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

Romantic Occupations, Part II

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 2, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Andrea Marks-Joseph posted in list

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Remember when Andrea shared some cool jobs in romance? Well, she's back with more!

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Review: Dine With Me, by Layla Reyne

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

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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.

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Review: How to Belong with a Billionaire, by Alexis Hall

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 29, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Andrea Marks-Joseph posted in review

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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. 

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Review: Raze, by Roan Parrish

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

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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.

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Review: Arctic Wild, by Annabeth Albert

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

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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.

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Review: A Perfect Balance, by Laura Ambrose

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

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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. 

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Review: Arctic Sun, by Annabeth Albert

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

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  "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. 

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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

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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

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"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.
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Andrea's Best of 2018

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

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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. :) 

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