Tag Archives: tag: gay

Digging Deep, by Jay Hogan

 

Blurb:

Drake Park has a complicated life. As a gay male midwife, he’s used to raising eyebrows. Add Crohn’s disease and things get interesting—or not, considering the sad state of his love life. Experience has taught Drake that most men are fair-weather sailors when it comes to handling his condition—gone for dust when things get rough. Staying healthy is a full-time job without adding in any heartbreak, so a little loneliness is a small price to pay. If he says it often enough he might even believe it. One thing for sure, the cop who arrested him isn’t about to change that.

Caleb Ashton does not have a complicated life. A senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department, he likes his job and is good at it. He works hard and plays hard, happy to enjoy as many men as he can while he’s still young enough—or at least he was. These days he feels adrift for the first time in his life, and the only thing sparking his interest—a certain prickly young midwife.

But can Drake find enough faith to risk opening his heart again? And does Caleb have what it takes to cope with the challenges Drake’s condition presents?

Buy Links:

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Dreamspinner Press

kobo

Published:

August 6, 2019
Dreamspinner Press

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Okay, so I think what attracted me to this story when I read the blurb was the Crohn’s disease. Weird? Maybe. But I see a lot of commercials on TV for all kinds of medications. I’ve heard that it’s a strange thing in kind of specific to America… not sure. Anyway, there is always some new drug commercial that is for people with Crohn’s disease and I wanted to know more about it. But with this book, I really wanted to see how it’s dealt with in the story. And wow! I don’t know if this story really goes into the depth of what it would be like for most people who have Crohn’s disease, but I think it gave me some insight.

The story deals pretty deep into the struggles that Drake goes through every day. Honestly, it’ horrible, and from what I gathered in the story, his is not quite as severe as others, butt still, terrible at times, embarrassing, and uncomfortable. I felt like I learned a lot, but in a way that brought comedy to a life that isn’t fun at all. Drake has a good life, good job he loves, and great friends and family. He’s still lonely though, but getting into a relationship with someone who not only understands him, but his disease as well… Well, it’s a hard combo for him to find. Then all of a sudden, in walks this asshat detective, Caleb, and his life gets turned upside down. It’s not only Drake who has his like turned around either, but Caleb as well. Caleb is a no dating kind of guy. He’s more interested in one night stands than hiss in relationships. He’s never actually even had a relationship at all so when he finds himself wanting to try with Drake, it hits him like a ton of bricks.

This is a slow burn romance that never feels like the burn is too long. It’s sweet and quirky, and the wooing that Caleb does to win over Drake is creative and so funny at times. Caleb is inventive and makes Drake’s Crohn’s disease something they can joke about in a way that is not hurtful or insulting. It’s quite adorable. The struggles they have to break down those solid walls they’ve both built up over the years, and let one another in, felt so real and authentic. It was hard to read at times, and sad, and so very good.

Aside from one very tragic and horrible moment, I really enjoyed this. So much more than I thought I would. If you can get through that trigger warning, I think it is worth the read.

Trigger warnings for a very unfortunate death of a child. It it pretty graphic and as a reader, you are right in the thick of it when Drake, as a midwife, is dealing with this very sad and tragic moment. It is a huge catalyst to movement of the story forward but is very hard to read. I would say that if you’re sensitive to this, you can skip a lot of this part of the story when it starts to happen, but don’t let it stop you from trying this book out.

Recommended.

~kristie

 

 

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World Turned Upside Down, by Elyse Springer

 

Blurb:

After three winters in Antarctica, Simon Bancroft is an old hand on the ice. The harsh weather and extreme isolation aren’t for everyone, but he enjoys the tight-knit community at McMurdo Station… and lately he’s enjoyed watching the hot new researcher, Asher Delaney, who’s recently arrived to study the aurora. But Simon’s just a janitor. Asher doesn’t even know he exists.

When Simon’s friends propose a wager, he gets a chance to introduce himself to Asher at last. But Asher defies all of Simon’s assumptions, and suddenly he finds himself reevaluating everything he thought he knew about Asher, himself, and falling in love at the bottom of the world.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Dreamspinner Press

kobo

Published:

August 9, 2019
Dreamspinner Press

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This was a sweet, very cute, and interesting story. Despite the predictable moments, I found myself really invested in Simon and Asher. A good portion of the story is informative since I’ve never been to Antartica. I mean, not many people have, right? Knowing that this story is told by someone who’s actually been there and experienced what it is like, it made the story more authentic and interesting.

Asher and Simon were too cute. I found them simply adorable, and while it was clear where the story was headed, I enjoyed the ride the entire way. Simon is sweet and unsure of himself, while Asher is exactly the same, even though you really have no idea until he and Simon start to get to know each other. I loved that the stereotype of the big and burley dude who is a scientist was totally smashed when we meet Asher. He’s a big guy, wicked smart, and 100% sweet and kind, not at all what people might think he’s like. Asher and Simon were really great together. I loved the slow burn and the entire getting-to-know-you part of the story. I loved that it was not rushed, and it felt so real.

Extra points go to Springer for all the cool info I learned about being on the ice. I know it’s just a drop in the bucket, but it was really cool to read about.

Recommended.

~kristie

 

 

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How to Be a Movie Star (How to Be #2), by TJ Klune

 

Blurb:

Josiah Erickson wants to be a movie star. The problem with that is so does half of Los Angeles. But he’s on his way, what with memorable roles as a TV show background cadaver and a guy in a commercial for herpes medication. All he needs is his big break. And that break may come in the form of a novelist who goes by the enigmatic name of Q-Bert.

Q-Bert, who is ready to make his directorial debut in a film Josy would be perfect for. Q-Bert, who Josy may or may not have a friend-crush on, and potentially something more. Being demisexual can be confusing.

From the City of Angels to the small mountain town of Abby, Oregon, Josy will give his all to make sure his dreams come true—even the ones he never thought possible.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

kobo

Publisher

Published:

February 12, 2019
Dreamspinner Press

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Look, I could try and write some eloquent review where I go on and on about how wonderful this book is. I could add in all the little things I loved, all the things I cried over and those other things I smiled huge. But all I want to do is jump on the rooftops and scream at the world that they need to read this book. This is one of those stories where, when you are reading, and then when you finish, you feel like this book could end wars. You feel like it could make literally EVERY PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE SMILE AND HUG THEIR NEIGHBOR. You feel like if you don’t buy this book and force everyone you know to read it, you’d not be a good person because you guys… this is how I feel right this moment.

How to Be a Movie Star is delightful in a similar way that Normal Person was, only it could be even sweeter. I don’t know because it’s been a while since I read that book. (I might have to go back and read it again soon because I don’t want to leave these guys.) See, it’s all Josy. He’s the absolute best person a person could be. He’s the nicest person. He’s open and honest, caring and kind. He’s got, as fans of this series would know, the best family he could ever ask for. Not his parents, nope, not them. But Casey and Gus, We Three Queens, Serge and Xander, Lottie, and even Starla, his agent… they’re the best friends and family in the world. And then he meets Q-Bert.

The wonderful Quincy is awkward, shy, suffers from anxiety and depression, and is the perfect match for Josy. They actually make each other better people. They make each other *want* to be better people. Their connection is incredibly cute, their friendship so inspiring, their crush for each other and feelings made me feel all warm and squishy. Their story is literally happiness. It’s all happiness!

While Josy and Quincy are in Abby filming this super weird movie that when we get glimpses of I honestly want to see a it happen for real, the feelings grow stronger and stronger. Their friendship solidifies and great things happen.

There is literally no angsts to speak of, and I think that’s mostly because of the way Josy is…he’s just so open and understanding. He might get sad from time to time, but he knows he has a great support system in his little family of friends, so he’s secure in a way that I wish more people could be. If anyone wanted a class on how to be a good person, they’d just need to try and be more like Josy.

Literally everything about this book made me happy. I laughed so much while reading it. I cried a little too, but I think a lot of those tears were because something amazing and beautiful was happening and, seriously, how can you NOT cry when something amazing and beautiful happens?

So here I am, shouting from the metaphorical rooftops, asking you all to read this book. It is happiness making. It is beautiful and so pure with love and friendship that my heart will be forever warm every time I think about it.

Highly recommended.

~kristie

 

 

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Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, Dreamspinner Press