LiP Romancelandia

Andrea Marks-Joseph

Andrea Marks-Joseph
Andrea's first friends, role-models, vices and safe places were the fictional characters that filled her world as she was growing up. Her life is a study in devouring stories, and unraveling the tapestry of possibility meeting reality. All grown up now, Andrea spends her time consuming as many expressions of media as possible, and writes to discuss their role in our (sexual, financial, fandom, political, sartorial!) liberation. Being a South African woman plays a large role in Andrea's passion for diversity. She's online everywhere as @stargirlriots

Recent Posts

Review: Raze, by Roan Parrish

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 1, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Andrea Marks-Joseph posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Raze tells a story of two men realizing that they can build the life they want right now, and wondering what that life looks like. It’s about finding an identity outside of routines and responsibility. It’s less about music than the previous Riven books, and mostly about Huey’s sober habits.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: Arctic Wild, by Annabeth Albert

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 3, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Andrea Marks-Joseph posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Arctic Wild is about second chances, new adventures, and the dynamics of caring for each other. We meet imperfect people where their lives unravel, and watch them unfold beautifully into who they really are. The story honours learning to accept help and asking for what you need –physically, emotionally, and sexually. It's more about that journey than it ever is about the plane crash or being stranded together.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: A Perfect Balance, by Laura Ambrose

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 16, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Andrea Marks-Joseph posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

If you...

  • love girls or the tv show Younger
  • are interested in the book publishing or publicity industry
  • want a book that's definitely in 2019 --with dating apps and influencers in book marketing plans
  • want to read women in business being bosses and also super kind and supportive and generous to each other

This is a book for you. 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: Arctic Sun, by Annabeth Albert

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 26, 2019 10:45:00 AM / by Andrea Marks-Joseph posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

  "You need me to do  what?"   is the amazing opening line that welcomes us into Arctic Sun. Griffin's uncle has asked him to lead a tour group for a week-long trip that's part scenic outdoor Alaskan adventure and part on the ground live-action photography class. Griffin would prefer to stay in the comfort of his cabin, sticking with the routines he put in place to ensure his sobriety, but he understands the need and loves his family, so he steps in to  take his uncle's place as tour guide and goes to welcome the group that's just arrived. One of those guests is  a beautiful blue-haired literal celeb who immediately crushes on him.  And so it begins! 

Fair warning: Unlike basically every other Annabeth Albert book, the military plays a very small role in Arctic Sun. Griffin's got a bit of a limp due to an injury from his time in the military, and we're told that he has surgery scars and burn scars on his back and shoulders when River notices them, but there's no discussion or conversation about it. 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: The Rest is Silence, by Chii Rempel

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 15, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Andrea Marks-Joseph posted in review, cover reveal

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

 
Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: Sing for the Coming of the Longest Night, by Katherine Fabian & Iona Datt Sharma

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 25, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Andrea Marks-Joseph posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

"Losing your glasses is one thing; losing your lover, who tumbles into your bed in the small hours and does magic on your floor, is another." Sing for the Coming of the Longest Night is a beautifully-written cozy mystery with a diverse cast and an undercurrent of magic that runs deep --through religion and tradition, found family and a quirky Christmas song. And at the center of the story is two wonderful long-term polyamorous relationships.

Told from two perspectives: Layla, a bi pathologist PoC who loves her wife and kids but is uncomfortable inside suburban life, and Nat, a blue-haired, genderqueer composer who runs charity that supports young queers. Nat and Layla are metamours who are uninterested in being friends. And the dislike between them is amplified when their strange and mysterious magician lover, Meraud, goes missing mid-spell, leaving only clues for them to find him. When they eventually they decide to work together, (For example, when they pose as an engaged couple to get into a church meeting and "Nat attempts a cisheteropatriarchal smile" Lol) they find a joy in each other that turns the ending into something that --while not romantic-- is totally totally sweet.

It's worth it alone for the excellent descriptions of what a real life house and headspace is like while raising young kids, but there are also AWESOME queer side characters that I hope we get to see in future books! If you're looking for a Romance arc, this isn't gonna hit the spot.. but it's delightful and charming and feels like a drop in the ocean of good queer content. It's the perfect read for an evening spent by the fireplace.

Content warnings: there's a couple mentions of Meraud liking to be tied up, marks on his wrists. It's never explicit, just flashes of memory relating to it. Nat was a foster kid, and we hear from some of the people at his charity, mention of what life as a foster child and queer youth in the foster system. There is also at some point a corpse discovered, that is believed to be Meraud but it is not.
Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Andrea's Best of 2018

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 21, 2018 9:45:00 AM / by Andrea Marks-Joseph posted in top reads, list

[fa icon="comment"] 1 Comment

I don't mention it in every description, but all of these are queer. There is literally one hetero romance in here and I am not sorry. So if you're like me and you're like "Oh that book sounds great, you know what would make it greater? If it was queer!" --now you already know that it is. :) 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: A Taste of Agapi, by Chris Ethan

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 15, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by Andrea Marks-Joseph posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

A Taste of Agapi is a gay romance between two college students in Greece. Reading it felt like going on a summer abroad. It's a story filled with sweetness: Really wonderful, supportive friends! Comic book stores and superhero debates! So! Much! Coffee! (The Greeks all drink frappes all day every day, and hardly ever go to class. They spend alottt of time lounging around in cafes drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes.) Really adorable welcoming-at-the-airport- Arrivals-gate scenes. Wonderful, loving, accepting responses to someone coming out (and no negative responses). Tent sex! (First time naked with another man, first time having sex at all tent sex!) Tired boys who haven't been sleeping finally getting rest together, and the sexual tension that ensues. There's also drinking games, drunken nights at a club, spin-the-bottle on a camping trip, and sooo much delicious Greek food!
Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: Of Echoes Born, by Nathan Burgoine

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 3, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by Andrea Marks-Joseph posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 1 Comment

I am not particularly fond of anthologies; in fact about a year ago I decided not to read them anymore. I don't enjoy the inevitability of being pulled into and away from characters, emotionally investing in them and then being told to move on. But I've been wanting to read a Nathan Burgoine book for a while, and was promised a collection of unabashedly queer stories with (videogame reference alert) easter-eggs scattered like jewels between them, and so I simply had to read Of Echoes Born.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Romantic Occupations

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 25, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by Andrea Marks-Joseph posted in list

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Editor's Note:
Some of us are having a hard time reviewing lately, so when Andrea offered a post full of "cool jobs in romance novels," I was more than happy to post it. I think we're all looking for the book that lights that little spark in our reading brains and it's sometimes hard to find that book by genre or trope. Perhaps a cool job will help you find the book your heart needs right now!
~ Suzanne
 
***
Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]