You know those books where you can’t pick which character you like more? In a dual POV where you love them both and picking hurts you? That wasn’t what it was like for me to read Can’t Resist Her. I very clearly had favorites – even until the very end. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
After years away from home, Summer Graves is back in Austin, Texas, to accept a new teaching position. Of all the changes to the old neighborhood, the most dispiriting one is the slated demolition of the high school her grandmother founded. There’s no way she can let developers destroy her memories and her family legacy. But the challenge stirs memories of another kind.
On the architectural team revitalizing the neighborhood, hometown girl Aiko Holt is all about progress. Then she sees Summer again. Some things never change.
Neither can forget the kiss they shared at their senior-year dance. Neither can back down from her unwavering beliefs about what’s right for the neighborhood.
For now, the only thing Summer and Aiko are willing to give in to is a heat that still burns. But can two women with so much passion—for what once was and what could be—agree to disagree long enough to fall in love?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Can’t Resist Her has all the tropes I love – queer romance, second chance romance, childhood crushes. Those moments where the stars align? Where the universe gives us a second chance to get it right? From the beginning I was imediately intrigued. Now that Aiko and Summer are adults, they are given the chance to get to know each other. But immediately sparks fly – both good and bad. And you begin to wonder if their lives diverged too much. When these rivals – in their professional lives – see them on opposite sides of a fence, what can happen?
And while Alexander tries to make me like Aiko it was just not working for me. Summer was very clearly my favorite because of how passionate she is. How much she is devoted to the community and the legacy of her grandmother. While Summer isn’t perfect – what character is – someone who is willing to fight for a cause will always hit my sweet spot. And Aiko being on the opposite side was hard for me to stomach. There were moments I liked her more – and less – plus she makes some good points about change and about hypocrisy.
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It was just really hard for me to begin to root for Aiko. I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get over their ethical conflicts. No matter how much I loved their chemistry, or the scenes of them dancing. There were periods of hot and cold for me and so while in some stories, I know that whatever happens they will get together. Even though it’s a genre convention, I wasn’t sure really. I enjoyed Summer’s character a lot. And her relationship with her sister was so cute! Plus I enjoyed how Can’t Resist Her examines what is in a community – a place, a family, a home – and how do we retain those memories.
I just had a hard time with Aiko’s character – from a very personal stand point – which made things difficult sometimes. Overall though, if you’re interested in a queer romance and love the idea of characters challenging and butting heads, this could be for you! Find Can’t Resist Her on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.