Avon Impulse, $4.99, ISBN 978-0-06-293187-0
Contemporary Romance, 2019
Ooh, Alyssa Cole has written a girl-on-girl story. No, not for Avon, but for Avon Impulse, the more digital line where the readers are presumably more progressive and more accepting as well as where the overheads are lower and hence there are fewer monetary risks in putting out such a story. This is also the most enjoyable “young” contemporary romance I’ve read in a while, as there are the use of apps to hook up, actually taking a train in New York, and so on.
I’m not sure why this one is called Once Ghosted, Twice Shy, though. Ghosting, as far as I’m aware, means that the other person you’re in a relationship with abruptly cuts off all contact without even a bye bye. Fabiola C – now that I think of it, I can’t remember what that C stands for – sent Likotsi Adelele a break-up text, so there’s no ghosting here. Likotsi is the PA of Prince Thabiso of Thesolo, and while that dude was in Manhattan, she took the time to look for hook-ups on her favorite app and swiped right for Fabiola. When she told Fabiola that she wasn’t sure whether she would stay in town when her boss moved back to Thesolo, for some reason Fabiola decided to end their thing and gee, I wonder why.
This story goes back and forth from past to present, and honestly, this is my biggest gripe with this story. This is a short story, so the author probably should have focused on her main characters’ second go at romance to make the best use of the limited word count to flesh out the story as much as possible, but no, what I get instead is a gimmicky flashback-heavy story that only serves to drive home how these two ladies fall in love so quickly in such a short time that the whole thing feels more like a half-baked crush than a love for a lifetime.
Still, the tone is upbeat, the writing style is clean, and I suppose this will be a fun, quick read if one can overlook the annoying jumps from past to present. Me, I’m okay with it. It’s just a shame that two of the more interesting characters in this author’s Reluctant Royals series get squashed into this forgettable short thing, when the far less interesting ones get full-length stories just because they are straight.