Why am I swooning over the one guy who treated me like a professional? Ridiculous. That should have been the bare minimum of every interaction today.
― Eva Moore, Caught A Vibe
The image of her personally researching and testing out the product screams through my brain. I snap my eyes to hers and my mouth shut until I’m sure my filter is working again. I will not be that guy.
Penny is a robotics genius trying to get her fledgling startup off the ground. Her product? A revolutionary “pleasure aid” designed to give women the best solo sexual experience they’ve ever had. She meets Dash, a freelance technology reporter, at an expo in Las Vegas. Despite not being Penny’s targeted demographic, Dash treats her with the respect and attention that is sadly absent from Penny’s other interactions with male interviewers. Although it turns out that Dash’s misogynistic boss sent him to cover Penny’s startup as a sort of joke assignment, Dash and Penny hit it off and end up having an unforgettable night together.
After Penny is ejected from the conference when she is told that her product is not “appropriate” for the audience, she and Dash miss the chance to say goodbye in person. He tracks her down and they start to get to know one another via video chat. Things are building at a nice pace when Covid shuts everything down. I won’t go into the whys and hows of it, but Penny and Dash end up co-habitating.
This book really surprised me. It did not follow any pattern I expected, other than the standard romance path of “attraction, misunderstanding, make up and get back together.” The way the author got us there is unlike anything else I’ve ever read. This is a lovely book that is very very real. How can you build a relationship while trying to survive traumatic financial and career-altering changes? Penny and Dash are pretty perfect but they have enough weirdnesses and hangups that the relationship felt very true to life. The unspoken anger and the desire to not mess up a good thing is a very relatable scenario to many people. How do you relearn how to communicate your needs in a place where there is no space – physical or emotional – to fail? The characters were not able to solve their problems or change their situations dramatically. But the constant background fear of pushing or scaring the other one away is what drove the wedge between them.
This book is described as “love in quarantimes,” and it could not be more aptly named. I was able to empathize with and be annoyed as hell by both of the characters. While this story doesn’t have a ton of what I consider classic romance drama, I consider it a nice, cozy slow burn of two people trying to figure themselves out and how to communicate what they need in a relationship.
I got this as part of Stuff Your Kindle Day from Romancebookworms.