LGBTQ+ Fiction: August 2018

Welcome to August! 

Summer is coming to a close, and school is starting up again. I know many of you don't want to think about that. Me neither! So, to help you escape reality, here are some really interesting romance novels you might like. The first is a fantasy retelling/sequel to Peter Pan, featuring Peter as a transgender man all grown up and still fighting with Captain Hook; the second is science fiction involving an asexual woman and a robot woman with human feelings; and lastly, the romance novel I'm interested in reading next is a dystopian where an algorithm determines who you will marry. Enjoy!

Books I’ve Read Recently

Title/Author: Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Summary: Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is. But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre/Sub-Genre: Romance/fantasy
Book Format: Ebook
Length: 164 pages
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Transgender male and gay
Abuse/Rape: None
Violence: Some
Ratio of Sex/Plot: Mostly plot
Well Written/Editor Needed: Well written
Would I Re-Read?: Yes
Personal Thoughts: This was an imaginative sequel to Barrie’s original Peter Pan. It took me awhile to get into it, but once I was in, I was IN. The story, and the author's world-building was very thought-provoking. While this uses all the characters and the world from the original, Austin Chant made this his own in some very surprising ways I can’t talk about because of spoilers. This was beautifully written with a light, fun, tone which worked well, considering the darkness Peter found himself in. This book never loses hope, even in the dark. I enjoyed watching Peter finally figuring out why he’d been fighting on and off with Hook for most of their lives. It was almost as surprising for me as it was for him! The romance was sweet, even if it took a while to get there. The wait was worth it. My only gripe was that the ending wasn’t exactly what I had hoped it would be, though I can’t explain much without giving spoilers. In short, I really enjoyed this one, and would love the chance to read another book by Austin Chant.

Title/Author: The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz

Summary: Sal, a fully autonomous robot, has been running her previous master’s tea shop until she has nearly fallen apart from use and lack of care, when Clara, a technician specializing in A.I. companions walks into her shop for lunch one day. Clara doesn’t intend to stay in town, preferring to keep on the move, but then she realizes how much Sal needs her help, and as the two spend more and more time together, they both debate what it means to move on.
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre/Sub-Genre: Romance/sci-fi
Book Format: Ebook
Length: 65 pages
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Lesbian/Asexual
Abuse/Rape: None
Violence: Minor and off page
Ratio of Sex/Plot: All plot, no sex
Well Written/Editor Needed: The writing itself was great, but there were other areas that needed improvement.
Would I Re-Read?: Yes
Personal Thoughts: First and foremost, this was enjoyable and adorable! The two main characters were really very likable, and their romance was believable and sweet. The romance and emotions were handled well, especially considering one of the characters was a robot. While she had human emotions, she was still very much not a human. Yes, I did have some problems with the novel, but they did not distract much from my enjoyment of it. For example, there were some side characters that deserved and/or needed more page time, such as the woman who highly recommended Sal’s café to Clara, but was never seen to eat there herself. Also, since this was set in and around a café, I expected more descriptions of the food and teas, especially because Sal blended her own teas. In short, I think I just need more of this sweet romance.

Books I’m Looking Forward To

Title/Author: Imperfect Match by Jordan Castillo Price

Summary: Lee Kennedy’s destiny is controlled by the Algorithm. It’s the reason he’s still in college, regardless of his good academic performance, because once he graduates, the Algorithm must be triggered. Letting the Algorithm pair him with a match seems inevitable until, at his sister’s wedding, he meets Roman. One forbidden encounter has Lee reeling. He questions everything. His past. His future. And especially the Algorithm. He longs for the freedom to choose not only his own partner, but his own destiny.
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre/Sub-Genre: Romance/sci-fi/dystopian
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Gay
Reasons I’m Excited About It: Jordan Castillo Price is one of my favorite authors. I absolutely LOVE her Psycop series about a gay Chicago detective who happens to be a medium, which is what she’s most known for. That said, everything else that she’s done is also worth reading, and rereading any chance you get. And her standalone works are usually unique and superb!

Books I’ve Mentioned Above

Title/Author: Among the Living by Jordan Castillo Price

Series/Standalone: Psycop #1
Genre/Sub-Genre: Paranormal/romance-ish
LGBTQ+ Orientation: Gay