As the wildly popular but going off the rails Game of Thrones like television series Gods of the Gates, its stars are still contractually bond to not give away spoilers and act in accordance with set behavior guidelines. Alexander Woodrow, who stars as Cupid in the series, has a big mouth that often gets him in trouble, and when a bar fight lands him in the tabloids, he’s assigned a short, squat minder: Lauren Clegg, the cousin of one of the producers whose no-nonsense attitude and failure to crack a smile gives Alex a new challenge in life. Predictably, they become friends, then romantically involved, in spite of Lauren’s unconventional appearance. When she fails to keep Alex in line as promised, she fires herself, sacrificing their relationship so they can split up to get back together.
Incorporating popular fanfiction tropes (#ForcedProximity, #OnlyOneBed, #BeautyAndTheBeast), the novel also goes a bit meta, with references to the protagonists incorporated roleplay and other tropes into their relationship. Most gratifyingly, the sex involves consent and lovemaking that doesn’t include penetration the first time, or perfect immediate orgasms.
This companion novel to Spoiler Alert brings back many successful elements: quick, clever dialogue, a down-with-the-patriarchy tone, a body-positive attitude, and lots of non-narrative writing: a text chain with the stars of the hit fantasy television show, fanfiction, press releases, screenplay excerpts, a scene at a fan convention, and emails complete with cross through edits. The cover art is by the same artist as Spoiler Alert, and several characters make an appearance, creating a cohesive feel.
I received an advance reader’s review copy of #AllTheFeels from #NetGalley.