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Book Review: The Date From Hell (Not Your Average Hot Guy #2) (ARC)

Expected publication: April 5th 2022

Author: Gwenda Bond

In The Date from Hell, the sequel to Not Your Average Hot Guy, New York Times bestselling author Gwenda Bond brings the journey of Callie, Luke, and their friends to a wonderful close. This is another laugh out loud, action-packed romantic adventure you won’t want to miss.

After saving the world and stopping the apocalypse, Callie and Luke are looking forward to a quiet, romantic weekend together. When you’re human and dating the Prince of Hell, quiet moments are hard to come by. But their romantic weekend in Hell takes a turn when Lucifer tasks Callie and Luke with chasing a wayward soul around the world. If they can prove it’s possible to redeem a soul, Lucifer will allow the two of them to make some changes in Hell.

But this wayward soul, Sean, doesn’t have any interest in being redeemed. Instead, now that he’s back on Earth, he’s decided to take a leaf out of Callie and Luke’s book and wants to find the Holy Grail. Now Callie, Luke, and their friends—and enemies—must race Sean around the globe on a Grail quest and bring peace between Heaven and Hell before they can finally (maybe) get around to that date.

The Date from Hell is the follow up to Not Your Average Hot Guy which follows mortal Callisto (“Callie”) and son of Lucifer, Luke Morningstar. After the events in the first novel, Callie and Luke are madly in love and navigating their life as a couple. While dating the Prince of Hell, Callie is still working for her mother’s business, The Great Escape, an escape room in Lexington, Kentucky. The story takes place shortly after the first installment with Callie able to travel back and forth between Earth and Hell where she is studying the laws of Hell. After spending time in Hell, she is now determined to find a way to give souls a second chance who were unfairly sent to Hell. Callie and Luke present this idea to Lucifer who agrees if they can prove this idea will work with a test subject of his choosing. He selects Sean, a wayward soul who proves that Callie and Luke’s mission is a lot more difficult than initially anticipated.

The story takes Callie and Luke on an adventure trying to complete their mission with Sean that includes the mystery of the Holy Grail. Sean is not interested in being redeemed unless Callie and Luke assist him on the quest to find the Grail which means a fun worldwide journey. This proves to be a time-consuming task which is not the plan both Callie and Luke had in mind as all they want to do is spend some time together to date. Luke has his insecurities that he is working through with his own identity and his fear that he is not good enough for Callie. On the other hand, Callie has secrets of her own identity that she is working through plus trying to be a good friend, sister, and daughter while assisting at the Great Escape.

While I loved the romance in this novel, it is not the prominent genre of the story as it plays out more as an adventure story with the romance weaved throughout. The Holy Grail adventure was fun as it takes the Arthurian legend that is familiar to readers and integrates well into the story. Sean was a fun addition, and I enjoyed the return of all the fun secondary characters from the first novel. The pacing of this story begins a little slow as it sets up the adventure portion, but quickly picks up with many twists and turns. Luke and Callie try to balance the adventure with their relationship, which means lots of communicating to figure things out. I do wish that this romance element was expanded on, but it was still enjoyable. Overall, this was a fun sequel and I hope that more stories are added in the future so readers can return to read more about these characters!

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter, for the opportunity to read this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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