Recommended Read, Review

Review: Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall (2020)

Heat Factor: Oliver has some stern daddy energy, and I am here 👏 for 👏 it! 👏👏👏

Character Chemistry: These two beautiful wrecks gave me butterflies

Plot: “My life is a bit of a mess, and a fake relationship will possibly help me fix it. Or complicate it. Or make it so much better.” 

Overall: I stayed up until 4 a.m. to finish this book and didn’t even realize it. And I wish I could both devour it again and slowly savor it.

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Finding Joy by Adriana Herrera (2020)

Heat Factor: It’s a slow burn and it’s HOT

Character Chemistry: These two are 100% meant to be together and I needed them in my life

Plot: Desta, a humanitarian aid worker, finally returns to Ethiopia after having lived there with his parents as a small child. He soon meets Elias, who is studying psychology and works for the same humanitarian aid agency. Basically, they become this beautiful, sexy thing that will haunt me for years to come.

Overall: This book knocked me straight on my hiney in all the best ways, and you have to read it.

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Review

Review: Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi (2013)

Heat Factor: Mostly pining

Character Chemistry: Alana has a major boner for the ship, and a minor boner for the captain

Plot: Alana stows away on a ship whose crew is searching for her sister; many adventures ensue

Overall: This book was really slow and also really trippy

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Listicle

Saturday Smutty Six: Trans Romance on Erin’s TBR

Ahoy! This week in our Saturday Smutty Six, we’ve once again extracted one letter out of LGBTQIA+ to bring you stories of trans people finding their HEAs (or, in the case of the YA story, a HFN, because while we’d love to think a teenager is all set for the HEA, it’s a bit bananas to consider in reality) (nevermind that Erin did marry her high school sweetheart).

Compared to our ace romance from last week, this week it was much easier to 1) find trans romance at all and 2) find Own Voices romance in this category. In this case, we’re talking trans women writing about trans women and trans men writing about trans men. Some of these authors are on Erin’s TBR more than once, too!

Titles link to the book’s Amazon page. 

The Craft of Love by E.E. Ottoman

E.E. Ottoman often appears in recommendation lists when people are talking about trans romance. While several of his books are on my TBR, one of the most popular and most recommended is The Craft of Love, a historical novella about a silversmith and a seamstress in New York. Bonus points: E.E. Ottoman is a trans man, so this is an Own Voices story.

Kinship and Kindness by Kara Jorgensen

This book isn’t even out yet, but it involves dirigibles in Louisiana, and you know I’ve got a soft spot for paranormal romance and M/M romance, so I’m pretty confident this book is right up my alley. Power and secrets and drama, OH MY! Bonus points: Jorgensen is a queer, non-binary author of paranormal romance. I’ve actually got a few of their books on my TBR.

Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Peter Darling is a reimagining of Peter Pan (obviously), in which Wendy Darling is Peter Pan. In this story, Peter embraces his true identity once he’s grown, and there’s some romance going on with Captain Hook, including maybe some anti-hero stuff? I am very intrigued. Bonus points: Austin Chant is a trans man, so this is an Own Voices story.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

In If I Was Your Girl, Amanda is starting at a new school and befriends Grant, and feelings blossom. But Amanda’s keeping the secret that she’s trans, and she’s afraid of telling Grant the truth because she’s afraid of losing the new life she’s built at her new school. It’s not adult romance, it’s YA, but it sounds like it’ll get me right in the feels. Bonus points: Russo is a trans woman, so this is an Own Voices story.

Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote

Ben is moving into a new house with new roommates after chest surgery and hormone treatment. Based on this intro sentence alone, we can imagine that the story will involve a sort of journey of self-discovery, including Ben getting comfortable with dating and with the idea that he will be loved for himself. I bet it’s gonna be an angsty one! Bonus points: Northcote is a trans man, so this is an Own Voices story.

Roller Girl by Vanessa North

I found this story when I read a piece by Sarah MacLean in a WaPo romance recommendations article, and it sounds sweet and kind of low key. Tina is a trans woman figuring out her life after a divorce, and, thanks to Joe, she finds an outlet in roller derby. She also finds Joe, and “we can’t tell anyone about this” sex is really fun, let’s be honest.


Other books with a trans protagonist that we’ve already highlighted in a Saturday Smutty Six this month include Hold Me by Courtney Milan and The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter by K.J. Charles

Have you read any great romance featuring trans protagonists lately? Please let us know what you recommend in the comments!

Recommended Read, Review

Review: Just Like That by Cole McCade (2020)

Albin Academy, Book 1

Heat Factor: Pretty sure my couch is just a pile of ashes now

Character Chemistry: Holy forking shirtballs! Yes!

Plot: Not-put-together man needs to figure himself out, too-put-together man needs to address his emotions.

Overall: Cole McCade can rip my guts out and give me a massive book hangover anytime.

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