Scenes from Adelaide Road by Helena Stone

Penny’s Rating: B | Scenes from Adelaide Road is the first book I ever read by author Helena Stone, but it won’t be the last. It was well written, sweet, a little too anxiety-ridden, but a good story. Scenes from Adelaide Road is a love story in which the MC has a very abusive parent. Lennart’s father is a POS. I usually struggle reading stories like these. As a reader, you see a 360-degree picture of the effects of that abuse- the anxiety, depression, insecurity, lack of trust, etc. Lennart moves to Dublin and meets Aiden. It isn’t all sunshine and roses, but the theme of the story is basically summed up in this one great line: “We are born into our blood families for better or worse. Families of the heart, on the other hand, are those we create with the people who truly love us.” BTW, this novel received a 2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention!

Jefferson Blythe Esquire by Josh Lanyon

As per usual, this is a fantastic Josh Lanyon read. We have angst, mistaken identity, angst, danger and mayhem, that follows Jefferson Blythe from London, to Paris, to Rome, and back again. We have stupid hot chemistry, and really exasperating men who can’t get their you know what together. This book is classified as “new adult”. The characters depicted are younger and more immature than in Lanyon’s adult mystery and adventure fare. If you get annoyed by character stupidity, (which Jefferson and George provide plenty of), then this might not be an enjoyable read for you. If however, like myself, you enjoy making faces at the characters while you read and talking back to them, this is right up your alley. This is a great summer read-by-the-pool novel. Mystery and suspense isn’t always my favorite genre, but Lanyon combines capers and romance in such a way that you can’t help but dig in and enjoy the ride.    

Sharing a Pond by Alex Whitehall

Penny’s Rating B+ ~ When I first hear the words: frog-shifter paranormal romance, my first thought was, I am skeptical. What? I was. I wasn’t sure in spite of the bizarre plethora of stuff that I read, (which, let’s be honest, includes a fair amount of shifter paranormal romance, mostly of the werewolf persuasion) that a three-way frog-shifter romance was going to work. I was pleasantly surprised and my skepticism proven wrong by this story. I have found that I usually enjoy Less Than Three Press publications, because their authors do bring a different perspective to their stories. They do LGBTQIA fiction, but their stories are not always your typical m/m or f/f romance. Things are not always that clear-cut, and LTTP embraces that, which is awesome. This story instead turned out to be really cute. The frog thing works, and is actually used to explain (rather conveniently) one MC’s gender bending which occurs prior to the start of the book, and which furthers the plot of the story. These three are adorable together, and I can just picture three little frogs swimming and playing in a huge claw-foot tub. Being a frog-shifter story, this is a new take on a fairly standard…

Life, Some Assembly Required (The Rebuilding Year #2) by Kaje Harper

Penny’s Rating: A ~I have had this review on my to-do list for far too long. First of all, let me say that this is a great series. The Rebuilding Year was one of the books I read within my first year of discovering gay fiction. I loved it then and have reread it several times over the past few years. So when Kaje Harper announced that she was releasing a sequel, I knew that reviewing it was inevitable. Let me preface this by saying that if you have not read The Rebuilding Year, go do that first. It really is fantastic. Book two picks up exactly where book one ends. There is no passage of time between The Rebuilding Year and Life, Some Assembly Required, which was something that I wasn’t expecting. So there is still angst (so much angst!) as the two MC’s continue to build their lives together. There is also baby mama drama (Kaje is probable wincing as she reads that sentence sorry Kaje!), but really what else can I call it without giving away huge pieces of TRY2? If you are like me, the baby mama drama will drive you crazy. You will talk back to this book. It will not…

Josh Lanyon’s Adrien English Mystery Series

 ~Penny’s Series Rating: A ~ SO this wasn’t a review I planned on doing, but I ended up enjoying this series so much that I wanted to give it a shout out. I am in love with this series. I’ll be honest, I don’t love every mystery I pick up. But this is mystery with a side of exquisite, yell out loud at the fictional character’s you are reading about, angst. I will admit, I read all five books in three days. I barely slept because I couldn’t go to bed until I knew what happened, and I was useless the next day, but it was so worth it. Josh Lanyon, it’s official, I am a convert. He’s become my go-to mystery author. Adrien English Book Blurbs and Links Fatal Shadows (Adrien English #1) One sunny morning Los Angeles bookseller and aspiring mystery author Adrien English opens his front door to murder. His old high school buddy (and employee) has been found stabbed to death in a back alley following a loud and very public argument with Adrien the previous evening. Naturally the cops want to ask Adrien a few questions; they are none too impressed with his answers, and when a few…