Once Ghosted, Twice Shy: A Reluctant Royals Novella

· Sold by HarperCollins
6 reviews

About this ebook

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.

6 reviews
A Google user
February 5, 2019
I know nothing about the trilogy of which Once Ghosted, Twice Shy is a spin-off, I read this novella just because it was a second-chance romance about two black women falling in love - and then falling in love again - in New York, and that premise was enough for me. And now I can say two things: one: you do not need to have read A Princess in Theory to understand this or understand the characters; two: you might want to read A Princess in Theory first anyway, because after reading this you'll want to read it for sure, Alyssa Cole's writing is amazing, and you might as well read things in order! I loved this book more than I expected to, and with that premise, I had high expectations. The main reason it surprised me? The writing. All the descriptions - the sounds, the food, the clothes - were so vivid that I could picture everything effortlessly. It's a contemporary romance that is actually atmospheric, and I can't believe how rare that is. One of my main problems with American contemporaries is the way they never describe the setting, because they assume that you - the reader, who is of course American, because it's not like books written in the US are read (and translated!) worldwide, no - already know how it looks like. And I don't! I love when books don't assume I do. I also loved the romance, of course. Fabiola and Likotsi had chemistry (these two!! I can't. They were adorable), the conflict was believable, the pacing was slow but not so slow that it became a problem for me (and this is why I prefer romance novellas to novels). Once Ghosted, Twice Shy is also a story that talks about some heavy themes - like deportation - without losing the lightheartedness that is typical of the romance genre, and it has, of course, a happy ending. If you've ever wanted to read a story about a Haitian-American bisexual woman who dreams of making and selling jewelry falling in love with an African woman (from the fictional country of Thesolo) who is the assistant of a prince... here it is. It was everything I didn't know I wanted.
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Gaele Hi
January 11, 2019
Seven months ago in the spring, Likotsi met Fab and her world was turned upside down. A chance ‘swipe right’ on a dating app when she had been ordered to take a day off by her boss the Prince, she’d chanced a note to Fabilola, and the two found instant chemistry, a connection and for Likotsi, love was in the air. Sure with her job, that she didn’t yet dare to speak on, things would be difficult, and long distance isn’t a great option, but she found Fab intriguing and beautiful and, most surprisingly, wanted to know more about her. But, with all the plans made for her return to her work and her skill with managing and organizing every detail, she wants to manage the budding relationship, even as she fears that her imminent departure could make things more difficult. But, she never expected the “I can’t do this” message on the night of the gala, or the silence since. For seven months she’s wondered why, thinking all she wants is an answer to that question, the answer that will let her move the past to the past, and start anew. Now she’s on vacation in New York, with a plan to ‘reframe’ memories in all the places she and Fab visited, a list of ‘things to do’ in her pocket, and a determination to use her new shoes to mark a new path. But a train halted on the bridge stalling her forward progress, and a photo and video sent to her phone bring Fabiola to stand right in front of her – a new version, but still her girl. Angry but unable to express any of the ‘cutting’ lines she had spent the past 7 months reciting to herself, she only wants to know why, in the hopes it will bring her closure. Enchanted by the exuberance, yet still desperate for her answers, the two spend a day together, her following Fab through a series of places unknown to tourists: a museum in a freight elevator, a meditation studio, a carousel comprised of gloriously colored sea creatures…. It takes hours for Fab to explain why she stopped all contact, even though it’s clear that nothing has been the same for her either in the past months. The connection is still there, they’ve only got to take that one step toward trusting in one another, and everything else: distance, choices, history, can fall to the background. Intriguing and engaging for the view of Likotsi - the one person who seemed to manage and ‘rein in’ and often difficult to manage Prince, with her own insecurities and how she handles a situation where she, of all people, has ignored her own ‘what should be done’ advice to get to an answer. She’s always been a standout character, and her rather formal demeanor could lead readers to think she’s always a bit removed and remote, proper to the nth degree, but there’s a heart deserving of and desiring love and happiness, and perhaps only those closest to her ever see that side. A wonderful teaser while we wait for the next in the series. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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Third-party review
Lovely, sweet, f/f romance. As a plus, this is a regular love letter to NYC. This novella is a high 3, but honestly the writing is not good enough for me to move to a 4. Really fun though and I thought pretty sexy.

About the author

Alyssa Cole is an award-winning author of historical, contemporary, and sci-fi romance. Her contemporary rom-com A Princess in Theory was one of the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2018, and her books have received critical acclaim from Library Journal, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, Booklist, Jezebel, Vulture, Book Riot, Entertainment Weekly, and various other outlets. When she’s not working, she can usually be found watching anime or wrangling her many pets.

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