Can’t Resist Her

Montlake Romance: Amazon. Jul. 2022. 300p. ISBN 9781542034098. pap. $12.95. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
In this steamy, queer Black romance from Alexander (Carolina Built), Summer Graves and Aiko Holt are reunited years after a fateful high school dance when Summer moves back to their hometown of Ivy, Texas. However, they find themselves on opposite sides of a battle over the future of their former high school, which has been abandoned. Summer wants to fight to preserve the community’s history, while Aiko works for the architectural firm in charge of the rebuild. The book wastes no time in hooking these two characters up, but then settles in to explore how their different opinions on the direction of their community is an ever-present thorn in the side of their relationship. The novel also explores how both characters handle complicated family dynamics: Summer’s mother is struggling with her coming out, and Aiko is in the early stages of becoming her mother’s primary caregiver. The novel starts a little slow, but the story picks up substantially in the second half.
VERDICT While there are some pacing issues and the dialogue doesn’t always flow naturally, this is a romance novel in which the plot outside of the relationship is also compelling, and that makes this book stand out.
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