Oh man. This is the perfect romance novel! Anita Kelly writes fantastic characters here. It's funny, heartwarming, thrilling (spicy!) It has it all. And it fulfilled my deep desire for everything to include birding!
This book is everything I want when I read romance. Ben and Alexei turned my heart to utter mush. Their banter is delightful and their hike along the Pacific Crest Trail is a fresh, fun setting. And though there is heat and spice in abundance, the arc of their relationship had major slow burn energy.
I have never felt comparisons to Red, White, And Royal Blue were accurate before, but this contemporary gay romance is spot on: it struck the mood, the complex narrative, the beloved, nuanced and unique characters.
Kate Clayborn is fully ensconced on my auto-buy list. All of her books make me want to gush: they are nuanced and full-bodied and believable. Her characters are flawed--even the supporting cast (who never detract or distract from the core romantic arc)--and deal with Real Life Shit. In GEORGIE, ALL ALONG, I kept discovering snippets of dialogue that could have been taken from my own brain. It's an opposites attract, close-proximity romance that I didn't want to end.
What an absolute delight! I will be sharing this cozy story of found family and new beginnings with many friends. Legends & Lattes is a single sitting read that is best paired with a steaming hot coffee and cinnamon pastry (trust me, you'll get it).
This book is like a warm hug, a cup of tea, and a slice of freshly baked banana bread in the middle of a snow storm. With just as much charm, if not more, as her debut The Charm Offensive, Cochrun has written a love story that deals with dysfunctional family dynamics, the fake-fiancé-who-turns-out-to-be-the-brother-of-the-woman-you-fell-in-love-with-last-Christmas, relatable discussions of mental health and identity, and overall Portland energy. The vibes are wonderful, it's lovely and queer, it's my favorite romance that I've read this year!
This novella went in directions I didn't see coming.
Part sapphic love story, part hardboiled detective crime novel, CL Polk imbues 1940s Chicago with magic and intrigue. I want more of this world and I'm also wholly satisfied.
We often hear that we must love ourselves before we can be loved by someone else. In this character-driven, unconventional romance, Regan and Aldo challenge the idea that a person dealing with mental illness or trauma must become completely healed and whole before pursuing a healthy relationship. They quickly turn from strangers into each other's obsessions, and struggle to find ways to love well while not always being well. It is ultimately a love story, a very messy and beautiful one that provokes conversation and introspection in equal measure.
I'd seen how popular this series was online for years, and I'm so mad I didn't read it sooner! When I finally sat down to read it, I stayed up till 5am, and ended up reading 4+ years of content in a 48-hour period. Perfect for any Greek mythology fans, this series is a romantic retelling of Hades and Persephone. It has the most beautiful art, heart-wrenching twists, and the yearning is off the charts. I cried, laughed, squealed, and screamed. READ IT!!!
Content Warning from the author: Lore Olympus regularly deals with themes of physical and mental abuse, sexual trauma, and toxic relationships. Some of the interactions in this series may be distressing for some readers. Please exercise discretion, and seek out the support of others if you require it.
Think "While You Were Sleeping"... but replace the coziness of Christmas with the spookiness of fall; finding a new family with putting an old one back together; a fake engagement with death itself.
Never seen that movie? Then pick this book up just for the buckets of yearning and emotional growth!
This is not a "read for the holidays" romance. This is a "read anytime you need heartwarming, queer, neurodiverse, steamy romance where you end up rooting for every. single. character. romance". I didn't know I liked marriage of convenience tropes, but Ellie and Andrew had conflicts and fears that made all the implausible, plausible. Add in some snow magic and wild familial dynamics -- this book is just brimming with delights.