4 star book review for The Duality Principle, debut novel(la) by Rebecca Grace Allen–on sale now.
[Some Spoilers; For Mature Audiences]
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As a former graduate student, I’m particularly sympathetic to books with leading men/ladies in grad school. So when my dear friend Cosmo read/reviewed The Duality Principle (TDP), Rebecca Grace Allen’s debut novel(la), featuring a spunky, sexy Ph.D. candidate, I knew I’d have to give it a read. As luck would have it, I won a copy of TDP in a contest that Rebecca hosted on her site. I’m certainly not one to eschew fate, so I dove into reading right away. As I suspected, I adored The Duality Principle! Rebecca writes with such wit and humor…and her characters totally embody those exact attributes. This might be a novella, but Rebecca gives us a full story with strong character development and robust narrative, which never fails to keep the reader engaged.
We begin with Gabriella Evans, a mathematics Ph.D. student who’s come to Portland, Maine for the summer to finish up her dissertation. She’s always loved Portland and has fond childhood memories of spending time with her grandmother, away from her fussy, highfalutin parents. Her grandmother recently passed away, but before her parents sell Nana’s house, Gabriella wants to spend time getting her life together and preparing for the next stage.
But Gabriella can’t help but be distracted by a leather-wearing, motorcycle-riding hunk of a man that she’s seen in town and can’t forget…even though she’s never seen his face. At the same time, her bestie Jamie has also set her up on a blind-date with Connor Starks, a friend from high school. Gabriella isn’t necessarily looking for love, but she wouldn’t mind finding a man who’d help her to indulge her kinkier side in the bedroom. Connor is gorgeous and seems interested, but something keeps holding him back. Will Gabriella be able to convince him let go a bit and so they can both have some summer fun and embrace their wild sides?
I really like Gabriella, particularly because she knows exactly who she is. Yes, she’s smart and loves math, which might make her a nerd (of course I love nerds 😉 ). But Gabriella is also a self-proclaimed “sexpot rebel” who likes dirty talk, spankings, and wouldn’t mind some raunchy public sexy-times. She’s not ashamed to embrace all these aspects of herself and will totally kick anyone to the curb who tries to shame her.
Interestingly enough, Connor shares this duality–he’s a former troublemaker bad boy, hell bent on reforming himself into someone his grandparents can be proud of. Connor really, REALLY likes Gabby, but he’s convinced that she could never like his law-breaking/heart-breaking self. So he’ll be better than that, he’ll reign himself in, and treat Gabby with gentle care and consideration, which is exactly what she deserves.
…but you know what they say about best-laid plans…
And this is what makes watching Gabriella and Connor’s relationship unfold so compelling. She wants him to be a little (or a lot) reckless and is sending all the signs…and he definitely wants to act on his attraction, but in the interest of being a better man, holds back. As you can imagine, this creates A LOT of frustration:
Connor pulled back and whipped the shirt off, then kissed her again, sucking and biting as he worked to undo the remaining buttons on her shorts. It was wild and fast and risky and wrong, and she’d never felt so good in her life…Gabriella grinned, dizzy with the satisfaction of finally seeing how far he was willing to go…
“Connor,” she began, searching for the right way to tell him what she was feeling.
You’re so much more than I’d hoped.
You’re everything I’ve been waiting for.
“I shouldn’t have done that,” he said…”It was wrong.”
See what I mean…FRUSTRATING!
But when Connor finally gets it together…when he realizes that he can be a responsible, hardworking man AND the dirty-talking bad boy…it’s HOT:
“You better be sure you want this baby girl, because I’m not going to stop now. I’m going to fuck you senseless. In every room in this house. So hard you’ll still be feeling my cock in you tomorrow…”
And just as Connor is able to come to terms with these parts of himself, Gabriella is also to reconcile her desires with her parents’ expectations.
Connor says it best: “Duality isn’t a bad thing. It’s the different sides of us that make use who we are. It makes us whole.”
The Duality Principle is a really fun read with some drama to keep things interesting and incredibly sexy sexy-times. I gladly recommend this to fans of contemporary romance with a kink. So head over to Goodreads and add it to your 2015 TBR list and then go grab your copy HERE.
Brava Rebecca–I can’t wait to get my hands on your next book!