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Bookish Memes Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday – February 9, 2022

Waiting On Wednesday post image

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where you spotlight a highly anticipated book.


Today’s spotlight is on Kiss & Tell by Adib Khorram, a YA lgbtqiap+ boy band romance (yes please!💕).

This story sounds spectacular and feelings. I’m intrigued by the questions already posed by the synopsis. I love the color palette of the cover art – cotton candy perfection! I think this will be a fun, possibly heartbreaking, and engaging read, so I hope there’s a chance at some point this year for me to read it.

Kiss & Tell releases March 22, 2022.

Kiss & Tell by Adib Khorram (cover)
Image via Goodreads

ABOUT: A smart, sexy YA novel about a boy band star, his first breakup, his first rebound, and what it means to be queer in the public eye, from award-winning author Adib Khorram.

Hunter never expected to be a boy band star, but, well, here he is. He and his band Kiss & Tell are on their first major tour of North America, playing arenas all over the United States and Canada (and getting covered by the gossipy press all over North America as well). Hunter is the only gay member of the band, and he just had a very painful breakup with his first boyfriend–leaked sexts, public heartbreak, and all–and now everyone expects him to play the perfect queer role model for teens.

But Hunter isn’t really sure what being the perfect queer kid even means. Does it mean dressing up in whatever The Label tells him to wear for photo shoots and pretending never to have sex? (Unfortunately, yes.) Does it mean finding community among the queer kids at the meet-and-greets after K&T’s shows? (Fortunately, yes.) Does it include a new relationship with Kaivan, the star of the band opening for K&T on tour? (He hopes so.) But when The Label finds out about Hunter and Kaivan, it spells trouble—for their relationship, for the perfect gay boy Hunter plays for the cameras, and, most importantly, for Hunter himself.


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
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Book Reviews

Book Review: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

25 Days of Book Reviews logo.

DAY 7

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
Image via Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult, LGBTQIAP+ Romance, Contemporary Romance
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Will Tavares is the dream summer fling ― he’s fun, affectionate, kind ― but just when Ollie thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. Now Ollie is one prince short of his fairy tale ending, and to complicate the fairy tale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to… except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted ― and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.

Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship, especially since this new, bro-y jock version of Will seems to go from hot to cold every other week. But then Will starts “coincidentally” popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, and Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.

Right? Right.

 

Light blue text that says "Book Review" over a stem of while orchids.

Only Mostly Devastated was everything! Soul-stirring and fun, the thrill and anguish of first love, the desire to fit in and be your true self. I loved this story so much.

I was highly invested in Ollie’s story. His growth throughout was riveting during the best and worst of times. He’s dealt a curve ball having to remain in North Carolina during his senior year of high school, adapting to a new social environment, his aunt’s declining health due to cancer, and attending the same school as his summer love. But I like how Ollie tries to rise to the occasion, keep calm and carry one, i.e. only mostly devastated.

Ollie’s character makes me smile, his self-awareness great to see. His internal thoughts are hysterical and his personality makes you instantly want to be his best friend forever. I love his passion for music and adore the nickname one of his new friends gives him, Ollie-oop.

Ollie and Will’s relationship is like a catch-22. One the one hand, Will isn’t out and isn’t ready for people to know, deserving to take as long as he needs to because there’s no time limit. On the other hand, Ollie can’t help feeling dejected and disappointed by Will’s behavior even though Ollie understands and empathizes with the reasons behind it.

Clearly, the boys still have strong feelings for each other. But all the teen angst and drama, societal and family pressures, and rage-inducing homophobic remarks/”jokes” don’t help things. It creates a lot of tense, frustrating, and disheartening situations and complicated feelings. More than once I wondered if there would be an HEA/HFN for anyone.

Sometimes I didn’t like Will and I still don’t fully see what made him so exceptionally special to Ollie (and occasionally vice versa). I understand why Will did/said the things he did. I worried if he’d even make it through the year.  Will is a good person. He wants what any of us want: to be accepted. He fears the repercussions of coming out and letting down those he cares about or their idea of him. And those fears are valid.

I think I needed more from those glimpses of the past summer. They were sweet and cute, but too brief. I wish there’d been a few chapters in Will’s point of view because I wanted to know more about him, his thoughts, and feelings. Towards the end I started viewing him more favorably and liked how his storyline ended.

This story had an ideal number of pages. Short (under 300) but you still got a full story with a lot of depth and great characterization and development. Nothing seemed to drag and every scene made an impact.

Only Mostly Devastated was better than I could’ve ever imagined. Why did it take me so long to get to reading this?! I loved the nostalgic but more modern Grease vibes in the beginning and the direction the story took off from there. I loved Ollie-oop, I loved the plot, the writing, how the author tackled various issues like heteronormativity, and the ending made my heart deliriously happy. There’s so much to talk about and reflect upon.

Only Mostly Devastated was an enjoyable and emotional experience reading this book and highly recommend it to everyone.

CW: homophobia

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Books of the Month

[December 2021] Book of the Month: Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

For my final Book of the Month of 2021, I’m spotlighting Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune. Perhaps an odd choice for this time of year, but let me tell you, this book shocked me to the core in the most amazing of ways. It may be a book about death and thereafter but it is so much more than that. Funny, tumultuous, heartbreaking, and loving. I was crying by the end, it was so good! It easily became one of my top favorite reads of 2021. So I’m recommending this amazing book today, tomorrow, and forevermore.

Image via NetGalley

Title: Under the Whispering Door
Author: TJ Klune
Genre: LGBTQIA+ Romance, Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Recommended?: Yes

NetGalley Summary: When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.

And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.

But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Bat Boy by Christina Lee

Image via Goodreads

Genre: New Adult, LGBTQIA+, Sports Romance
Series: Easton U Pirates #1
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Brady Donovan

With a baseball scholarship to Easton University and awesome family and friends, my life is pretty golden. Except, things have never come together for me in the romance department. Until Kellan Crawford walks onto the field as the team’s newest bat boy. Bells and whistles go off in my body, and just like that, I’m totally crushing on a guy for the first time in my life. Too bad he’s the coach’s son and officially off-limits.

Kellan Crawford

I’m working toward my statistics degree, so landing the bat-boy position with the Easton U Pirates is right up my alley. It keeps me close to the action on the field, even if that means hauling equipment, picking up sweaty jockstraps, and putting up with the players’ antics. My dad’s the coach, and his number-one rule is never to play favorites…which probably includes getting too friendly with the team captain. But Brady Donovan’s annoyingly perfect smile and protective nature are making that nearly impossible.

When something shifts between us at an away game, everything is thrown off-kilter. Donovan’s never been with a guy before, and I certainly don’t want to be his test case. But I can’t seem to help myself. He’s sweet and hot and somehow charms the baseball pants right off me. If Coach ever catches wind of this, he’ll bench us both. Disappointing my dad might kill me, but so would losing the guy who makes my heart pound harder than a home run in the bottom of the ninth.

So much for not playing favorites.

 

My Review: Bat Boy was a win for me! I could not put this book down – it was so good!

Team Captain Brady and Bat Boy Kellan have been secretly crushing on each other unbeknownst to the other.

Brady doesn’t understand his attraction to Kellan because Brady always saw himself as heterosexual even though he never had as much interest in girls as other guys. Meanwhile, Kellan is openly gay but never thought it was possible that someone like Brady could or ever would reciprocate his feelings. Plus Kellan made a promise to his dad (the coach) to not play favorites, so has to keep Brady at a distance. As soon as the two begin to acknowledge their feelings, sparks fly!

I loved Brady and Kellan’s relationship and the adorable moments as they were getting to know each other better. Brady was always so kind to and protective of Kellan and made sure Kellan felt included with the team despite Kellan continuously turning him down. Brady wants to be more than teammates with Kellan but first wants to understand his sexuality. He also appreciates how kind Kellan has been to his younger brother (who is autistic) and spends time talking baseball stats with him.

I liked that Kellan, recognizing that Brady is hesitantly exploring his sexuality with a guy for the first time, supports and guides Brady. That there’s no timeline to coming out and that they don’t have to do anything he’s not comfortable with or ready for.

Their forbidden romance was so spellbinding and tense because at any moment things could have taken a turn for the worst. Neither wants to be someone’s dirty little secret. But as Brady and Kellan’s relationship grows to beautiful and steamy heights, so does the risk of discovery.

The team is trying to become champions this season, so Brady needs to stay focused and on top of his game. Not to mention he’s unsure how his coming out or being in an open relationship with Kellan will affect the team, especially because he’s the captain and Kellan is the coach’s son.

The coach is really tough but fair to all his players, including Kellan. If he discovered their relationship, Brady could be benched and Kellan kicked off the team. Kellan really enjoys his job because he gets to use his knowledge of statistics to help the team and get experience for the future.

Bat Boy is the first I’ve read by Christina Lee and I loved it. The pacing of the story was really nice with the right amount of tension, tender yet fiery romance, funny moments, and conflict. I liked the way Brady and Kellan comported themselves. There were also likable secondary characters. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series, Home Plate (which was set up rather well in this story), and more books by Lee. If you love new adult and sports romances, Bat Boy is the book for you.

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Book/Library Hauls

[June 2021] Book of the Month: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Image via Goodreads

Title: Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Genre: LGBTQIA+, Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Recommended?: Yes

Goodreads Summary: First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

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ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston #newbookrelease

Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! One Last Stop is available now!

Image via NetGalley

Genre: LGBTQIA+, Romance, Mystery
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

 

My Review: One Last Stop is an enchanting, unforgettable story that takes your heart on a journey where two lost souls find themselves and love defies the laws of time at every stop.

I didn’t expect this story to go the way it did. One Last Stop is more than it appears on the surface the same way the mystery surrounding Jane is. The romantic suspense was high but didn’t overshadow all the other parts that makes this story so charming.

August and Jane are amazing main characters and super relatable. The lack of true family connections, of a place to plant roots, have left them feeling lost. Almost going through the motions of living and never quite fitting in wherever they wandered. In that, I felt a profound kinship to August and Jane.

August has vehemently wanted out the quote unquote family business of helping her mother find her runaway brother. So I was surprised by how quickly and eagerly she latched onto solving why Jane – a punk-rock style queer Asian girl from the 1970s – is stuck on the Q train. Yet I kind of get it because of the kind or person Jane is.

Jane is a bright, shining star. She’s colorful, kind, effervescent and funny. Her presence draws you in and once within her orbit you can’t help but feel happy or loved. I don’t think she realizes just how great of a person she is and how much of herself she’s left on people, places, and time.

Really the entire cast of characters in One Last Stop are amazing, endearing, dynamic, and diverse. August’s roommates are so chill and made me smile a lot with their antics and freeing way of life. August’s co-workers at a pancake diner are tough on the outside but inside they are so much more that it’s hard to describe. I wanted to be friends with all these people who are so supportive of one another.

Of course, this story isn’t without its share of heartaches. There’s how much of a toll Jane being “present” has on her. The life Jane and others have lived prior to the start of this book. The hate towards LGBTQIA+ community and the resentful disappoint some of the characters have experienced. And ultimately how time hinders the growing love between August and Jane.

I had some trouble getting into the story and really feeling something for what was happening. It felt slow going, as if the story could have been wrapped up much earlier. In hindsight, the story was fully told and what took place made the plot and characters richer.

My favorite parts were Isaiah’s annual drag family Easter brunch and the Christmas in July party. Those scenes were so much fun and allowed August to really consider and experience things for the first time in her life.

In the end, I enjoyed reading One Last Stop. It’s a unique, time-travel romance with a well-written mystery to be solved. All of the characters are wholesome, lovable, and vibrant. A beautiful story.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Heart of Ice by T.B. Markinson & Miranda MacLeod

Image via Goodreads

Genre: LGBTQIA+, Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: What happens when the one person who makes your heart sing is also the one person who could destroy everything you’ve worked for?

Laurie “the Hatchet” Emerson is a ruthless leader in Boston finance who’s rumoured to have a block of ice where her heart should be. If only. Recently widowed, Laurie fears she’s broken beyond repair, until a once-in-a-lifetime business deal reignites her passion for work and gives her a shot at proving to the world she still has some life left in her.

Jack Kennedy is a young portfolio manager who aspires to greatness. Unfortunately, she’s so many rungs down the corporate ladder she can’t even scrape up enough money to move out of her mother’s apartment. Her luck changes when her work ethic is finally rewarded with the job opportunity of her dreams.

A blizzard forces their worlds to collide, but what was meant to be a no-strings night of passion becomes more complicated when they both arrive at the office the next morning to discover they each spent the night with the one person in the city who could crush their futures.

Together, they just might hold the keys to everything they’ve ever wanted, but the difference in their ages and positions could spell the end of their careers. Will the ice queen and the protégé find happiness together or lose everything?

 

My Review: Heart of Ice was a good office romance between two strong-willed, career-driven women who are twenty years apart in age. Their charged attraction and opposing personalities kept my engaged in everything happening throughout the story.

CEO Laurie (49) – or as she’s known around the office, “Laurie the Hatchet” – returns from a “forced” sabbatical after the death of her wife. She’s a hard taskmaster – she’s had to be as a woman business owner in the financial industry. Determined to obtain the company’s biggest client yet, she needs the best team and best idea possible to beat out her interim CEO/stepson. What she didn’t expect was one of her team members also being her one-night stand, Jack, who she obviously has strong feelings for.

Sometimes Laurie’s stubbornness was grating and she would impulsively lash out at Jack. I think part of the reason that Laurie behaves this way is because she wants to save the firm and the legacy Bonnie (her late wife) had built. Laurie also does care about Jack, but that doesn’t excuse her poor actions and reactions.

Jack (29) is lovingly witty and sassy. She’s the kind of hard-working and knowledgeable person you’d be lucky to work with. Jack has worked hard to build her career in a male dominated field. Brought on to be the team’s portfolio manager, this is the perfect chance for Jack to boost her career and prove her worth. What complicated things was her growing attraction to Laurie (her boss) who is very set in her ways and tends to run hot and cold in a way. This made it difficult for Jack to pinpoint where she stood with Laurie.

Jack really surprised me by how cool, calm and collected she was whenever Laurie was being obstinate. There were times when I thought Jack would walk away from the situation. She kind of does much of the legwork in their rocky relationship. I think her wanting to prove herself outweighed the consequences should anyone find out that she and Laurie spent the night together.

Laurie and Jack have fantastic chemistry both romantically and professionally, even when it sometimes doesn’t look like it. Despite their age gap, they are more alike than unalike. There were lots of great will-they won’t-they moments and and funny banter, such as when they played ping-pong together. The few intimate scenes were mildly steamy but showed how deeply attracted they were to each other.

Jack’s good nature and youth challenges Laurie who is set in her ways. Laurie’s hard exterior makes it difficult to open her heart back up for a second chance at love. Laurie is not used to someone like Jack who brings new perspectives Laurie might not have otherwise considered. Jack also sees the good, caring side of Laurie that was only ever shown to Bonnie. In Laurie, Jack sees someone who values her skills and what she can bring to the table, which is what Jack has been wanting for so long.

Jack and Laurie’s relationship was well developed. I came to really care about these characters and wanted badly to see them succeed in all aspects of life. I liked Jack’s quirky mom and Laurie’s office manager and confidant, Marian. There were many setbacks but everything came together quite nicely. I loved the ending, which was feeling galore! It made me want to keep reading to see what the future had in store for these two strong-willed women. Heart of Ice was a pleasant read.

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Bookish Memes Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday – 2/24/21

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where you spotlight a highly anticipated book.


Happy Wednesday, Bookworms!

I am beyond exciting for my #1 most anticipated releases of 2021: Fairytales from Verania by TJ Klune (Tales From Verania 4.5).

This new title is a short story collection. The cover art by Reese Dante is so gorgeous! 💚 I’m predicting another 5-star read with all the awesomeness, humor, and heart that comes with any Klune book.

Fairytales from Verania is set to be released April 27, 2021.

Image via Goodreads

ABOUT: New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune invites you back to the land of Verania in a new collection of short stories starring the beloved characters from the Tales of Verania series.

In the opening story—The Unicorn in the Tower—Gary is a princess trapped in a stone tower by the evil Lady Tina DeSilva, who plans on sacrificing him on the first full moon after his eighteenth birthday. With help from his friends—a bird named Tiggy and a mangy weasel called Sam—Gary interviews potential suitors to rescue him and love him above all others, as he so rightly deserves.

The Unicorn in the Tower is followed by Sam and the Beanstalk, wherein a poor farm boy exchanges his family’s bull for magical beans and the promise of treasure in the sky. But when he climbs the beanstalk, Sam finds things are not as he expected them to be.

The Good Boy sees Todd and his immaculate ears taking center stage. When Todd’s father dies, he leaves his son in the care of his evil stepmother and two stepsiblings who live to make Todd’s life a living hell. It’s not until the household receives an invitation to attend a ball for the mysterious Sir that Todd begins to wish for a life beyond what he knows.

David’s Dragon, the final—and only canonical—tale, is set a thousand years before the rise of the Dark wizard Myrin. It begins simply: a lonely boy in a small village befriends a dragon. What follows is a story of love and sacrifice, hope and heartbreak, and what it means to earn your place amongst the stars.

Welcome back to Verania. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.

 

I already adore this book because it takes us back into the wondrous world of one of my all-time favorite series, Tales From Verania. 😊

Interested in learning more? Below are my reviews for the whole series:

The Lightning-Struck Heart (#1)
A Destiny of Dragons (#2)
The Consumption of Magic (#3)
A Wish Upon the Stars (#4)


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Brothersong by TJ Klune

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Paranormal Romance, LGBTQIA+ Romance, MM Romance
Series: Green Creek #4
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: In the ruins of Caswell, Maine, Carter Bennett learned the truth of what had been right in front of him the entire time. And then it—he—was gone.

Desperate for answers, Carter takes to the road, leaving family and the safety of his pack behind, all in the name of a man he only knows as a feral wolf. But therein lies the danger: wolves are pack animals, and the longer Carter is on his own, the more his mind slips toward the endless void of Omega insanity.

But he pushes on, following the trail left by Gavin.

Gavin, the son of Robert Livingstone. The half-brother of Gordo Livingstone.

What Carter finds will change the course of the wolves forever. Because Gavin’s history with the Bennett pack goes back further than anyone knows, a secret kept hidden by Carter’s father, Thomas Bennett.

And with this knowledge comes a price: the sins of the fathers now rest upon the shoulders of their sons.

 

My Review: Brothersong was everything and more. I could go on for days gushing about how great this book (and series) was. This story was as painful as it was breathtakingly beautiful. Brothersong was a perfect ending to a phenomenal series.

The beginning near broke my heart because Carter so empty, dejected and alone as he searched desperately for Gavin. He’s tried so hard as the eldest Bennett and Beta to keep those he loves safe and happy. As he slowly slips towards becoming an Omega, Carter reflects on his life and how things ended up the way they are at present. All of which was very eye-opening.

This is truly is a story of brothers. It is the most touching and lyrical song of brothers I’ve ever seen. In Brothersong, you get a more in-depth look at the relationships between brothers by blood and by bond. It provides a deeper understanding of characters and how those relationships impact the characters’ lives and the overall story.

I loved how Klune used the power of names in Brothersong (and the series in general): “a name is a name is a name” and “a rose by any other name.” The Bennett name has long since held power and reverence. It is a weight that has effected the Bennett-Livingstone line for decades and shaped certain characters for better or worse. You see the burden and agony names have had. And again my heart breaks for everyone.

The disparaging cycle of pain and loss he and his family have endured – seen through Carter’s eyes – was even more jarring than in previous books. The Bennett pack (and by extension, the Livingstone family who have long been closely tied with the Bennetts) have to be the most unfortunate family I’ve ever read about. They give so much and ask for so little. But this special found family continues to prove through love, faith, strength and resilience why they are “the goddamn Bennett pack.”

There’s always a choice every second of every day on who we want to be and Gavin is the epitome of this life lesson. I love Gavin’s character with all my heart. I love his grumpiness, practicality and sense of humor as he comes more and more alive. He has been a lost soul for such a long time that his character growth throughout the book was truly wonderful and poignant to witness. I wanted to give him a hug and tell him I see you and that he deserves to be happy and loved and “thump, thump, thump.”

Brothersong was woven together so well, mixing the past and present in an impactful way. Klune has stated, “This isn’t going to go how you think,” and he was correct.

The middle of the story had my emotions all over the place. There was sadness but also wholesome family love and funny moments. I love the sentimentality that’s often repeated, that pack means no one gets left behind. Chapters I loved in this middle section were “white willow / die squirrel die,” “be better / these scars,” and “[spoiler hidden] / hello hello. Those chapters – so tragic and beautiful and hilarious – really stood out to me.

The ending – oh my stars, that ending! – was terrifying in that I worried about this amazing family I have come to love so much. But it was also astounding in its execution, surprising me at every turn. One thing that bothered was how long they waited to deal with imperative issues that ultimately forced certain decisions.

And the conclusion brought everything full circle in the best possible way. It was *chef’s kiss* perfect.

A few character highlights: Elizabeth proves once more why she is a Queen who will always reign supreme in our hearts. Gordo is the best big brother ever, so grumpy and funny. Thomas, for all his faults and mistakes, I do believe loved his family and pack and acted in both’s best interest.

Overall, Brothersong is a fantastic book and ending to the Green Creek series. I loved it a lot and highlighted so many great quotes and sections throughout the entire book. I’m sad to see things end and will miss this pack greatly. This series will always have a special place in my heart.


MORE BY TJ KLUNE

Green Creek
Wolfsong (#1)
Ravensong (#2)
Heartsong (#3)

Tales From Verania
The Lightning-Struck Heart (#1)
A Destiny of Dragons (#2)
The Consumption of Magic (#3)
A Wish Upon the Stars (#4)

The House in the Cerulean Sea

The Extraordinaries

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: Feel the Fire by Annabeth Albert

Image via Goodreads

Genre: LGBTQIA+ Fiction, Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: Hotshots #3
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Fire behavior specialist Luis Riviera goes where his job takes him. But when he’s assigned to an arson investigation in Central Oregon—the place he left his broken heart twenty years ago—he’s afraid of being burned all over again.

Tucker Ryland had planned to join his first love, Luis, in LA after high school graduation, but life got in the way. Now a fire management expert and a divorced father of teen twins, Tucker’s thrown for a loop when he finds himself working side by side with his Luis, now all grown up and more intriguing than ever.

Though consumed by a grueling fire season and family responsibilities, the two men discover their bond has never truly broken. Tentative kisses turn to passionate nights. But smoking sheets aside, old hurts and new truths stand in the way of this time being the start of forever.

 

My Review: Feel the Fire is one of sweetest romances I’ve ever read. I loved everything about this heartwarming story of love, family, and second chances.

Luis (a fire behavior specialist) and Tucker (who does fire management) probably have the best relationship I’ve ever read about. Their tragic beginning has not waned the fiery attraction between them. The honesty was so refreshing. They take the time to discuss the past – the good, bad and ugly – instead of spending countless pages refusing to acknowledge where things went wrong and the mistakes both made. I love their mutual respect they have for each other romantically. Their adorkable romance was just so beautiful to watch develop. But of course my heart still ached for them because Lui’s assignment is temporary, Tucker isn’t fully publicly out, and I wasn’t sure how they would cope with that when there’s such real feelings and yearning between them.

Tucker didn’t have the same support as Luis, so it’s taken him many years to come to terms with his sexuality. I appreciated how considerate and supportive Luis is of Tucker and how he always makes sure Tucker gets what he needs out of the relationship. As Tucker states, sex is not the most important thing for him. He wants to establish an emotional connection with someone first. It does NOT mean that he doesn’t like sex or that there’s something wrong with him.

I loved Luis and Tucker’s professions and their mutual respect. Instead of feeling emasculated or less than, they bask in admiration of each other’s competency, expertise, and leadership skills.

Walker and Wade – Tucker’s sons – are very relatable secondary characters. They’re about to start their senior year and soon enough college. For one, there’s feelings of excitement and certainty. For the other, there’s anxiety, uncertainty, and a dislike for change. I remember feeling like the latter, or not knowing what you want to be but feel pressured to decide on something. So those parts of the story I connected with and really appreciate the author’s (and Tucker’s) handling.

I devoured this wonderful page-turner of infinite feels. Feel the Fire is my first read by Annabeth Albert and I really enjoyed it. I will definitely be reading the other books in this series and more. I also recommend reading the author’s note for this title.