Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary e-ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
I’ve been dipping my toes into holiday romance novels so to speak & Helena Greer’s Season of Love has some winning qualities but ultimately falls somewhat flat for me.
Miriam Blum is an antique upcycler who’s estranged from most of her family, including her horrible father, her mother who remains married to him, & the beloved aunt who owned the one place she felt totally comfortable, a Christmas tree farm.
At the beginning of the book Miriam’s aunt has passed & Miriam’s going to return to that farm after many years away to sit shiva. Back to the other people she loved but hasn’t had a meaningful relationship with in years, including a cousin.
But there’s a new person living on the farm, Noelle Northwood, who immediately dislikes Miriam, & Miriam’s time at home is complicated by the presence of this person who doesn’t like her but whom she’s attracted to.
There’s a lot to appreciate about this Queer romance, including Jewish rep, romantic moments on the ice, & how Miriam finds her way back home & to an old artistic love.
But in general, I wasn’t a huge fan of Noelle (whose brashness & personality might feel authentic in some ways but also gets a little off putting for me in moments) and a secondary storyline which is a little puzzling at times. Also, a lot seems to happen to Miriam personally & professionally & it’s a little unsettling how quickly it did.
Overall, there’s potential here & I can see a lot of people relating to & enjoying this sweet romance, but it didn’t really work for me.
3 ⭐️. Out 10/11.
CWs: Noelle has a tattoo of “deadly women” including Lizzie Borden & I just found that choice a bit odd. Death in the family. Difficult relationship with mother & father. Noelle is a recovering alcoholic and was drinking as a youth. Dad destroyed her paintings.
Thanks to author KD Casey for the complimentary e-ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Baseball? In real life I don’t know ya 😆. But serve it to me in bookish romance form & I am one very excited person.
KD Casey & Lauren Blakely have released another MM sports novella, Dirty Steal, & it offers a satisfying hookup ➡️ teammates ➡️roommates ➡️ lovers again arc.
Derek Miller & Adam Chason are two baseball players who hook up one night, neither of them exactly looking for something permanent. Later, Adam is traded to Derek’s team & they unexpectedly become apartment-mates. Awkward forced proximity, anyone? 🤣
These leads have a sweet & winning love story with some steam thrown in. While I didn’t feel the zip, the zest, as much in this one as I loved in the first novella, this one too is sure to please so many of us looking for that lovely trifecta of sports + kissing + novella.
4⭐️. Out now!
[ID: an ebook sits on a wooden desk. To the upper left is two orange zinnias in a vase & a red prayer plant. Centered above is a woven brown pumpkin.]
Thanks to the publisher for the complimentary hard-copy ARC & the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary e-ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy & Sierra Simone *is* very very cute (sorry) & just an overall positive read where people support & love each other. Then factor in the steam (sex in a church, anyone?) & you have something that is wholesome & love affirming & also pretty darn dirty.
Adult performer Bee Hobbes is offered the chance to act in a Christmas Hallmark-ish movie but she has to be careful that no one realizes she’s actually adult film star Bianca von Honey.
But her costar & former boy band member Nolan Shaw recognizes her right away bc he’s a huge fan.
He keeps her secret & when the sparks finally ignite, the book went up in flames & I grabbed my fire extinguisher .
The steam in this book is stellar. But I think what really makes the book stand out for me is how much respect the leads have for each other, their total lack of judgement, their support for each other’s goals & wishes, & just how harmonious they are, in bed & out.
It really felt to me like this couple is going to go the distance.
The support didn’t just extend to the leads either. There are so many loving secondary characters, so many people rooting our precious & libido-happy leads on.
Other things I love? Their confidence & maturity, the body positivity, the bisexual rep, how you can tell how much Nolan has grown since his boy band days (but how he still likes to have fun), & the funny mix-up when the other adult film employees show up to work the Hallmark-ish movie set.
This is a great time!
4.5⭐️. Out 09/20.
CWs: a former revenge porn attempt. Some fatphobic members of porn community. Reference to a previous death. Mother is bipolar.
Give me that HEA, please.
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