The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

This book has been on my radar for years, but I didn’t get around to reading it until my 8th grader selected it as her summer reading book. Instead of being disappointed in myself at having waited for so long to read this masterpiece, I’m going to focus on the positive and tell you that it was absolutely worth waiting for.

The Song of Achilles is a glorious retelling of the Greek legend, but instead of the hero himself sharing his exploits, the narrative unfolds from the perspective of Patroclus, Achilles’ childhood friend who later becomes his lover. They first meet as boys, and Achilles takes Patroclus under his wing, setting him apart from the other boys as his boon companion. Patroclus accompanies Achilles to Mount Pelion, and lessons with Chiron the centaur, which is where their friendship begins to shift into a physical relationship. Eventually, the call to war sounds and Patroclus accompanies Achilles to Troy, where the Greeks lay siege to the city-state in their attempt to recapture Helen, who absconded with the Trojan Prince Paris.

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The Vicar and the Rake by Annabelle Greene

Gabriel and Edward were childhood friends, but then Edward went to London as the heir to the Caddonfell dukedom, and Gabriel (who has some sort of minor title) became a vicar.

They have not seen each other for over a decade, so it comes as a surprise when Edward returns to the ducal manor to find Gabriel passed out in the flowerbeds. Edward—scandal personified—is on the run from the vengeful Duke of Sussex, and Gabriel—who has always avoided scandal—quickly becomes entwined with Edward, both metaphorically and physically.

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Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

April is a talented geologist, but her true passion is writing fanfiction for Gods of the Gates, a series of books based on the Aeneid, which turned into a popular fantasy series on television. April’s favorite ship is Lavinia/Aeneas.

Little does she know that her best online fanfic buddy is secretly Marcus, one of the stars of the show.

Meanwhile, when Marcus sees April’s Lavinia cosplay photo on Twitter, he feels compelled to ask her out. She tells him about her fanfic, but he can’t bring himself to confess *his* fanfic identity.

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The Love Study by Kris Ripper: Review and excerpt

Book Details:

About the Book:

Title: The Love Study

Author: Kris Ripper

Length: 336 pages

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Imprint: Carina Press (Carina Adores)

On-Sale: September 29, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback (also available in eBook and audiobook formats)

Price: $14.99

ISBN: 9781335943194

Book Description: What happens when the search for the perfect date goes perfectly wrong? Don’t miss this charming romantic comedy from critically acclaimed author Kris Ripper.

Declan has commitment issues. He’s been an office temp for literally years now, and his friends delight in telling people that he left his last boyfriend at the altar.

And that’s all true. But he’s starting to think it’s time to start working on his issues. Maybe.

When Declan meets Sidney—a popular nonbinary YouTuber with an advice show—an opportunity presents itself: as part of The Love Study, Declan will go on a series of dates arranged by Sidney and report back on how the date went in the next episode.

The dates are…sort of blah. It’s not Sidney’s fault; the folks participating are (mostly) great people, but there’s no chemistry there. Maybe Declan’s just broken.

Or maybe the problem is that the only person he’s feeling chemistry with is Sidney.

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Common Goal by Rachel Reid

Eric has been the goalie for the New York Admirals for his entire professional hockey career. Now that he’s turning 41, he knows that this is his last season, but he’s not ready to tell his teammates. He’s also finally acknowledging his bisexuality, and now that he’s been divorced for a year, he’s ready to explore this new facet of himself.

Enter Kyle, a grad student who he knows through mutual friends. Kyle offers to help Eric learn how to date guys, which includes low-pressure introduction to the physical aspect of dating.

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Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass

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I want to begin this review by saying that I have followed Adam Sass on Twitter for quite awhile and when I saw Surrender Your Sons pop up on NetGalley, I immediately “wished” for it. When my wish was granted a couple of months, I literally shrieked out loud.

Connor Major trusted his boyfriend when he suggested that Connor come out to his family, but it turns out to be an utter disaster. Connor’s religious mother strongly objects to the revelation, confiscates his phone, and ultimately has him shipped off to a conversion camp on a secluded island near Costa Rica.

In theory, if Connor follows all the directions, he can leave after a week.

But no one ever leaves after only a week. Read more

Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera

Julia hasn’t been living in Dallas very long, but she’s getting used to it. She loves her job, and she has a whole crew of NYC-to-Dallas exiles to hang out with.

And then Rocco shows up. He’s also from NYC, and he’s been hired as a consultant to advise on Julia’s job going from a privately owned corporation to publicly traded. Julia wants to hate him, since his opinion might mean her position (and the entire charitable foundation) being eliminated, but as they start hanging out, it gets harder for her to resist his charming ways.

Given that I love everything that Adriana Herrera writes, it’s no surprise that I loved this book. The banter between Julia and Rocco is top-notch, and there’s a lot of banter because it takes them a long time to finally hook up. So, attention all fans of the slow burn trope: we’ve got a winner here. But yeah, the banter is hilarious, and I was grinning throughout the entire book.

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Recommended for You by Laura Silverman

Shoshana loves working at Once Upon, an independent bookstore at her local mall. She’s always loved reading, but lately, it’s become a place of refuge for her because her two moms are fighting a lot and her car needs expensive repairs that she can’t afford. But when Jake Kaplan starts working at Once Upon, Shoshana’s beloved bookstore becomes full of tension, and not because Jake is a total hottie.

Okay, maybe because he’s a total hottie, but he’s also a bit of a jerk who doesn’t even read, and when the owner announces a holiday sales competition, Shoshana is determined to win.

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Best Laid Plaids by Ella Stainton

In 1928, Joachim Cockburn travels to Scotland to meet Ainsley Graham, his colleague’s younger brother. Ainsley Graham was laughed out of academia when he insisted that ghosts were real; Joachim studies delusional thinking, and intends to prove that ghosts are most certainly not real.  

The effervescent Ainsley offers to drive Joachim around Scotland to various haunted places, and while I don’t want to give too much away, I will say that Joachim’s hypothesis is wrong and that he finds it difficult to resist Ainsley’s charms.

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The Sugared Game by KJ Charles

This is the second book in the Will Darling series of 1920s queer pulp action/adventure novels. It is absolutely imperative that readers begin with Slippery Creatures, the first book in the series. There won’t be any spoilers for The Sugared Game, but I’ll be discussing some of the events of Slippery Creatures over the course of this review, so please proceed with caution.

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