From my Pride Reads list 2022, here’s Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake, #1 in the Bright Falls series! I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Kristen DiMercurio, which I very much enjoyed.
In this sapphic rom-com featuring a lesbian and a bi woman as MCs and a medium-sized cast of other queer characters as well as a few token straights who are on thin ice (shoutout to Grant for bein’ a solid dude), complicated family histories take centre stage as Delilah Green returns, unwillingly, to her hometown of Bright Falls. (This, by the way, delighted me as I’d only recently completed playing a video game expansion that connects Control to the Bright-Falls-set Alan Wake games. But thankfully there’s no intrusive, horrible Darkness to be found in this story — if you’re not counting bad memories.) Delilah carries a lot of baggage from her childhood — and it’s only now, at her step-sister’s wedding, that she realises she’s not the only one.
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“Well… I think we should resume our ‘mutually beneficial exchange of energy…’ on an exclusive basis.”— Astrid, Something Like Love
From my Pride Reads list 2022, here’s Something Like Love by Christina C. Jones, #6 in the Serendipitous Love series! I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Sean Crisden and Wesleigh Siobhan, which was a great experience.
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That was the thing about good people. They did the right thing just because it was.— Orfeus, Foxhunt
Orfeus the musician is searching for hope in the heart of danger…
In a lush solarpunk future, plants have stripped most of the poison from the air and bounty hunters keep resource hoarders in check. Orfeus only wants to be a travelling singer, famed and adored. She has her share of secrets, but she’s no energy criminal, so why does a bounty hunter want her dead? Not just any bounty hunter but the Wolf, most fearsome of all the Order of the Vengeful Wild. Orfeus will call in every favor she has to find out, seeking answers while clinging to her pride and fending off the hunters of the Wild. But she isn’t the only one at risk: every misstep endangers the enemies she turns into allies, and the allies she brings into danger. There are worse monsters than the Wolf hiding in this new green world.
Quick review: Foxhunt is an incredibly enjoyable, fast-paced romp at the same time as it is a story that delves deep into the heart of its protagonist. That heart yearns even as it steels itself, and the yearning slow burn of the romance is delicious. It’s a bright look at the future, with smart worldbuilding; for me a wonderful introduction to the genre of solarpunk.
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Feeling is always worth it.— Danika Brown; Take A Hint, Dani Brown
Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits… When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues her from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zafir are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae — and Zaf is begging Dani to play along.
Quick review: If you love diverse, incredibly sexy romance, if you love bisexual protagonists, if you love friends-to-lovers stories with lots of pining even as they are together, then this is a novel for you. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll probably make you cry, and you will not regret picking it up. I cannot recommend it enough, and I’ll keep yelling about it.
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A showrunner and her assistant give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel a ridiculous rumor in this debut romance.— Meryl Wilsner, Something To Talk About
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”.
Don’t go into Something To Talk About expecting any fake dating or there was only one bed tropes. STTA is, at its core, slow burn, with all that that entails: miscommunication (or outright failure to communicate) and misunderstandings, 10 Reasons Why We Cannot Be Together, and pining. So much pining.
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