Looking for Group by Alexis Hall

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Looking for Group is a contemporary m/m romance novel written by Alexis Hall. I came across this book on my quest to read all things Hall. I knew it was going to be a bit different from the books in the Spires series or the Arden St. Ives books, but the gaming theme piqued my interest.

Drew is a university student in England who spends a lot of time playing an MMO called Heroes of Legend. After some in-game drama, Drew joins a new guild, and strikes up a rapport with a new guildmate. He thinks that she’s really cool, and he likes chatting with her. He’s developed a bit of a crush, and then he finds out that his new friend is a boy. Read more

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Pride by Ibi Zoboi

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Pride is a YA novel written by Ibi Zoboi. I was excited about this book because as the title suggests, this is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Pride and Prejudice variants, in all their delightful forms, are one of my major weaknesses, and I was interested to see Zoboi’s take on the literary classic.

Zuri Benitez loves her Bushwick neighborhood, and isn’t particularly impressed with the changes. She and her sisters have been watching the transformation of the building across the street with interest, and as the story begins, the Darcy family moves in. Zuri’s sister Janae hits it off with Ainsley Darcy, while Zuri clashes with Darius Darcy. Read more

How to Bang a Billionaire by Alexis Hall

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How to Bang a Billionaire was written by Alexis Hall, and it is the first book in the Arden St. Ives series of contemporary m/m romance novels. I initially read this book last December, but since then, I’ve read the book a second time and I’m currently about ¾ of the way through the Audible edition. I think all of Hall’s books are 5 star reads, but this is one of my absolute favorites.

Arden St. Ives is about to graduate from St. Sebastian’s College (Oxford). As the story begins, Arden’s has agreed to participate in a telethon because his best friend has laryngitis. Everyone hangs up almost as soon as he says why he’s calling, but then Arden inadvertently calls Caspian Hart, a reclusive billionaire- and St. Sebastian’s alumnus. Caspian doesn’t hang up on him, and Arden invites Caspian to a fundraising dinner before he realizes exactly who Caspian is. Arden doesn’t expect Caspian to actually show up, but he does.

And thus begins the absolutely riveting story of Arden St. Ives and Caspian Hart: the bright-eyed university graduate and the emotionally detached billionaire. Read more

For Real by Alexis Hall

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For Real is the third book in Alexis Hall’s Spires series of contemporary m/m romance novels. This book was my first experience with Hall, and if you don’t want to read the rest of the review, all you need to know is that I loved this book so much that I spent the rest of the week buying just about everything else that Hall has written.

Laurie has been in a slump since his boyfriend broke up with him. They were together for over a dozen years, but the relationship ended eight years ago, and Laurie is still not over it. He’s been going through the motions of normalcy for years, and he feels extremely pessimistic when his friends drag him to a specialty club.

But something is different- Laurie meets Toby, who is only nineteen years old, but knows that he has dominant tendencies, despite never having been in a relationship that explored that dynamic. Read more

The Time Traveler’s Guide to Modern Romance by Madeline J. Reynolds

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The Time Traveler’s Guide to Modern Romance was written by Madeline J. Reynolds. I’ve been reading a lot of YA lately, so I was excited about the opportunity to read this book.

Elias Caldwell is a young man in the Victorian era who simply doesn’t fit in. He sees no escape from the future his parents have laid out for him, but then his grandfather presents him with an opportunity: a pocket watch that allows him to time travel.

Elias ends up at an American boarding school, where he meets Tyler Forrester. Ty, an aspiring filmmaker, manages to catch Elias appearing out of thin air. The story is too fantastic to be believed, but Ty suspends his disbelief and agrees to help Elias acclimate to the 21st century.

It’s certainly a culture shock, but Elias quickly sees the benefits of modern life. He doesn’t feel as stifled as he did in his own era, and he is pleased to discover that it’s okay to be gay. Even better, he finds friendship and more with Ty.

Ty knows that sharing Elias’ story would almost definitely lead to his big breakthrough in the film world. But what about the ramifications of time travel being real? And what would happen to Elias if everybody knew that he was from over 100 years in the past?

This was a fun story. It unfolds from both Elias and Tyler’s points of view. The plot moves along at a fairly brisk pace, and sometimes it would have been beneficial to slow down for full effect. This is especially noticeable when examining the “relationship” that develops between Elias and Tyler. It’s almost instantaneous, and I would have loved to see the tension drawn out a little more.

I would recommend The Time Traveler’s Guide to Modern Romance. This will definitely appeal to the target demographic. Readers should know explanations behind the “science” of time travel are fairly light, but there’s a nice balance between the other elements of the plot. Overall, this is a fairly light book and a quick read. I’m looking forward to reading more from Reynolds in the future.

 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.

 

Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen

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Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) is a YA novel by L.C. Rosen. I found this book on the YA new release shelf at my town library. The TLDR version of this review is that I read this book in one day, and I loved it so much that I bought the Kindle edition AND the Audible editions as soon as I finished reading.

Jack is an openly gay high school student in Manhattan, and while he enjoys an active social life, it is not nearly as salacious as the rumors swirling around the NYC private school scene.

But still, because of his perceived expertise, his friend Jenna persuades him to a sex advice column for her blog based on readers’ questions. Jack is reluctant at first, but finds that he enjoys answering questions.

Around the same time, Jack finds a letter from a Secret Admirer in his locker. He doesn’t think much of it, but then he receives a second letter. And then a third. There’s a gradual shift in tone, but it quickly becomes clear that Jack is dealing with a stalker. Read more

Glitterland by Alexis Hall

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Glitterland is a contemporary m/m romance novel by Alexis Hall. I spent most of December reading just about all of Hall’s books. I think this was the third book I read, but after reading it, I bought the Audible edition solely for the Essex accent. Okay, and also for the angst.

Ash Winters has been dragged to a stag party in Brighton, which is where he meets Darian from Essex. Darian is not his usual type at all, but their encounter is only supposed to be a once night stand, so it doesn’t really matter.

When they meet again, it’s only supposed to be a hookup, but Ash finds himself enjoying Darian’s company. But his anxiety and depression make him doubt that what he’s feeling is real. Ash and Darian come from completely different worlds, but can they possibly find happiness together? Read more

Between the Lines by Sally Malcolm

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Between the Lines was written by Sally Malcolm. This contemporary m/m romance novel is set in the same world as Perfect Day, one of Malcolm’s other books. I don’t read a lot of contemporary romance, but the plot of this book piqued my interest.

Theo has arrived in New Milton to close the deal on purchasing the Majestic, a seaside hotel that has fallen into disrepair. This is a big opportunity for Theo to finally impress his father, who sees him as incompetent.

Luca has returned to the Majestic to try to talk his mother out of selling the hotel to a big corporation. Luca grew up at the Majestic, but it hasn’t felt much like home to him for years. His stepfather does not accept that Luca is gay, and so Luca lives a nomadic lifestyle- living by the beach during the summer and the ski slopes in the winter. Read more

King Consort by J.R. Gray

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King Consort is a contemporary m/m romance novel written by J.R. Gray. I found this book on Kindle Unlimited, and it piqued my interest because I love all things royal family.

Louis is the heir to the British throne, and he maintains a carefully crafted playboy persona in order to hide his sexuality. While on a goodwill trip to North America, Louis meets Xavier, who he later finds out is a paparazzo. But what seems like a disaster turns into an odd sort of partnership. There’s clearly a connection, but there are so many reasons for why something lasting between them can never work. They’re determined to enjoy their present, with no expectations of a future together. Read more

Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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Us is a contemporary m/m romance novel by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. It’s the second book in their Him/Us duology. I listened to the Audible edition of Him earlier this year, but only recently got around to listening to Us.

The story picks up a couple of months after the events of Him. Jamie and Wes are living together in Toronto- Jamie works as a coach for an elite youth hockey team, and Wes is a rookie for the city’s NHL team. However, they are living as roommates because Wes isn’t ready to be an openly gay professional athlete. Their luxurious apartment is their sanctuary, but that changes when one of Wes’ boisterous teammates moves into the building. He wants to hang out all the time, and it’s becoming harder and harder for Wes and Jamie to keep their relationship a secret. Is this a sustainable plan for them or will it tear them apart? Read more