"And just like that, I've kicked the closet door open."
Sometimes you meet a novel that just clicks. Such was the case for Andrea and debut author Kevin Van Whye's Date Me, Bryson Keller.
I enjoyed this book from the very beginning. The opening line is the title! "Mom, we've been over this. Don't read the comments." —It's kind of Divya's slogan. She's got an Etsy sign and everything.
Jackpot is a wild ride. Often literally! Rico and Zan spend a lot of time in the car on their way to chase only-vaguely-possible leads. There’s also a lot of family drama and a lot of feelings.
This year was really difficult. For all the reasons that many of us struggled with, and for many personal reasons on top of those. I struggled to find motivation to be a person at all, and my concentration capabilities basically quit on me with no notice. As Suzanne said in her 2019 Favourites: It was "a really bad year for reading with my eyeballs." When I could eyeball-read, (Can we trademark this term? Getting my lawyers on this, stat!) I reread the books that comforted me; ones I could dive into and know everything would be exactly as I needed. But this year of limited eyeball reading also lead to an Audiobook Adventure! (Pretend there are sparkly emojis here, okay thanks!)
[Editor's Note - All reading is reading! To suggest otherwise is horribly ableist among other things. So please don't. There are lots of reasons why reading with eyeballs doesn't go well/isn't possible, and everyone deserves stories.]
Suzanne has beeeen repping audiobooks, and I really wanted to be the kind of person who was there with her, but I never got round to it. Then, during a LiP Patreon chat (whoop whoop this is the sign up link, join us for the next one wink wink) before my long flight to South Korea, the LiP Patreon gang SOLD me! I signed up for Audible while still on the chat, and added a ton of their recs to my Wishlist. In the end, I was violently ill the entire flight there and knocked out cold on the flight back, so I did not get to listen. But when I came home and everything sucked, audiobooks swept in and saved the day! These are my favourites on the adventure so far:
Romancelandia, I present to you... a behind the scenes look into the hopeful, delicious, unputdownable Dine With Me. You can check out my full review of Layla Reyne's m/m foodie romance here, but read on for my interview with her!
Remember when Andrea shared some cool jobs in romance? Well, she's back with more!
Dine with Me is filled with light, love and hope. It's heartwarming, heartbreaking, and it made me cry. Actually cry! —from joy, then sadness, then joy again. It’s a bright yet realistic story about shattering expectations. It's Netflix's Chef's Table come to life as a passionate, mouth-watering, queer Romance. It's my favourite Romance read of the year.
How to Belong with a Billionaire is an empowering story about being free to express and explore your desires, and enjoy sex however you like it (consensually, obvs). It's also about finding your freedom and identity outside of being an abuse survivor. And because Alexis Hall's writing is a wonderland!!! [crying emoji] [confetti emoji] [sparkles!] sentences like "And my love was a dog off its lead.", even when the story is about heartache (and this one is), there's joy in the way he makes mundane things feel like moments of awe.