M/M romance

Mini Reviews and Reading Recap #6


Vanilla Clouds by Roe Horvat

Fluffy m/m contemporary set in Sweden. I love Roe's writing and the strong European feels of his stories. This one was sweeter, less intense and agnsty than his previous books and while I liked it OK, I missed the depth of feeling and intensity that I have come to associate with his books. Online relationship turning into an offline romance was at the heart of this book and I liked the premise a lot, a variation of friends to lovers. I found the ways the guys finally met in real life really disturbing. It felt stalkerish and I had a hard time forgiving one of them for misleading and outright lying to the other. I did believe they had genuine feelings for one another but felt that way he approach the situation was wrong. Things worked out for them in the end and their HEA feels true but I couldn't quite overcome the discomfort these couple of scenes caused me. 3 stars

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Surprise Baby, Second Chance by Therese Beharrie

This is a marriage in trouble romance, closed door sex scenes, my first by this author. I love seeing established couples overcoming issues and making things between them work in the long run. This was a very emotionally intense read, very character focused. I had to take a break before finishing it and it was all worth it. It's own voices anxiety rep, there is panic attack happening on page as well two grown up people dealing with the problems in their relationship, facing past trauma head-on. There is a lot of honest and difficult talk in this romance and could very much relate to the idea that you can love someone with all your heart and still find it difficult to share your deepest fears. Well worth a read! Reminds me a lot of Snow-kissed by Laura Florand which is the most heart-breaking romance I've ever read. 3.5 stars

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Last week I also finished Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid (out on July 30) and I loved it so, so much. It's one of my favorite in the series. I will be reviewing in depth next week. 

Currently reading A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole (Out on July 31) and it's so much fun. I haven't read the previous book (yet) but this works pretty well as standalone and I will probably start A Princess in Theory right after I finish this one. 


Review: The Gaucho's Lady by Genevieve Turner


Title: The Gaucho's Lady (Los Caballeros #1)
Author: Genevieve Turner
Genre: Historical romance, ranchers

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My rating: 4 Stars


After a self-imposed exile in Argentina, Juan Moreno is ready to return home to California, wiser, wearier, and a widower. But the night before his departure, a wealthy landowner’s daughter appears in his simple room with a gun and demands that he kidnap her.

Eliana Suarez never wanted to leave home; the pampas are deep in her blood. But when her cruel father insists she marry a man even crueler than he is, she must flee. Luckily for her, one of her father’s gauchos is leaving Argentina—and only if she can convince him to take her along, will she be saved.

Juan never could resist a lady’s desperate appeal and soon they’re racing to Buenos Aires, barely two steps ahead of their pursuers. They’ll have to deal with outlaws, anarchists, and her father’s fury in their flight to freedom and safety. But no matter how fast they run, they can never escape their growing attraction… and their own hearts. 


This is my first book by Genevieve Turner and my first historical set in Argentina/California in 1905. I loved everything about it - the  easy and twisty flow of the story, the engaging plot and writing, the depth of characterisation and and the interesting supporting cast. The author plays with a bunch of tropes making me examine my own attitude towards them. It'a mix of virgin heroine, forced proximity, road trip (sort of), cinnamon hero. It's a very character driven story and I loved both the hero and heroine and found their character journey (both literal and metaphorical) really interesting and empowering.

On the surface Eliana is this sheltered rich girl with no experience of real life and no direction in life, and she starts with the only goal to run away from an arranged marriage. Yet, what we discover,  is her inner strength and determination which came as a surprise to herself and to Juan who admired her for that. She comes to realise what she wants from life and finds the strength and words to articulate it clearly. He acts a teacher to her in a way, helping her find herself, but at the same time this provokes him to re-examine his own moral grounds and opinions and see some truth about his own character. I loved how different aspects of freedom of choice and consent (in sexual and other situations in life) were presented in the story.

Juan is my favourite kind of beta hero - strong and ready to act but ultimately caring and respectful of Eliana's wishes. In a way both of them bring the best in each other and it's something that i loved about their relationship. 

The story tackles an issue that's extremely topical all over the world, but in the US especially - immigration and exile. There is a scene of Eliana  being kept in adetention centre at the border and refused entry in the US, which might be difficult for some readers. As an Eastern European myself who is still living in her hometown, I'm in the position of an outsider but still found this very heart-breaking. I found her reflections on living in exile and making a new unfamiliar place your home very poignant and touching. 

I highly recommend this romance to anyone looking for a different historical read - compelling, empowering, moving, topical. This is an unforgettable journey from Argentina across the ocean to California, from being alone and on the run to settling down and building a home and family. 

Purchase links: Amazon / Kobo / B&N

Book recs

What to read: Romances with Publishing Professionals


The creation of this list was prompted by a conversation on Twitter where a friend asked if there was a romance where the MCs are models who meet at a book cover shoot. Sadly, I don't this romance exits right now, at least no one suggested one, but I hope someone will write it for us soon. In the meantime, here are the recommendations I gathered for romances where the MCs are involved in publishing in way or another - writers, editors, audiobook narrator, college professors who teach writing classes. If you don't see your favourite book on this list, please message me and I will add it. 

Personal recommendations

Glitterland by Alexis Hall, m/m contemporary romance, one of my favourites by this author and one of my favourite romances in general. One of the MCs, Ash (A. A. Winters) is a writer. Review

Wanted, A Gentleman by KJ Charles - (m/m historical romance) Teo publishes The Matrimonial Advertiser and also writes Gothic romances, including erotic ones, under a pen name. Review

Unfit to Print by KJ Charles, another historical m/m romance, this time one of the MCs writes and sell pornogrpagic materials. Review

One and Only by Jenny Holiday, m/f romance, the heroine is YA Fantasy writer as heroine. It's light-hearted and fun. Review

Real Kind of Love by Sara Rider, lovely contemporary romance centered around introverted heroine who is an audiobook narrator. Review

Book Twitter recommendations 

Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl - m/f contemporary romance, the heroine writes erotica

Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian, m/m historical romance, one MC is a writer in secret

Wallflower trilogy by Maya Rodale, m/f romance, the heroine writes the Wallflower historic novels based on her life 

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata, m/f romance, the heroine becomes a book cover designer

My Secret Fantasies by Joanne Rock, contemporary m/f romance, the heroine writes erotic stories

A Summer for Scandal by Lydia San Andres, m/f historical romance, the heroine writes a scandalous serial and the hero pens a dishy column. 

Wicked Quills series by Eva Leigh  historical m/f romances which feature writers; the last one features a writer of erotic fiction. 

Original Sinners series (queer romances) by Tiffany Reisz has a writer/editor relationship in the first book and the writer is central to the series.

Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra, contemporary m/f romance, the heroine is a book blogger and artist/aspiring cover designer. 

The Professor by Charlotte Stein, erotic m/f romance, student-teacher romance in a writing class

Sweet as Sin by Inez Kelley, m/f romance, the hero is a YA author

Bookmarked by Piper Vaughn, m/m romance, one MC is a reclusive author & other is an indie bookstore owner 

Smut by Karina Halle, contemporary m/f romance, the MCs are two college students teaming up to make bank on erotic romance. 

Explicit by Roxy Sloane, erotic m/f romance, the hero is a writer and the heroine is his new editor. (It's free at time of publication of this post)

Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas, historical m/f romance, the heroine is a novelist heroine, the hero is an editor

Stud in the Stacks by Pippa Grant, m/f romance, the hero is a romance blogger/librarian 

Letters from Cupid by Ari McKay, m/m epistolary romance, both MCs are English professors, one in creative writing, 

Playing the Part by Robin Covignon, contemporary m/f romance, the heroine is romance writer who teaches an actor how to be romantic

Melt for You by J. T. Geissinger, contemporary m/f romance, the heroine is a copyeditor, the hero - a rugby player 
*** *** *** 

Here are some online resources for more romances where the MCs are writer or involved in publishing in some way. 

Goodreads list of historical romances where hero/heroine is a writer

List of LGBTQIA historical romances with scholars, Booksellers, Playwrights, Bluestockings, and Journalists


Note: The book titles are Amazon affiliate links. I have also included links to my reviews of the books I've read (reviewed). 

Adriana Anders

Mini Reviews and Reading Recap #5


The Wolf at the Door by Charlie Adhara
This is a debut m/m murder mystery/romantic suspense with werewolves. It was such an engaging read, twisty and kept me guessing who the murderer was till the very end. I liked the writing, it was smooth and there was an easy flow to the whole story. This story offers an interesting mix or real world + wereloves who are kept secret from the general public. I loved the narrator's POV, got to know him well and could relate to him feeling confused and awkward both in his professional and personal life. 
I wished we got more insight on the werewolves and their community though. It's the first books in a series that will follow the same couple, so in a way it was more of setting the stage than full immersion in the wereloves-human interactions. I'm excited to read the next book which comes in September and I already got the ARC, so I'm looking forward to starting it some time in August.

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By Her Touch by Adriana Anders
In two words, I loved it. I read the other two books in the series when they came out last year and I got this one soon after that but somehow it got lost in the never-ending pile of unread books on my Kindle. I finally read it this week and it's fabulous, my favourite in the series together with book one. 
I was worried about the doctor-patient aspect of the romance but I think it was handled well. It was a very emotional, dark and very hard read at times but it's captivating and unforgettable. I explores a wide range of heavy subjects - the aftermath of trauma, grieving the loss of a loved one, moving on, believing you are worth it and deserve happiness and second chance to love and be loved. 
My only minor complaint is that I wish we got a more conclusive solution re hero's PTSD. I would also have loved to see the couple in a few month's time (we get a glimpse of them in the next book, so there is that). Highly recommended read!
CW: abuse in the past (physical and psychological), cancer (in the past), loss of a loved one, grieving, PTSD, kidnapping, violence

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Real Kind of Love by Sara Rider
This is the fluffiest of fluff and just what I needed after the brilliant but heavy book I finished before it. It stars an introverted heroine (a rarity in romance I'd say) who struggles with her over-active and over-sharing/meddling family, She got into a fake relationship with the hero while camping with her family and all the fun and cute and sweet and heart-warming things happened. It eas a bit of "I'm not good enough for her, he is too perfect for me" type of conflict but it felt believable and work in the context of the story. Great family dynamics, interesting side characters and children who acted their age and I didn't find annoying at all.
There was a bit too much drama towards the end for me but it didn't take away from my general enjoyment of the story. I really, really appreciate the introverted heroine and the hero who respects her boundaries and needs for personal space and alone time. There was no magic transformation into more outgoing social butterfly for her. Rather the opposite, she became more assertive with regard what she needed/liked and the people aroudn her accepted that. Epic grovel scene and I-love-you gesture and a lovely epilogue. 

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