Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Larks Still Bravely Singing by Aster Glenn Gray (2021)

Heat Factor: Gentle, encouraging, exploratory, emotional

Character Chemistry: They have big hug energy to offer each other, even though they both think they shouldn’t ask for it themselves

Plot: Boarding school besties Robert and David both come out of WWI with scars both physical and mental, and find their way back to themselves with each other

Overall: My heart is so full and so wrecked

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Threefold Tie by Aster Glenn Gray (2020)

Heat Factor: Scenes as couples are closed door, but they have one interlude at the end

Character Chemistry: I felt all their feelings very intensely

Plot: Three people who have all loved each other for some time are shocked into re-examining their relationship

Overall: What a great feelings book

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter (2022)

Heat Factor: It starts out really emotionally heavy and gets lighter and steamier as it goes.

Character Chemistry: In the beginning it’s hard to see how much they have in common beyond their mental health issues, but they do end up building a fun, relaxing relationship together.

Plot: Aja has a panic attack in a grocery store right when it’s about to close, and is helped by a stranger—who happens to be her Bingo buddy’s grandson. Both of them have serious mental health issues, and an instantaneous connection that develops into something more (whether they’re ready for it or not).

Overall: It was so heavy in the beginning I had a hard time rooting for anything but more therapy for the two of them—but they did end up creating a really beautiful relationship.

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Dueling Review, Rant

Dueling Review: I’m So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson (2022)

Holly’s Take

Heat Factor: The first kiss happened around halfway, and then I called it quits.

Character Chemistry: Textbook definition of a toxic relationship.

Plot: Hudson bribes Kian into doing a fake relationship with him by promising an introduction to a guy who can get Kian his dream job.

Overall: DNF at the halfway point.

Ingrid’s Take

Heat Factor: I mean, it was nice and steamy. 

Character Chemistry: I could see the chemistry but there were so many aspects that didn’t seem to get worked out, that I didn’t necessarily buy in all the way.

Plot: Kian agrees to pretend to be Hudson’s boyfriend again despite his better judgment so that Hudson can get Kian a job that is supposed to launch his journalism career.

Overall: I ended up with very mixed feelings about this one.

Erin’s Take

Heat Factor: They have very playful sex.

Character Chemistry: Horny, not healthy.

Plot: Hudson inexplicably dumped Kian three months ago, but now he’s back asking Kian to fake being his boyfriend again because he never got around to telling his parents they broke up.

Overall: This should have been a 300 page grovel and IT WAS NOT.

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Review

Review: Book Boyfriend by Kris Ripper (2022)

Heat Factor: This one’s a proper slooow burn: no sex, barely even kisses

Character Chemistry: heavily centered on PK’s pining for Art

Plot: PK’s been in love with his best friend since college, and just when he thinks that Art will finally realize PK’s the boyfriend they’ve always wanted, Art’s dismissive comments crush PK into writing the perfect boyfriend into a romance novel

Overall: This one’s for readers who like single-protagonist personal growth arcs, super slow burns, and personal accountability

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