There’s something to be said about readers often and rightly complaining about the lack of stories featuring Black characters that don’t revolve around racism, but not supporting tales that actually centre Black love and their families, heritage, and inner conflicts. Can’t Resist Her quickly unravels a second-chance romance with excellent steamy scenes, great potential for characterisation, an important exploration of gentrification, and a fairly good storyline but doesn’t leave anyone wanting more or with something worth coming back to. Sure, this review might seem like a hypocritical response after the controversial opinion stated above but to be clear: this queer love story featuring Black lesbians does deserve your attention but might not deliver as per expectations.
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Summer (Black) and Aiko (Black, Japanese) once kissed at a school dance and have not stopped thinking about each other since. Now, fifteen years later, Summer returns to Austin, Texas and isn’t impressed by the changing community—especially seeing her old high school, which was founded by her grandmother, being demolished for an affordable housing development. Aiko is managing this project and is all for revamping Austin for the betterment of the society. This particular facet of conflicting views, opinions, and visions for the future rises as the major tension between the two—which unfortunately also turns too difficult to get through as both stand too strong on their paths. The flat dialogues and uneven writing add to the list of downsides. Still, individual personalities get reflected well enough and the later half of the book does justice to the sapphic romance.
Can’t Resist Her, Kianna Alexander
Montlake, July 2022
Note: A review copy was acquired via the publicist.