LGBTQ+

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows (Feminine Pursuits #2)

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows (Feminine Pursuits #2)

By: Olivia Waite

Blurb:

When Agatha Griffin finds a colony of bees in her warehouse, it’s the not-so-perfect ending to a not-so-perfect week. Busy trying to keep her printing business afloat amidst rising taxes and the suppression of radical printers like her son, the last thing the widow wants is to be the victim of a thousand bees. But when a beautiful beekeeper arrives to take care of the pests, Agatha may be in danger of being stung by something far more dangerous…

Penelope Flood exists between two worlds in her small seaside town, the society of rich landowners and the tradesfolk. Soon, tensions boil over when the formerly exiled Queen arrives on England’s shores—and when Penelope’s long-absent husband returns to Melliton, she once again finds herself torn, between her burgeoning love for Agatha and her loyalty to the man who once gave her refuge.

As Penelope finally discovers her true place, Agatha must learn to accept the changing world in front of her. But will these longing hearts settle for a safe but stale existence or will they learn to fight for the future they most desire?

Review:

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows was a slow burn romance. Once it got going though…shoo. The two heroines are in their mid-forties, which was a new one for me. Romances, at least the ones I’ve read, tend to be thirties and below. It was nice to see someone middle-aged get a second chance for love.

Agatha is bisexual. She’s a widow who loved her husband and loves her son. She works hard at the print shop she owns to provide for her family to keep them safe. It’s a very volatile period, especially for someone in her line of work. It was honestly very interesting to read about.

Penelope is a lesbian who has married a man who is in love with her brother. Her brother and husband sail the sea hunting whales, living the life of a married couple, while she stays at home alone. For the most part, it works for her, but she is lonely.

There’s an almost instant attraction for the couple, but because of the time and their personal histories neither woman is sure where the other stands. Lots of hinting and angst happen before things are able to progress.

They’re a cute couple, and there’s a lot of passion. I wasn’t a huge fan of any of the side characters, though. Penelope’s brother and husband were cute. Agatha’s son was annoying, and more often than not, I wanted to slap him. A character from the previous book made an appearance, but you don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this one.

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows further cements my enjoyment of Olivia Waite. I pre-ordered it because I enjoyed The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics so much, and I was not disappointed. I will definitely be pre-ordering the next.

4.5/5

Love, Creekwood (Simonverse #3.5)

Love, Creekwood (Simonverse #3.5)

By: Becky Albertalli

Blurb:

It’s been more than a year since Simon and Blue turned their anonymous online flirtation into an IRL relationship, and just a few months since Abby and Leah’s unforgettable night at senior prom.

Now the Creekwood High crew are first years at different colleges, navigating friendship and romance the way their story began—on email.

Review:

Love, Creekwood is a novella that is a series of emails between the characters from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. You see them during their freshman year of college. It’s cute and angsty since Simon and Bram are going to different colleges. It’s a short read but the ending feels like a set up for the next book. There isn’t one listed on Goodreads, though, so not sure if one’s coming.

Unless you’re a fan of the previous books, I wouldn’t recommend reading this. It was definitely written for fans.

4/5

Something to Talk About

Something to talk about

Something to Talk About

By: Meryl Wilsner

Blurb:

A showrunner and her assistant give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel a ridiculous rumor in this debut romance.

Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time–threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.

As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a “source” is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is “no comment”.

With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realize the rumor might not be so off base after all…but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames?

Review:

Something to Talk About was a slow burn romance. I wondered how Wilsner was going to handle the power imbalance, but they handled it well. It ended up being most of the plot of the story. I had expected something different because of the paparazzi element, and while that certainly played a role, it wasn’t their biggest hurdle.

Emma is a personal assistant that is very good at her job. She’s gotten to know her boss and is at a point where she can tell what kind of day it’s going to be by how Jo greets her in the morning.

Jo is rich and famous and very good at her powerful Hollywood job. She’s also a lesbian that isn’t technically out to the world. She’s focused on her career and excelled but isn’t the best in romantic relationships.

They were clearly going to become a couple, but they both agonized over it the entire book. They didn’t tell each other their feelings, because of the power imbalance, so it did get frustrating. The reader knew that didn’t come into play at all, so it felt like a lack of communication. I know that wasn’t the case, that there were good reasons they couldn’t talk out their emotions, but it’s still one of my least favorite tropes.

You didn’t get to see much of Jo and Emma as a romantic couple which I would have liked; they had moments like they’d been in a relationship for years, but there wasn’t much of the fun new couple stuff.  It was more of a boss and a really competent employee relationship. I would have liked more romance. More of them as a couple and less of them not being able to talk about their feelings.

3.5/5

Conventionally Yours (True Colors #1)

Conventionally Yours

Conventionally Yours (True Colors #1)

By: Annabeth Albert

Blurb:

When two “big name fans” go head-to-head at a convention, love isn’t the only thing at stake.

Charming, charismatic, and effortlessly popular, Conrad Stewart seems to have it all…but in reality, he’s scrambling to keep his life from tumbling out of control.

Brilliant, guarded, and endlessly driven, Alden Roth may as well be the poster boy for perfection…but even he can’t help but feel a little broken inside.

When these mortal enemies are stuck together on a cross-country road trip to the biggest fan convention of their lives, their infamous rivalry takes a backseat as an unexpected connection is forged. Yet each has a reason why they have to win the upcoming Odyssey gaming tournament and neither is willing to let emotion get in the way―even if it means giving up their one chance at something truly magical.

Review:

This book was right up my geeky alley. I’ve never gotten into a card-playing game, but mainly because I’ve never had the time or disposable income. Still, I had no problem following the story or understanding what was going on, which is good because the card game is a major part.

Conrad and Alden are part of an LGBTQ+ weekly card game that is uploaded to YouTube. They hate each other. Conrad trash talks Alden and Alden is borderline condescending. However, they both need a win in their lives, so they jump at the opportunity to go to the Con and win a huge cash prize.

Conrad’s year was rough. Everything that could go wrong did. It was pretty sad, but he never lost his optimism, and having the weekly game session helped with that. His self-confidence took a significant hit because of everything, though.

Alden had two moms that loved him, but at least one was super pushy. She wanted what she thought was best for him, but it was easy to see how stressful she was making his life. While he wasn’t going through the same issues Conrad was, they shared similar challenges. They just had to get over themselves to realize it.

The enemies to lovers trope can be hard to execute, but Albert did a great job. I also enjoyed the inclusion of the having to share a bed trope. Conrad and Alden made a cute couple. Watching them fall in love as they overcame all the pitfalls that come with a long road trip was fun—definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

4.5/5