Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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Top Secret is a contemporary m/m romance novel by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. I was looking forward to reading this book because I enjoyed reading their previous collaboration, the m/m hockey duology Him and Us. I was even more excited when I found out that this book was a new release; it hadn’t been on my radar, so finding it as a new release was an awesome surprise!

Keaton is a junior at a prestigious college. He comes from a wealthy family, and he has his whole life mapped out for him. Well, his father has his whole life mapped out for him, but Keaton has other ambitions he’d rather follow. Keaton has been dating the same girl for years, and she’s asked him to plan a threesome with another guy for her birthday. So, Keaton logs onto a hookup app.

Luke is a student at the same university. He’s also in the same fraternity as Keaton, but that’s where their similarities end. Luke is a “townie” going to school on scholarship, and he works at a strip club to pay for the expenses that his scholarship doesn’t cover. When he sees the couple’s profile on the app looking for a third person, he’s more than happy to oblige. Read more

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Hold My Hand by Michael Barakiva

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I came across Hold My Hand by Michael Barakiva when I was browsing Netgalley, and the blurb piqued my interest. My request was accepted, and so I added the book to my reading queue.

Alek is an Armenian-American high school student. He has been dating Ethan for almost six months. Things are getting pretty serious, but Alek has reservations. He loves kissing Ethan, but he’s not sure if he’s ready for things to go further physically. Alek measures his life in terms of Before Ethan and After Ethan; he’s changed so much for the better because of this relationship, and he can’t imagine what would happen if it ended. Read more

American Fairytale by Adriana Herrera

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When I saw American Fairytale by Adriana Herrera on Netgalley, I sent a request right away. I was very excited when I was approved, and I decided to start with American Dreamer, the first book in the Dreamers series. It was already in my TBR queue, but I bumped it to the top. After reading American Dreamer, I was even MORE excited to read American Fairytale.

Camilo is a social worker, and as the story begins, he has just received an invitation to attend a posh benefit/fundraiser. Camilo is a hard worker, but he’s looking forward to having a good time. He does not intend to hook up with a handsome stranger, but such things aren’t usually planned in advance. He doesn’t think he’ll ever see the guy again, and that’s okay, because Milo isn’t really looking for a relationship because he’s too busy with work and taking care of his mother.

So, imagine his surprise when the handsome hookup is the major donor for the domestic violence shelter that Milo has been hoping to build for years. Read more

American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera

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I bought American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera on its release day because all my friends were talking about it. I didn’t get a chance to read it right away, but then I received the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the second book, so I bumped American Dreamer to the top of my reading queue.

Nesto Vasquez has lived in NYC for his whole life, but he’s leaving the city to move upstate with his food truck. He doesn’t know how Ithaca is going to respond to his Caribbean fusion cuisine, but he’s got to shoot his shot. He’s here to focus on building his business, so he certainly not looking for romance.

And then Nesto meets Jude Fuller, a shy librarian. Jude’s not looking for romance either, because it hasn’t worked out so well in the past. Nesto and Jude hit it off right away, and everything seems to be going well, but can their happiness last? Read more

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

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I was excited when I found Unmarriageable at my town library. Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice are one of my favorite tropes, and Soniah Kamal’s offering was already on my radar.

But then real life interfered, and even after renewing the book, I wasn’t able to read it before the due date.   Not returning the book wasn’t an option because I didn’t want to rack up library fines- nor did I want to hoard the book and keep other people from reading it.

So I bought the Kindle edition- and I added the Audible edition as well.

In Unmarriageable, Kamal brings Pride and Prejudice to Pakistan at the turn of the 21st century. Alys Binat lives with her family in Dilipabad, a small town in Pakistan. She and her older sister Jena teach English at the British School, and their three younger sisters are still students at the school. While Mrs. Binat has Big Plans for all five of her daughters, Alys is perfectly content with her life, and does not intend to get married just for the sake of getting married. Read more

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

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I found The Music of What Happens at my town library. I’ve read some of Bill Konigsberg’s other books, so finding this on the new release shelf was a nice surprise.

When Max steps up to a food truck to place an order, he doesn’t expect to see Jordan, a kid from his school. Max certainly doesn’t expect to walk away with a job offer, but there you have it.

Jordan’s dad died a few years ago, and Jordan and his mom have been living off of the life insurance money. They’ve exhausted their savings, and they’re now a few months behind with the mortgage. Revitalizing the food truck that Jordan’s dad used to run is their final hope; if they don’t earn enough money to pay off the accumulated debt, they’ll lose the house.

Max and Jordan might go to the same school, but they aren’t friends. Things are awkward at first, but they quickly realize that they are going to need to communicate with each other if they want their endeavors to be successful. Read more

Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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From the moment I heard about Red White & Royal Blue, I knew that I would absolutely fall in love with it. I received an ARC via Netgalley, but I have purchased my own copy of the Kindle edition AND I added the Audible. I’m probably going to buy the paperback as well; that’s how much I love this book.

Red White & Royal Blue is Casey McQuiston’s debut novel, and wow, what a debut. Alex Claremont-Diaz is the son of the President. Prince Henry is- well, a prince. They have been lowkey feuding for years, and their mutual animosity leads to a disaster at a wedding they are both attending. With the fiasco showcased around the world, they are forced to spend time together in an attempt to minimize the fallout.

And then they realize that all of their preconceptions might not be entirely accurate.

Finding excuses to visit each other and keeping their relationship a secret from the paparazzi isn’t easy, but Alex and Henry have never been happier than they are when they’re together. But how long can this last? Read more

Waiting for the Flood by Alexis Hall

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Waiting for the Flood is a contemporary m/m romance novel by Alexis Hall. I read the kindle edition of this book back in December during the reading spree in which I read most of Hall’s books. I recently listened to the Audible edition of this book, and I’m pleased to say that it is just as sweet the second time around.

It’s been several years since Edwin broke up with his boyfriend of ten years. Marius has moved on, but Edwin has been in a funk ever since then. It’s not that he doesn’t want to move on, but he’s not quite sure how.

When a flood comes to Edwin’s street in Oxford, an engineer arrives to assess the flood threat and mitigate as much damage as possible. Adam is confident and competent and seems to be interested in Edwin, although Edwin can hardly contemplate the possibility.

But Adam is going to be working in the neighborhood until the floodwaters recede, so there’ll be plenty of time for Edwin to get to know him. Read more

Play It Again by Aidan Wayne

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Play It Again was written by Aidan Wayne. The blurb on Netgalley piqued my interest, so I sent out a request. This is a m/m romance novel, but it’s slightly different than most of the other books in the genre.

Dovid Rosenstein is an American YouTube sensation. He and his twin sister Rachel produce Don’t Look Now, and they’ve amassed a substantial following; Dovid is blind, so he his reviews usually offer a unique perspective on accessibility.

Sam is an average guy living in Ireland. He has a very small YouTube following for his videogame playthroughs. When Dovid mentions Sam’s show on Don’t Look Now, Sam’s follower count immediately sees a dramatic increase. Read more

Gotta Catch Her by Kelly Haworth

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I read a lot of m/m romance- mostly, but not always, historical. I have recently decided that I need to make more of an effort to find and read more f/f romance. So, when I saw Gotta Catch Her by Kelly Haworth on Netgalley, I knew that I had to check it out.

Ann spends most of her time at her job, so in her downtime, she likes to unwind by taking her dog for walks and playing Ani-Min Move, a phone game that is just like Pokemon Go without any pesky licensing issues.

One day at the park, Ann meets Rachael, a single mother who also plays the game. There’s clearly a rapport, and there’s potential for their friendship to change into something more, but there’s never enough time for them to get to know each other- Ann’s job becomes more demanding, Rachael’s son gets sick; it seems as though their fledging relationship is doomed to fail. Is something so new worth fighting for? Read more