Review: Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole (2019)

A Reluctant Royals Novella

Heat Factor: Steamy

Character Chemistry: I was sold on the insta-love

Plot: Former lovers run into each other on the train and spend the day together

Overall: Light, charming, and sexy

For those of you who read A Princess in Theory, you may remember Likotsi – the Prince’s right hand woman and the author of the scammy-sounding emails that opened the book. During their time in New York, while Thabiso was wooing Naledi, Likotsi had her own little fling, which ended abruptly and mysteriously. This story fills in the gaps, but also stands alone as a short and sexy second-chance romance (and one I can get behind, since it’s not about rekindling the flames with your high school boyfriend).

It’s been 8 months since Fabiola ghosted Likotsi when the action starts. Likotsi has the day off, and has decided to explore NYC and try to get over Fab once and for all. Only they run into each other on the train, and Fab also unexpectedly has the day to herself, so Likotsi agrees to a meal, which turns into a whole day spent together. She sets out looking for closure, but eventually comes to realize that Fab doesn’t actually owe her an explanation – and that the attraction between them is still as hot as ever.

In terms of narrative, Cole builds up the story and the characters quite effectively by telling the present from Likotsi’s perspective, and the past from Fab’s perspective; past and present are presented in alternating chapters. So we get to see the story of what actually happened and why unfold in tandem with the characters slowly getting comfortable enough together to open up about the repercussions of what went down.

The alternating structure also meant that I was much more willing to buy how quickly the two fell for each other than I would normally be. By the end of the book, they have gone on a total of 4 dates (3 in the past, 1 full day date in the present), and have decided that this is enough time to commit to each other (or at least to a monogamous relationship) – but it feels like it they must have known each other for much longer. All the pining they’ve done in the interim also helps here.

Overall, Once Ghosted, Twice Shy is a charming novella that is also a love letter to New York City. Perfect for reading during a lazy afternoon when you’re stuck on the subway for way longer than planned because there are track signal problems – it’ll remind you than love is real, love can strike anywhere, and maybe convince you that NYC is a pretty sweet place to be.

Buy Now: Amazon

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