Before I do that though, I want to say thank you to all the people who commented on my last post, sharing character hobby ideas! So many good ones I can’t really decide yet which one(s) to give to a new character, but I will! Also, Purple Reader turned the tables and asked me if I have ever given a character a dream hobby of my own. The answer is no, not exactly. But I have given a character my number one dream hobby as his profession. Sonny James is the weaver I would love to be! I still say “someday I’m going to learn to weave,” but the closest I’ve come so far has been a kind of lap weaving where yarn is woven into monk’s cloth (like burlap but not so rough) in patterns. I did enjoy it and it made a beautiful product! But I so want to make beautiful creations on a loom. So, yeah, kind of my dream hobby!
When I first found this wonderful community of writers and readers of MM and other queer fiction, I used to regularly write full-blown reviews and post them on Goodreads, saying right up front that all my reviews would have at least four stars because I felt no obligation to review (or even read) a book I didn’t like. The reviews I wrote are still there, if you care to take a look. I stopped the habit for a few reasons, but mostly time-crunch. Truthfully, I don’t even get as many books read as I used to, as life has taken me on a winding road of late. But I have read a few books recently that I’d like to put a plug in for. I enjoyed them, and you might too.
So… here are a few words about a few good books. (Note, these aren’t necessarily recent releases, just recent reads.)
The Starving Years by Jordan Castillo Price
I don’t usually read menage, but not because I’m judging. Life experiences influence my thinking, and when I’ve read “triples” before, I’ve almost always ended up angry with all three protagonists. This book turned that upside-down. I fell in love with these three men as they struggled to fall in step with each other. And it’s a beautiful—though rough and rocky—romance set in a dystopian New York. A wild ride, in places, but worth the price of a ticket, for sure.
Pukawiss the Outcast by Jay Jordan Hawke
Published by Harmony Ink, this book’s plot and characters place it squarely as Young Adult. Genre? Contemporary/Native American, surely, but I believe the term “magical realism” fits as well. The story is a beautiful journey of a youth growing into his own truth amid hardship, unwelcome change, and opposition. Cultural dissonance is a major theme, amplified by the protagonist’s gay identity, but for me the story’s meaning is broader and deeper, and even though I’m no young adult, it was a darn good read.
Stroke of Luck by Posy Roberts
This plot includes some hardship, some time-toughened habits, some meddling third parties, and a bit of confusion. But when it all shakes out what’s left is a short (novella), sweet, contemporary romance that put a smile on this reader’s face.
Hell and Highwater (THIRDS, book one) by Charlie Cochet
I know I’m late to jump on the THIRDS bandwagon, but since I’m finally here, I may as well beat the drum. As you might guess, I love police procedurals, mysteries, and suspense-laden romance, but I also love paranormal themes. This book set me down in a world mostly pretty ordinary—except for one big difference. Shifters are a new and diverse species. Like their human cousins, some are good and some are not, and some are badass cops who work alongside their human partners. Friction can happen, and when it does, things can get hot. There are more THIRDS books. I’ll be reading them.
Fish Stick Fridays by Rhys Ford
Recipe for a great read: Take one badass biker, one precocious and sassy little girl, and one very rich bookstore owner. Give each one a generous helping of baggage. Add guns, fire, books, mechanics, cops, and ex-lovers. Blend well and bake in a Rhys Ford novel. Serve hot. It’s delicious.
That’s it for now. But before I go, keep your eye on Love Bytes for the cover reveal (in just two days) of Sunset at Pencarrow by Lou Sylvre and Anne Barwell. You’re going to love the cover, created by the ever-talented Reese Dante. It’s a Dreamspinner World of Love novella, set in Anne’s home country—New Zealand.