LGBTQIA

#BookReview Here We Go Again by Alison Cochrun @SimonSchusterCA #HereWeGoAgain #AlisonCochrun #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Here We Go Again by Alison Cochrun @SimonSchusterCA #HereWeGoAgain #AlisonCochrun #SimonSchusterCA Title: Here We Go Again

Author: Alison Cochrun

Published by: Atria Books on Apr. 2, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The author of Kiss Her Once for Me returns with a new queer rom-com following once childhood best friends forced together to drive their former teacher across the country.

A long time ago, Logan Maletis and Rosemary Hale used to be friends. They spent their childhood summers running through the woods, rebelling against their conservative small town, and dreaming of escaping. But then an incident the summer before high school turned them into bitter rivals. After graduation, they went ten years without speaking.

Now in their thirties, Logan and Rosemary find they aren’t quite living the lives of adventure they imagined for themselves. Still in their small town and working as teachers at their alma mater, they’re both stuck in old patterns. Uptight Rosemary chooses security and stability over all else, working constantly, and her most stable relationship is with her label maker. Chaotic and impulsive Logan has a long list of misguided ex-lovers and an apathetic shrug she uses to protect herself from anything real. And as hard as they try to avoid each other—and their complicated past—they keep crashing into each other. Including with their cars.

But when their beloved former English teacher and lifelong mentor tells them he has only a few months to live, they’re forced together once and for all to fulfill his last a cross-country road trip. Stuffed into the gayest van west of the Mississippi, the three embark on a life-changing summer trip—from Washington state to the Grand Canyon, from the Gulf Coast to coastal Maine—that will chart a new future and perhaps lead them back to one another.


Review:

Heartwarming, tender, and affecting!

Here We Go Again is a timely, romantic story that sweeps you away into a bittersweet tale where truths are acknowledged, grievances are aired, truces are made, friendships are savoured, tears are shed, memories are created, last requests are honoured, lives are celebrated, and lost loves are found.

The writing is smooth and heartfelt. The characters are sincere, genuine, and lovable. And the plot is a delightful blend of heart, hope, humour, nostalgia, drama, and emotion.

Overall, Here We Go Again is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, dreams, heartbreak, friendship, family, and finding happiness, and I absolutely adored it.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Alison Cochrun

Alison Cochrun is a former high school English teacher and a current writer of queer love stories, including The Charm Offensive and Kiss Her Once for Me. She lives outside of Portland, Oregon, with two giant dogs, her small wife, and too many books.

Photo by Hayley Downing-Fairless.

#BookReview Clear by Carys Davies @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA #CarysDavies #Clear #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Clear by Carys Davies @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA #CarysDavies #Clear #SimonSchusterCA Title: Clear

Author: Carys Davies

Published by: Scribner on Apr. 2, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction, LGBTQIA

Pages: 208

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A stunning, exquisite novel from an award-winning writer about a minister dispatched to a remote island off of Scotland to “clear” the last remaining inhabitant, who has no intention of leaving—an unforgettable tale of resilience, change, and hope.

John, an impoverished Scottish minister, has accepted a job evicting the lone remaining occupant of an island north of Scotland—Ivar, who has been living alone for decades, with only the animals and the sea for company. Though his wife, Mary, has serious misgivings about the errand, he decides to go anyway, setting in motion a chain of events that neither he nor Mary could have predicted.

Shortly after John reaches the island, he falls down a cliff and is found, unconscious and badly injured, by Ivar who takes him home and tends to his wounds. The two men do not speak a common language, but as John builds a dictionary of Ivar’s world, they learn to communicate and, as Ivar sees himself for the first time in decades reflected through the eyes of another person, they build a fragile, unusual connection.

Unfolding in the 1840s in the final stages of the infamous Scottish Clearances—which saw whole communities of the rural poor driven off the land in a relentless program of forced evictions—this singular, beautiful, deeply surprising novel explores the differences and connections between us, the way history shapes our deepest convictions, and how the human spirit can survive despite all odds. Moving and unpredictable, sensitive and spellbinding, Clear is a profound and pleasurable read.


Review:

Poignant, immersive, and affecting!

Clear is a raw, vivid tale that sweeps you away to 1840s Scotland and into the life of John Ferguson, a young minister who, after recently breaking away from an established church and in desperate need of money, agrees to travel to an isolated island for a landowner to expel the last remaining inhabitant living there. But things don’t turn out exactly as planned, and after sustaining an injury shortly after his arrival he awakes to find himself not only at the mercy of this larger-than-life man who speaks a language he doesn’t understand but forming an unlikely friendship that will test everything he ever knew about love and himself.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are kind, vulnerable, and strong. And the plot is an exceptionally tender tale about life, loss, friendship, strength, language, isolation, loneliness, self-discovery, revelations, belonging, and love.

Overall, Clear is a powerful, pensive, well-written story by Davies where the space between the words resonates as loudly as the words themselves and is a beautiful reminder that to love and be loved is truly one of humanity’s most fundamental needs.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Carys Davies

Carys Davies’s debut novel West was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, runner-up for the Society of Authors’ McKitterick Prize, and winner of the Wales Book of the Year for Fiction. She is also the author of The Mission House, which was The Sunday Times (London) 2020 Novel of the Year, and two collections of short stories, Some New Ambush and The Redemption of Galen Pike, which won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. Her other awards include the Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Prize, the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Short Story Award, and a Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library. Born in Wales, she lived and worked for twelve years in New York and Chicago, and now lives in Edinburgh. Clear is her most recent novel.

#BookReview Just Another Epic Love Poem by Parisa Akhbari @angelamelamud #JustAnotherEpicLovePoem #ParisaAkhbari

#BookReview Just Another Epic Love Poem by Parisa Akhbari @angelamelamud #JustAnotherEpicLovePoem #ParisaAkhbari Title: Just Another Epic Love Poem

Author: Parisa Akhbari

Published by: Dial Books on Mar. 12, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA, Young Adult

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Angela Melamud

Book Rating: 9/10

Best friendship blossoms into something more in this gorgeously written queer literary romance.

Over the past five years, Mitra Esfahani has known two her best friend Bea Ortega and The Book—a dogeared moleskin she and Bea have been filling with the stanzas of an epic, never-ending poem since they were 13.

For introverted Mitra, The Book is one of the few places she can open herself completely and where she gets to see all sides of brilliant and ebullient Bea. There, they can share everything—Mitra’s complicated feelings about her absent mother, Bea’s heartache over her most recent breakup—nothing too messy or complicated for The Book.

Nothing except the one thing with the power to change their entire the fact that Mitra is helplessly in love with Bea.

Told in lyrical, confessional prose and snippets of poetry Just Another Epic Love Poem takes readers on a journey that is equal parts joyful, heartbreaking, and funny as Mitra and Bea navigate the changing nature of I love you.


Review:

Sweet, tender, and uplifting!

Just Another Epic Love Poem is an absorbing, tender tale that takes you into the life of best friends Mitra Esfahani and Bea Ortega as they navigate a senior year that includes a strict Catholic environment, strained friendships, familial drama, and the transition from being friends to a whole lot more.

The writing is smooth and fluid. The characters are well-drawn, genuine, and vulnerable. And the plot is the perfect blend of heart, hope, healing, drama, and emotion.

Overall, Just Another Epic Love Poem is, ultimately, a story about coming-of-age, life, friendship, family, self-discovery, culture, responsibilities, patience, independence, and the joys of falling in love. It’s an empowering, charming, heart-tugging novel by Akhbari that is a true delight to read.

 

This novel is available now!

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

 

       

 

 

Thank you to Dial Books and Angela Melamud for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Parisa Akhbari

Parisa is a mental health therapist and writer from Seattle, Washington. Her favorite Catholic school memory is of playing a nun in her school’s production of The Sound of Music, and inadvertently developing crushes on several of the other nuns. When not writing or therapizing, she can be found trying to replicate her grandmother’s drool-worthy Persian recipes, riding ferries around the Puget Sound, and dancing around the kitchen with her wife and dogs. Parisa's writing is represented by Quressa Robinson of Folio Literary Management, and her debut YA novel will be released by Dial/Penguin on March 12, 2024.

Photo by Muqu Javad.

#BookReview The Cure for Drowning by Loghan Paylor @PenguinRandomCA #LoghanPaylor #TheCureForDrowning #PenguinReads

#BookReview The Cure for Drowning by Loghan Paylor @PenguinRandomCA #LoghanPaylor #TheCureForDrowning #PenguinReads Title: The Cure for Drowning

Author: Loghan Paylor

Published by: Random House Canada on Jan. 30, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction, LGBTQIA

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Evocative, magical and luminously written, The Cure for Drowning is not only a brilliant, boundary-pushing love story but a Canadian historical novel that boldly centres queer and non-binary characters in unprecedented ways.

Born Kathleen to an immigrant Irish farming family in southern Ontario, Kit McNair has been a troublesome changeling since, at ten, they fell through the river ice and drowned—only to be nursed back to life by their mother’s Celtic magic. A daredevil in boy’s clothes, Kit chafes at every aspect of a farmgirl’s life, driving that same mother to distraction with worry about where Kit will ever fit in. When Rebekah Kromer, an elegant German-Canadian doctor’s daughter, moves to town with her parents in April 1939, Rebekah has no doubt as to who 19-year-old Kit is. Soon she and Kit, and Kit’s older brother, Landon, are drawn tight in a love triangle that will tear them and their families apart, and send each of them off on a separate path to war. 

Landon signs up for the Navy. Kit, now known as Christopher, joins the Royal Air Force, becoming a bomber navigator relied on for his luck and courage. Rebekah serves with naval intelligence in Halifax, until one more collision with Landon changes the course of her life and draws her back to the McNair farm—a place where she’d once known love. Fallen on even harder times, the McNairs welcome all the help she is able to give, and she believes she has found peace at last. Until, with the war over, Kit and Landon return home.

Told in the vivid, unforgettable voices of Kit and Rebekah, The Cure for Drowning is a powerfully engrossing novel that imagines a history that is truer than true.


Review:

Tempestuous, tender, and immersive!

The Cure for Drowning is a fresh, absorbing tale set in Southern Ontario during the early 1940s that takes us into the lives of three main characters. Kit, a young adventurous spirit who finds the love of their life in the daughter of the new local doctor; Landon, Kit’s older brother who is confident and charming and someone who follows his head more than his heart; and Rebekah, a young woman who feels torn between what society deems is appropriate and the feelings she has for both of the McNair siblings.

The writing is passionate and moving. The characters are hopeful, hesitant, and endearing. And the plot is an engaging, touching tale about life, loss, friendship, family, hope, heartbreak, tragedy, destiny, sexual identity, gender fluidity, fate, war, and enduring love.

Overall, The Cure for Drowning is a captivating, well-written, richly described debut by Paylor that highlights that love comes in many forms and is a beautiful reminder that to love and be loved is one of humanity’s most fundamental needs that transcends gender, sex, race, religion, and socioeconomics.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

      

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Loghan Paylor

LOGHAN PAYLOR is a queer, trans author who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Their short fiction and essays have previously appeared in Room and Prairie Fire, among others. Paylor has a Master's in creative writing from the University of British Columbia, and a day job as a professional geek. The Cure for Drowning is their first novel.

Photo by Michael Paylor.

#BookReview Interesting Facts About Space by Emily Austin @eraustinauthor @SimonSchusterCA #InterestingFactsAboutSpace #EmilyAustin #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Interesting Facts About Space by Emily Austin @eraustinauthor @SimonSchusterCA #InterestingFactsAboutSpace #EmilyAustin #SimonSchusterCA Title: Interesting Facts About Space

Author: Emily Austin

Published by: Atria Books on Jan. 30, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A fast-paced, hilarious, and ultimately hopeful novel for anyone who has ever worried they might be a terrible person—from the bestselling author of Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead .

Enid is obsessed with space. She can tell you all about black holes and their ability to spaghettify you without batting an eye in fear. Her one major phobia? Bald men. But she tries to keep that one under wraps. When she’s not listening to her favorite true crime podcasts on a loop, she’s serially dating a rotation of women from dating apps. At the same time, she’s trying to forge a new relationship with her estranged half-sisters after the death of her absent father. When she unwittingly plunges into her first serious romantic entanglement, Enid starts to believe that someone is following her.

As her paranoia spirals out of control, Enid must contend with her mounting suspicion that something is seriously wrong with her. Because at the end of the day there’s only one person she can’t outrun—herself.

Brimming with quirky humor, charm, and heart, Interesting Facts about Space effortlessly shows us the power of revealing our secret shames, the most beautifully human parts of us all.


Review:

Quirky, hopeful, and engaging!

Interesting Facts About Space is a sweet, intimate novel that immerses you into the life of Enid, a young woman who uses her love and knowledge of space to help cope with a mom whom she loves dearly but who randomly suffers from mood disorders, a love life that ebbs and flows but is always easier if it never involves too many emotions, two half-sisters who she is never quite sure how to behave around, and a strong, paralyzing phobia of man who are bald.

The prose is sincere and light. The characters are eccentric, multi-layered, and vulnerable. And the plot is a compelling tale of life, love, family, friendship, desires, needs, insecurities, childhood trauma, complex relationships, and mental health.

Overall, Interesting Facts About Space is a unique, tender, humorous tale by Austin that does a beautiful job of highlighting the struggles of being able to perform daily activities, forge true friendships, and experience an all-encompassing love, all while being neurodivergent.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Emily Austin

Emily R. Austin was born in Ontario, Canada, and received a writing grant from the Canadian Council for the Arts in 2020. She studied English literature and library science at Western University. She currently lives in Ottawa. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is her first novel.

Photo by Bridget Forberg.

#BookReview Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly @simonschuster @AvidReaderPress #Greta&Valdin #RebeccaKReilly #SimonSchuster

#BookReview Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly @simonschuster @AvidReaderPress #Greta&Valdin #RebeccaKReilly #SimonSchuster Title: Greta & Valdin

Author: Rebecca K Reilly

Published by: Avid Reader Press on Feb. 6, 2024

Genres: General Fiction, LGBTQIA

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster

Book Rating: 9/10

For fans of Schitt’s Creek and Sally Rooney’s Normal People, an irresistible and bighearted international bestseller that follows a brother and sister as they navigate queerness, multiracial identity, and the dramas big and small of their entangled, unconventional family, all while flailing their way to love.

It’s been a year since his ex-boyfriend dumped him and moved from Auckland to Buenos Aires, and Valdin is doing fine. He has a good flat with his sister Greta, a good career where his colleagues only occasionally remind him that he is the sole Maaori person in the office, and a good friend who he only sleeps with when he’s sad. But when work sends him to Argentina and he’s thrown back in his former lover’s orbit, Valdin is forced to confront the feelings he’s been trying to ignore—and the future he wants.

Greta is not letting her painfully unrequited crush (or her possibly pointless master’s thesis, or her pathetic academic salary…) get her down. She would love to focus on the charming fellow grad student she meets at a party and her friendships with a circle of similarly floundering twenty-somethings, but her chaotic family life won’t stop her mother is keeping secrets, her nephew is having a gay crisis, and her brother has suddenly flown to South America without a word.

Sharp, hilarious, and with an undeniable emotional momentum that builds to an exuberant conclusion, Greta & Valdin careens us through the siblings’ misadventures and the messy dramas of their sprawling, eccentric Maaori-Russian-Catalonian family. An acclaimed bestseller in New Zealand, Greta & Valdin is fresh, joyful, and alive with the possibility of love in its many mystifying forms.


Review:

Fresh, deft, and exceptionally memorable!

Greta & Valdin is a tender, hopeful, intimate multi-generational story that delves into all the emotional bonds and intricate ties that exist between family members, especially two siblings, Greta and Valdin and immerses you in a tale about accepting the things you cannot change, following your heart, learning to heal, and embracing whatever comes next.

The prose is evocative and controlled. The characters are young, self-aware, and relatable. And the tightly crafted, witty plot, told from alternating perspectives, unfolds seamlessly, unravelling all the motivations, behaviours, personalities, desires, needs, insecurities, heartbreak, and complex relationships within it.

Overall, Greta & Valdin is a nuanced, atmospheric, uplifting debut by Reilly that does a remarkable job of highlighting all the universal struggles of navigating the world as an adult, acquiring self-confidence, forging friendships, experiencing love, and feeling entitled to be loved.

This novel is available February 6, 2024.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rebecca K Reilly

Rebecca K Reilly (Ngaati Hine, Ngaati Rehua Ngaatiwai ki Aotea), born 1991, is a Maaori novelist from Waitaakere, New Zealand. She has a BA (hons) in German and European studies from the University of Auckland and an MA from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington, where she won the Adam Foundation Prize in Creative Writing for 2019.

Photograph by AMP Berry.

#FeaturePost Between the Head and the Hands by James Chaarani @ecwpress #BetweentheHeadandtheHands #JamesChaarani #ECWPress

#FeaturePost Between the Head and the Hands by James Chaarani @ecwpress #BetweentheHeadandtheHands #JamesChaarani #ECWPress Title: Between the Head and the Hands

Author: James Chaarani

Published by: ECW Press on Sep. 26, 2023

Genres: General Fiction, LGBTQIA

Pages: 240

Format: Paperback

Source: ECW Press

The candid story of a young man abandoned by his family and religion and left searching for identity in an unfamiliar world.

When Michael Dawouk is disowned by his Muslim family for being gay, he turns his back on the religion and culture he grew up with. He is forced out onto the street, only to be taken in by a former high school teacher who offers him room and board in exchange for sex. Michael is soon left with nothing to believe in, until he meets Wyatt, a successful Texan businessman who takes him under his wing. But what Michael can’t see is that his mentor is just as lost as he is.

Searching for the connection and belonging he lost when he left home, Michael immerses himself in temporary pleasures ― nights of danger, intrigue, and meaningless sex ― until he begins to crave a kinder form of love.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

       

 

 

Thank you to ECW Press for gifting me a copy.

 

About James Chaarani

James Chaarani's work has appeared in Condé Nast's Them, The Advocate, Slate, and Vice. The Toronto, Ontario resident was selected for Lambda Literary's Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices in Los Angeles.

#BookReview And Then He Sang a Lullaby by Ani Kayode Somtochukwu @PGCBooks @groveatlantic @roxanegaybooks #AndThenHeSangaLullaby #AniKayodeSomtochukwu #PGCBooks

#BookReview And Then He Sang a Lullaby by Ani Kayode Somtochukwu @PGCBooks @groveatlantic @roxanegaybooks #AndThenHeSangaLullaby #AniKayodeSomtochukwu #PGCBooks Title: And Then He Sang a Lullaby

Author: Ani Kayode Somtochukwu

Published by: Grove Press, Roxane Gay Books on Jun. 6, 2023

Genres: General Fiction, LGBTQIA

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

The inaugural title from Roxane Gay Books, And Then He Sang a Lullaby is a searingly honest and resonant debut from a 23-year-old Nigerian writer and queer liberation activist, exploring what love and freedom cost in a society steeped in homophobia.

August is a God-fearing track star who leaves Enugu City to attend university and escape his overbearing sisters. He carries the weight of their lofty expectations, the shame of facing himself, and the haunting memory of a mother he never knew. It’s his first semester and pressures aside, August is making friends, doing well in his classes. He even almost has a girlfriend. There’s only one problem: he can’t stop thinking about Segun, an openly gay student who works at a local cybercafé. Segun carries his own burdens and has been wounded in too many ways. When he meets August, their connection is undeniable, but Segun is reluctant to open himself up to August. He wants to love and be loved by a man who is comfortable in his own skin, who will see and hold and love Segun, exactly as he is.

Despite their differences, August and Segun forge a tender intimacy that defies the violence around them. But there is only so long Segun can stand being loved behind closed doors, while August lives a life beyond the world they’ve created together. And when a new, sweeping anti-gay law is passed, August and Segun must find a way for their love to survive in a Nigeria that was always determined to eradicate them. A tale of rare bravery and profound beauty, And Then He Sang a Lullaby is an extraordinary debut that marks Ani as a voice to watch.


Review:

Pensive, absorbing, and exceptionally heart-wrenching!

And Then He Sang a Lullaby is a tragic, beautiful tale that sweeps you away to Nigeria and into the lives of two boys, Segun and August, one who is confident in his sexuality and not ashamed to be a gay man while bearing all the hatred and violence faced by that decision, and the other who is torn, ashamed and struggling to come to grips with his sexuality but who ultimately can’t resist what his heart truly wants.

The prose is evocative and expressive. The characters are layered, tormented, and vulnerable. And the plot is an exceptionally impactful coming-of-age tale of life, loss, family, friendship, grief, guilt, denial, secrets, heartache, culture, prejudice, homophobia, violence, and love.

Overall, And Then He Sang a Lullaby is one of those books you never forget. It’s raw, timely, powerful, and heartbreaking. It’s an incredible debut by Ani Kayode Somtochukwu that everyone should have to read, and which ultimately reminds us that to love and be loved is one of humanity’s most fundamental needs and to quote Mahatma Gandhi’s iconic words that perhaps we should all remember a little more often, “Where there is love there is life.”

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ani Kayode Somtochukwu

Ani Kayode Somtochukwu is an award-winning Nigerian writer and queer liberation activist. His work interrogates themes of queer identity, resistance, and liberation. His writings have appeared in literary magazines across Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America.

A note on naming: Following Nigerian naming conventions, family names come first in the name order, followed by the given first and “middle” names. This author’s family name, corresponding to a “last name” in most European and American names, is Ani.

Photo by Ileleji Prince.

#BookReview So Long, Chester Wheeler by Catherine Ryan Hyde @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #SoLongChesterWheeler #CatherineRyanHyde #LakeUnion

#BookReview So Long, Chester Wheeler by Catherine Ryan Hyde @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #SoLongChesterWheeler #CatherineRyanHyde #LakeUnion Title: So Long, Chester Wheeler

Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Dec. 6, 2022

Genres: General Fiction, LGBTQIA

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 10/10

Unlikely road trip companions form an unexpected bond in an uplifting novel about the past—lost and found—by the New York Times and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author.

Lewis Madigan is young, gay, out of work, and getting antsy when he’s roped into providing end-of-life care for his insufferable homophobic neighbor, Chester Wheeler. Lewis doesn’t need the aggravation, just the money. The only requirements: run errands, be on call, and put up with a miserable old churl no one else in Buffalo can bear. After exchanging barbs, bickering, baiting, and pushing buttons, Chester hits Lewis with the big ask.

Lewis can’t say no to a dying wish: drive Chester to Arizona in his rust bucket of a Winnebago to see his ex-wife for the first time in thirty-two years—for the last time. One week, two thousand miles. To Lewis, it becomes an illuminating journey into the life and secrets of a vulnerable man he’s finally beginning to understand. A neighbor, a stranger, and a surprising new friend whose closure on a conflicted past is also just beginning.

So Long, Chester Wheeler is an uplifting novel about looking deeper into the heart and soul to form bonds with the last people we’d expect—only to discover that they’re the ones who need it most.


Review:

Heartwarming, memorable, and affecting!

So Long, Chester Wheeler is a timely, sentimental story that sweeps you away into a bittersweet tale where grievances are aired, truths are acknowledged, truces are made, friendships are savoured, tears are shed, memories are created, last requests are honoured, lives are celebrated, and love is forged and shared.

The writing is smooth and heartfelt. The characters are sincere, genuine, and lovable. And the plot is a delightful blend of heart, hope, humour, nostalgia, drama, and emotion.

Overall, So Long, Chester Wheeler is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, dreams, heartbreak, friendship, family, and finding happiness, and I absolutely adored it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and in the end, it left me smiling.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Catherine Ryan Hyde

I am the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books, including ALLIE AND BEA, SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, ASK HIM WHY, WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHERE WE BELONG, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, SECOND HAND HEART, DON'T LET ME GO, and WHEN YOU WERE OLDER.

I'm an avid hiker, traveller, equestrian, and amateur photographer, and have released my first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

I am co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.

My novel PAY IT FORWARD was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS' EDITION in August of '14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD was released in December of '14

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Down in Flames by Kate Meader #DowninFlames #KateMeader #HotinChicagoRookies

#BookReview Down in Flames by Kate Meader #DowninFlames #KateMeader #HotinChicagoRookies Title: Down in Flames

Author: Kate Meader

Series: Hot in Chicago Rookies #2

Published by: Kate Meader LLC on Dec. 6, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 358

Format: ARC, eBook

Source: Kate Meader

Book Rating: 10/10

It was supposed to be a random hookup.

At a crossroads, my life a hot mess, I swiped right on the guy with the washboard abs and the tree-trunk thighs. His handle was Holt (yeah, really) but as soon as he opened the door, I recognized him: Hudson Grey, the hottest prospect in pro-hockey and apparently, secretly playing for my team. Not mind-blowing enough? He needed someone to punch his V-card and I was only too happy to volunteer as tribute . . .

Then he ghosted me when it got to be too much.

A year later, my life is back on track and I’m a candidate firefighter at legendary Engine 6. While I might be new to the Chicago Fire Department, I’m a veteran in the game of steamy hookups. My No. 1 rule? No newbies. Except now Hudson has been traded to my hometown team, the Chicago Rebels, and he’s out, proud, and ready to date. And he wants my help introducing him to the local gay scene.

My messy past means I’m the worst guy to be mentoring the shy, sexy jock. But neither can I stand by and watch while others touch the man who already feels like mine.

I might have been his first, but I’m about to learn that the new guy has even more to teach me about hunger, hope, and falling hard . . .

Includes: First times, hot firefighters, sexy hockey players, meddling friends, and fighting like hell for the love of a lifetime.


Review:

Passionate, provocative, and steamy!

Down in Flames is a sweet, sultry, heartwarming romance featuring the shy, inexperienced NFL star Hudson and the wild, sexy candidate firefighter Jude as they discover that the heart wants what the heart wants and that some things are definitely worth fighting for.

The prose is fervent and spicy. The characters are multi-faceted, vulnerable, and endearing. And the plot is an alluring mix of palpable chemistry, sizzling tension, heartfelt emotion, flirty banter, friendship, tricky situations, awkward moments, and explosive heat.

Down in Flames is, ultimately, a seductive, swoon-worthy, heartwarming tale by Meader with scrumptious characters and an intriguing storyline that is not only a fantastic addition to the Hot in Chicago Rookies series but hands down one of my favourite MM romance novels of the year!

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Kate Meader for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kate Meader

Originally from Ireland, Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she's there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines (and heroes) who can match their men quip for quip.