Radio Silence (Off the Grid, #1)Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole
Published by Carina Press

From the publisher:

Arden Highmore was living your average postgrad life in Rochester, New York, when someone flipped the “off” switch on the world. No cell phones, no power, no running water—and no one knows why. All she and her roommate, John, know for sure is that they have to get out, stat. His family’s cabin near the Canadian border seemed like the safest choice.

It turns out isolation doesn’t necessarily equal safety.

When scavengers attack, it’s John’s ridiculously handsome brother, Gabriel, who comes to the rescue. He saves Arden’s life, so he can’t be all bad…but he’s also a controlling jerk who treats her like an idiot. Now their parents are missing and it seems John, Gabriel, their kid sister, Maggie, and Arden are the only people left alive who aren’t bloodthirsty maniacs.

No one knows when—or if—the lights will come back on and, in the midst of all that, Arden and Gabriel are finding that there’s a fine line indeed between love and hate. How long can they expect to last in this terrifying new world, be it together or apart?

I’ve been wanting to explore romance novels for a while. I read one Sarah MacLean book a few years ago and really liked it, but haven’t known where to go from there. I picked this up on a recommendation from Gin Jenny (who gave me a few great recommendations in the genre, thank you!) and I’m really glad I did. Not only is Radio Silence a romance novel, but it’s almost thriller-like in its post-apocalypticness. Such a great combination.

As I said, I don’t read many romance novels so I can’t really compare the heat between Arden and Gabriel to a “good” sexytimes situation in other romance novels, but I thought they had great chemistry and very well-written, steamy sex scenes. I don’t love the trope where the guy has to act all possessive and controlling of the girl (actually I hate it) but luckily, in this novel that only lasted a short while. Eventually Gabriel came to his senses and realized that, duh, this girl is a smart, kick-ass lady who can be trusted to make her own decisions. Thank goodness for that or I would have been REALLY annoyed with him for the entire book.

One of the main reasons I wanted to read this book is because it sounded like what Gin Jenny has coined as a “process dystopia” – meaning the reader is along for the ride of how and why the planet actually fell apart, seeing the whole process of the apocalypse as it happens, instead of just the post-apocalyptic world. I expected to get that with Radio Silence but it wasn’t there, which was disappointing. We know the electricity is out, we just don’t know why. Hopefully there’s more information as the series goes on.

So I liked this one a lot! It was definitely the right book to jump-start my attempts at finding which romance novels work for me and which do not. I will definitely be continuing with the series.