Review: I’M SO (NOT) OVER YOU by Kosoko Jackson (2022)

Genre: Adult Romance
Year Release: 2022
Source: Library Audiobook

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Listened to the audiobook
Content warnings: sexual harassment (challenged), homophobia (challenged), anxiety, car accident, vomiting

Some of my recent reads flattened me emotionally, so I sought some lighter fare. Thankfully, my hold from the library lifted, and I got to read a romance novel. This one is about Hudson and Kian, who are exes. As the title suggests, Kian thinks he’s healed from the heartbreak, but then Hudson invites him as his plus one to a wedding at his family’s estate. Wedding hijinks, pop culture references, and second chances ensue.

A steamy romance between two gay men of color as they overcome their own insecurities to find support in each other, regardless their past.

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Review: A BLOODY LITTLE VALENTINE (Tales from the Sothern Gothic) by Magen Cubed (2022)

Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Year Release: 2022
Source: Book2Read

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Content warning: discussion of blood play

Vampire Dorian Villeneuve and cowboy Cassius “Cash” Leroy are hunters who are best friends in love. In this short, they talk about Dorian’s pole dancing past which merges with their committed relationship present.

The characterization continues to be top notch. Both Dorian and Cash have such distinct on-page personalities, and their contrasts make for incredible chemistry and charming tension. This vignette from their home life in which Dorian gives Cash a lap dance is as erotic as it is tender. These two are so in love and it’s absolutely swoony.

One of the things the author mentioned on their Twitter is the presence of drinking in the lives of these hunters as it relates to their profession. It feels natural and cleverly works as a vehicle to portray character development. I myself used to have a drinks with coworkers, and we weren’t doing anything nearly as life-threatening as hunting monsters.

Review: PARTY FAVORS (So Over the Holidays #4) by Erin McLellan (2020)

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Year Release: 2020
Source: Kindle

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Amanda Ellis is an heiress who wants to break free of her family’s expectations and painful heteronormativity. Wren Rebello designs lingerie and seeks to be taken more seriously as a romantic partner. The two are best internet friends and, on a whim, decide to do a friends vacation at a cottage for New Year’s Eve.

Much like the book itself, this review will be short and sweet. The emotional journey these characters go on together is so swoon-worthy, but this is no way a slow-burn when it comes to the erotic. It starts real quick, and it does not abate. If anything, it escalates to some highly horny sequences of self-discovery featuring sexy consent and sex toys galore.

Review: LEATHER AND LACE (The Southern Gothic Series #1) by Magen Cubed (2021)

Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Year Release: 2021
Source: Kindle

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Content warning: blood play, violence, murder, autopsy

Vampire Dorian Villeneuve and cowboy Cassius “Cash” Leroy are hunters going against all sorts of cryptids, from vampires to mothman to the pair of weredeer hunting others for their hearts. Partners in crime, but it seems they both want to be partners in much more.

This book is a goddamn delight with a compelling friendship-turned-romance that’s as easy to invest in as the mystery behind the grisly murders.

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ARC Review: MEET CUTE DIARY by Emery Lee (2021)

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Year Release: May 2021
Buy Links: Bookshop.org | Unabridged Books | Audiobook

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Read a NetGalley eARC
Content warning: Vomiting, panic attack

Noah Ramirez runs a blog called Meet Cute Diary, a collection of short stories about trans people meeting the love of their lives in increasingly adorable ways. He writes most of the stories and an online troll calls it out in online-public ways. Noah’s also spending the summer in Denver with his brother as his parents move from Florida to California. To save the blog, he strikes up a fake relationship with a local while trying to balance the blog situation and a new job at a summer camp.

This book is adorable and refreshingly young as far as young adult protagonists go. Meet Cute Diary is a delightful light-hearted summer romp.

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Author to Author with S.T. Gibson

A Dowry of Blood emotionally retells the story of Dracula’s brides. In first bride Constanta’s perspective, this epistolary, second person narrative spans centuries, depicting the bloody revelry and intimacy among the brides in stark contrast to their relationship with terrible husband Dracula. In this interview, author S.T. Gibson talks about how she crafted this deeply character-driven exploration of love and devotion among vampires.

Buy link: NYX Publishing

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ARC Review: A DOWRY OF BLOOD by S.T. Gibson (2021)

Genre: Horror Romance
Year Release: January 2021
Buy Links: NYX Publishing

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Read an ARC courtesy of the author
Content warning: emotional and domestic abuse, blood, violence, mental illness, gaslighting

If you’ve ever been interested in reading a story of Dracula told from the perspective of one of his brides, look no further. Told from Constanta’s POV, we experience her tumultuous relationship with the ubervamp and her relationship with her fellow spouses, spanning literal centuries. It’s romantic, but it also heart-wrenching with all the gothic delights one expects from a vampire story.

Author S.T. Gibson will also be my first author interview of the year so look out for that.

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Q&A with Jeffe Kennedy (The Orchid Throne Blog Tour)

AuthortoAuthor_JeffeKennedy.pngThank you St Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read an early copy of The Orchid Throne (2019). The latest fantasy romance by Jeffe Kennedy features some lush world-building, political intrigue, and two thorny protagonists who start off as adversaries and end up as lovers. There’s a very crappy emperor and two different ideas of how to take him down.

Read on below for an interview with Jeffe about how the inspirations behind the political conflict in The Orchid Throne, her favorite scenes, and what to read next.

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International Women’s Day: Five Badass Ladies in SF/F

IWD2016It’s International Women’s Day and I wanted to draw some attention to five women and girls that I met in recent reads. They’re pretty different from each other and I wanted to compile them into a helpful list for fellow female-lead story writers such as myself to draw inspiration from. From women who can rule the world to kids looking for companionship, this list has some of it all.

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