Book Review: Red, White & Royal Blue

I literally cannot even explain in words how much I loved this book. I listened to it on Audible because I never have time to actually sit down and read and finished it in a day then turned around, bought the paperback and it’s coming soon and I cannot wait to sit down and read this again.

This book is everything I’ve ever wanted to read. And I literally cannot recommend it more. It was so fantastic and sweet and I even forced my best friend to also read it. I literally logged into UK Amazon, bought a gift card for the book amount and sent it to her so she could ALSO buy the book and read it.

We literally have not finished screaming about this book and it has been an entire week and I’m still posting about it on my social media and pushing my book club to read it too honestly this was just everything.

This book meant everything to me.

Overall rating: ★★★★★★★★★★
(10/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Plot: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Characterization: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Boredom meter: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

I literally cannot wait to read this book all over again in a few days.

More about Red, Write & Royal Blue

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius―his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

Get your copy here on Amazon!

Book reviews: Sub Tweet – A Crazy Ink Anthology

With a title like Sub Tweet I was excited to see what this was going to be about. Everyone knows I’m the master of subtweeting people (not really, I lack a whole bunch of subtlety, lbr).

I was blown away by the sheer talents of the authors in this anthology. I absolutely adored every second of this book. I ended up reading it in just a single day, and while I did skip one or two stories (because of triggering subject matter – sexual assault, kidnapping) I’m happy I read it.

It was more than just an anthology about subtweets, it was a whole commentary on technology and how we as humans have come to rely on it so much. The authors used subtweets or vague books to start off their stories and launched into an entire world of what said tweet or Facebook post could mean.

It gives life to the reality behind posting these types of things about people and makes you think. There are people you’re hurting with these things you say, but the person you’re hurting the most is yourself. This anthology does a good job of making sure people know that it is entirely unfair to say these types of things because all it’s going to do is come back on you.

Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: 👍👍👍👍
Plot: 😄😄😄😄
Characterization: 👩‍🚀👩‍🚀👩‍🚀👩‍🚀
Boredom meter: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Some of these stories were total knock outs. I adored them. Crazy Ink really knows how to put together a good anthology!

Book Review: Firstlife by Gena Showalter

The pining between Ten and Killian was kind of drawn out for a little too long, but other than that I really enjoyed this story.

I picked it up because the cover looked like one I’d done sketches of for a book I wrote. Plus, I love YA so reading about Ten and her fight against her parent’s wishes was right up my alley. Right out of the gate, this book is entertaining as heck!

I think my favorite part was the song Ten’s Aunt Lina sings and how that helps her later in the story. I knew it would come back to do something awesome and I was not disappointed. Ten is totally awesome in this story and I’m really glad Showalter didn’t opt for an Archer/Ten/Killian love triangle because I would’ve DNF’d this book so fast.

Instead of relying heavily on romance, Showalter tells a story worthy of her heroine. It is dark, intricate, full of action, and full of glittery beasts (done right, of course).

This was an excellent read!

Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: 👍👍👍👍👍
Plot: 😄😄😄
Characterization: ☀️☀️☀️
Boredom meter: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

I’m struggling through the second one right now, so I wish book 2 was a little better, but book one definitely held my attention very well!

Book Reviews: Death of a Bachelor by M.A Hinkle

Oh my gosh! I loved this book. I loved every second of it.

I am obsessed with Cathal. Like he and I are pretty much the same person. And Felix! I loved him so much.

Literally, this book is like a breath of fresh air! There is so much LGBTQIA+ representation in here that I really felt seen. There is acespec representation, bisexual representation, gay representation, lesbian representation, and I think there were even some straight people?

The romance is a juicy, juicy slowburn that took just enough time to woo me as a reader and convince me that Damon and Cathal belonged together. I was rooting for them for the whole book because these two broken men need each other to survive.

Cathal especially since he can’t cook and spends all of his “alone time” eating instant ramen and not knowing what half of the stuff Damon cooks is. I love how clueless and adorable he was about cooking, but how smart he was about space.

At the end of the book, I’m pretty sure even Era shipped them from beyond the grave. She had a hand in getting them together, after all. I like to imagine her ghost chatting with Felix casually about it over a box of Lucky Charms. Her two broken boys finding comfort in one another after her loss.

Great, now I’m crying again.

Seriously, though. This book was incredible. It was a little slow in the beginning, but once it picks up it picks up FAST and I read the bulk of it in just a few days. I cannot wait to see more from M.A Hinkle!

Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(5/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: 👍👍👍👍👍
Plot: 😄😄😄😄😄
Characterization: 🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰
Boredom meter: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

I cannot wait for the next book in the series that focuses on Felix and the twins. I know it is going to be as incredible, if not moreso than this one. I love M.A Hinkle and I’m willing to bet I’m going to be a life-long fan.

Review: Return to Sender by Roberta Blablanski

I am literally still happy sobbing as I type this. I am so glad I read this book!

This story is so beautiful and kind from the very beginning. I’m not a fan of M/M stories, which I know is really unfair because I’m an LGBTQIA+ author, but I find that most M/M stories are not written by people in the community and aren’t a good representation of gay culture as a whole, but that was definitely not the case with Return to Sender.

From the very beginning, this story had me hooked. The romance and family and just love in this book had me crying happy and sad and just emotional tears almost the whole time I was reading it.

I read this story in literally a single day. It’s a novella, so it wasn’t that hard, but that is a feat for me. I usually have to keep putting books down to do other things, but this book in particular just really spoke to me and was always on my mind.

I loved that all the smut scenes were fade to black because that was so on brand for Drew and Wes! They deserved all their privacy and their secret stolen moments after everything they’d been through.

The writing was amazing and expressive and full of emotion and I didn’t ever once think “this is a first-person POV novel” because I was never pulled out of the narrative long enough to ever question anything about the mechanics of the book. I cannot praise Return to Sender enough. It was truly an amazing read.

Roberta, this story was literally brilliant. I cannot think of a story more deserving of a 5-star review from me. I loved it so much and I cannot wait to see what you write next.

Overall rating: ★★★★★
(5/5 Stars)

Rating breakdown:
Prose: 👍👍👍👍👍
Plot: 😄😄😄😄😄
Characterization: 👨‍🔧👨‍🏫👧👨‍🔧👨‍🏫
Boredom meter: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

This book brought me so much joy and so much pain. Honestly, I recommend it to everyone who loves LGBT lit.

Review: Never Letting Go by Liv Devereaux

This was very, very short and read like an unedited Wattpad story. I really like that Devereaux continues to write f/f and LGBT fiction, but I can’t help but think that this sort of writing is a little detrimental to the community.

As an LGBT author myself, I am all for supporting other people who write for the community and Devereaux is not a bad author. On the contrary, I do enjoy a lot of their work, but I find myself wishing they could be a little better.

This story was over in the blink of an eye, though I did like the narrative of two estranged lovers coming back together, I wish Devereaux would have explored this further in a longer story. I know we get the explanation toward the end as to what happened between them and how they ended up like this, but it all felt really flat.

I fully believe Devereaux has an incredible talent that they have yet to explore fully and will continue to read and advocate for their books with a little bit of constructive criticism thrown in. Keep writing, Devereaux, you’re out here fighting the good fight and filling the world with so much needed wlw representation.

I look forward to the next project I read by you.

Overall rating: ★★★
(3/5 Stars)

Rating breakdown:
Prose: 👍👍
Plot: 😄😄😄😄
Characterization:
Boredom meter: 🔥🔥

I would like to see better characterization and prose writing from Devereaux in the future.

Review: Not Your Villain by C.B Lee (Audible)

I got this title on audible like I do most of my traditional publishing reads and as much as it pains me because I adored the first one, I’m going to have to DNF book 2.

I love Bells and I would have loved to follow his story especially his whole Chameleon thing, but C.B Lee doesn’t do anything interesting with him. Most of the book he pines over Emma in the most annoying way possible.

Then he whines when she gets a boyfriend and starts acting like a bad friend. Which was so annoying to me and made even more annoying by the voice actor they had reading the book that I had to stop listening.

Not to mention, Lee completely mischaracterizes Jess. It’s like this book was written by a completely different person. In book 1, Jess loved running and training and she wanted to be a hero. In book 2, Jess is a whiny lazy grump who is useless on most missions.

This turned me off so badly because I really genuinely loved Jess and seeing her stripped down to a whiny comic relief archetype was horrible.

You’re better than this, C.B Lee and I really agonized over giving this book a bad review because I loved the first one so much, but I cannot continue to struggle through reading this.

Overall rating: ★
(1/5 Stars – DNF)

Rating breakdown:
Prose: 👍👍
Plot: 😄
Characterization:
Boredom meter:

I really hope the next novel C.B Lee puts out is better than this.