[Book Review] A Wedding One Christmas by Therese Beharrie

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


A Wedding One Christmas - Cover

A Wedding One Christmas, a short and sugary sweet Christmas novel set in Caledon, South Africa, was my introduction to romance author Therese Beharrie. Believe me, it’s a read that has officially made me a fan of Beharrie’s work!Read More »

[Book Review] Meet Cute

Meet Cute Cover

Title: Meet Cute
Authors: Jennifer L. Armentrout; Dhonielle Clayton; Katie Cotugno; Jocelyn Davies; Huntley Fitzpatrick; Nina LaCour; Emery Lord; Katharine McGee; Kass Morgan; Julie Murphy; Meredith Russo; Sara Shepard; Nicola Yoon; Ibi Zoboi
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Anthology, Queer Fiction, Queer Romance
Rating: Highly Recommended
Release Date: January 2, 2018

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Buy Links: AMAZON (KINDLE) | AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

SYNOPSIS

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

 

REVIEW

I just love a good meet-cute, so it sure is convenient (and awesome) that I was approved for a book all about meet-cutes by some of the best authors currently writing Young Adult fiction!

Meet Cute is a delightful anthology full of well-written and frequently complex short stories. I think, honestly, that there might be something in this story for everyone. If you’re as big a fan of meet-cutes as I am, that is! Many of the stories aren’t necessarily “Happily Ever Afters”, they’re snapshots of a happy (or bittersweet) moment in a complicated life, but that’s definitely a good thing to read! Many of the stories center characters that are queer and/or characters of color and that’s awesome!Read More »

A Rainy Night In – Part One

Note about future access: The next two installments of this story are super NSFW and will be behind a password. If you’re over 18 and want to see where the story goes, you can get in touch with me via the usual avenues: Twitter, my Tumblr inbox, or my contact form here.

A Rainy Night In - Part 2

At first, it looks like the only thing that Mahreen is going to get to do with her degree and her experience is conjure up filthy fantasies for lonely customers looking for some fun. Then, on one rainy night when no one else is in the store, a golden-eyed shifter walks in with a smiling concubus at his side and a very tempting proposition for Mahreen.

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Mahreen has always liked the rain.

She even likes nights like this one when it starts storming so badly that she can sense the thunder rumbling, vibrating hard enough that it echoes in her head. Without having to glance at the forecast app on her phone, Mahreen can tell that the storm surging through sky is the kind that’ll last through the night.

That’s probably why The Sex Shoppe has been empty from the moment Mahreen had relieved Naoki from her shift.

People don’t usually come in for sex toys and fantasies when it’s pouring outside. Not customers, not Mahreen’s supervisor, and certainly not the young witches-in-training that are supposed to be working with her on this shifts.

Hell, she can’t even expect the odd actual pervert that wants her to conjure up something awful to wander in.

One would think that someone would dare to brave the storm in order to get a guaranteed spot in one of the booths and the chance to have their fantasies come to life for a few minutes or hours, but the rain is ever so helpful at clearing Mahreen’s night.

Read More »

[Book Review] Buns by Alice Clayton

Title: Buns (Hudson Valley #3)
Author: Alice Clayton
Rating:  Recommended
Genre/Category: Contemporary Romance, Comedy, Found Family
Release Date: May 23, 2017

Publisher: Gallery Books

Order Here: BARNES AND NOBLE | AMAZON

Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All of the views in this review are my own.

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

Read More »

Breaking and Entering – Original Fiction

Notes: This original fantasy (almost romance) story has been in the works for a LONG time and I’m happy that I can finally share it with you all! The gorgeous art pieces in this post are all parts of a commission that I got from my awesome friend Vi (who also did lovely concept art of my two boys) who is super sweet and talented!


 

Breaking and Entering

Asra has spent much of his life alone, traveling across Anatea in search of the home he never had. On an unplanned return trip to the capital city’s God Quarter, Asra finds himself taking shelter from the rain in a seemingly abandoned temple. When Asra meets the god whose temple sits gathering dust in a lonely part of the God Quarter, he isn’t expecting much beyond a swift kick in the rear. He certainly isn’t expecting that he might finally find the home he’s always wanted to have.

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[Book Review] Insight by Santino Hassell

Insight Cover

Title: Insight (The Community #1)
Author:
Santino Hassell (Twitter)
Rating: Highly Recommended
Genre/Category: Urban Fantasy, Psychics, Queer Romance/Erotica, Paranormal Romance, Suspense/Mystery
Release Date: March 13, 2017

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Order Here: RIPTIDE PUBLISHING

Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All of the views in review are my own and there are mild spoilers.


Santino Hassell’s Insight is an incredible look at a community of marginalized people — some psychics, some people of color, all incredibly fascinating — who live in NYC on an Earth that seems just like ours. It’s also got a murder-mystery and conspiracy slant to it while also serving up some complicated psychic love and tension so thick that you could cut it with a spoon.

Straight up, I love this book.Read More »

[Book Review] UnWritten by Chelsea M. Cameron

unwritten-coverTitle: UnWritten
AuthorChelsea M. Cameron (Twitter)
Rating: Recommended
Genre/Category: Contemporary Romance, Families/Kid-fic , Body Positive, Happy Endings, New Adult
Release Date: July 6, 2014
Order Here: AMAZON

Note: A version of this review is up on Goodreads/Amazon. The changes between the two versions are mostly minor!

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Chelsea Cameron’s UnWritten is basically the Single Dad AU of my dreams.

I follow the author on Twitter and she’s an actual peach. When she tweeted about this book being on Kindle Unlimited, I basically leapt to attention because everything about it is my kind of thing. UnWritten stars a curvy secret romance novel writer, a gorgeous single dad, and the cutest fictional three-year-old I’ve seen in a book in a long time.

I made high-pitched, eager noises for my first full hour of reading because this book is literally almost everything I’ve ever wanted.Read More »

Breaking and Entering – Birthday Art and Story Snippet

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My darling and talented friend Vi (who I’ve commissioned to draw art for this story because she’s GREAT) surprised me with a super cute birthday sketch of Asra, one of the main characters  in my short story “Breaking and Entering”.

Not only did she give me permission to share this sketch, but also an early piece that she did of Asra and Katan when getting a feel for the characters. So now, y’all can see what my presh babies look like before the story eventually goes live! Please join me in basking in Vi’s amazing art and how beautiful she’s made my babies because WOW!

Under the cut is the aforementioned art as well as a snippet from the main story.

Enjoy!Read More »

Condescension, Crosstalk, and why Connie Willis’ Misunderstanding of the Romance Genre is a Deal Breaker for Me

crosstalk-cover

When I first heard about Connie Willis’ book Crosstalk, it sounded like a bunch of fun.

I put it on my wishlist and dropped a bunch of hints that I’d be open to reviewing it even if I had to buy the book myself (which wouldn’t be an issue as even if I get an ARC, I buy the books once they’re released).

Then today, I woke up to see an article on The Verge where she was interviewed about the book and, in one response, managed to miss the entire damn point about romance as a genre and as an aspect of our lives (for those folks who aren’t aromantic) and I decided to save my money. Read More »

Searching for Real Love: My torrid love affair with Golden Age romance comics

This post was originally posted on Patreon for backers supporting me with $1 or more. If early access and exclusives are your thing, consider subscribing!


Page01_AllRomances001I love the Golden Age of comics.

Crime comics.

Horror comics.

Offshoots of the pulps that never quite got big.

You name it, I probably love it. I grew up in a household that was always nerdy but in different ways.

My parents are old. My dad was born in 1939 and my mom in 1948. For some reason, despite all the odds, they ended up together in 1990 and then like 9 months later I popped out.

They weren’t interested in whatever was new on television (except for the soap operas), but made sure that I had access to stuff that they liked as well as stuff that was slightly more age appropriate.

Instead of growing up with Star Wars and Star Trek, I grew up with soap operas. I grew up with the 1960s Batman show. I grew up able to hold my own in discussions on Westerns. And of course, there were the comics.

The comics were my mom’s fault (but my dad was a huge fan of the Flash and original Green Lantern). She grew up on a different island than my dad did and spent her teen and young adult years in New York living a very interesting life. Her experience was relatively less focused on religion and so she got into the post-code horror comics like it was her job. She passed that love of romance and horror comics down to me and I’m definitely going to be blaming her for my fascination with them.Read More »

When Amazon gift cards attack

book splurgeA few weeks ago I won a $25 gift card through a program I’m running on my computer. It’s a little thing and not a big deal. I completely forgot about it though until yesterday afternoon when I got mail and there was my gift card.

$25 can buy a lot of books so it’s no wonder that I have spent the past 24 hours trying to figure out what books I was going to buy. Finally, I settled on four books that came up to $27 (including like tax and stuff). I’m a little over my gift card’s limit but essentially I’m getting four awesome books on someone else’s dime (and supporting authors I LOVE in the process!)

Here’s what I got with my hard earned gift card because these are all amazing books that everyone should read:


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