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

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A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

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A Girl Like That was written by Tanaz Bhathena. I read this book a while ago, but I have fallen behind with my review writing. I found this book on the new release shelf of the young adult section of my library. The premise interested me, so I added it to my pile.

The book opens with the deaths of the protagonist Zarin and her boyfriend Porus. Armed with this knowledge, the reader must delve into the backstory, which details the events that led up to this untimely demise.

Zarin is a teenage girl living in Saudi Arabia. She’s Indian, and she lives in an expatriate community with her aunt and uncle. She has already acquired a reputation by the time she meets Porus, but she is so much more than “the girl like that”. Her life is heartbreakingly complicated, and her story deserves to be told. Read more

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

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Little & Lion was written by Brandy Colbert. I read this book a while ago, but I’m woefully behind with my book reviewing. I found this book on the new release shelf of the young adult section of my town library. I’d seen this book on a few lists of Hot YA books, so I happily added it to my pile.

Suzette returns home to Los Angeles from boarding school, and tries to settle into life with her blended family. Her stepbrother Lionel has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and she wants to be there for him. Rejoining her family serves as a pleasant distraction from having to think about what happened at school. Read more

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

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The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza was written by Shaun David Hutchinson. I read this book a while ago, but I have fallen woefully behind with my book reviewing. Anyway, I found it on the new release shelf of the young adult section of my town library. The premise interested me, so I added it to the pile of books that I was borrowing.

Elena Mendoza is already somewhat of an oddity because she’s the product of a virgin birth via parthenogenesis. But then she saves the life of her crush by putting her hands on the girl and completely healing a gunshot wound. Elena doesn’t know what to make of this startling development, and neither do her classmates. Some of them think that it’s some sort of trickery and that Elena is looking for attention, and others think that Elena can perform miracles. Some of these kids in the latter group approach Elena and ask her if they can heal people in their lives. Elena complies, but her healing powers do not come without a steep cost. As strange things begin to happen all around her, Elena needs to figure out what role her powers are playing in these events, and what the future holds for her. Read more

Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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Him was written by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, and it’s the first book in their Him/Us duology of contemporary m/m romance novels. I picked up the Audible edition of this book during a sale because I’d heard a lot of chatter in one of my Facebook groups. I actually listened to this a while ago, but I am woefully behind with my reviews.

Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley were best friends who spent their summers at hockey camp together. But things got a little weird on the last night of their final year after a dare turned into a proposition. By the time their paths cross at the college hockey championships, they have not spoken for four years, and each thinks the other is mad at him. Read more

Borrowing Blue by Lucy Lennox

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Borrowing Blue was written by Lucy Lennox. It’s the first book in her Made Marian series of contemporary m/m romance novels. I picked up the Audible edition of this book as part of a sale, and I don’t and I actually listened to it a while ago, but I am way behind with my reviews, so I am just getting around to it now.

Blue is at a vineyard for his sister’s wedding when he sees his ex-boyfriend walk into the room with his new boyfriend- but wait- the boyfriend is wearing a ring. Given that Blue and his ex broke up only about six months ago after dating for several years, this is utterly mortifying for Blue. Luckily, the guy sitting next to him is more than happy to share a kiss so that the dreadful ex won’t realize how sad and alone Blue really is. Read more

When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger

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When Life Gives You Lululemons was written by Lauren Weisberger. This is a spinoff to her wildly popular novel, The Devil Wears Prada. I must admit, I didn’t even remember that there was already a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada, but I was excited about this spinoff because I was looking forward to a relatively light and fun “beach read”.

Fans of The Devil Wears Prada will remember Emily as Miranda Priestly’s assistant. She has moved on from that part of her life, and she now works as an image consultant. She’s going through a rough patch with work, and ends up in Greenwich, visiting Miriam- an old friend from summer camp. Read more

Out, Proud, and Prejudiced by Megan Reddaway

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Out, Proud, and Prejudiced is a contemporary romance novel by Megan Reddaway. It’s also a gay adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and as soon as I saw the description, I knew that I had to read this book.

If you’re a fan of Jane Austen’s literary classic, the basic storyline should be familiar to you, with the notable exception of most of the characters being gay men. Bennet Rourke meets Darius Lanniker, and their mutual dislike is almost palpable. They are forced to endure each other because their friends are dating. Misunderstandings occur, mostly due to the machinations of the villainous Wyndham. Can Bennet and Darius see beyond their initial impressions of each other, or are their differences far too great? Read more

Ship It by Britta Lundin

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Ship It is a YA novel by debut author Britta Lundin. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because I enjoy YA books, and the premise intrigued me.

Claire is a teenage girl living in rural Idaho. She doesn’t have a lot of friends at school, but she is a very active member in the Demon Heart fan community online. She writes slash fanfiction (gay romance) about the two male protagonists, and is absolutely convinced of the chemistry between them. When a comic convention comes to Boise, Claire is eager to attend the Demon Heart panel. She asks the actors whether or not he’ll be making SmokeHeart (the romantic pairing) canon (a real part of the show). Forest, who is one of the actors, answers rather rudely, and Claire is devastated and embarrassed. However, she ends up winning a huge prize- the chance to travel with the cast to two more conventions.

Claire knows that she needs to mend things with Forest, but at the same time, she wants to convince him of SmokeHeart’s importance. She also wants to convince Jamie, the showrunner, to make SmokeHeart canon. She’s rather persistent in her efforts. Read more

White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig

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White Rabbit is a YA novel written by Caleb Roehrig. I haven’t read any of his other books, but I was excited about the opportunity to read this one because the plot intrigued me.

Rufus is at a Fourth of July party when he receives a frantic phone call from his half sister. They don’t have much of a relationship, so Rufus knows that things must really be bad if April is reaching out to him. Rufus is less than thrilled that his ex-boyfriend Bash wants to come along, but since Bash is the one with a car, there isn’t much of a choice in the matter.

Rufus and Bash walk into a crime scene, and then they spend the rest of that one long night trying to figure out what happened at the lake house where they found April. They crisscross the town, interviewing and reinterviewing the other people who were at the lake house. Everyone has their reasons for being evasive, and truthfulness seems to come at a premium. Read more