Edna Lopez-Rodriguez ‘20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Krista and Becca Ritchie continue their reign of romance with their newest release, Infini. The self-published twins expand the breathtaking circus world created in the first Aerial Ethereal book, Amour Amour, by focusing on previous minor character, Luka Kotova. In this installment, circus acrobat Luka Kotova receives a second chance at love when he gets to work with his childhood sweetheart. The story also focuses on Baylee Wright, a juggler, as she reconnects with Luka. Both face the strife of forbidden love when they get a chance to work together again after years of separation.
As much as this was a book about romance, it was also about family and friendship. The Ritchie twins do a fantastic job of developing family dynamics through Infini. In Amour Amour, the Kotovas were side characters known as the family of the main love interest, but Infini offers a chance for readers to get to know more about those characters. The authors effectively incorporated the Kotova family as part of the narrative while never straying away from the romantic plot. Luka and his family go through different struggles from financial troubles to unplanned problems, and everything blended together well in the story.
Cultural aspects are also very apparent in the family dynamics. For example, the character of Baylee Wright is a biracial Jamaican American woman, and her culture was apparent in her character background. Similarly, Camila and John Ruiz, the Kotova’s Colombian American friends, had their own spotlight in the novel, and the Kotova’s Russian background was explored further. Being accurately representative is important when representing different cultures in books because it’s vital to avoid stereotypes and negative depictions. Everything from the cultures to the circus felt authentic in the novel and allowed for a more engaging read.
While the plot of the story offered a twist to the typical “best friends to lovers” trope, the book relied too much on a childhood mistake for it to be truly believable. Luka and Baylee started dating when they were fourteen and thirteen years old respectively, and their relationship greatly evolved emotionally and physically. As two kids who were part of a circus act, their relationship was forbidden in order for the circus to avoid any legal troubles. The circus made Luka and Baylee sign a policy where they agreed to never have any interaction every again.
While this policy was more believable when they were minors, both characters are young adults in Infini and this made the entire reason why they could never be together again more questionable since the contract only applied to them as minors. Furthermore, the reasoning as to why the contract was still applicable to them was never fully explained, and the people who were in charge of making the contract still forbade two adults with their own free will from being together. Overall, it felt more like a forced plot point than a realistic decision.
Still, the authors managed to develop a beautiful friendship and romance between two characters trying to reconnect. With family love and female empowerment, the Ritchie twins never fail to write a romance that touches the hearts of many.