Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

Book Description

Felix Ever After meets Becky Albertalli in this swoon-worthy, heartfelt rom-com about how a transgender teen’s first love challenges his ideas about perfect relationships.

Noah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary, a collection of trans happily ever afters. There’s just one problem—all the stories are fake. What started as the fantasies of a trans boy afraid to step out of the closet has grown into a beacon of hope for trans readers across the globe.

When a troll exposes the blog as fiction, Noah’s world unravels. The only way to save the Diary is to convince everyone that the stories are true, but he doesn’t have any proof. Then Drew walks into Noah’s life, and the pieces fall into place: Drew is willing to fake-date Noah to save the Diary. But when Noah’s feelings grow beyond their staged romance, he realizes that dating in real life isn’t quite the same as finding love on the page.

In this charming novel by Emery Lee, Noah will have to choose between following his own rules for love or discovering that the most romantic endings are the ones that go off script.

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All Kinds of Other by James Sie

Book Description

In this tender, nuanced coming-of-age love story, two boys—one who is cis, and one who is trans—have been guarding their hearts, until their feelings for each other give them a reason to stand up to their fears.

Two boys are starting over at a new high school.

Jules is still figuring out what it means to be gay…and just how out he wants to be.

Jack is reeling from a fall-out with his best friend…and isn’t ready to let anyone else in just yet.

When Jules and Jack meet, the sparks are undeniable. But when a video linking Jack to a pair of popular trans vloggers is leaked to the school, the revelations thrust both boys into the spotlight they’d tried to avoid.

Suddenly Jack and Jules must face a choice: to play it safe and stay under the radar, or claim their own space in the world—together.

My Review

I loved the way in which the narrative unfolds in this book. It begins with Jules’ first person perspective as he first sees Jack from a distance at a friend’s house and then meets him again at school. We get to know him and his family life—parents are divorced, and he’s starting public school for the first time in his life. He’s getting to know Jack better and then there’s an incident at school.

From there, the perspective switches to Jack, and we go back to the end of the summer when he first arrives in Los Angeles with his would-be actor father. They’re both here for a fresh start, and Jack will have the opportunity to start school as himself for the first time. As was the case with Jules’ portion, Jack’s part of the book leads up to the same incident.

The final part of the book consists of alternating chapters as both boys—and their families—deal with the incident.

Interspersed throughout the narrative are references to people named Adam and Evie. At first these interludes don’t make much sense, but eventually they do. I can’t say much more, but they add another layer of depth to the big picture.

Jack and Jules find each other at a time in which they both needed someone the most. Their initial misgivings give way to a mutual understanding, as they bond over the gulab jamun that Jack’s mom taught him to make.

I would absolutely recommend All Kinds of Other. I had a hard time putting it down because I had to find out what was going to happen next. This is a heavy story at times, but there’s always an undercurrent of hope, and that’s what kept me riveted. I’m looking forward to reading more from Sie in the future.

I received an ARC of this book from Quill Tree Books/NetGalley

The Hate Project by Kris Ripper: Review and Exclusive Excerpt

Book information

Book Description

This arrangement is either exactly what they need–or a total disaster

Oscar is a grouch.

That’s a well-established fact among his tight-knit friend group, and they love him anyway.

Jack is an ass.

Jack, who’s always ready with a sly insult, who can’t have a conversation without arguing, and who Oscar may or may not have hooked up with on a strict no-commitment, one-time-only basis. Even if it was extremely hot.

Together, they’re a bickering, combative mess.

When Oscar is fired (answering phones is not for the anxiety-ridden), he somehow ends up working for Jack. Maybe while cleaning out Jack’s grandmother’s house they can stop fighting long enough to turn a one-night stand into a frenemies-with-benefits situation.

The house is an archaeological dig of love and dysfunction, and while Oscar thought he was prepared, he wasn’t. It’s impossible to delve so deeply into someone’s past without coming to understand them at least a little, but Oscar has boundaries for a reason—even if sometimes Jack makes him want to break them all down.

After all, hating Jack is less of a risk than loving him…

The Love Study

Book 1: The Love Study (available now!)

Book 2: The Hate Project (available April 27)

Book 3: The Life Revamp (coming November 30)

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Up in Smoke by Annabeth Albert: Review and Exclusive Excerpt

Book Information

About the Book

Three Men and a Baby meets Backdraft with explosive chemistry and heartfelt feels.

Freewheeling smoke jumper Brandt Wilder thrives on adrenaline. He’s never met a parachute he can’t repair or a dangerous situation he couldn’t wrangle his way out of. He’s popular and fun-loving and not at all looking to settle down or form lasting relationships. It’s a lifestyle that’s served him well…right up until the day he finds a baby on his doorstep.

Shane Travis is used to putting his country music career—and his own happiness—on hold after his sister rolls through his life. Like last spring when she convinced him to try skydiving for his birthday—and she walked away with the hot parachute instructor.

Now he gets to deliver the piece of news that will upend Brandt’s carefree life: he very well might be a dad.

Shane’s niece is safe in Brandt’s strong, capable hands, but too many questions remain unanswered. Co-parenting while they sort it out leads to late-night talks, and soul-bearing confessions lead to a most inconvenient attraction. Still, Shane can’t leave this makeshift family behind—even if it means playing house with the one man he can’t resist.

Hotshots

Book 1: Burn Zone (available now!)

Book 2: High Heat (available now!)

Book 3: Feel the Fire (available now!)

Book 4: Up in Smoke (coming April 27)

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Where There’s a Kilt There’s a Way by Ella Stainton

How excited am I to get another round of Ainsley and Joachim? SO EXCITED!

This book takes our duo to Sweden, where Joachim has a temporary post and Ainsley is researching a ghost moose. Jealousy arises when Joachim learns that Ainsley will be traveling with a strapping blonde professor with similar inclinations to their own, but the green-eyed monster becomes a secondary priority when it’s revealed that the aforementioned handsome gentleman may have murdered his last lover.

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The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting by KJ Charles

While I absolutely love everything KJ Charles has ever written and everything she has yet to write, I have to say that the Regency-era stories are my most favorite among the sea of five star reads. Needless to say, I was excited about the opportunity of jumping into an all-new queer Regency romance.

Robin and Marianne Loxleigh have come to London with a singular purpose: scam the good people of the ton, and if they play their cards right, walk away with a wealthy bride and groom, setting themselves up for life.

Their plan grinds to a halt when Sir John Hartlebury catches on to the grift. In order to avoid utter ruination, they come to an… agreement of sorts. But surely—anything that happens as a result of this…indecent proposal… is just part of the terms, right? Neither of them is going to do anything silly like catch feelings for each other? Oh, what a lark that would be!

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Best Laid Plans by Roan Parrish: Review and Excerpt

Book Details

About the Book

Title: Best Laid Plans

Author: Roan Parrish

Series: Garnet Run, #2 

Imprint: Carina Press (Carina Adores)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Romantic Leads: Male/Male

On-Sale: February 23, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Price: $14.99 US

ISBN: 9781335924803

Book Description: A man who’s been moving his whole life finally finds a reason to stay put.

Charlie Matheson has spent his life taking care of things. When his parents died two days before his eighteenth birthday, he took care of his younger brother, even though that meant putting his own dreams on hold. He took care of his father’s hardware store, building it into something known several towns over. He took care of the cat he found in the woods…so now he has a cat.

When a stranger with epic tattoos and a glare to match starts coming into Matheson’s Hardware, buying things seemingly at random and lugging them off in a car so beat-up Charlie feels bad for it, his instinct is to help. When the man comes in for the fifth time in a week, Charlie can’t resist intervening.

Rye Janssen has spent his life breaking things. Promises. His parents’ hearts. Leases. He isn’t used to people wanting to put things back together—not the crumbling house he just inherited, not his future and certainly not him. But the longer he stays in Garnet Run, the more he can see himself belonging there. And the more time he spends with Charlie, the more he can see himself falling asleep in Charlie’s arms…and waking up in them.

Is this what it feels like to have a home—and someone to share it with?

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Saffron Alley by A.J. Demas

After the tumultuous events in Sword Dance, Varazda is looking forward to hosting his new friend Damiskos at his home in Boukos. The plan is for a sedate sojourn and the opportunity to get to know each other better in a lowkey environment free from the high-stakes political intrigue and drama that affected their introduction to each other.

Apparently, this is too much to ask for—between another assassination plot and the vicious attack [checks notes]… goose, this second meeting is just as chaotic as the first. It seems as though poor Varazda and Dami will never get their well deserved vacation together.

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Unforgotten by Garrett Leigh: Review and Excerpt

Book Details

About the book

Title: Unforgotten

Author: Garrett Leigh 

Series: Forgiven, #2

Imprint: Carina Press 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Romantic Leads: Male/Male

On-Sale: February 16, 2021

Format: eBook

Price: $4.99 US

ISBN: 9780369700117

Book Description: Billy Daley hasn’t been home in years, and he likes it that way. He’s just fine on his own—he has a cash-in-hand job at a scrapyard, a half-feral cat to keep him company, and many miles between him, his hometown and all the baggage that comes with it.

Until the job goes sideways. Suddenly he’s back in Rushmere, working for none other than his brother’s best friend—a man whose kiss Billy can’t seem to forget.

Gus Amour’s memories of Billy Daley are all spiky edges, lips crushed against lips and a reckless streak that always ended in trouble. But when Billy needs a place to stay, Gus steps in. He’d do anything for the Daley family, including living, and working, side by side with a man who makes his heart beat too fast and his blood run too hot—two things he’s been running from for years.

It doesn’t take long before their easy banter, lingering touches and heated glances become a temptation too hard to resist. But falling into bed and falling in love are two different things, and love has never come easy to either Billy or Gus. Only when fate threatens to steal away their opportunity for a second chance will they realize they don’t need easy.

They just need each other.

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