The Girlfriend Sweater (St Brigid’s #1) – Jenny Parker

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The first in a series this is a sweet small town romance novella about Eva and Katie. Katie is intent on living a small town life after leaving San Francisco. She’s a lawyer at the only firm in town large enough to need two lawyers but is deeply unhappy in her job. Eva is a knitting pattern maker and tutor on the side. They meet when Katie decides to take a knitting class that Eva is teaching.

This was a solid three and a half stars for me. The reason for the title of the story made me smile – it adds to the sweetness of the story. I enjoyed the storyline but once they’d got together as a couple I felt like too much of the relationship happened off page for my tastes. I’d have liked a bit more before the inevitable angst.

I thought the angst was done well in that it built up throughout the storyline and wasn’t a random turn of events. However how Eva dealt with the situation seemed out of character so I had some issues with that part of the narrative.

I enjoyed the story and it was definitely a nice way to pass just over an hour. I am definitely looking forward to the next part of the series.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Becoming Human – Holly Grey

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Fantasy books aren’t normally my thing, but I’m determined to continue branching out and this piqued my interest. It’s a very sweet book with lots of fantasy elements threaded through human interactions, good and bad.

Jack is called into acton protecting Marin, an animal in human form on a month long road trip to deliver Marin safely to a meeting of leaders. Marin is described as the most important leader in the world, and essentially the story tells both their journey in literal terms as they try to stay safe, and their journey in getting to know each other in the strangest of circumstances.

I loved all the interactions with things humans consider to be normality and Marin learning about them. This brought both some sweet and humorous moments. The book has its violent moments, but because they are enmeshed in the fantasy world they didn’t read as particularly harrowing to me, but it is something to be aware of.

There isn’t much romance in the book, it’s very slow burn. It’s more day to day interactions, sweet conversations and how they protect each other from the world.

I liked how all of the secondary characters were written. They were well placed, either to complement the road trip protection aspect, enhance us getting to know Marin and where she is from, or to appreciate Jack’s past.

I found the ending to be a little underwhelming, but I can understand why it was done like this. I still had many questions and would just have liked an extra chapter or two to finish things off.

I can’t really comment as to how this compares to other fantasy books, but I really appreciated the writing and enjoyed the narrative. I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys queer fantasy stories.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Confessions of a Dreamer – Kenna White

Rating: 4 out of 5.
A solid book – not quite a four star but I’m rounding up. It’s a pleasant, sweet, easy read, with an age gap romance and a good premise.

Ros is an auditor at a University in Cincinnati. She’s called back to her hometown when her Aunt Bonnie has an accident. Here she’s reunited with her old biology teacher – Stacy, who has taken a role in Bonnie’s life.

I liked both Ros and Stacy as characters and connected with both of them. The book takes a little while to get going but I enjoyed it once it did.

Aunt Bonnie was a great character. I liked that she had just enough craziness to make the book amusing but not so much that the book became too much about her. I thought she was well written and her scenes worked well in strengthening the narrative of Ros and Stacy.

My only complaint is the lack of any real couple time in the storyline. I either needed a slightly longer book, or less of a slow burn. There was also a few pages about three quarters of the way through the book that gave me major anxiety as I anticipated something happening that never did. Not sure if that was intentional from the author or not.

I imagine this is a good depiction of small town living in the Midwest. I enjoyed the writing and I’m intrigued as to White’s other work.

I’d recommend this to any wlw fans, but especially those who aren’t looking for sexiness in their books.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Book of Queer Prophets: 21 Writers on Sexuality and Religion – Edited by Ruth Hunt

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
An interesting collection of essays on the topic of religion and sexuality. This was a hard one for me at times. It was definitely best read as singular essays, put down for a while for some thinking time and then moving onto the next one – so it took about a month to read and digest.

To be honest I picked up this due to Ruth Hunt being attached to the book. Some of the essays are of better quality than others, and naturally some spoke to me more than others too.

I’d recommend this to anyone – in fact I think it should be read by everybody, whether people of faith or LGBTQ+ or not.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Simple Answer – Lily Seabrooke

Rating: 3 out of 5.
I really enjoyed this. It’s mostly a sweet enemies to lovers story. Emily returns home from college, back to living next door to her best friend Percy and her number one enemy – her best friends sister – Vanessa.

Emily and Percy are geeks and Emily is a bit on the bumbly unsure of herself side. Whilst Emily has been away Vanessa has been trying to make amends for her previous behaviour and wants to convince Emily she’s changed.

I enjoyed Emily’s friendship with Percy, the way Vanessa’s amends were written and the build up of Emily and Vanessa becoming friends then lovers. Emily’s bumbling was a little bit frustrating at times, as was Vanessa’s being inside her head so much but I’d still classify these scenes as written well. The sex scenes are also really steamy.

I haven’t read any of Seabrooke’s other novels, but I’m definitely going to check them out now. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys the enemies to lovers trope.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.