Uncategorized

Free eARCs of My Adult MM Romance

Hi, everyone! Isis here. I wrote a very long adult MM romance novel entitled So It Goes, and it’s in the works to be released at the beginning of next year. That being said, I am trying to find some people who are into the genre interested in receiving free electronic advanced reader copies in exchange for honest reviews.

So, if you are interested, please leave me a comment here, or email me at isisroxana@hotmail.com. The copies will be sent out January 2022. I’m really proud of this book, and I’m so excited for everyone to read it. I’ll leave the blurb below.

***

At thirty-one, Aaron Santos has finally  bought his family their dream house. This is the first place that’s felt like a home, and things are finally looking up. However, as much as he tries to be the best boyfriend and father, it never feels like enough. 

Lucas Adams is happily married with a baby on the way. The life he’s created for himself is exactly the one he’d always longed for. He’s a successful full-time author who is delighted to meet his new next door neighbors, especially Aaron, who’s kind and intriguing. 

Soon, Aaron and Lucas form a close friendship, and realize that they have more in common than they thought. Together, they navigate suburban life with their respective families, through all the ups and downs thrown their way. But when both of them lose what is most precious to them, they find solace in each other to cope with the fallout, and discover that the love they feel for one another is stronger than any challenge they’ve ever faced. 

This is a friends to lovers slow burn romance with no cheating involved. It has some mature content. 

Book Reviews

The Geek Who Saved Christmas by Annabeth Albert – Book Review

The Geek Who Saved Christmas: MM Holiday Romance - Kindle edition by  Albert, Annabeth. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

He deserved someone watching out for him, someone to leave a light on, and if he’d let it be me, well, I liked that. It also terrified me. But not enough to dampen how much I wanted to be someone for him.

I was drawn to this book by the gorgeous illustrated cover. I mean, look how pretty. I’m a sucker for illustrated covers. I also happen to love Christmas romance stories, in books and in movies. I’m not the biggest fan of the holiday, but I love seeing people fall in love during it. And this was no exception.

The Geek Who Saved Christmas follows the lovely and charming Gideon Holiday, a forty-something man who loves Christmas, and helping out in his neighborhood. This year, he has a plan to help his grumpy next door neighbor, Paul Frost, put up Christmas lights for once in the four years he’s lived there. Paul isn’t into the holiday at all, and he doesn’t want Gideon’s help. That is, until Paul’s younger brother lets him know that he and his girlfriend are visiting for Christmas, and he plans to propose to her. Suddenly, Paul needs to find a decorator to spring up his house, and Gideon is more than happy to help.

I absolutely adored this story. It had everything I could have ever wanted, and more. I loved loved Gideon. He was a real sunshine, despite being kind of lonely. I liked him from the start. He was the kind of positive person who actually makes you want to be positive instead of angering you. I liked Paul and his grumpiness, too, especially when I saw the soft side of him. And I loved seeing the two lonely men come together as they worked to decorate for Christmas.

This book is full of heart and cheeriness and warmth and good feelings. It’s very low angst, and the family aspect is pretty strong. There was no real conflict, and you have no idea how much I appreciated that. I love books like this. I wish more books were like this. I had the best time reading it. I love romance stories about forty year olds because it’s never too late to fall in love.

If you like sweet Christmas romances, this one is for you!

Book Reviews

Total Creative Control by Joanna Chambers & Sally Malcolm – Book Review

Total Creative Control (Creative Types Book 1) - Kindle edition by  Chambers, Joanna, Malcolm, Sally. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

This lovely book follows Aaron Page, a PA working for the creator and writer of the TV show Leeches, Lewis Hunter. Aaron is not only a fan of the show, in his personal time, he also writes slash fanfiction of the show about the two main characters, who are not canonically together. I knew just from this premise that I would like this book.

There was so much to love about this story. First, I loved that we got to hear about a fanfiction writer who devoted so much of his time to a show and characters that meant a lot to him. Second, I loved that said writer could also work on the actual show with its creator. What a dream that would be. And third, I loved that these two characters were meant to fall in love.

We have the sunshine/grumpy trope and the boss/employee trope working side by side and, let me tell you, it was wonderful. I just loved seeing Aaron and Lewis getting closer and closer together. I loved that, despite the power imbalance, they felt like equals. I liked that Lewis would seek out Aaron for comfort when it was most needed, and that Aaron was always so loyal to Lewis. I liked a grumpy Lewis, too.

So many aspects of this book just pushed my buttons in the best way. It made me lose so much sleep, but it was all worth it. I loved getting lost in this story. It kind of made me feel validated for my love of fandom and fanfiction. So, if you want to dive into a new slow burn romance, this one is perfect.

Book Reviews

Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff – Book Review

Too Bright to See: Lukoff, Kyle: 9780593111154: Amazon.com: Books

This book is lovely.

I don’t usually read middle grade books. I have nothing against them, but I just prefer my main characters to be much, much older. However, I was curious about this book because it’s a ghost story and it’s LGBTQIA+, so I had to give it a shot. And I’m so glad I did.

Too Bright to See follows eleven-year-old Bug, who lives in Vermont with his mom. Before the book begins, Bug’s uncle passes away from a terminal illness. I immediately adored Uncle Roderick just seeing him from Bug’s memories. And I was so upset that he had died so young. He sounded like the loveliest person ever. We get to see Bug trying to deal with grief, financial problems, a ghost haunting their Vermont home, and most importantly, realizing that he is a trans boy.

I loved seeing this journey play out. Bug was such a sweet character, and I loved seeing the world through his eyes. The hauntings were pretty spooky at times, and I enjoyed every aspect of that. Bug’s mom was such a great and supportive person, and I adored her as much as Uncle Roderick. I just loved how much support Bug had in his life, including his friend Moira, who was the kindest one of them all. This book was just so full of heart and so wholesome, even though it had its sad moments. Every character felt real, and I grew to love all of them.

I think this is such a wonderful book. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys middle grade books, ghost stories, or just journeys of identity and personal discovery. It was stunning.

Book Reviews

She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen – Book Review

Amazon.com: She Drives Me Crazy: 9781250209153: Quindlen, Kelly: Books

I remember feeling like I was both too much and not enough.

This book has the loveliest cover I’ve ever seen. I’m a fan of seeing the main characters illustrated on the covers, and this one just drew me in. The story, however, left much to be desired.

She Drives Me Crazy follows Scottie on her senior year of high school. She’s trying to get over her ex-girlfriend, and trying to make it through the year, when she has a car accident with Irene, the most popular girl in school, who is also a cheerleader. Scottie thinks of Irene as her nemesis ever since she towed her car at one of her parties, but now she’s forced to give her rides to school until her car gets fixed. This leads to a fake relationship with the good old enemies to lovers trope in play.

I’m so disappointed to say that despite this fabulous premise, I was very underwhelmed with this story. I haven’t read a young adult book in a while, and maybe that’s part of it, but I just couldn’t bear hearing about the popular kids vs the non-popular kids. I haven’t been in high school for over ten years, but even as a non-popular kid, I rarely cared about any of the popular ones. In this book, anything Irene does gets shared with the entire school, and they all suddenly care. It just felt so overdone. There’s even a foil for Irene, the popular girl who’s actually a horrible person, but that’s her only personality trait.

All the characters felt superficial to me. They didn’t feel real. They felt like cardboard cutouts of what you would expect from a book centered around high school minutiae. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Scottie and Irene. It was more like they went from hating each other in one scene, to wanting to kiss each other the next. There was absolutely no build up to their supposed romance. I couldn’t root for them at all.

Some people have pointed out that it bothered them how Scottie basically made Irene come out for their entire fake relationship part. I’m not sure if that bothered me or not because Irene was already out to her parents, and she did agree to play along. But I still think this could have been handled better.

Like I said, this book had all the elements to make me love it, but it fell short. It’s a highly forgettable story, with bland characters, and a really annoying setting. But at least it has a nice cover.

Book Reviews

Sweetest Sin by Sosie Frost – Book Review

Sweetest Sin by Sosie Frost

I would risk my faith, my vocation, my very soul because I can’t spend ten minutes apart from you.

I have to admit that ever since watching Fleabag, I’ve had a thing for priests. I grew up Catholic, but then went to a Protestant church during my teenage years. Now I’m not religious at all, so I can read priest porn without feeling much guilt about it. But the real reason why I read this deliciously sinful book is because I found a Tiktok of someone’s unfinished manuscript where they quoted a smutty scene with a priest and a woman. I immediately rushed to search up priest romance novels, and I was lucky to stumble onto this one.

Sweetest Sin follows Father Raphael. He’s a thirty-year old man who is dedicated to his church and well loved by his community. Honor is on her senior year of college, and she just moved back home to help out her mom who recently got out of jail and gave up her addictions. The book starts off with Honor’s confession, telling Father Raphael that they need to distance themselves from each other to avoid falling into temptation. I was hooked from that very moment.

This book is written so well. Every sentence is there for a reason. It lands with a punch. The dialogue was exquisite, to the point that I had to reread most of it more than once. The writing is flowery and metaphorical in the best way. I was so engaged in this forbidden love story that I managed to finish the book in one day, which doesn’t happen often with me.

Father Raphael and Honor have so much chemistry. It was flying off the pages. Every interaction they had was so full of angst over them not being able to be together. They hated themselves for their sinful thoughts, but kept getting closer and closer anyway. It was definitely a slow burn, but so well done. I just found this book impossible to put down. I think blending religion and sexuality makes for fantastic stories, and this was no exception.

I am already in search for other priest romance books. But I feel like no other will live up to this one. The only thing I don’t like about this book is the cheesy book cover. Other than that, it was perfect. Give it a read if you’re not afraid of a bit of sacrilege.

Book Recommendations, Uncategorized

Anticipated Books of 2021 Part 2

MRW I'm black on reddit - GIF on Imgur

This post was supposed to come out two months ago to align more with half of the year, but life happens and it is here now with some of the books already out. Oh well. I feel like these posts when done in the beginning of the year are heavily focused on books released in the beginning of the year so this is meant to include the rest of the year.

Nicole’s Books

56269064

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

This domestic thriller focuses on Mr. and Mrs. Wright and their marriage problems. They “win” a trip to Scotland, and they know it will make or break their relationship. Lies and secrets get revealed, and it just sounds like a fun time.

Expected Publication Date: September 7th

The Family Tree by Steph Mullin

The Family Tree by Steph Mullin and Nicole Mabry

This thriller follows Liz Catalano as she does a DNA test and finds out a serial killer is related to her. But the thing is, they haven’t been caught, and she gets roped into the FBI investigation trying to find him.

Expected Publishing Date: June 10th

Amazon.com: Chasing the Boogeyman: A Novel: 9781982175160: Chizmar,  Richard: Books

Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar

This novel is set in 1988 in a small town in Maryland. Dead bodies keep turning up, and the town in terrified. Is a serial killer on the loose or is this murderer even human? This is an interesting mix of memoir and fiction that I am sure will mess with my mind.

Expected Publishing Date: August 17th

Among Thieves by M.J. Kuhn

Among Thieves by MJ Kuhn

A LGBT+ fantasy with a heist plot is all I want to know about this book.

Expected Publishing Date: September 7th

Amazon.com: All of Us Villains (All of Us Villains, 1): 9781250789259:  Foody, Amanda, Herman, Christine Lynn: Books

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

This appears to be the first in a LGBT+ fantasy series revolving a deadly tournament.

Expected Publishing Date: November 9th

Amazon.com: The Taking of Jake Livingston: 9781984812537: Douglass, Ryan:  Books

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

A LGBT+ paranormal thriller that follows Jake Livingston who can see the dead. He meets the ghost of the a school shooter and bodies start showing up around the neighborhood.

Expected Publishing Date: July 13th

The Corpse Queen by Heather Herrman

This historical thriller follows a teenage grave robber who unfortunately gets tangled in a murderer’s plans.

Expected Publishing Date: September 14th

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

White Smoke by Tiffany D Jackson

A YA psychological thriller that explores the classic haunted house story. I have an ARC of this and have already started it. It is really good so far.

Expected Publishing Date: September 14th

Amazon.com: The Dead and the Dark: 9781250762016: Gould, Courtney: Books

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

This LGBT+ paranormal thriller follows the daughter of a popular ghost hunter as they try to discover what is going on in Snakebite, Oregon.

Expected Publishing Date: August 3rd

*no cover yet*

Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim

This young adult fantasy is the first in a trilogy. It is set in an Arabian inspired land and involves tea magic. Yes, tea magic is all I need in order to pick up a book. Don’t judge.

Expected Publishing Date: 2021

Foretold (The Scryers, #1) by Violet Lumani

Foretold by Violet Lumani

A young adult fantasy that looks like it is the start of the series, but I don’t know how big. Cassandra has OCD and extreme anxiety. She regularly thinks of people dying, but then has a true vision of her neighbor dying. So, she dives into this hidden world of divination magic in order to save his life.

Expected Publishing Date: July 20th

The Circus at the End of the Sea: Snyder, Lori R.: 9780063047105:  Amazon.com: Books

The Circus at the End of the Sea by Lori R Snyder

A middle grade book that follows a young girl discovering a magical circus.

Expected Publishing Date: October 19th

Amazon.com: Tidepool: A Lovecraftian Gothic Novel eBook : Willson, Nicole:  Books

Tidepool by Nicole Wilson

A historical horror set in 1913. Sorrow’s brother disappears, and when she is on the search for him, bodies start washing up ashore.

Expected Publishing Date: August 3rd

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

The title is pretty self explanatory. In a support group of the survivors of violent events, one of the girls goes missing. What happened to her? Is their own horror movie not quite over?

Expected Publishing Date: July 13th

Amazon.com: Nothing But Blackened Teeth: 9781250759412: Khaw, Cassandra:  Books

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

This horror novella has the creepiest cover ever. Based on Japanese folklore, a mansion set on top of the bones of a bride and it’s walls filled with the corpses of people sacrificed in order to keep her company.

Expected Publishing Date: October 19th

Comfort Me With Apples | Catherynne M. Valente | Macmillan

Comfort Me with Apples by Catherynne M Valente

This novel’s summary is so perfect I’m just going to copy and paste it.

A terrifying new thriller from bestseller Catherynne M. Valente, for fans of Gone Girl and Spinning Silver

Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. She can feel it in her bones. He is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect.

It’s just that he’s away so much. So often. He works so hard. She misses him. And he misses her. He says he does, so it must be true. He is the perfect husband and everything is perfect.

But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband’s face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer. The locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can’t quite meet her gaze…

But everything is perfect. Isn’t it?

Expected Publishing Date: October 26th

Isis’ Books

Amazon.com: If This Gets Out: A Novel: 9781250805805: Gonzales, Sophie,  Dietrich, Cale: Books

If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich –

I’ve already read this one, but I’m excited to get my hands on a physical copy and to reread. Two boys in a boyband falling in love? Yes please.

Expected publication date: December 7, 2021

Amazon.com: Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World:  9781534496194: Sáenz, Benjamin Alire: Books

Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Saenz

I’m so excited for my physical copy of this one, too. Even though I’ve already read it. I can’t wait to dive back into it all over again. Ari & Dante are my sons.

Expected publication date: October 12, 2021

Amazon.com: Dark Rise (Dark Rise, 1): 9780062946140: Pacat, C. S.: Books

Dark Rise by C. S. Pacat

I have the arc of this one, but I’m also super excited to get my hands on the physical copy. I haven’t actually read this one yet, but I know it’s going to be good.

Expected publication date: September 28, 2021

Before We Disappear by Shaun David Hutchinson

Before We Disappear by Shaun David Hutchinson

I’ve loved mostly every Shaun David Hutchinson book I’ve read so I’m really excited about this one. I don’t really know much about it, but I’m sure it’ll be good.

Expected publication date: September 28, 2021

Amazon.com: The Taking of Jake Livingston: 9781984812537: Douglass, Ryan:  Books

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

I love ghost stories and this one sounds amazing. I’m excited to dive into yet another book that I don’t know much about. Also, the cover looks so good.

Expected publication date: July 13, 2021

Some Things I Still Can't Tell You | Book by Misha Collins | Official  Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

Some Things I Still Can’t Tell You by Misha Collins

If you know me, you know I adore Misha Collins, so you bet I already preordered his book of poetry collections. I know it’s going to be good. I can’t wait to read it.

Expected publication date: October 19, 2021

Book Reviews

Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins – Book Review

Amazon.com: Here the Whole Time (9781444958492): Martins, Vitor: Books

The whole world is yours.

This book follows Felipe, a fat seventeen year old boy in Brazil. During his break from school, he’s forced to spend fifteen days with Caio, the boy from his apartment complex whom he’s had a crush on for years. They used to spend time as children at the pool, but now they don’t even speak to each other. So, things get a bit awkward between them from the start.

I really enjoyed this book. It just follows the daily lives of these people, including Felipe’s mom, who was incredible, but it never got boring. There was always so much to get out of the ordinary conversations the characters were having. I loved the way the story progressed, going from amazingly awkward to super comfortable. It was so easy to relate to Felipe, who never felt good enough in his body just because it was too big. As a fat person, I can definitely relate. But I love that he learns to accept himself by the end because life is too short to not love yourself. I loved Caio so much. The boy stole my heart. He was such a sweetheart. And again, Felipe’s mom stole the show. The woman was a total gem.

I think this book is important for those of us who don’t get to be represented as much in books. Main characters tend to be thin, perfect creatures. They’re hardly ever fat, and when they’re fat, they’re the butt of the joke instead of the main character. But Felipe shines off the page. He’s the main character as he’s coming of age, and following his heart. I loved the message in this book, to be brave, to have courage, and to be proud of who you are.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone out there who knows what it feels like to be different.

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell – Book Review

Amazon.com: Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow Trilogy, 3) (9781250254337):  Rowell, Rainbow: Books

“I’m always holding on by a thread! I thought the important thing was that I’m holding on!”

I flew through this book, which is unusual for me when it comes to reading lately. But I have to say, Any Way the Wind Blows took me by surprise. This is the third book in a trilogy, but here are my reviews for Carry On and Wayward Son, if you are interested in reading them.

I have to say, I was really hesitant about this book. I didn’t love Carry On, and I kind of hated Wayward Son. My expectations were low, to say the least. But I adore Rainbow Rowell, and I have read all of her novels so far, so I was decided to continue with the series no matter what. And boy, I am glad I did! Any Way the Wind Blows was so much better than the first two books combined. There are three different plot lines in this book, and I enjoyed all of them equally. I was really intrigued by all of the characters. But my favorite was definitely Baz. And this is brand new for me because I’ve never really cared that much for Baz in the past. I did feel for him in Wayward Son, but I never loved him. And now, I think he’s the best character in this trilogy. There’s just so much heart in him.

I loved Simon and Baz’s storyline here. In Wayward Son, their love struggled so much. It was so hard to read. Here, we move past that, into breathable territory. I was hoping that I would come to love them in the end, and I’m glad I did. Because I just love enemies to lovers romances. I couldn’t help but long for that backstory between them that we didn’t get to read about before Carry On though. I would have loved a whole book about all those years they spent as enemies at Watford. That would have been amazing to read about. We get bits and pieces, but not the full story. Secondly, I loved Penelope. Her and Shepard have the best arguments, and I loved that she was so set on getting him out of his curse with the demon. Penny has always been one of my safest characters from these books. She’s so easy to love. This time was no different. And thirdly, I loved Agatha’s goat storyline. I can’t believe I was here caring about whether the goats escaped or not, but I was.

All these plot lines were solved so easily, and barely with any difficulty, that it would have bothered anyone else, but not me. See, I hate plot with a passion. I would rather not have plot at all in any book. I’m boring like that. So having the plots resolved with little to no struggle worked perfectly for me. I was so on board with it. I think what Rainbow does best is writing people, not plots, and she proved it with this book. I loved everything about it. Granted, there were times when I grew so frustrated with Simon and Baz that I didn’t want to keep reading, but even those issues were resolved quickly too. This all worked well in my favor.

I’m going to miss these characters so much. I’ll probably go back to reread all the books, even Wayward Son, which I couldn’t stand at all. At least knowing there’s a happy ending will keep me going.

Book Reviews

The Anti-Relationship Year by Katie Wismer – Book Review

The Anti-Relationship Year by Katie Wismer, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

I’ve been watching Katie Wismer’s videos on YouTube for quite some time now, and I’ve read her poetry collections, so I figured I should give her novels a shot, too. I decided to start with The Anti-Relationship Year, which follows Jo Palmer on her freshman and senior years of college. In these two timelines, Jo is dealing with very different, but also similar issues. On her freshman year, she’s dating a rockstar named Gray, and on her senior year, she no longer wants to date anyone, so she’s surrounded by her best friend Miller.

I thought the concept of the book was intriguing. I wanted to know what had made Jo not want to date anymore. What had been so terrible with Gray that made her give up on love? And boy, I was not disappointed. That man was an asshole. I hated the way he treated her. Then we have Miller, who is pretty much the perfect guy. He was sweet and charming and reliable and treated Jo like a princess. I could see them together, but I also thought the slow burn was too slow. Or maybe there wasn’t enough tension there built up by the time they got together. I didn’t find myself shipping them at all. I also thought that Jo wasn’t really deserving of Miller. She didn’t have the best qualities and I thought Miller was just too perfect, but not in the best way. I didn’t like the characterization of any of the characters. I felt like none of them were developed.

All this to say, I did sort of enjoy myself while reading the book. It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I didn’t hate reading it. There were just a lot of things that I didn’t like. I will give her next published book a try, just to see if I like it better. I don’t want to give up on this author. I still really enjoy her channel, and I think she’s just a really sweet person.