Alyssa Cole returns with a fun, sexy romance novella in the Reluctant Royals series!
While her boss the prince was busy wooing his betrothed, Likotsi had her own love affair after swiping right on a dating app. But her romance had ended in heartbreak, and now, back in NYC again, she’s determined to rediscover her joy–so of course she runs into the woman who broke her heart.
When Likotsi and Fabiola meet again on a stalled subway train months later, Fab asks for just one cup of tea. Likotsi, hoping to know why she was unceremoniously dumped, agrees. Tea and food soon leads to them exploring the city together, and their past, with Fab slowly revealing why she let Likotsi go, and both of them wondering if they can turn this second chance into a happily ever after.
What is Once Ghosted, Twice Shy about?
This novella is about Likotsi and Fabiola, and the navigation each must do around their feelings for one another after an unexpected breakup from their “not” relationship. Likotsi is coming to terms with old feelings while Fabiola is finally putting things right after a long, hard several months.
For a short romance, both characters are highly fleshed out and their relationship is very strong. The use of flashback chapters was well integrated into the present, giving both perspectives of how their relationship began and what it meant to them. I also really enjoyed the use of wardrobe: Likotsi’s wardrobe is consistent stylistically, but also symbolic of part of the plot. Fabiola’s wardrobe in the past is a point of pride for her, and contrasts with how she presents herself in the present tale, embodying the changes in her life that Likotsi learns about.
I was a little confused about the nature of the relationship at certain points. Most of that is due to an in-story reason, but Likotsi introduces us to the relationship as a tragic and sadly failed one–something that had great impact on her. As the novella progresses, the relationship as it really was becomes clear and though I still felt a lot of sympathy for Likotsi… It wasn’t a relationship in the first place, and I don’t think she was really ghosted. But that’s more of a me issue than an issue with the story, to be completely honest.
I have no major criticisms for this story! It’s sweet, well written, a compelling relationship, and a quick read!
This short little story was the perfect taste of Alyssa Cole for me, and I am absolutely interested in reading the rest of this series! The characters had so much chemistry and were also interesting on their own! Likotsi and Fabiola both have story arcs as well as a growing romance within such a short amount of pages, but nothing feels rushed. The way they re-meet after being apart was straight out of a rom-com and I really enjoyed the way the narrative of their past was interwoven with the feelings that came with seeing one another again. So many little details worked so well, from their wardrobes to the way exposition about Likotsi’s job and Fabiola’s family were worked into different moments. This novella is incredibly well written as well as entertaining!