This book features an incredibly sweet romance between two geeky business owners, featuring delightful secondary characters and an adorable dog. Book protagonists don’t exist in a vacuum, and sometimes it’s nice to have their friends cheering along with you for that happily ever after. In this particular story, Jay and Leo face very real-world obstacles to their developing relationship. The conflict feels much less like angst and more like poignancy.

Jay’s baggage is slightly more obvious, which is why he’s determined to start his new life as a bookshop owner. Leo’s is murkier, but I’m pleased that the author took the time to focus on how a person’s outside does not necessarily “match” how they wish to interact with others (and that’s not even an allegory for the transgender experience, but it certainly doesn’t hurt).

I flew through this book, thanks to Novak’s effortless narrative and addictive characters. As an American reader, it was also a treat to read a book set somewhere OTHER than London. However, the best part of this story was how all the characters were not afraid to show their passions, whether for books or flowers. Though the title implies a heavy emphasis on table-top role-playing games, there’s a bit of nerd culture here for everyone looking for a geeky romantic fix. I’m bummed that the sequel is not yet available, but I’m delighted to have a story to look forward to.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

2 thoughts on “Review: Natural Twenty (Roll for Love #1) by Charlie Novak

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