Whenever I stumble upon a romance with an asexual or a-spec character, I’m always a mix of “I need to read this to judge!” and “It’s probably a mess.” And because, more often than not, they are messy with the a-spec representation, these books are a challenge. Add to that seeing your sexuality as the primary conflict in a romance, which always stings a bit. I had been circling Perfect Rhythm for a few months, but jumped in when I saw the audiobook on Hoopla.
And Perfect Rhythm got asexuality mostly right, and it’s also a pretty good book. It’s not perfect, but it’s not the disaster I feared.
Sometimes when I read a historical romance (especially a Regency), I have to remember that some of these books are not based on reality.* In this alternate reality for regencies, there can be some notable suspension of disbelief (e.g., maids and governesses marry dukes, women are crimelords, earl’s sisters run off to join Scottish bandits). I really enjoyed Claiming the Highlander's Heart, it was the warm and fuzzy I needed, but it does demand you accept extreme behavior from a character you barely know in the first few pages, and that’s pretty much my only complaint.
I was so excited to see a commercial f/f romantic comedy that I pre-ordered When Katie Met Cassidy, Camille Perri's second novel. It was pitched as laugh-out-loud funny, romantic, sexy, and thought-provoking, so even though I was wary of the Gay-For-You premise, I had high expectations. One of the things that Gay-For-You often signals is that a character is actually bisexual (or bi and demi) and as a bisexual reader, I am always on the hunt for representation in fiction.
The book let me down.
This book was like a well-crafted cocktail - not too sweet, not too bitter, and left me with a warm feeling in my body. You've probably noticed by now that Margrethe and I tend not to have the best of luck with the subgenre of books called "lesfic," either because of bi-erasure, quality of writing/editing, egregious sexual assault, or racism. This book isn't any of that!
This review might become a rant, I apologize in advance.
Talia Hibbert blends heart, humor, and heat together to create a second chance romance that makes you believe first love can be lasting love, and even the bumpiest of roads can lead you home.
Out, Proud, And Prejudiced is a pretty direct retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Bennet is a student at a hospitality vocational school, struggling to pay the rent, and living with four other students (Jamie, Kofi, Leon, Charlotte), their landlord, and a cat (Mopsy). He’s also worried about getting a job in event planning after he graduates. Then, Tim and Darius stroll into town. Tim immediately falls for Jamie, and Bennet and Darius immediately butt heads.
Before we get into Eva's review, you might want to read what we thought of the first two books in this series! We mention both A Fashionable Indulgence (Book 1) and A Seditious Affair (Book 2) in our Pride Month post for The Ripped Bodice's Summer BINGO.