Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Self-Isolation Audiobook - Can't Escape Love

  • Title And Author: Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole
  • Publisher: Avon Impulse
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed via Scribd
  • Length: 192 Pages or 4 Hours 23 Minutes

Another day in self-isolation, another romance audiobook (kinda annoying as I can’t seem to focus on one of my most anticipated reads of 2020; Kathy Reichs’s A Conspiracy of Bones. Should I audiobook this from my local library to help?). Yeah, for someone who isn’t much a romance reader, this seems to be me at the moment.

But, romance! And a romance novella in a series I keep seeing and am intrigued like heck over. I kept flip-flopping over which novel in the series to read first: A Princess in Theory (the first) or A Prince on Paper (the third). But when I saw Can’t Escape Love randomly on Scribd as part of its 30 Day Free Trial and saw it was a novella for the series, I went for it. I didn’t know where it fitted in the series, but thought this might be a good place to test the waters. 

Regina is taking her pop-culture media enterprise, Girls with Glasses, to the next level. She’s all ready to go… expect insomnia has hit her at the worst time. The only thing that has helped her in the past with this issue is the voice of the puzzle-obsessed live-streamer Gustave Nguyen. Problem: he’s deleted his archive. 

Gus is good with puzzles. So him creating an escape room themed round a romance anime should be easy. Expect he knows nothing about the anime - or romance in general. Then anime expert Regina comes crashing into his life in an unexpected way, the two make a trade: his voice for knowledge. 

But when their online friendship begins to have IRL chemistry, can the two escape love?
This was such fun. I’ve been very lucky with the romances I’ve read during self-isolation that all have me wanting the happily ever after, but Can’t Escape Love had something more to it.

One aspect of the novella I really enjoy was diversity. I think this is a big thing for the series as a whole. Here, we have Regina (Reggie) who is black woman, a wheelchair user, in charge of her business and life. And with Gus, he is on the neurodiverse spectrum and he is very open and very direct about his struggles (and this helps with the story as his directness gets rid of the miscommunication troupe we see so often in romance novels). It’s refreshing to see this in stories and it handle so well.

This was, also, a slow burn. The chemistry is there and we know, almost as soon as they met in real life that they like and want each other, but the slow burn of them getting together worked really well in this novella without it feeling forced.

I am going to admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of the narrator to this audiobook at the start. I felt her reading was a little slow, but I warmed to her and her reading surprisingly quickly and  am intrigued to see what she does with the rest of the series.

Plus, this novella does run along side the second novel in the series, Duke by Default, as the lead is Reggie’s twin sister, so if you don’t want to be spoilt, maybe read Duke first then Can’t Escape Love.

But I really liked this and I do have plans to read/audiobook more in this series. I have Prince On Paper on my kindle and am trying to figure out when I can read the first two novels. 

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