Title: Not Your Average Hot Guy
Author: Gwenda Bond
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication date: October 5th, 2021
Length: 320 pages
Genre: Contemporary romance
A paranormal romantic comedy at the (possible) end of the world.
All Callie wanted was a quiet weekend with her best friend. She promised her mom she could handle running her family’s escape room business while her mom is out of town. Instead a Satanic cult shows up, claiming that the prop spell book in one of the rooms is the real deal, and they need it to summon the right hand of the devil. Naturally they take Callie and her friend, Mag, along with them. But when the summoning reveals a handsome demon in a leather jacket named Luke who offers to help Callie stop the cult from destroying the world, her night goes from weird to completely strange.
As the group tries to stay one step ahead of the cult, Callie finds herself drawn to the annoying (and annoyingly handsome) Luke. But what Callie doesn’t know is that Luke is none other than Luke Morningstar, Prince of Hell and son of the Devil himself. Callie never had time for love, and with the apocalypse coming closer, is there room for romance when all hell’s about to break loose?
From New York Times bestselling author Gwenda Bond, Not Your Average Hot Guy is a hilarious romantic comedy about two people falling in love, while the fate of the world rests on their shoulders.
Is this a book to take seriously? Hell no!
All hell breaks loose in this romantic comedy when a prop in a family-run escape room turns out to be the real deal. Callie, a recent college grad who loves books, her best friend, and her family, finds herself without a clear next step in her life, so she lives at home and works at her mom’s award-winning escape room business. (Who knew there were awards for escape rooms?) With her obsessive interest in historical facts and weird occult trivia, Callie is a natural at designing escape experiences, and she’s especially proud of the supernatural-themed room she designed herself, featuring all sorts of great estate sale finds as props — including a very old grimoire.
When Callie’s mom leaves her in charge for the weekend, Callie sees it as her chance to prove herself, but things go south pretty quickly when a group wearing capes and plague doctor masks shows up for their escape room reservation. Cosplayers, she assumes — until they steal the grimoire, kidnap her and her friend Mag, and start a demon-summoning ritual.
Meanwhile, in Hell… the Prince of Hell is bored with his tutors and is failing at his assigned task of collecting souls. Sure, he makes an effort, but he never quite manages to seal the deal. As a last-ditch effort to avoid his dad’s wrath, he answers the summoning, and finds himself surrounded by a doomsday cult and one very cute young woman who seems determined to stop the end of the world.
Luke and Callie find themselves teaming up to stop the cult, heading off on a desperate journey to secure holy relics before the cult can get them, and even venturing into Hell itself to try to stop the apocalypse. And naturally, despite their clearly diverging goals (Callie = save the world, Luke = steal souls), their mutual attraction has sparks flying and threatens to turn into actual feelings.
It’s all very silly and light-hearted… and ends up being a really fun, enjoyable read. It doesn’t have to make sense and it’s certainly not a book grounded in the real world. The characters are sincere and likeable, but with good sense of humor, and the adventure itself is goofy and ridiculous… but again, it’s all quite fun.
I needed something quirky and easy to engage with to brighten up a stressful week, and this book fit the bill. Not a ton of brain cells required… but Not Your Average Hot Guy is great silly entertainment. The follow-up book, The Date From Hell, was just released this month.
Will I read it?