Review: Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble by Alexis Hall (2022)

Winner Bakes All, Book #2

Review of Winner Bakes All, Book #1

Heat Factor: Tariq is waiting for marriage, and we’re going to respect that decision

Character Chemistry: They’ve got a cute grumpy-sunshine thing going on—when Paris can get out of his head

Plot: Paris and Tariq are both competing on Bake Expectations, and the internet casts Paris as the season’s villain.

Overall: Was this a difficult book for me to read? Yup, it sure was. Did I bad decision book club it anyway? Yup, I sure did.

Continue reading “Review: Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble by Alexis Hall (2022)”
Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Alexis Hall

Looking for a new author to try? Here’s everything you need to know about Alexis Hall, whose books include Boyfriend Material, Glitterland, and Something Fabulous.

What He Writes: 

Queer romances, mostly (but not all) M/M, mostly (but not all) contemporary. Plus some mysteries. And some steampunk adventure stories. And some literary pastiches. He’s incredibly prolific.

What Makes Him Unique: 

He writes a new bio for every book he releases. 

But really, his voice is one of the most unique author voices we’ve ever found. No matter the particulars of a book, in terms of time period or subgenre, his books are recognizably his.

Writing Style: 

Hall’s books cater to a pretty broad range of audiences—historical romance fans, urban fantasy fans, rom coms that are actually funny fans…His books also span a range of heat levels, from no sex (Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble) to firmly closed door (Boyfriend Material) to waxing rhapsodic about the glories of anuses (Something Fabulous) to full-on erotic romance (Arden St. Ives).

However, his narrative voice remains remarkably consistent. Expect tongue-in-cheek literary and pop culture references, absurdist comedy, and single POV narration that, even when done in third person, really captures the unique voice of a character. His narrative voice is very very British; class conflict frequently plays a role in his romances. Also expect extremely messy POV characters who are dealing with trauma or mental health issues.

Why We Love Him:

Hall excels at writing books that are hilarious while simultaneously thoughtfully grappling with serious issues the characters are dealing with. When we pick up one of his books, we know we’re going to laugh at least once, and that we’re also going to be punched in the gut with emotion.

How We Feel When We’re Reading His Books:

He Might Not Be For You If:

Look, there are messy characters, and then there are Messy Characters, and Hall writes the latter. Being in someone’s head as they’re processing anxiety, depression, and trauma is not always pleasant or comfortable. This also means that his protagonists are not always particularly likable.

Sometimes the comedy veers into the too-absurd and silly territory, so if you prefer your comedy more understated, Hall may not be the author for you. 

Steer clear if you don’t like profanity. 

Notable Quotation:

“‘Polite and well reasoned’?” Oh God, now Tarleton had gone back to repeating everything Valentine said. “Have you not read a single novel?”

“I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”

“Well, if you had, you’d know that ‘polite and well reasoned’ are not qualities people look for in marriage proposals.”

“For heaven’s sake”— Valentine tried, and failed, to keep the impatience from his voice—“if we lived life as though it were a novel, we’d spend all our time becoming embroiled in improbable adventures and spouting nonsense about filling our vast and empty souls with joyful aches.”

“Yes,” said Tarleton, “and?”

Something Fabulous

Content Warnings:

Struggles with mental health (depression, anxiety), trauma, and characters who act like general wankers.

The Bottom Line:

Hall is a brilliant writer whose books don’t always make us swoon, but they do always make us feel.

Start With:

Boyfriend Material probably has the largest crossover appeal.

Recommended Read, Review

Review: Husband Material by Alexis Hall (2022)

London Calling, Book #2

Review of London Calling, Book #1

Heat Factor: Lots of kissing and even some canoodling, but it quickly fades to black

Character Chemistry: There is honestly nothing better than the ways that Luc and Oliver show they love each other, both with little, everyday things and when they both let all their messes hang out

Plot: To wed or not to wed? That is the question. But it’s not really a question because the real grownups all get wed… Right? RIGHT?!

Overall: There is so much humor and love in this book, and I had such a blast reading it, but I also had to check myself in the later sections as the writing on the wall became more and more clear

Continue reading “Review: Husband Material by Alexis Hall (2022)”

Review: A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall (2022)

Heat Factor: A little bit of feisty bedroom action in an otherwise very gentle book

Character Chemistry: So. Much. Angst.

Plot: How to buck oppressive expectations + Interrogating gendered expectations

Overall: I expected this book to make me cry, and it totally did not.

Continue reading “Review: A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall (2022)”
Dueling Review, Recommended Read

Dueling Review: Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall (2022)

Holly got an ARC of Something Fabulous for herself, and Erin was like, “You got that for me, right?” Obviously, that meant we had to review this book together. It’s time for a Dueling Review!

Something Fabulous, Book #1

Erin’s Take

Heat Factor: I don’t think I’ve ever read (highly enthusiastic) rimming as the first interlude, and it was a refreshing change of pace 

Character Chemistry: In its essentials, the grumpy one is soft for the sunshine one. Or, rather, the rigid one is soft for the free spirited one. 

Plot: A very bad proposal of marriage leads to a road trip of personal discovery

Overall: I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more, and then I sighed with happiness

Holly’s Take

Heat Factor: Unexpectedly explicit about arseholes

Character Chemistry: Utterly irritating, utterly captivated

Plot: Valentine finds himself the villain in a gothic novel

Overall: I found the silly first half a slog, but my heart went pitter-pat in the end

Continue reading “Dueling Review: Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall (2022)”