Gay romance

Wrapped Together by Annabeth Albert

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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.

 

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LGBTQIA+, YA

Timekeeper by Tara Sim | Book Review

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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, LGBTQIA+, YA

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig | Book Review

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Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

I read most of this book in one night. I had such a hard time putting it down but I had to sleep. It’s a book that really pulls you in. I have to see how everything will end. I needed Flynn to find out what happened to January. I needed Flynn to figure himself out and find some kind of happiness hopefully in all of this tragedy. It’s a beautiful mixed bag. Mystery, self-discovery, friendship, love, and more.

As Flynn learns more about his girlfriend and the secrets she may have kept it gets harder for Flynn to keep his secret from coming out. Do you see what I did there? I think I’m funny.

This book does deal with a lot of dark topics and there are situations that may upset you. There are characters that will probably tick you off. There are characters that definitely should tick you off. Be prepared for some darker things to happen. It’s a story about someone going missing. Just a warning. Now, to nicer things.

I felt like the love story in this book was great. It’s really more in the background. I didn’t mind that at all. It made sense to me I felt like we were heading in that direction from early on. Their moments had me smiling while everything else in the book had me on the edge of my seat. I needed that. I also love them both to death. 

Roehrig does a great job with diversity in this book. I’m talking race, sexuality, and social class.he shows coming out in a different way than I’ve really seen it in other books as well. I really appreciated seeing something different in that narrative. Sometimes coming out sucks a little or a lot.

I love Flynn’s parents.I felt like they were very present in his life. I liked how they stood up for him. They support him when January goes missing and continues to during the search for her. They felt more important than other side characters and I really enjoyed that.

In my recent Q&A video someone asked me to pick five characters I’d want to be friends with in real life. Flynn is bumping someone off that list. He goes so far to figure out what happens to January in this for one thing. I also just feel like he needs hugs and support. I’d give him those freely.

This book needs a movie or a tv show.I need it. It’s number one on my adaptions wishlist right now. I think it read like a show or movie. I just want all of Tammy Walker’s scenes acted out by someone, please. I live for the drama. I feel bad for what’s she’s going through of course. I just honestly can think of so many actresses that could play her so well.

The last twist of this book had me still thinking about the book days later.I had some issues with January throughout this book but as you learn more about her I think I started to understand her. It’s hard to start another book right now because I’m still in the world of Last Seen Leaving. I will be recommending this book to people so much you all are going to get tired of me mentioning it.

 

Book Reviews, Comics

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 | Review

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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?

LGBTQIA+

Queer Booktuber Recommendations

In this first recommendation video of the day, I’ll be giving you links to five Booktubers  that frequently feature LGBTQIA+ books on their channels. These books are at a variety of different levels including Middle Grade, YA,and Adult books.Also putting clips of some of my favorite queer lit related videos from these Booktubers.There will definitely be more recommendations like this one to come on this blog and on my Booktube channel in the future.

PerpetualPages

She is one of the most eloquent people I follow on Youtube. I love the way she talks about books and the way she approaches issues in books that concern her. Go check out her channel for some really amazing videos. Below she talks about the problems with the main thing in Queer Lit being coming out narratives and then goes on to talk about what Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali does right in concerns to that (Spoiler Free).

Sonahaazrah 

Ivan has tons of great videos discussing different aspects of LGBTQIA+  literature and the way LGBTQIA+ books are addressed by cishet people on Booktube and in other media. Ivan also created The Angry Queer Booktag which more people should definitely do. Watch his video right here.

 

WoolfsWhistle

Nicole has so much great content on her channel. Go look through her past videos to see discussions on what classifies as LGBTQ literature. You can also watch her queer book wrap-ups where she talks about queer books that she has read. Soon she will be doing a series where she talks about queer historical fiction books. You can watch her video where she talks about the importance of the genre right here.

TeaLeavesandBookBindings

Ashley is the best. She is always talking about great queer books on her channel.She seeks out books that are diverse in other ways as well.Check out her contribution to a discussion of queer books on Booktube and how it’s addressed. She also goes through all the queer books she owned and had read at the time she filmed this video.

 George Lester

George created a fantastic tag video that several queer Booktubers have done including me. It’s the A to Z LGBTQ books tag.Watch his list of 26 Queer book recommendations and search Youtube for the recommendations of some others who have done the tag on Youtube.

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Top 5 Wednesday | Books I Want to See As TV Shows

                                                           Top 5 Wednesday

     Created/Hosted by Lainey

I definitely prefer the idea of a book becoming a TV show to it becoming a movie. in a show I feel like there is a opportunity to really cover the entire book and an entire series well. you don’t have to leave anything out because you can have each episode focus on a different section of the book. This won’t necessarily always be the case, but I like the idea of it. I’ve also seen way too many book to movies fail. not enough have been as successful as Harry Potter.Still it was really hard do come up with five for this list. Here’s the list and a video where I talk about it on YouTube is going up when I no longer have technical issues,

5. Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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I actually have heard there are talks for a movie with this series, but I feel l;like I’d like Nick way more as a TV character than in a book or movie.You’d get the time to really see him develop into the person he becomes in the later half of the series. The Dark hunter world is really great as well.

4.Sam Dorsey and The Gay Popcorn/ Turning 16 series by Perie Wolford

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Loved the first book and hated the second. I somehow feel like the second book would work so much better as a TV show. It feels like the appropriate amount of drama and comedy to be like Faking It or Awkward on MTV. I’d definitely rather watch a character like Sam than read him.

3. The Gay Youth Chronicles by Mark Roeder-

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This is a series with thirty something books all about growing up, discovering one’s self, coming out, and living life as young and gay. So many different topics are hit in this series that follows the lives of interrelated characters from the 1940’s to now. The television series could start at so many different points, but I feel like it would be amazing wherever it started.

2. Heroes of Olympus/Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan

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I loved  the Heroes of Olympus way more than Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but I understand you really need to start with Percy Jackson. Give it a chance on TV so that it will be done so much better than the movies did. They missed so much and changed so much in the two films that I could not stand it. I’d want it to get another chance.

1. Circle of Magic book Series by Tamora Pierce –

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I would do anything to get this book series turned into a TV show. Honestly I feel like it would be amazing.The entire magic system in the books. Creating the world of Emelan would be brilliant. Plus I feel like you could have two of the four’s stories going on at once sometimes. Specifically when you got to the Circle Opens and the Circle Reforged series. That sounds like it could mess things up , but I believe it could be done really well. Tamora Pierce has written amazing female characters that deserve to be seen by and influence more people.  I believe Tamora Pierce does not want her books to be movies, but if she hasn’t thought about TV shows I hope she does.

Uncategorized

M/M Romance Shuffle #1

I came up with a new thing for my YouTube channel where I talk about M/M Romance and Erotica stories at random. Why am I doing this you might ask.I don’t see anyone talking about stories like this on booktube and it just happens to be something that I read a lot of in my spare time.So here I am telling you how I feel about some of the stories I’ve read.

A lot of the stories are things ones I found for free . Often thanks to things like the Goodreads M/M Romance Group‘s yearly M/M Romance anthology release, which I will be published in this year. I plan on continuing to talk M/M romance in sets of five per video.The next one will actually be up tomorrow and I get to talk about my favorite M/M romance in it while wearing a rainbow cape.

In this video I talk about the following stories:

Taken By The Minotaur : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18458480-taken-by-the-minotaur?from_search=true&search_exp_group=group_a&search_version=service

The Man Who Came Too Much : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13517026-the-man-who-came-too-much?ac=1

The Circle ( Heirs of Ghorus) : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18284415-the-circle?ac=1

Good Boy (Unrepentant): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22701102-good-boy?from_search=true&search_exp_group=group_b&search_version=service

Cumming Out With His Step: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23785693-cumming-out-with-his-step?from_search=true&search_exp_group=group_a&search_version=service

Book Reviews

Let’s Talk Poetry | Ghazals and Agha Shahid Ali

Recently posted a video on one of my favorite poetry books. I really don’t explain the form as best as I could, but I filmed the video without any planning.hopefully I’ll film more videos like it in the future.I’ll be posting a ghazal of my own at Vigilantepoetry.wordpress.com soon.Happy National Poetry month!

Tonight

Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell tonight?
Whom else from rapture’s road will you expel tonight?

Those “Fabrics of Cashmere—” “to make Me beautiful—”
“Trinket”— to gem– “Me to adorn– How– tell”— tonight?

I beg for haven: Prisons, let open your gates–
A refugee from Belief seeks a cell tonight.

God’s vintage loneliness has turned to vinegar–
All the archangels– their wings frozen– fell tonight.

Lord, cried out the idols, Don’t let us be broken
Only we can convert the infidel tonight.

Mughal ceilings, let your mirrored convexities
multiply me at once under your spell tonight.

He’s freed some fire from ice in pity for Heaven.
He’s left open– for God– the doors of Hell tonight.

In the heart’s veined temple, all statues have been smashed
No priest in saffron’s left to toll its knell tonight

God, limit these punishments, there’s still Judgment Day–
I’m a mere sinner, I’m no infidel tonight.

Executioners near the woman at the window.
Damn you, Elijah, I’ll bless Jezebel tonight.

The hunt is over, and I hear the Call to Prayer
fade into that of the wounded gazelle tonight.

My rivals for your love– you’ve invited them all?
This is mere insult, this is no farewell tonight.

And I, Shahid, only am escaped to tell thee–
God sobs in my arms. Call me Ishmael tonight.