This book was magic and if I knew exactly why, maybe I could find more books that hit the same spot so perfectly. At the same time, I can identify the layers of why it works and why I love it so much. The real magic might be that it gave me reading back.*
Melissa Blue’s latest novella, Grumpy Jake, is as fun and appealing as its bright cover. In this light-hearted enemies to lovers romance Jake, a handsome but gruff White single father has gotten off on the wrong foot with his son Jayden’s Black Kindergarten teacher. Bailey has heard way too much about Jake’s dating misadventures thanks to the faculty’s breathless gossip mill. Despite her undeniable attraction to the tattooed nurse, Bailey does not want to be his next conquest. Deeply wary, the usually warm and effusive Bailey succeeds at freezing out the seemingly bad-boy playboy until they are trapped together in an elevator and she discovers his playfully disarming self-deprecating sense of humor and Jake is enchanted by her frankness.
I was really excited about this book because I am an Olivia Waite fangirl. I love her column on the Seattle Review of Books, and she’s one of the people I recommend heavily in my work at the library. So when I saw she was coming out with a queer historical with science ladies, I knew I should take a chance on it. And I’m happy I did! The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics is a delight. I read it at a time when I was super stressed out and needed some relief during Big Life Stuff, and Catherine and Lucy’s story was like a warm, safe weighted blanket at the end of the day.
It's been a while since we did this! Two months, eeep. Anyway, here are short reviews of Hard Chrome, These Witches Don't Burn, Blitzed, and The Bromance Book Club.
Rosiee Thor's debut YA sci-fi novel, Tarnished Are the Stars, is excellent. She combines several classic sci-fi themes, fresh environmental elements and a whole lot of Queer Feels to make an action- and emotion-packed story of oppression, grief, love and hope.
At long last, I have read The Queen of Ieflaria! I'll admit, backlist (already released, out for a while) books being on audio increases my chance of reading them by about 90%, and that's definitely the case here. I bought it from NineStar ages ago, but it's languished on my Kindle ever since. The first two in the series, The Queen of Ieflaria and Daughter of the Sun are both out on audio, the third is currently in eBook and I have hopes of audio.
Susan Lazarus trusts very few people, and that has served her well in life as first an abandoned street rat, then as a con artist and now as a private enquiry agent. Templeton was once in her trusted inner circle, her teenage misfit confidant and then first love, but when it mattered most he seemingly failed her. Susan rebuilt her defenses, found love again and when they finally crossed paths all she wanted was to thwart his criminal ways. But when he is framed for murder, she is the only one capable of unraveling the truth and clearing his name.
I have a lot of complicated feelings about Twice in a Blue Moon. A couple of them involve spoilers, so I'll stick that at the end. This is a second-chance romance that begins when Sam and Tate meet in London while on vacations with their grandparents. She's with her cafe-owning, over-protective grandmother, and he's with his step-grandfather who turns out to be terminally ill. This last bit is revealed early in the book, so don't be mad at me. Anyway, they're staying at the same hotel and end up eating breakfast together every day. The vacation is two weeks long and Sam and Tate, ages 21 and 18, fall into a whirlwind romance. Vacation is cut short, however, when Sam presumably tells the press that Tate is the long-hidden daughter of a mega-famous movie star, a secret she, her mother and her grandmother have worked to hide for over a decade. Then she doesn't see him again and doesn't have any way of contacting him. Fourteen years later, the two are reunited when she's cast as the lead in a movie adaptation of his novel, Milkweed.
You know how sometimes you’re in the mood for a historical romance, but you’d like a touch of spooky and a hint of lightness? This could just be me who wants that sort of book all the time, but if you are like me, that book is The Widow of Rose House.
In the American Dreamer series, Herrera has crafted three strong romances that engage deeply with political and social issues without losing their sexiness and humor. In American Love Story the failure of white LGBTQ allies to stand up for Black and marginalized people is front and center. Herrera sets Easton and Patrice’s reunion against the high-conflict backdrop of a spree of racially motivated traffic stops by local cops which only intensifies and highlights the poor communication behind the hot/cold dynamics of their tentative relationship.