“Love at the Electric” by Jenn Hughes at first almost convinced me that I wasn’t quite geeky enough to appreciate it. There are a lot of “in” jokes and allusions that weave thinly-veiled gaming and sci-fi references into the story and I am sure that I missed some of them, but my love of certain well-known science fiction series came to the rescue for others. Port Bristol itself is a character in the story as well, with its contrast between modern technology and traditional and sometimes old-fashioned treasures, as is exemplified by the theater named The Electric that plays both modern blockbusters and campy horror movies.
For me, the story started a bit slow but it built in momentum as the main characters began to let their true selves show and dared to become a bit vulnerable to each other. I think the initial premise is a bit too contrived and the interconnections between all of the characters a little too pat, but there are fantastic plays on words, fun repartee, and wonderful images (I really enjoyed Sam’s mom and her “Mom Smash” hugs as well as the thumbnail description of Sam’s partner as a “nextlevel genius with the conversational skills of a caffeinated squirrel on Ritalin combined with a cookie habit bordering on addiction”). Throw in a refrigerator that can make one feel guilty about sneaking ice cream and a personal assistant program that finds a way to keep one on one’s toes, and combine this with the lovely romance that SLOWLY builds and this was a fun and mesmerizing read with a delightfully romantic ending.
There are a few dangling threads that lead me to believe that this wonderfully quirky cast of characters will continue their adventures in another tale and I look forward to another story that will have me laughing out loud and sighing with satisfaction. Congrats to the author on a debut work that provides a breath of fresh air in its treatment of a couple of familiar tropes, I can’t wait to see what new twists will show up in the sequel!
This contemporary romance with comedic elements is part of the ‘Port Bristol Novel’ series and follows lawyer Lillian Walker, whose inexplicable urge to help out the ex who broke her heart when they were both in college leads her into an unconventional relationship that threatens both her livelihood and her heart.
Walking wildfire Sam Owens gets Lillian hot in all the right ways, but there's more to the software CEO than just a pretty face. And a great body. And . . . Oh, right. He’s the enemy, according to the contract she signed with his rival. So when they secretly meet up for movies at The Electric, Lillian can't get too involved with Sam. She could lose her job. Her reputation. And her heart.
Sam is in love with his company, his image, his video games, and his ability to avoid commitment--at least until he levels up with attorney Lillian Walker. With her love of campy horror flicks and a body that makes him want to howl like a cartoon wolf, Sam’s found his leading lady. Too bad getting close to Lillian means tangling with her boss, a supervillain in the making.
In the nights leading up to Christmas, movies at The Electric mean more than just mutant toads and cannibal fruitcakes. Between shenanigans with old flames and an arch nemesis out to destroy any future they might have, Sam and Lillian learn the hard way that falling in love isn’t as easy as it looks on screen. So when the past gets between them and a perfect The End, there’s really only one solution--if werewolf Santas can bring them together, zombie ex-girlfriends can keep them together.
After all, anything’s possible at The Electric.