A word of warning: This book is meant for adults. It contains adult language and themes, and is very tongue in cheek.

I had a lot of “hot” takes on this romance book.

In April of 2020, a new romance novel genre entered the scene: COVID-19 romance. Also known as “viral romance” — a term which I have mixed feelings about.

The first book of this sort, as far as I am aware, is “Kissing the Coronavirus” by M. J. Edwards. Since its publication, three more books have been added to the series, named Kissing the Coronavirus Chronicles. One involves time travel, to give you an idea of what we are dealing with here.

I thought this was great for my inaugural book review.

My first complaint about this novelette is the two main characters, who are really the only characters, have last names that sound like two names smooshed together, a la “Renesmee” in Twilight.

Meet Dr. Alexa Ashingtonford, a brilliant scientist working on a cure for COVID-19.

Despite being isolated in an underground lab for months with only her coworker Dr. Bob Gurtlychund for company, Alexa managed to maintain her perfect pink nails, pristine makeup and flouncing blonde hair.

Such things are incredibly important to high level scientists working on solving a deadly pandemic.

In addition to being named after a household robot, Alexa is also very lonely. Lonely specifically for male company. She is so lonely she starts eyeballing the vials of coronavirus.

Alexa finds herself strangely drawn to the vials, which for some reason are bubbling like a witch’s cauldron. “Alexa felt a rush of excitement every time she picked up the Corona sample.” She is really, really into this virus.

Dr. Gurtlychund enters the room, and Alexa considers his potential ability to provide her with male companionship. The main problem is Bob is not her type. Alexa likes “big, muscular men who looked like Greek statues.” Dr. Gurtlychund does not fit that bill.

Alexa has to focus, though, because she is the best doctor in the world. She is so good she just knows instinctively the vaccine they are making needs “a little more COVID-19 in order for the body to properly build up the necessary antibodies.” Because that’s how a vaccine works. But Bob will not listen to her, because he thinks she is too attractive to be smart.

So Alexa secretly adds more virus to the vaccine. Maybe with an eyedropper, or maybe she just shakes a little bit out, like salt.

At this point Dr. Gurtlychund reveals he has the coronavirus. This causes Alexa to realize they have not been properly socially distancing! She has been exposed!

Dr. G — who insists that Alexa call him Bob — injects himself with the vaccine. The same vaccine to which Alexa has just added a bit more COVID-19.

Everything seems fine at first. Then Bob drops to the floor and starts screaming and transforming like the wolfman.

The lights flash. Wind whips through the lab. This clearly is not a sterile environment.

Everything calms down, and Alexa asks Bob if he is OK. Except, he is not Bob anymore. Bob has transformed into a huge green Hulk creature with giant muscles.

Not only is he green, he is also “covered in small, green bumps, which sciency people like Alexa called spike proteins.”

Wait! It can’t be! Bob has transformed INTO THE VIRUS! He reveals Bob is no more, and Alexa feels a little sad at the apparent death of her lab partner, but mostly excited about the sexy coronavirus hulk.

She also doesn’t really seem to care she was the one who infected Bob with the virus, as she was an asymptomatic carrier. She literally killed her coworker.

They embrace. He tells her, “Call me Covid.” They kiss.

After some additional recreational activities, Alexa realizes she is in love with COVID.

She no longer cares that she basically killed her coworker with her bad science.

They live happily ever after? Not sure. The other books in the series follow other characters.

This is a thoroughly entertaining, short read. The Kindle version of this book is very affordable, and great for a laugh.

Christine Simmonds is the Assistant Editor of The Courier Gazette. She is a former English teacher who loves books. Email book review ideas to: csimmonds@villagesoup.com.