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…

The Midnight Gardner by R.G. Thomas

Penny’s Rating: B It’s been a while since I read a YA fairy-tale that I really enjoyed. This is a super-cute quick read, that just happens to have an inter-species (Gnome/Human) age appropriate romance. This is also book one in a series: The Town of Superstition, so if you want to read something that doesn’t end on a to be continued cliffhanger, this is not that book. There are going to be three in the series, and if you read, you’re going to want to read all of them, and you’ll have to wait for them to come out. Like I have to now. Thomas has successfully created a modern-day fairy-tale, that ties together witches, werewolves, dragons, garden gnomes, with one very unusual small town. There were twists and turns that I didn’t expect in this book, and given that the book is written with young teens in mind, I find that incredibly refreshing. So many LGBTQIA YA fiction novels often fall into those tragic archetypes of familial rejection, rebellion, tragedy, prejudice, or angst. I’m not knocking that at all – we all learn from tragedy and pain, but sometimes that is not what we need. Sometimes we need the fairy-tale. Sometimes, we need simple, clear-cut,…

Gambling Men

Penny’s Rating: B+ This is classic “Happy” Amy Lane. It is cuteness and light, and sunshine and puppy dogs, and steamy sex and mushy romance. It is a great read for a day when you need a well written happy read. On a side note: if you like m/m romance, and have yet to read any Amy Lane novels, I highly recommend you do so. I really love her Talker Series, and her Johnnies Series, if you are looking for suggestions. Publisher Description: Quent Jackson has followed Jason Spade’s every move in business and in poker since their first day as college freshmen. Eight years later, when Jace finally decides Quent is the one man he can’t live without, he sees no reason for that to change. But as much as Jace believes that poker is life, no one gave Quent the same playbook. After their first passionate night, the real game of love and trust begins, and Jace has been playing alone too long to make teaching the rules easy. Jace only speaks two languages: one of them is sex, and the other one is poker. Between the two, he needs to find a way to convince himself to…

Midnight in Austenland (Austenland #2)

Penny’s Rating: C This is my first time reading anything in author Shannon Hale’s Austenland series, but it totally appeals to the Jane Austen obsessed nerd in me. The people in this book go on vacation to a historic estate in the English countryside, and proceed to dress up and act like people from… well, a Jane Austen novel, of course! All I could think when I started this book, was how much I would freaking LOVE to actually do that. This is the second book in the series, but this book can be read as a stand alone without any confusion. Publisher Description: “When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests’ Austen fantasies. Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn’t sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs…