Gay romance

Wrapped Together by Annabeth Albert


For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected.

I read Wrapped Together during the A Very Merry Readathon and really enjoyed it like I have with many other Annabeth Albert books this year. This was a part of the Portland Heat series. Each book is a standalone following different characters. This really got me interested in reading the rest of the books in the series.

The couple of characters we follow have a history together that is a little messy. There are misconceptions they have to dance around. Hollis is the character whose perspective we follow throughout and a lot of the time he annoyed me because I couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t let Sawyer in more.

Eventually, I could see that Hollis is stuck in a lot of ways. he hasn’t moved on from a tragedy in his family and hasn’t shifted in personality either. Because of this, he doesn’t see how much Sawyer has changed or even entertain the idea that Sawyer has changed.

This story had a good infusion of flashbacks. I’m usually not a flashback fan in stories.I liked the pace of the relationship developing. Hollis and Sawyer get into BDSM lightly and that was cool to see them explore that together. I do think the slow burn is worth it once they can figure things out together. Also loved the parts involving any of their family.

This is a nice story where someone needs to find their holiday spirit again. I really enjoyed it. The epilogue was cute even if it was a bit much.  Definitely, recommend you check out this book and more stories from Annabeth Albert.



Timekeeper by Tara Sim | Book Review



I really enjoyed this book. It’s Queer lit in an alternate Victorian era. There were some negatives I’ll go into first. It took a while for things to kick off when it came to action and the mystery. I also wasn’t interested in some of the mythology about time and earth creation. There were chapters dedicated to learning about Aetas and Oceania. I felt like those broke the flow too much, unfortunately. I see why the info may be necessary for a future book in the series but didn’t feel it fit in well here. I’m still giving it 4 stars even with those issues I had. I’ll tell you why.

I just really liked the main character.I liked following Danny on this journey. Danny is dealing with grief over a father he hasn’t completely lost. It’s like his father is gone but he still has hope that he will come back and wants to do something about it but he isn’t allowed to.That’s a lot to deal with. Grief is shown in different ways in this story.Danny, his mother, and other characters as well. Danny is in a frantic state through a lot of this then also has to deal with some PTSD from an accident prior to the start of the book. I also thought the portrayal of Danny’s PTSD was interesting. I just found his character compelling.

Danny and Colton’s relationship was really good. I thought their moments together were really strong and beautifully written. I couldn’t help but smile at the pairing. Those moments where their relationship was developing kept me reading. It got me to the point where the mystery and action really kick off. I didn’t mind as much that the mystery of the clock towers and protester and everything were slower because Danny and Colton filled the time to me. When the Aetas chapters broke the flow for me Danny and Colton fixed it.

I liked Daphne as a character. She’s dealing with being a minority in a way that not everyone can tell but then also ways that people see right away. She’s the only female clock mechanic we see in this book I believe. She has to deal with the way people will perceive her in her place of work and for her work. We only see a taste of it but you can tell these things happen a lot. She also is a biracial girl who can pass as white. You see her constantly trying to bridge gaps and struggle to do so. I almost wish we could see more of her story because I found her character really interesting.

After a certain point, I was really pulled in and wondering how will things end. Can they get a happily ever after out of this? Part of that was the love of the characters. The story also just happens to pick up after a certain event in the book. The stakes are raised and you have to know how things will end up.

I love the detail Tara Sim went into with this. This alternate 1875 London was really cool to read. The thought process that had to go into what kind of technological advances made sense in this world. Also, how women in society or homosexuality in society might be different or the same in some ways for this world. So, I loved reading the information on The Timekeeper’s London in the back of the book. Really puts some thoughts I had in perspective.

I liked a lot about this but I’m not sure where things will go in another book since I think there are plans for two more. The little hint at possible future problems at the end didn’t make me too excited for the next book honestly but I’ll probably still pick it up.

Book Reviews, Comics

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 | Review


Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!

I really enjoyed this. I think Kamala is such a great character. She’s relatable. She’s just a teenage girl trying to fit in. Her family is really strict. That was definitely something I related to her on.

I really like her power. I love that she needs time to figure her power out. Learn how it can be used. She’s not just automatically badass. She’s a mess when she first gets her powers. She’s still learning at the end of the book too. She doesn’t have it all figured out. I really like that a lot.

The way she got her powers was confusing as all out, though. I’m not sure what happened there really. I have an idea. I’m hoping that is expanded on more in the next volume. Some people have told me that’s the case. Whatever happened in this first volume was trippy.

I loved Bruno.He’s a great character. Definitely, can see how much he cares about Kamala. I ship it. Hoping good things for his character down the line. Please don’t kill him for Kamala’s character growth or an arc. I see it too much. I don’t need it.

The villain seems really interesting to me. Scary too. Excited to see what happens next in Kamala’s story. What will she have to face next? Will she continue to get grounded over and over again? Probably. She really should just tell her parents she’s a superhero. Why does no one ever do that?