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.
CW: This review mentions unpleasant sex and rape.
No Judgments is two different books smushed together. One part is a fluffy tale about two stubborn people coming together during a hurricane and then rescuing animals in the aftermath. The other part is about a woman who's just run away from a toxic relationship and family. I'm going to give spoilers in this review, so if that's not your thing, go ahead and click away now.
I would be lying if I said that reviewing Always Never Yours was easy to do. First, I enjoyed it and especially the actual romance. Second, I loved that Megan is mostly happy with who she is (extroverted, open to romance, unapologetic about her number of ex-boyfriends, opinionated). Third, the romance had me anxious in the best way. With all of that, there are some things I’m not sure I’m comfortable with.
Little reviews of The Love Solution, Trashed, Shatter the Sky and Hot Dog Girl.
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.
As you might guess based on the blurb, If I'm Being Honest features a prickly heroine. The story is loosely based on Shakespeare's The Taming of The Shrew, except that this time the shrew is out to tame herself. After her crush and good friend drops her entirely after witnessing how mean she is to a classmate, Paige, Cam decides to win Andrew back by becoming a better person. She learns that apologies are really difficult when you don't mean them, but that honesty can be used in kind ways as well as in the cruel ways she's been wielding it. And more than anything else, she learns that everyone else is more than they appear to be, just as she is.
Bringing Down the Duke is a brilliant debut historical romance. Set in Victorian England when suffragettes are fighting for rights, this is an enemies-to-lovers romance with a stodgy (divorced!) Duke hero who simply cannot have another scandal to his name and a penniless heroine studying at Oxford on a stipend from a women's rights organization.
In case you haven't been paying super close attention to my personal Twitter feed, you may not know that I've been reviewing for the Shelf Awareness for Readers newsletter for about three months. It's a lot of fun and I get exposed to a much broader selection of books than I might otherwise. For example, I've covered a book about a female butcher in London and a comic about adorable monsters who destroy whole ecosystems.
What if you lived above your queer tattoo shop and your new next door neighbor right across the hall was a pastor? And what if he was super hot? And what if you were raised by Evangelicals, are now an atheist disowned by your family and have a really complicated relationship with organized religion? Well, you'd be Seth in Covet Thy Neighbor.