So I was going to try to do a spoiler free review of this one, but there’s too much to squee about and I need to do specifics. So those who hate spoilers, you’ve been warned.
First, content and trigger warnings. Examples and discussion of past experiences of ableism. Family conflict and difficulty accepting diagnoses. Parents who split their children on good and bad axis and have to be schooled to stop. Boundary problems among family members.
Ok, so, first. What rates this being on this blog, besides being written by Alyssa Cole, who is one of our queens of diverse romance (we’re not worthy…we’re not worthy). First, the main character is a black woman in a wheelchair, the lovely twin sister of Portia (from a Duke by Default). Her name is Regina (but she goes by Reggie) and she is hysterical, lovely and unapologetic. She also has the coolest wheels ever.
The love interest for the story is an autistically coded Vietnamese-American man named Gustave (who goes by Gus) and to be frank, I just wanted to cuddle him so much. Both of them actually. Blanket forts. I had a lot of feelings.
Ok, so Reggie and Gus go way back on the internet, when he used to do puzzles and stream and she was his only subscriber. Its like the 21st century meet cute and I love it. His voice used to lull her to sleep but at some point, he stopped doing the streams and deleted all the recordings.
And now Reggie can’t sleep. So she does the totally irrational but sort of logical thing and seeks him out via the internet (with help from Portia) and emails him to ask if she can pay him to speak so she can go to sleep.
Right after I died laughing from this part and resurrected, I dived back in. Gus takes this all with stride and they manage to work things out so that Reggie can get some sleep and Gus can…hang out? He’s not getting a ton from the arrangement in the beginning but that doesn’t seem to bug him much.
But of course, inevitably, the pants feelings start. And its so funny. They make so much sense together, but they’re also so lovingly awkward. Not like Ben Stiller, where you wish you could poke your eyeballs out to stop watching this, but more like Chandler Bing on a good day, trying to do something nice and failing to not be weird about it.
That’s oddly specific. Anyhow! So they’re cute and they’re getting interested and the inevitable twists come, which I will leave to you.
But they watch anime together and talk about OTP’s and Reggie is a total fangirl and Gus loves puzzles and they don’t infantilize each other and its just so cute and pure.
Why are you still reading me? Go read this. You won’t regret it. My only regret is that its a novella and not a full length book cause I would read that so fast.
4.75 stars, cause my heart wanted more of these two and I still keep looking back to see if I actually got to the end.
Until next time,
Not Just a Buzzword
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review and I desperately hope they keep giving them to me cause I kind of have a book problem and this is a decent solution.