Category Archives: Queer Reads

Guest Post
June 15, 2016 posted by Nichole

Dahlia Adler’s Top YA F/F Favorites!

I’m so excited to welcome Dahlia Adler to the blog today! Dahlia created an extra special post about her top YA F/F favorites! This is extra exciting for me because, while I do read F/F and M/M, I’ve never read them in the YA genre. I’m more familiar with the adult contemporary genre. I’m really excited to check all of these out, and I hope that you all enjoy them, as well!


Dahlia’s Guest Post:

My YA F/Favorites


If you know me even a little bit, you know that good f/f YA is in my top ten favorite things on the planet. In honor of my f/f NA release (and with a shoutout to my own f/f YA, Under the Lights) voila—some of my personal faves!

far from you

For bisexual rep: Far From You by Tess Sharpe This book does so much well, including chronic pain rep, and I think it was the first book I read where the idea of bisexuality really clicked as a sexual orientation. So good.

Everything Leads to You

For contemp loveliness: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Love that this one features a main character who’s already comfortable in her sexuality, has a strong best friendship, and has real passion for an unusual occupation (production design)


For a killer thriller: Trust Me, I’m Trouble by Mary Elizabeth Summer

This is probably my favorite f/f ship in YA, which is pretty amazing considering the main character, Julep, is with a different person for the entire first book in this series. AND YET. Something about them just wrecks me, these two hardcore badass girls who are soft only when it comes to each other… sigh.


In Fantasy: Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Love this book, and standalone Fantasy is such a rare thing!

The Abyss Surrounds Us

In Sci-Fi: The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

Sci-fi is super not my genre but I loved this badass book about pirates and sea monsters and a seriously slow-burn romance.

The Scorpion Rules

In Dystopian: The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

The only think less my genre than Sci-fi is a mashup of Sci-fi and Dystopian, but this book has such great characters and voice and premise and romance that it transcends genre taste for me!

Dating Sarah Cooper

In cuteness: Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley

If there’s a more squee-inducing f/f YA than this one, I haven’t read it yet!


In the future: keep a major eye out for the fantastic Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown and How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake, which are two contemporary YAs I absolutely love coming out in August 2016 and May 2017 respectively! Also a must-read: As I Descended by Robin Talley, which is a totally chilling and fabulous Paranormal boarding school-set retelling of Macbeth. And I haven’t read Audrey Coulthurst’s Of Fire and Stars just yet, but princesses in love? Hell to the yes.


Dahlia Adler is an Associate Editor of Mathematics by day, a blogger for B&N Teens by night, and writes Contemporary YA and NA at every spare moment in between. She’s the author of the Daylight Falls duology, Just Visiting, and the Radleigh University series, as well as over five billion tweets as @MissDahlELama. She lives in New York City with her husband and their overstuffed bookshelves.

good behavior

Frankie Bellisario knows she can get anyone she sets her sights on, but just because she can doesn’t mean she should—not when the person she’s eyeing is Samara Kazarian, the daughter of a southern Republican mayor. No matter how badly Frankie wants to test her powers of persuasion, even she recognizes some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.

But when Frankie learns she’s been on Samara’s mind too, the idea of hooking up with her grows too strong to resist. Only Sam’s not looking for a hookup; she wants—needs—the real thing, and she’s afraid she’ll never find it as long as Frankie’s in her head.

Forced to choose between her first relationship and losing the girl who’s been clawing her way under her skin, Frankie opts to try monogamy…under her own condition: 30 days of keeping things on the down low and remaining abstinent. If she fails as hard at girlfriending as she’s afraid she might, she doesn’t want to throw Samara’s life into upheaval for nothing. But when neither the month nor Frankie’s heart go according to plan, she may be the one stuck fighting for the happily ever after she never knew she wanted.


Be sure to check out Dahlia’s newest release, Out on Good Behavior, now released!

Book Reviews
March 1, 2015 posted by Nichole

DNF Review: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

boy meets boyThis is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.


My Review

DNFing this book feels like a very sensitive, moronic, awkward thing to do. Definition: I’m not really sure how people are going to react. The title is Boy Meets Boy. Therefore, if I don’t like the book then that makes me come across as a judgmental jerk. Not the case at all. In fact, I wanted to read this title because of the male romance. I mean, come on, my favorite all time TV show is Queer as Folk. Yet, it wasn’t the male relationship that inevitable turned me away from this book. No, it was the complete fairy tale purple haze of nonsense that surrounded this book.

Everything in this book was completely unbelievable! I tried to shed away my judgment and look for some hidden meaning between the pages. I came away with nothing. There is no school, town, planet, whatever as insane as the settings included in this book. Nothing added up. Nothing made sense. Everything was way too over the top.

I’m not sure if the book became more mellow as it progressed (I only made it 50 pages in,) but I was literally getting a headache. You know that feeling you get when you’re required to read something for school and it feels like it’s taking 80 years just to finish one page? That’s how it felt reading this book. I felt as if I were being forced to read each and every page and it started to feel like a punishment. Reading shouldn’t be like that, so I put it down and picked something else up.

My judgment isn’t to say that the writing wasn’t brilliant, because it was. I was able to recognize the power of the writing and the romance Levithan breathes into every word. That didn’t cut it for me. It was just too unrealistic and over the top. And maybe that’s how the author wanted the book to be; maybe that’s why some people love the book so much. It didn’t work for me, though, and I have absolutely no interest in finishing it.


Pages: 185

Publication Date: May 10th, 2005

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Rating: DNF

adult books
July 18, 2014 posted by Nichole

DNF Review: Maybe This Time by A.M. Arthur

Maybe This TimeAs a regular at gay hotspot Pot O Gold, Ezra Kelley avoids his tangled emotions with the simplicity of one-night stands and attachment-free hookups. Until the night bartender Donner Davis picks him up off the floor after a misunderstanding and too much tequila. Ezra can’t remember the last time someone was…nice. It’s more than he deserves.

Witnessing his lover’s death two years ago has Donner trapped in a holding pattern�living in his sister’s basement, working at the Pot and flirting with the customers. He’s not above spending a night with the gorgeous Ezra, but love is not in the cards. That’s more than he’s ready for.

A passionate night leads to a connection neither man expects, and they take the first steps to something that looks like a real relationship. But Ezra’s been running from himself so long he doesn’t know how to live any other way. And Donner can’t risk his heart just to lose everything again. They’ll both need the strength to let go of the past if they want to get it right this time.

61,000 words

M/M Romance

My Review:

I read 80% of this book about a week ago and I’m already having a hell of a time remembering all that much about it. That’s one of the reasons why I DNF’d this book. I remember the first half being pretty good. I liked the characters and the plot line. I remember being a big fan of Ezra and really confused over Donner’s name (I’m sorry – you can only do so many reindeer jokes in a book.) Other than that, though, there was nothing overly memorable about this book.

The scenes between Ezra and Donner were hot, but I also felt that they were rather rushed. I would have liked to see more of a chase going on rather than the insta love theme that dominated the book. I also would have liked to see more realism to their relationship. Whether that be through more bickering, more romantic gestures, or simple domestic stuff that occupies the day to day life, it doesn’t matter. Their relationship seemed very fake compared to a real life romance.

The book started to go off beat once Ezra and Donner decided they were in love with each other after no time at all. All of the emotions seemed exaggerated and enhanced for the readers and totally unrealistic. I also felt like there were several chunks of the author speaking rather than the characters speaking. It seemed as if the author’s own views on gay rights were sort of being forced throughout the entire book and it wasn’t leaving a lot of room for character development or personalities. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% for gay rights, but it did feel as if the author was trying to for that message through several of the characters.

Overall, there’s not much to say about this book because there’s a large chunk that I just don’t remember. If the second half would have been as good as the first half, then I probably would have given it like a 3 or 4 star. However, the second half was really bland and weird and  I just couldn’t finish that last 20% of the book.

Pages: Kindle Edition

Publication Date: July 21st, 2014

Publisher: Carina Press

Rating: DNF

adult books
July 14, 2014 posted by Nichole

Adult Book Review: Take (Temptation #2) by Ella Frank

TakeTAKE – verb: to reach for and hold in one’s hands or get into one’s possession, power or control. 

Logan Mitchell is a man who’s always been more than happy to take what he wants. It’s a philosophy that’s proven lucrative in both his business and personal life, and never was it more apparent than the night he laid eyes on Tate Morrison. After pulling out all the stops and convincing the sexy bartender to give him a try—he’s hooked. 
Now, Logan finds himself in a predicament that demands more from him than a smart-ass answer and his innate ability to walk away when things get too deep. 
He has a choice to make, and it’ll force him to do something he’s never done before—take a chance.

Tate Morrison knows all about taking a chance. He took the biggest one of his life the night he showed up at Logan’s apartment to explore his unexpected reaction to the man. 
Ever since then, he’s thought about little else.
At first he was convinced his attraction was based solely on his body’s curiosity. But the more time he spends with the silver-tongued lawyer, the more Tate realizes that their physical chemistry is only the beginning. 
He’s starting to catch a glimpse of what life with Logan would be like, and it’s one full of excitement and satisfaction—a far cry from what he had in the past with his soon to be ex-wife.

Each man will face their fears as they begin to understand the true meaning of give and take. Their feelings for one another will be tested, as will their very beliefs. But now that they’ve found love where they least expected it, will they be brave enough to reach out and take it?


My Review:


18+ M/M romance


I ACTUALLY FINISHED A BOOK! I know that sounds silly, but I am so excited to finally be pushing out of this three month long reading funk. I’ve been so devastated that I haven’t been wanting to read. I don’t even think that’s a totally accurate statement. Let me rephrase: I’ve HATED the thought of reading. I haven’t been interested in it at all. I actually started to get worried that I would never want to read another book again. BUT I READ ONE! AND I LOVED IT!

If you read and loved Try by Ella Frank, then you are going to fall head over heels in love with Take. It is 100 times better. The writing, the characters, the plot, the drama….everything is SO much better than the first book. When I read Try earlier this year I remember that I liked it, but I also did skim it. It wasn’t something that I read straight through mostly because I thought that it was far-fetched and a little silly. There is nothing far-fetched or silly about Take. It is just HOT.

One of my biggest complaints with the first book was with Tate’s character. It’s not that I didn’t like him, but I also didn’t overly love him. I was actually a really big fan of Tate’s character in Take, which is an example of some crazy awesome character development. And, of course, Logan was just as hot as ever. I was also really interested in some of the supporting characters that were introduced (both new and old.)

What I really liked about this book was how it still held predictability, but it also took a different course than the first book. The drama was more intense, the heartbreak more shattering, and the heat was more well…hot. I’m really interested to see everything progress even more in the third book because let me be the first to say that Ella Frank has some serious writing skills.

There are two reasons why I’m docking this book half a star. 1. It did get a little rushed at the end. 2. I’m still not on board with how quickly Logan and Tate fell in to their relationship. It was adorable when the “I love you’s” started to come out, but it was also really  uncomfortable since it was mentioned several times in this book that they had only known each other for so many weeks. I don’t understand why their story is being so rushed. As a reader and a fan of these boys, I want to see their relationship progress into months and years…not just weeks. I’m willing to read about those gaps of time and I’m really disappointed that I’m not seeing them. This book felt like a span of around 2-4 weeks, and I wish that there would have been several months to read about.

The ending of Take has a huge cliff hanger. I honestly didn’t expect to leave off where it did and now I just want the next book RIGHT NOW. Everyone needs to go read this series! It is so good!

Pages: 265

Publication Date: 7/8/14

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Rating: : ★★★★½

adult books
June 5, 2014 posted by Nichole

By Chance (Courtland Chronicles #1) by Cat Grant

By ChanceA life of wealth and privilege doesn’t equal happiness—just ask Eric Courtland. Growing up with a cold, unfeeling father and unstable mother has taught him exactly what he doesn’t want out of life or love. The troubled young man prefers a solitary life and is content to keep it that way until a campus emergency saddles him with an unwanted roommate.

Popular, wholesome, straight Nick Thompson is far more temptation than Eric’s prepared for, but Nick’s warm, easygoing manner gradually cracks through Eric’s prickly protective shell.

After Eric suffers a traumatic attack, their friendship gives way to an intense passion. Eric’s no stranger to casual sex, but what he feels for Nick is something deeper, and more fragile.

Independent Eric doesn’t know the first thing about being in a relationship, much less with a lover who can’t even admit he’s gay. But conservative Nick can’t seem to find his way out of his own personal closet. 

Rock, meet hard place.


My Review:

The story itself was actually pretty rushed, which made it so that there wasn’t a lot of chemistry between the characters or even character growth. This was one of the those books that unfortunately seemed more like the author was speaking directly to me in their own voice instead of creating several different voices for the multitude of characters in the story. There were also some characters that were so flipping annoying that I skimmed right over them. There were good moments, but I did end up skimming through a lot of the bullshit that clouded this book.

As for Eric and Nick…..meh. The romance was very rushed. I felt that there was a big chuck of the chemistry and build up that was just missing. They didn’t really have any cute or romantic moments that made me swoon. It was a pretty lacking romance. They did have a few moments that were cute, but they didn’t have any moments that stole my heart. Also, neither one of them was overly amazing. I guess that I liked Eric more than Nick, but I definitely wouldn’t add either one of them to my best book boyfriends list.

Overall, I probably wouldn’t continue this series unless they all became free. I don’t ever see myself paying to continue this series since it wasn’t that great of a first book. Also, I’ve read the descriptions of the other books, and I’m sort of appalled at what Cat Grant eventually does to Eric and Nick’s relationship. That’s not something that I as a reader want to put myself through.


Pages: 116

Publication Date: 2012

Publisher: Cat Grant Books

Rating: : ★★☆☆☆

adult books
June 2, 2014 posted by Nichole

Try by Ella Frank


Recommended for readers 18 years of age or older

Try – verb: to make an attempt or effort to do something or in this case…someone.

Sex. Logan Mitchell loves it, and ever since he realized his raw sexual appeal at a young age, he has had no problem using it to his advantage. Men and women alike fall into his bed—after all, Logan is not one to discriminate. He lives by one motto—if something interests you, why not just take a chance and try?

And he wants to try Tate Morrison.

Just coming out of a four-year marriage with an ex-wife from hell, a relationship is the last thing on Tate’s mind. He’s starting fresh and trying to get back on his feet with a new job at an upscale bar in downtown Chicago.

The only problem is, Tate has caught the unwavering and unwelcome attention of Mr. Logan Mitchell – a regular at the bar and a man who always gets what he wants.

Night after night Tate fends off the persistent advances of the undeniably charismatic man, but after an explosive moment in the bar, all bets are off as he finds his body stirring with a different desire than his mind.

As arrogance, stubbornness and sexual tension sizzles between the two, it threatens to change the very course of their lives.

Logan doesn’t do relationships. Tate doesn’t do men. But what would happen if they both just gave in and…tried?



My Review:

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve read this book, so my review might not be perfect and in depth.


The one thing that absolutely stands out about this book is Logan. Oh my goodness. Hello, Logan! He is the definition of sexy. And he had this bad boy attitude, yet with a sensitive side that he tried to hide at all possible times, that built him up that much more. I thought that his relationship with Tate could be a little awkward at times. That’s probably because I didn’t overly love Tate, though. Discounting that slight hiccup, Logan made this story.

On a negative note, it seemed pretty far fetched for Tate to all of a sudden realize that he was gay. No, that doesn’t sound right when I read it on the screen because that sort of stuff does happen. Let me rephrase: It wasn’t far fetched that Tate realized he was gay so late in life, it was how quickly he acted on it after being so against it for like a week. I would have liked to see more of a building chemistry romance between Tate and Logan. Their actions and routines started to get repetitive within the story. Some editing and character building would have fixed that right up.

Another thing is that I thought there could have been more of a plot. Don’t get me wrong, the sex was hot, but I really wanted to see more cute moments between Logan and Tate. Since Logan was such a strong character, I really wanted to see more of his vulnerability and more moments that made me want to grab my heart and swoon. There were moments like that! I just wanted a little bit more to the storyline.

Overall, I actually really enjoyed this book. I can’t wait until the second book comes out this summer. It’s definitely a hot and powerful read, and I dare you not to fall in love with these men!

Pages: 353

Publication Date: November 12th, 2013

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 

Rating: : ★★★½☆


Book Reviews
January 30, 2014 posted by Nichole

LGBTQ Theme: Secret (Elemental #4) – Brigid Kemmerer

Hey everyone! Welcome back!

This month is our lgbtq theme, and I am SO excited to be able to feature SECRET by Brigid Kemmerer. Read below for my review!


17149088Nowhere is safe. Not even home…

Nick Merrick is stretched to the breaking point.

Keep his grades sky-high or he’ll never escape his hometown.
Keep his brother’s business going or the Merricks will be out on the street.
Keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his own twin—-or he’ll lose his family.

Keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who’s supposed to be his “girlfriend’s” partner.

Of course there’s also the homicidal freak Quinn has taken to hanging around, and the Elemental Guide counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers.

There’s a storm coming. From all sides. And then some.

Nick Merrick, can you keep it together?


Even though I adore Brigid Kemmerer and her Elemental series, I have to admit that I was nervous to read Secret for a few different reasons. 1) I wasn’t completely sold on the cover 2) she absolutely pissed me off at the end of Hunter’s book! 3) Even though I LOVE this series, I feel that Nick hasn’t really played a key role before now. I definitely wanted to read the book, but Nick was never a star character like Gabriel and Hunter. Surprisingly enough, I think that Secret ended being my favorite book in the series. It was all sorts of brilliant and wonderful. I literally just finished the book, and I don’t even know how to express my thoughts into words.

The start of Secret might be a little confusing for those of you who haven’t read Nick’s novella, Breathless. If I hadn’t read Breathless, I think that I would have been really confused and annoyed that I missed something that was obviously important to the story. I kind of wish that there was a way for Breathless to be in paper format because not everyone has an ereader to read the story. Also, it was a little confusing that the guy on the cover of Breathless is different than the guy on the cover of Secret. That being said, you do not have to read Breathless before Secret. It’s helpful (not to mention amazing!) but not necessary. The content in Secret will catch you up to speed.

This book……Oh my goodness….my poor aching heart. You know that feeling when your chest just feels like 50 pounds of steel is weighing it down and you find it hard to breathe? That’s how I felt throughout most of this story. This was the very first book in the Elemental series that made me worried, that made me cry, and that shocked me. It was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever read. I really don’t have one bad thing to say about it.

Secret is the very first lgbtq themed book that I have ever read. I completely support gay couples, but I honestly didn’t know how I would like reading about a gay MC. I had absolutely no issues with it. I have such a crush on Adam’s character. I don’t even know how to explain how hot he is. There’s a part of me that actually prefers reading about a gay couple than a straight couple, which I didn’t think would happen. I just thought it was one of the most romantic things I have ever read in my entire life.

When I first seen the cover for Secret, I was a little confused why there was a girl on the cover. That’s definitely a first in this series. Secret is actually told from both Nick and Quinn’s POV. This is the ONLY dual POV book that I have ever enjoyed. I hate multiple POVS in books. I mean HATE. I actually thought that it really worked in this book. Quinn hasn’t been my favorite character, but I absolutely adored her in this book. It was actually one of her scenes that I started crying in. I thought that Brigid did a wonderful job of incorporating both of their perspectives into this book.

As for the shock factor that I mentioned above, I have to say that there were a few things that happened that I didn’t see coming. The scene in the prologue and the very last scene just blew my mind. I didn’t expect either of those things to happen. I love when an author does something unpredictable. Honestly, I think that’s something that Brigid has mastered….especially after Hunter’s book! I loved the element of surprise in this book a lot!

One thing that I really want to see as this series progresses is more focus on the past love interests that we’ve met. I’m a really big fan of Gabriel, and it did kind of annoy me that we didn’t see him and Layne together. Same goes with Chris and Becca. We don’t really see them together. I know this was Nick’s book, but I do want to see some more affection between the other couples, as well.

Overall, I loved this book! The best in the series so far! I would definitely recommend that everyone go out and buy all four books!


Pages: 352

Publication Date: January 28th, 2014

Publisher: Kensington Teen

Rating: : ★★★★★


Teaser Quote: She ripped a piece of paper from her pad and set it on the table. “You two are just the cutest ever.”

Nick froze. She didn’t care. They’d been head to head at this table, and she hadn’t batted an eye.

Adam winked at her. “Sounds like someone’s looking for a tip.”

“Here’s a tip,” she said. “Don’t flirt with old married ladies when you’ve got a sure thing in your arms.”

“Am I the sure thing in this scenario?” Said Nick.

“I don’t know,” Said Adam. “Are you?”

The waitress laughed and left them with the check. (ARC page 84.)