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!

Blog Tour Interview with Enjoy the Dance Author Heidi Cullinan and Rafflecoptor Giveaway

You can read part two of this interview below, part one at The Novel Approach, and part three at Prism Book Alliance. P: It’s been my experience people have a lot of misconceptions about what youth homelessness (and even homelessness in general) is. Do you share that experience, and if so, what kind of damage do you feel that does? How do we repair it? H: Youth homelessness in Iowa is a largely invisible crisis for most of the general population, and can take many forms other than what many would think of as a person living in a tent or cardboard box and panhandling at intersections and highway ramps.  Homeless youth under the age of 18 can be youth who have run away, or they can be youth who were ejected from their family homes, often due to LGBTQ identities.  Many homeless youth are ages 18-24, and they have aged out of either the child welfare system or the juvenile justice system with no supports or permanent connections. Homeless youth often “couch surf,” moving from location to location wherever they can find a place to stay and possibly a meal.  A lot of homeless youth are forced to engage…

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.    

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…

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,…