Not Your Average Hot Guy
Not Your Average Hot Guy is an amusing fantasy romance with a sense of humor and a charming heroine and hero. The tone of the book skews pretty young; it never figures out if it’s Young Adult or New Adult, and Callie feels younger than her years, but it’s an inoffensively light-hearted and funny read that’s a passable afternoon’s entertainment.
Gothic-leaning Kentucky native Callisto – Callie – just graduated college and has no idea what to do with her life now. Hoping for a distraction, she and her best friend Mag are going to spend the weekend running Callie’s family’s escape room business – the Great Escape – together while Callie’s mother is out of town at a convention accepting an award. A distraction is just what Callie gets – in the form of a group of cultists who descend upon the business and its Chamber of Black Magic, proclaiming that a prop spell book Callie and her mom picked up at an estate sale is a genuine artifact, a real grimoire. They promptly use a spell within it to summon a demon, and therein lies the tale.
Luke is old scratch’s son and something of an apprentice demon (he hasn’t collected any souls yet, and his father is unhappy about this). When the cult tries to summon someone more powerful, Luke takes his place in an effort to collect the souls of the cultists. The second he sees Callie he is intrigued by her goodness and wants her instead – and just not so he can drag her back to hell with him. But the two of them have bigger problems, because the spell those cultists read has summoned the apocalypse. Only Luke and Callie can stop it together, but can good and evil truly work side-by-side?
Not Your Average Hot Guy is YA-level cute, with an average girl protagonist falling for the hottest, tallest demon in the world – and he, naturally, reciprocating those emotions.
Luke is adorable and Callie is very smart, a combination I tend to like in my YA protags, but she doesn’t quite fly as an individual character; Luke feels better realized on the page, and their chemistry is decent, if a little instant. Honestly, my favorite character was Mag, who manages to jump out from the page much more strongly than either of our two protagonists.
The feeling of the book is generally very light and very fizzy, and it doesn’t commit very well to the drama of the situation. We’re supposed to believe in the sense of danger here but it’s too frothy to fully anchor itself into its dangerous premise. Also, authors – I know you all grew up on the Harry Potter series and that it was generation-defining, but could your characters please bear knowledge of ANY OTHER YA fantasy franchise?
But if you want something frothy and lighthearted, Not Your Average Hot Guy may work for you if you go in with very light-leaning expectations