higher.”
—All About Romance, “Desert Isle Keeper” review
“Abroad … really spoke to me in a way that a book hasn’t done in a while.”
—Just Love Reviews
“A fresh take on the NA genre with a slower pace that feels both realistic and allows the characters to explore identity, culture, sexuality and self discovery in a way that allows all of life’s complexities to shine through.”
—For What It’s Worth Book Reviews
Liz Jacobs came over with her family from Russia at the age of 11, as a Jewish refugee. All in all, her life has gotten steadily better since that moment. They settled in an ultra-liberal haven in the middle of New York State, which sort of helped her with the whole “grappling with her sexuality” business.
She has spent a lot of her time flitting from passion project to passion project, but writing remains her constant. She has flown planes, drawn, made jewelry, had an improbable internet encounter before it was cool, and successfully wooed the love of her life in a military-style campaign. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for her essay on her family’s experience with immigration.
She currently lives with her wife in Massachusetts, splitting her time between her day job, writing, and watching a veritable boatload of British murder mysteries.
Press for Abroad
- “On Being a Queer Russian Immigrant and Getting To Tell My Own Story, in My Own Words” — Liz Jacobs at The Mary Sue
- “Best Queer Books To Celebrate Pride 2017,” Teen Vogue
- Liz Jacobs is interviewed at LGBTQ Reads about Abroad, her experiences as an immigrant teenager, and more.
- “Liz Jacobs on When She Knew ‘Abroad’ Would Be a Romance” at USA Today
- An excerpt from ABROAD at Heroes & Heartbreakers
- “Queer Reads You Need,” Teen Vogue
- “Rainbow Trends: Let’s Talk About Coming-of-Age Books with Author Liz Jacobs,” Happy Ever After, USA Today