Sometimes A + B = O. Yes. Oh, yes. Just like that.
Gabriella Evans’s life exists in terms of logic and definitions. She’s holed up in Portland, Maine, for the summer to work on her PhD thesis, but something is screwing up her concentration: the rumble of a motorcycle every time the embodiment of her rough-and-tumble fantasies rides down her street.
When her best friend talks her into a blind date, she finds herself out with the opposite of her fantasy. He’s polite and well-mannered, yet something behind his crisply tailored shirt doesn’t add up—a rebellious gleam in his eye that piques her curiosity.
Orphaned at fifteen, Connor Starks has finally put the years of failing grades, breaking laws and breaking hearts behind him. The only holdover? His penchant for getting down and dirty in public places. But Gabriella makes him want to prove he’s become a better man.
Nothing intrigues Gabriella more than a problem she can’t solve. But the more Connor tries to bury his past, the more determined she is to uncover it. And what she finds makes all her trusty logic begin to fail her…
Gabriella is spending the summer in Portland away from her maths PhD. While she's fantasizing about bad boys on bikes, she's being set up on blind dates with sweet nerdy boys who wear their cell phones attached to their belt loops. Connor is just that nerd. He's working hard to be the good boy, especially because he thinks that's who Gabby wants, but to do that he's hiding both his past and his desire to get down and dirty with Gabby in any number of public places.
Gabby is a geeky good girl, who just wants to find someone who understands being good doesn't mean she can't be bad too. She struggles with relationships because all her partners seem to think she's a freak in the sack (she's not actually that kinky, she just enjoys a bit of dirty talk, light spanking and semi-public sexy times...). Occasionally I found her lack of communication a little infuriating, but I liked that she finally stands up for herself in the end.
Connor is a geek, but he's also a bad boy. Now he's trying to be good. He thinks he isn't good enough for someone like Gabby, so he's trying to be sweet and restrained, not realizing it's his unrestrained side that she's after. I really love Connor, his sweet geeky, unsure side as much as his commanding, dirty talking side. He's the whole package in muscled computer programmer gift wrapping.
I always love nerdy pairings in romance. While still not entirely common, I'm glad geeks in love is becoming an accepted pairing in the genre. With their computer coding, maths love and transformer references, Connor and Gabby are just adorable, and adorably sexy. Yum. More sexy nerds please!
This romance has a strong miscommunication storyline, which I know annoys some people, but it worked for me in this one. We pretty much know Gabby and Connor are perfect for each other from the start, but it takes them a while to work it out. Gabby wants a guy who can understand her sexual desires, rather than being disgusted by them, but when Connor keeps pulling away from their trysts, she assumes he's like all the other boring-sweet boys she's dated before. If only they both explained on that first blind date that they both like it bad, then... well, there wouldn't be much of a story. And what a shame that would be.
The sex scenes are steamy deliciousness, with just enough delayed gratification to get us there. It's a short read, with a definite focus on sexy times over the emotional development of Gabby and Connor, and I did feel a little like we don't have quite enough build up to Connor and Gabby's relationship. Their feelings develop a little too deeply too quickly - Connor wants to change just for Gabby when, by that point, I didn't really feel like he knows her that well at all. It didn't take long, however, for me to be sold on their emotional connection and mutual understanding. And, honestly, their hot hot hot sexy times chemistry was enough to make me fall head over heels for this pair anyway.
Beyond their relationship, Gabby and Connor are developed as characters well, especially given the length of the story. There are a couple of sweet moments with Connor's grandparents, which added depth to his character, and I liked that we get to meet Gabby's parents towards the end.
The thing I loved most about this book was that no matter how much Connor wants to change for Gabby, and how much Gabby wants to change for others, in the end it's their attempts at changing that are the hurdle to their happiness. I get the appeal of the whole girl-makes-boy-want-to-be-better storyline, but I liked this you're-already-pretty-fucking-great storyline a whole lot more.
This is a fantastic debut from Rebecca Grace Allen. The Duality Principle is a short, sexy, fun erotic romance that has placed Rebecca Grace Allen firmly on my watch list!
The Duality Principle by Rebecca Grace Allen is an erotic new adult romance, released by Samhain Publishing on November 11 2014.
Find this book at: Amazon | The Publisher | Goodreads