CAN'T ESCAPE LOVE - Alyssa Cole
HArper Collins/Avon Impulse
REVIEWER: Cheryl McNeil | RATING: A
REVIEW: CAN’T ESCAPE LOVE is Book #3.5 in the A Reluctant Royals Series. Regina Hobbs (Reggie) has a successful media company called Girls with Glasses. Her success is a result of her stepping out on Faith. She is also under a lot of stress and has trouble sleeping. That’s where Gustave Nguyen comes in. Gus is a puzzle-obsessed live streamer Reggie discovers, and his voice is the only thing that helps her sleep during her bouts with insomnia.
Reggie and Gus started formulating a relationship years ago without realizing it. Neither of them knew how much of an impact they had on each other until they reconnect three years later. Gus realizes that Reggie helped him find his true passion.
The stars align when Reggie finds out that Gus pretty much lives in the same neighborhood in Queens, (instead of on the West coast like she originally thought). They get the opportunity to meet in person when Reggie offers to help Gus with his Anime “Escape Room” project. Ms. Cole eloquently captures how people in wheelchairs feel when someone sees them for the first time. She also captures Gus’ feelings about seeing Reggie (which had nothing to do with her being in a wheelchair). His first reaction is how beautiful she is. He really sees her, not her circumstance. This catches Reggie off guard, in a good way, and the story goes from there.
Ms. Cole enlightens the reader on how Reggie and Gus’ level of adaptability (whether physical or based on their thinking process), causes them to do things differently. An example is Gus referring to his heart as a Rubik cube. However, the story isn’t stuck on that, which makes it relatable and even more enjoyable.
Ms. Cole has written Reggie with a sense of humor. An example is describing how she maneuvers with confidence when she attends conventions; “people parted before her like the Red Sea or got the backs of their ankles f!!ked up.” This also shines through when Reggie is describing her six, yes six, wheelchairs to Gus.
Readers will remember Reggie as the twin sister of Portia from A DUKE BY DEFAULT. Events in both stories take place simultaneously and we get to see Portia’s situation from Reggie’s perspective. The Love between the sisters is strong. It is clear from A DUKE BY DEFAULT that Reggie is their parents favorite, and it’s refreshing to see Reggie defend Portia when their parents try to put her down.
I also have to mention the cover. It perfectly aligns with the characters and the story. This is a great novella.
16th April 2019 | firstname.lastname@example.org