Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

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Wayward Son came out in September, but I am woefully behind with my book reviews. My middle schooler and I actually had the chance to meet her when she came to the Boston area, and that was an amazing evening.

I was excited when I first heard there was going to be a sequel to Carry On, but I’ll admit to some skepticism when I found out that Simon and Baz and Penny were going on an American road trip. But my fears were unfounded; it turns out that the United States was exactly where the gang needed to go.

Readers should start with Carry On in order to understand the plot, but needless to say, everyone is trying to move on from the events of Carry On, and this is something Simon has been struggling with. What does the Chosen One do once the job is done? Penny decides that they all need to go visit Agatha in San Diego, and what starts out as a visit turns into a rescue mission. Along the way, they encounter a variety of personalities: some are friendly, and some are hostile—but the fate of the world is at stake again. Read more

In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

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I don’t remember who recommended Roan Parrish to me, but this book seemed like a good place to start since it’s the first in a series.

Dan has always felt like an outsider: he is too cultured for his father and brothers, and he was not cultured enough for his college classmates. But when he receives an opportunity to teach at a small college in Michigan, he sees an opportunity for a fresh start.

Dan meets Rex after his job interview, and there’s clearly some chemistry between them, but nothing happens because there’s an injured dog that needs to go to the vet (long story). Read more

The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

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The Widow of Rose House was written by Diana Biller. I’m a big fan of historical romance; I don’t read very much of American historical romance, but the premise piqued my interest.

Alva Webster has returned to New York after living abroad, accompanied by her scandalous reputation. She intends to renovate a Hyde Park mansion, detailing the process in an interior design book full of photographs, an innovative and creative venture that hasn’t been done before.

But the workers have abandoned the project because they say the house is haunted.

And then this pesky scientist keeps popping up because he wants to study the ghosts.

Alva doesn’t want to rely on anybody but herself, but Samuel Moore is sweet and kind and very earnest. Read more

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

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Twice in a Blue Moon is a contemporary romance novel written by Christina Lauren. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because I absolutely loved Autoboyography, which is one of their other books.

The story begins fourteen years ago with a trip of a lifetime to London for Tate and her Nana Jude. While in London, they meet fellow Americans Sam and Luther. They end up spending a lot of time together sightseeing. Tate and Sam hit it off right away, and she trusts him with her biggest secret- that she’s the estranged daughter of one of Hollywood’s most famous leading men. Trusting Sam turns out to be a huge mistake, and Tate’s world is changed forever.   Read more

Goalie Interference by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

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Goalie Interference is the second book in Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn’s Hat Trick series of contemporary m/m hockey novels. I enjoyed reading the Him/Us duology (by writing team Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy) and I was excited about the opportunity to read another hockey romance.

Emmitt gets called up from the minor leagues to be the Atlanta Venom’s newest goalie. This is a dream come true, but there’s one obstacle in his way- Ryu has been the Venom’s goalie, and he’s none too thrilled about this new hotshot interloper. Read more

No Good Men by Thea McAlistair

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No Good Men is a historical mystery novel written by Thea McAlistair. This book piqued my interest because it’s set in the 1930s and features gangsters and a m/m romantic subplot.

Alex is in his early 20s, and working alongside his mentor Donnie as a bodyguard for the mayor. They’re at a nightclub one night, and while Alex is talking to a man at the bar during his break, the mayor and Donnie are both shot and killed.

It turns out that Sev, the man Alex was taking to, is the nightclub’s manager, and he has mob ties. The mayor’s death might also be linked to organized crime, and so Alex begins asking questions, although it is more for his mentor’s sake than for the mayor.

And of course, the mayor’s murder wasn’t an accident, or even one disgruntled citizen. As more people connected to the case are killed, it’s clear that Alex is in the middle of a dangerous situation. Read more

American Love Story by Adriana Herrera

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American Love Story is the third book in Adriana Herrera’s Dreamers series of contemporary m/m romance novels. I was so excited about the opportunity to read this book because I absolutely loved the first two books in the series about a group of guys from NYC who all have Caribbean heritage; they’ve been friends since middle/high school, and now one by one, they’re finding their happily ever afters. I’ve been waiting to see how Patrice and Easton’s story was going to play out ever since Herrera dropped hints about them in American Dreamer. So, needless to say, I was ridiculously excited to finally get to read their story.

Patrice has just started a job as a professor at Cornell economics professor, and returning to Ithaca brings him back in contact with Easton, a local lawyer. Patrice and Easton had a short-term attachment about a year ago, when Patrice was helping his friend Nesto get his food truck up and running in Ithaca. Patrice and Easton’s chemistry was off the charts hot, but things dissolved when Patrice returned to the City.

So can they just pick up where they left off? Read more

Permanent Record by Mary H. K. Choi

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Permanent Record is a YA novel written by Mary H. K. Choi. Even though I’m one of those jaded xennials and moving farther away from the target demographic every year, I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because the premise sounded interesting.

Pablo dropped out of college, and now spends his nights working in a NYC deli, and he’s quick to inform the reader that even though it’s open 24 hours, it’s not a bodega because it sells all sorts of fancy rich-people-food.

One night, a girl comes into the not-bodega, and Pablo recognizes her- she’s Leanna Smart- a child star who grew up into an international pop sensation. They strike up a conversation, and Leanna is impressed that Pablo doesn’t recognize her right away. This is, perhaps, why she invites Pablo into her inner circle. Read more

American Royals by Katharine McGee

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American Royals is the first book in Katharine McGee’s new YA alternative history series. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because the premise sounded very interesting.

The book begins with the following premise: after the American Revolution, George Washington became the new nation’s first king, and ever since then, his descendants have sat on the throne. An aristocratic class also developed, with titles like the Duke of Boston, but most of society is exactly the same.

The story begins with Beatrice, the king’s oldest child and heir, being tasked with finding a future spouse at the upcoming royal ball. From there, the story unfolds from four unique perspectives: Read more

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