Mental Health Themes & So Much Swoon!
“You did everything but look at him the whole time he was here. Like he was a black hole you were afraid you’d fall into.”
I think this one might be my favorite of the Lessons Learned series yet! Allie Winters writes such wonderful New Adult Romances and Can’t Fight It truly is on a whole different level. The Smartypants Romance Spring Launch is in full swing, and I couldn’t be happier that you all get to experience this wonderful romance.
A word of caution: there are definite triggers in Can’t Fight It. Break-ins, unalives, and flashbacks to those events that happen before the timeline of the start of the book occur and are referenced on page. While assault and violence associated with gas-lighting and emotional abuse occur on page in real time. The Lessons Learned series doesn’t shy away from big mental health themes as at least one character is a psychology student in college, but readers should be aware of these particular themes prior to starting.
“It’s like her touch flipped a switch within me. Yes, I admit I was attracted to her before, but she’s never willingly got this close in private. Never touched me without reserve. Never gave me reason to wonder…”
With all that being said, main characters Tessa and Austin have a romance that is the epitome of opposites attract. Tessa is the young woman who knows she needs to succeed academically in order to give her the best shot for grad school. She begins a psychology study with her friend and classmate who desperately wants to be more than friends. Tessa isn’t in college to have a good time. She’s studious, industrious, and overly careful. Which is why I love her juxtaposition to her love interest, Austin.
Austin is her neighbor as well as Tessa’s newest study participant. He’s a boxer whose stature and physique startle her at the beginning of the study. Austin is the gentle giant. On page, I would easily describe him as a lover and not a fighter, even if he’s one of the best at the gym. Austin also happens to live in the same apartment building as Tessa. Instead of avoiding him, Tessa decides to tackle fears and asks Austin for self-defense training. Austin is also a proud cat-daddy, and truly, that sealed the deal for me.
“As much as I want her, I’ll be her friend if that’s what she needs. Even if it kills me.”
Can’t Fight It is also forced proximity at its finest, with definite pining too. As much as Tessa and Austin admire each other, it wouldn’t be the most professional to date during a psychology study, right? There is some slight miscommunication but that plays directly into the drama of the third act and, honestly, I believe that Allie handles troublesome issues well.
Overall, the antagonist was easily one of the most unlikable characters that I’ve ever read, and I think that is due in large part to Allie’s stellar writing. I had an almost visceral reaction to the antagonist’s constant drama with Tessa and Austin, which made for an unputdownable story! Can’t Fight It is out in Kindle Unlimited today! Bee sure to grab your copy, because I guarantee you won’t want to put it down!
Jes is a self-proclaimed bookworm, who recently moved from the PNW back to the Midwest. When her nose isn’t in a book, she’s spending time with her husband, two kids, and her three fur babies, or exploring the globe. She also firmly believes that you should start the day with coffee, and end the day in bed with a good book.