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Now that we’re firmly in summer, it’s time to treat yourself to some beach reads! (No beach required to enjoy this delightful mix of books taking you everywhere from Hollywood to the high seas!)

  • Peregrine Seas

    Peregrine Seas by R.C. Ballad

    Prince Peregrine couldn’t be happier to be kidnapped by pirates.

    Peregrine wasn’t cut out for the restrictive life of a nobleman – he’s hungry for adventure, prone to duelling, and his family refuse to believe he’s any kind of man at all. Despite his royal origins, he has more in common with the outcasts and rebels aboard the Cygnus that anyone onshore.

    He just needs to convince the captain of that before his ransom’s paid.

    Captain Alastar Macdara knows better than to trust an English prince. He has his hands full keeping his ragged crew together, and the last thing he needs is to be burdened with some foppish dandy—however charming. This particular hostage is more trouble than Alastar planned for: used to getting his own way, as stubborn as Alastar and not afraid to tell him when he’s wrong. But Alastar knows a thing or two about being an outcast, and his honourable streak refuses to let him send Peregrine back to a life of misery.

    The ransom might be off, but that doesn’t mean Peregrine is part of the crew. Now he must prove he’s courageous and quick-witted enough to earn his place on the Cygnus before Alastar dumps him at the next safe harbour.

    It won’t be easy for Peregrine to prove himself amidst the many dangers of life at sea: navy patrols, sea serpents—and the grim, handsome Alastar. The more time they spend together the more he fears he’s falling for his captain, and honourable or not … a pirate is a pirate.

    Can they chart a course to being together, or will Alastar’s secrets and Peregrine’s reckless drive to prove himself steer the Cygnus into perilous waters?

    Peregrine Seas is a swashbuckling m/m romance between a merman pirate and a runaway prince, full of queer joy and perfect for fans of Our Flag Means Death.

    This one sounds utterly perfect for the legions of pining fans of Our Flag Means Death, and it’s the first trans m/m pirate romance I’ve seen since Austin Chant’s Peter Darling in 2017. How do you not fall deeply for a runaway prince on a pirate ship??

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  • Cash Delgado is Living the Dream

    Cash Delgado is Living the Dream by Tehlor Kay Mejia

    A small-town bartender juggles motherhood and a sexual awakening in this heartwarming queer friends-to-lovers romance from the author of Sammy Espinoza’s Last Review.

    Cash Delgado has a good life in the quaint town of Ridley Falls. She has Joyce’s Bar, where she manages a familiar group of regulars and emcees the ever-popular Karaoke Thursday. She has her six-year-old daughter, Parker, whose spunky attitude always keeps life interesting. And she has her best friend, Inez O’Conner, who improves Cash’s sometimes overly responsible outlook with one full of joy and potential.

    But change is on the horizon when Chase Stanton, the former bar manager at Joyce’s (not to mention Cash’s last hookup), returns to town with business prospects that could threaten the local institution and all of Cash’s plans to someday bring new life to the place. And if that isn’t enough, Cash starts having very intimate dreams of Inez. Dreams that could threaten the foundation of her well-ordered life.

    As Cash embarks on a reluctant journey of self-discovery, she’s forced to confront all the ways she’s been hiding in her own life. But will she choose to remain the same, or will the desire for love (even a love that looks different than she ever imagined) prove worth the risk?

    Love to see a book out there for the late bloomers, the ones who already have a full life under their belts when reality (and by reality, I mean a huge gay crush on their best friend, who also happens to be their coworker and also happens to be phenomenal and loving with their kid) hits and turns everything upside down…but also doesn’t. If single-parent or best-friends-to-lovers romances are your jam, this one’s for you.

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  • The Actor and His Secret

    The Actor and His Secret by Ben Alderson

    A new MM Contemporary Romance Standalone from Ben Alderson & Laura R. Samotin

    One GRUMPY millionaire movie star, one SUNSHINE book publicist, one disastrous film premiere and a one-night stand that will change their lives forever.

    Oliver Cane works for one of London’s hottest new publishers. He has his dream job and his dream man—until he comes home one day to find his boyfriend buried five inches deep in someone else. Heartbroken, Oli throws himself into work, preparing for the movie release of a book adaptation for one of his lead titles. The perfect distraction from his heartache comes in the form of a handsome man having a breakdown in the toilets at the film’s premiere. The two of them comfort each other and then make a deal—one night of anonymity and passion as they lose themselves in each other. But all it takes is a single night for Oli’s life to change, when he discovers that the mysterious man he nicknamed Adonis is actually Nikos Ridge, the mega-star of the movie that Oli’s helped to promote.

    Nikos Ridge’s demons have followed him since he was eighteen years old. Chased by the past that he can never escape from and drowning in depression, addiction, and anxiety, Nikos finds himself seeking comfort in a cute British boy. All is fun and games until his demons return, using his new ‘dirty little secret’ as a means to blackmail Nikos for everything he has worked hard to obtain. Lies become tangled, and secrets blur his reality. Nikos is forced to face the past if he wants a future—but the universe has other plans for him. Ones that could ruin his life entirely.

    Oli and Nikos are brought together by secrets, and then torn apart by them too, as they try and navigate a world that will never let them be together—and the sense that they’re both falling in love for each other even as it’s not meant to be.

    What happens when a prolific author known for fae and vampires teams up with a historical Jewish fantasy debut for a contemporary sunshine-grump m/m romance? I cannot wait to find out!

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  • Making It

    Making It by Laura Kay

    From the author of Wild Things comes a heartwarming and relatable queer rom-com about an isolated young woman whose artistic celebration of her pet chinchilla suddenly launches her into the professional art world, reality TV fame, and first love.

    Isobel’s life is just her, her mum, and her pet chinchilla, Abigail, in their council flat on the Kentish coast. After mental health troubles in her teens, Issy, now twenty-eight, has kept things that way on purpose, only deviating from routine when her part-time job at a paint-your-own pottery studio demands it, or when she’s inspired to create art of knitted Abigails, sculptural Abigails, delicately rendered paintings of Abigail.

    When the Abigails earn the attention of famous artist and reality TV star Elizabeth Staggs, Issy is awestruck and a little alarmed. These emotions compound when Elizabeth makes Issy an unexpected move to London and work for a year shadowing Elizabeth as she produces her hit arts documentary series. Terrified but determined, Issy agrees, and soon finds herself sharing a flat with a crew of boisterous roommates who welcome her into their queer enclave and attempt to mentor her in the city’s wide world of romantic possibilities. Issy can’t help but wish that one roommate—gorgeous and cool aspiring actress, Robin—might make her mentorship a bit more hands on…even while, at work, she struggles under the guidance of Elizabeth’s harsh and exacting young producer, Aubrey.

    But when Elizabeth seizes on Issy’s idea to structure the upcoming season around a group of outsider artists, Issy finds both her work and love lives growing more complicated by the day, whether she’s ready or not. Making It is a nuanced and life affirming look at living with depression and of finding, as we all deserve to, self-acceptance, community, and love.

    I loved Kay’s Wild Things, which was as close to a Stardew Valley Sapphic Romance as I’ve ever seen, and I’m excited for more of her brand of big fun queer casts and life lessons to go along with the rom-com-ness of it all. (I also find I love queer reality TV romances – Elle Everhart’s Hot Summer and Alison Cochrun’s The Charm Offensive are two of my big faves – so this is a no-brainer for me!)

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  • Home Ice Advantage

    Home Ice Advantage by Ari Baran

    Two former hockey pros. One struggling team. And a battle of wills that might just turn two headstrong coaches from rivals into lovers…

    Ryan “Sully” Sullivan is a winner. So when the former hockey great accepts a job coaching the bottom rung Boston Beacons, he’s ready to win it all—even if his new assistant coach isn’t exactly his #1 fan.

    Eric Aronson’s wins have always come with a well-earned reputation for trouble—and were never quite enough to bring home championships. When the new guy skates in and takes the job he’s worked so hard for, he’s not about to fall short again.

    Tensions rise as, no matter what they do, the Beacons can’t pull a W, and a heated argument between Sully and Eric over coaching tactics turns physical—only, not in any way they could have ever imagined.

    That kiss changes everything. And suddenly, being able to find the back of the net isn’t Sully and Eric’s only challenge. It’s figuring out who and what they are to each other. And what winning it all might actually mean.

    What better way to cool off this summer than with a romance set on the ice? The third installment in Ari Baran’s Penalty Box series promises to be sweet, sporty, and deliciously competitive.

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    As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

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    well. Thanks!

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