Alyssa Cole returns to the blog today with a novella installment in her Reluctant Royals series – this one of my favorite character in the series, Reggie of all things nerd-culture cool and a force to be reckoned with in
Can’t Escape Love
Reggie is immersed in her website and growing her Girls with Glasses brand: she’s moved on from her parents’ real estate business, built herself a nice nest egg and is slowly reconnecting with her twin Portia, now in Scotland on a sword-making apprenticeship. More than a bit of a control freak, Reggie has always been a favorite of mine for her indominable spirit, her ‘never let ‘em see you sweat’ boldness and her sheer determination to enjoy and recruit others to the enjoyment of all things ‘geeky’, while still providing information that everyone can use in easy to access ways. And quite frankly, Reggie is a speak first, challenge YOUR discomfort sort of girl – partly coming from her struggle after meningitis, but mostly as a ‘take no prisoners’ approach to getting what she wants. But now, the success and hard work are all coming to a head – and Reggie can’t sleep. It was never a huge problem before when she could access the archive of a puzzle geek with a voice that always soothed and relaxed her. Using her sister Portia’s skill at finding people who don’t want to be found, she contacts him using her old follower handle – asking him for 10 hours of talking, just for her own use.
Gus used the livestream to help him with communicating to people – he’s mostly fine with family, but the subtle cues are missed in everyday interactions, as people aren’t like puzzles and he can sort out most puzzles if he thinks about it long enough. He’s curious about this email – although not quite sure where it will go – but a conversation will help him to sort out what he thinks. AND we’re off. Gus and Reggie talk first – and things are sweet – they are feeling one another out and getting to ‘know’ each other, soon to meet face to face as Gus is working on a puzzle project that involves Reggie’s current fangirl obsession – set to debut at a major con in a few months. But, Gus is stuck on the project – not really understanding just WHY people love it so much, and how he can incorporate more than a few items and colors to make it work. Reggie, although not a fan of escape rooms is able to parse a series, explain what she loves and, more importantly, explain why people are obsessed with the series and characters.
Throughout it all, Gus, with his keen powers of observation (he misses nothing) is navigating the often tricky path that is Reggie and her almost obsessive need for independence and being seen as strong, even when that makes her prickly and always on guard. From the first moment to the last it’s Gus and how he’s tuned to the visual, understanding just what tweaks her guards-up reaction and doing what he thinks is best (and always seems to be the most genuine) to calm her. With his first introduction as he mentions how beautiful she is, with not walking behind her, not commenting on using her walker as it’s not as safe, and making a salad being careful to cut the pieces evenly and bite-sized. Oh Gus was SO good for her, and Reggie was blooming – and investigating those ‘difficult’ things – the emotions and difficult conversations that she avoids because, well, it’s easier. And if she wants Gus, she has to make that choice – discuss those difficult things using her words – because Gus won’t catch the signals… and he’s determined (or as Cole puts it – the puzzle in his chest fell into place) to make a life with her. Oh this was wonderful and fun and a perfect option for Reggie who so desperately wanted (yet wouldn’t say under penalty of death) someone she could call partner – not to ‘complete’ her – but to make more of what the two of them have together.
Title: Can't Escape Love
Author: Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals #3.5
Also in this series: A Princess in Theory, , Once Ghosted, Twice Shy
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humor elements, Interracial, Novella
Published by: Avon Impulse
Published on: 19 March, 2019
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 5 Hours: 15 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
Alyssa Cole delivers another fun, sexy romance novella in the Reluctant Royals series!
Regina Hobbs is nerdy by nature, businesswoman by nurture. She's finally taking her pop culture-centered media enterprise, Girls with Glasses, to the next level, but the stress is forcing her to face a familiar supervillain: insomnia. The only thing that helps her sleep when things get this bad is the deep, soothing voice of puzzle-obsessed live streamer Gustave Nguyen. The problem? His archive has been deleted.
Gus has been tasked with creating an escape room themed around a romance anime…except he knows nothing about romance or anime. Then mega-nerd and anime expert Reggie comes calling, and they make a trade: his voice for her knowledge. But when their online friendship has IRL chemistry, will they be able to escape love?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: