In a way, Between the Lines had a lot to live up to for me, which it totally did. I loved the first book in the series, Perfect Day, and because the genuine emotion behind the book was what caught me then, I knew there wasn’t a great risk this time. This is Malcolm’s strong suit: she lingers in the emotions in a genuine and heartfelt way that is also unflinching and I love it.
Hi, so I loved this book, thanks for reading.
Better Not Pout is an opposites-attract and age-gap romance between Nick, a retiring Army MP, and Teddy, a man who runs a charity in his small town. They are brought together when Nick is asked to play Santa Claus for the charity. When Teddy ends up rescuing a stranded Nick from a snowstorm, they both give into their mutual lust. However, Nick does not want more than that because he’s retiring and will be leaving town, and Teddy is twenty years younger. So, they enter into a sex-only arrangement for a month. Except it’s never just sex.
Did you know that the Christmas holiday season starts before Halloween? I figure that Hallmark has done to Christmas the same sort of thing that Hollywood has done to summer (summer starts in early April if you didn’t get that memo). And with all these efforts to advance a season that can stress a fair number of us out, at least television networks have given us five billion new movies with very chaste romances to soothe our frazzled nerves.
My review of The Craft of Love could be as short as “a quiet, gentle romance with supportive and accepting families,” but that hardly seems fair to such a lovely book. Benjamin is a silversmith who runs a smithy and Remembrance is a quiltmaker. They meet by chance when Remembrance seeks Benjamin’s sister’s lacemaking talents. And as luck would have it, Benjamin had just decided to have a quilt made with some dresses his mother made. The two meet along the way at each other’s workplaces and at a lecture, moving from a general admiration to something more specific and loving.
Full confession: I am a newer reader of romance. I never sneaked romances from my mother or grandmother or the library when I was twelve (in fact the only books I liked at twelve were the new Nancy Drews). Romance first came to me in Book Riot’s Summer Quarterly box and I scoffed because at that point I considered myself a science fiction or fantasy reader*, but in truth I wasn’t reading much of anything. That box contained Sarah MacLean’s Rogue by Any Other Name and it made me into a romance reader (well, its sequel did anyway).
If I Loved You Less is a lovely retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma that stays very true to the original novel. Theo is a social butterfly in Hanalei, where she runs her father’s surf shop. Upon meeting Laurel, Theo takes control of Laurel’s life by finding her jobs and attempting to matchmake Laurel with eligible men without great success. Meanwhile, her friend, Kini, watches Theo make mistakes and stumble, trying to help Theo become a better person. So, if you are unfamiliar with Emma, this is totally a slow burn friends to lovers story.
First, yes, I am reviewing another queer retelling of Persuasion, and I feel like everyone is probably going to ask me which one is better, but I’m not going to answer that just yet.
Perfect Day is a queer retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion and I have many strong (and good) feelings about it. Eight years ago, Joshua chose to stay with his family instead of following his boyfriend, Finn, to California. Joshua lives in his hometown working as a barista and piano teacher after his father disowned him for being gay. With his father in prison for tax evasion, the old family mansion is being sold to Finn’s brother. Forced to see each other, both men confront how they feel and the repercussions of how they broke up. Finn is a tiny bit of a jerk during this time as he dates the music teacher at the school.