Coming Out – Jourdyn Kelly

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I read this off the back of reading Coming To: An LA Lovers Book. The MCs in Coming Out are secondary characters in Coming To and I was interested in hearing more about their story. Reading them back to back was a little strange – as the book takes place in the same period with many of the same events – but it really helped me appreciate the storyline further and didn’t detract from this book at all. As I said in my review of Coming To – I think you can read them in any order.

Whilst I loved both Hunter and Ellie, one of the things I liked the most about the storyline here is that you get a lot of time with secondary characters, all of which are written well and add something to the book, especially in getting to know the MCs. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Ellie and her daughter.

Both Hunter and Ellie have reasons to doubt each other, and whether their relationship will work, but a strength of both the characters and the storyline is how they work through these things together. Much like Coming To the topics discussed aren’t always easy and the book does deal with homophobia, but it doesn’t dwell on them unnecessarily.

At heart this book is a story of love and chosen families and how they face the world together and I would recommend giving it a go.

Coming To – Jourdyn Kelly

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
I loved this book. It’s not an easy read by any means, but the story and the characters had depth and I found I wasn’t able to put the book down, despite it breaking my heart in places.

I wasn’t aware when I agreed to read the ARC that the characters and this storyline are mentioned in another of the authors books – Coming Out – but that didn’t matter at all when I read the book – I was just pleasantly surprised to find out at the end that I could read about some of the secondary characters I enjoyed in this book in their own book. It certainly didn’t leave me feeling like I’d missed anything and actually having now read Coming Out I think the books work well this way round.

As mentioned, this isn’t an easy read – there’s a lot of homophobia, homelessness and a life changing accident. It deals with themes that I think every LGBTQ+ person worries about to some extent in their lives at some point, but despite all of this the one feeling I found I was actually left with the most after reading was hope.

I’d highly recommend adding this book to your TBR list, even if you yourself aren’t LGBTQ+ as this is a book about humanity and relationships that anyone can relate to.

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

Coach M – Q. Kelly

Rating: 5 out of 5.
I’ve been thinking about this book a lot since I read it and found I needed to come back and write a review. This contains spoilers about both this book and the first in the series – Coach Z.

I read a biography of Q.Kelly and it said she likes to write in the grey of life – it’s an extremely appropriate way of describing this series of books. None of the characters are horrible, none of them are heroes, they’re just people dealing with hard things and situations.

I was originally attracted to the book because of my love of sports and lesbians crossed with basketball was right up my street. However it was the characters that had me reading both books back to back and still awake trying to finish them at 4am in the morning.

Coach M skips forwards five years from the ending of Coach Z, where we found the burgeoning relationship between Melissa and Andi ending due to alcoholism. Five years later and Andi is returning to coach the Ravens again, in the process coming face to face with Melissa again after no contact since the end of Coach Z.

The basketball descriptions in the book are great, and I loved how it accurately represents that sport is often a way of life for some. I thought Andi was great as a character, but for me it was the depiction of Melissa in Coach M that really spoke to me. Melissa is written as someone coming to terms with lots of things that people in the LGBTQ+ community often experience and then struggle with reconciling when they meet ‘the one’.

I was also really happy that whilst there is a happyish ending to the book, it didn’t break from its style and have an amazing unrealistic HEA. There is happiness and resolution – but everything isn’t tied into a happy bow just because the book ends.

I would love a third part of this series, continuing Melissa and Andi’s life together.