The Henchmen of Zenda by KJ Charles

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The Henchmen of Zenda was written by KJ Charles. This m/m adventure story is an homage to The Prisoner of Zenda, a minor classic from the Victorian era. Now, I have never read The Prisoner of Zenda before, but Charles is one of my favorite authors, so this was a must-buy for me.

Jasper Detchard is an English mercenary who finds himself in the small European country of Ruritania. The king’s half-brother wants to claim the throne for himself, so he is assembling a band of men to help him achieve his goal.

Between all the political machinations and double crossing, Jasper manages to catch the attention of Rupert of Hentzau, a fellow mercenary. This isn’t a romance novel by any stretch of the imagination, but somewhere along the way, Jasper and Rupert realize that they share a mutual attraction. The only question is whether they will both survive in these uncertain times long enough to do something about it. Read more

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Unfit to Print by KJ Charles

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Unfit to Print is a Victorian-era m/m historical romance novella by KJ Charles. I’ve read most (but not all) of Charles’ other books, so I was looking forward to reading this one.

Vikram is a lawyer who works tirelessly on behalf of those who have very few civil rights in England, helping them obtain wages and benefits that are rightfully theirs. When a family approaches them about their missing son, Vikram feels compelled to help. His quest takes him to a bookstore owned by Gil Lawless.

Vikram and Gil were once friends at boarding school, but Gil left abruptly one day, Vikram attempted to track him down over the years, but his efforts were fruitless. Read more

Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg

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Honestly Ben is a YA novel by Bill Konigsberg. It’s the companion/sequel to Openly Straight. Now, I haven’t read Openly Straight, but as soon as I saw Honestly Ben on the new arrivals shelf at my town library, I just had to add it to my borrowing pile.

Ben is a student at the Natick School, a prestigious boys’ boarding school in suburban Massachusetts. As an aside, this is vaguely my neck of the woods, so I was quite enchanted by the setting. Anyway, Ben has decided to focus on academics and baseball. He feels that his involvement with Rafe Goldberg the previous semester (chronicled in Openly Straight) was a phase, and as school resumes, there is a notable froideur between the pair. Everything is going well for Ben- he’s even dating a girl from the local girls’ school- but something doesn’t feel quite right. Ben needs to figure out what he needs to make himself happy, and not what will make everyone else happy. Read more

Think of England by KJ Charles

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Think of England was written by KJ Charles. This is a standalone m/m historical romance novel set during the Edwardian era. I’ve loved all of Charles’ other books, and so I was excited about reading this one.

Archie Curtis has plans to attend a house party, but he has ulterior motives. He believes that his host may be involved in the Boer War sabotage that maimed or killed all the men in his regiment. Curtis is annoyed by one of the other guests- Daniel da Silva, a young poet who seems like his polar opposite. As the plot thickens, Curtis realizes that Daniel just might be the ally he didn’t know he needed. Peakholme may seem like a gorgeous manor house filled with high-tech modern conveniences, but it is a den of vipers, and Curtis is going to need an ally in order to survive the house party. Read more

Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley

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Speaking from Among the Bones is the fifth book in Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce mystery series. These books feature a precocious child sleuth who solves mysteries in her sleepy English village in the 1950s. I’m slightly behind with this series, but I’ve been savoring them slowly so that I don’t run out of books.

Bishop’s Lacey is preparing to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of St. Tancred, whose tomb is located in their village church. Naturally, Flavia wants to be there for the big event, and when the tomb is opened, they find a body. However, it’s not St. Tancred in the tomb- it’s the body of Mr. Collicut, who played the organ at church. There is no way that he could have wandered into the tomb on his own, so it’s clear that he met with a gruesome end. Who could have killed Mr. Collicut? Read more

Guts & Glory: The American Revolution by Ben Thompson

 

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Guts & Glory: The American Revolution was written by Ben Thompson. I picked up the Audible edition of this book (as well as the others in the series) during a sale, and my girls and I listened to it while we were driving around during all of our after-school activities.

This book is a wonderful introduction to the foundations of American history. Thompson uses a jocular storytelling format to convey information, and I found myself enjoying listening to this book as much as the kids. Much of the story is slightly irreverent, which naturally appeals to children. He uses modern pop culture examples to draw comparisons with events from the Revolution, like comparing Bunker Hill to an epic battle from Lord of the Rings or saying that he has to pay tax “every time he buy[s] a new Xbox game or a Big Mac”. Understanding history is so important, and I have a great deal of appreciation for Thompson’s ability to make learning about history appealing. Read more

Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton

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Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride is a historical m/m romance novel written by Eli Easton. This book was mentioned in one of my FB groups, and when I saw that it was available for Kindle Unlimited, I borrowed it.

Robby Riverton is an actor living in New York City when he witnesses a crime. He knows that the gangsters will be after him, so he leaves the big city and heads west. When Robby realizes that he’s being followed, he pulls a switcharoo and uses his theatrical training to go to the Wild West disguised as a mail order bride. Read more

His Cocky Valet by Cole McCade

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His Cocky Valet is the first book in Cole McCade’s Undue Arrogance series of contemporary m/m romance novels. I heard about this book in one of my Facebook groups, and I knew I had to read it. This book was written in response to a legal battle involving trademarking individual words, and I’m always going to show up when pettiness is involved.

Ash Harrington has always been a hot mess, and he spends his days meandering around from one party to the next. The story begins with Ash needing to step up and take control of his billionaire father’s company, but Ash doesn’t know the first thing about taking care of himself, let alone running a business.

Enter Brand Forsythe, professional valet, who is definitely not here for Ash’s nonsense. Ash is unsure of himself and his abilities, but Brand helps him realize his potential. Read more

A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian

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A Gentleman Never Keeps Score is the second book in Cat Sebastian’s Seducing the Sedgwicks series of Regency-era m/m historical romance novels. Sebastian is one of my favorite authors, so I preordered this book as soon as it appeared on Amazon.

Readers were introduced to Hartley Sedgwick in the first book in this series, It Takes Two to Tumble. Allusions were made to his situation, and now we get a clearer picture. Hartley inherited a house and funds from his godfather. This is hardly unique, except his benefactor favored Hartley over a biological son. This prompts the son to share with all of proper Society exactly what Hartley did to earn such a bountiful inheritance. Hartley has been shunned from the very people who once delighted in his company. Read more

All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages by Saundra Mitchell (editor)

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All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages is an anthology of short stories written by young adult authors geared toward a YA audience. This book was not on my radar, but as soon as I saw it on the new release shelf at my town library, I knew that I had to borrow it.

The stories in this anthology feature historical fiction from all different eras from culturally diverse LGBTQ teens. There are 17 stories, and I enjoyed reading all of them and experiencing the perspective of a new narrative. It’s hard to choose favorites, but if I had to, here are some of my favorites. This is entirely subjective, and I’m sure that a dozen other readers would likely have completely different lists if asked about their favorites. Read more