Here are the rules:
Take your current read and compare it to what you reading this exact time last year. Which one do you like better? What is different about the books? Any special facts/things you want to make note of or bring attention to?
This meme was created by Reading Marie. It’s a great meme because it’s nice and easy to do.
This Year I Am Reading…
I’ve been in love with my best friend since forever. Okay, fine. Like, kindgergarten. It started out platonic, obviously, but then became… nope. Still platonic. The problem is that Parker Ellis has been straight since forever. And that makes it difficult to convince him the two of us are meant to be together.
And now there’s no point. All is lost. He’s gone and gotten engaged to his high-school sweetheart which means I have to grin and bear it while pretending to be the happy, supportive best man while he prepares to commit his life to a woman I can’t even fault. She’s great. We’ve all been friends forever. I know he’ll be happy with Erin, just not… just not as happy as he could be with me.
I’ll admit. Sometimes I press the easy button. Like when Julian Thick had offered me half his sandwich back in grade school after noticing I didn’t have any food. Or when I’d needed a date to homecoming in tenth grade and Erin told me she was it. Or when I’d used the one thing that came easy to me, skiing, to get my college tuition paid for. Or when Erin had showed back up in my life six months ago and told it was time to marry and start a family…
But for the first time in my life I’m facing something that’s not at all easy. It’s my wedding weekend and I’ve just been left at the altar. Not only that, but when my best friend whisks me away to drown my sorrows in a snowy cabin in Aster Valley, I accidentally discover Julian’s been keeping secrets. Big secrets.
The kind of secrets that lead to hot experimental kisses in front of a blazing fire, tentative physical exploration in a way I’d never imagined before, and the kind of intimate, true confessions I’d never even dreamed of between me and the one person who’s always been my true home.
But after twenty-plus years of thinking of Jules as my friend without benefits, is it truly possible to change who we are to each other? There’s no easy button this time, but I’m willing to do the work. I only wonder if Julian is ready to trust I really mean it.
My poor Jules! Parker is an idiot! I’m still halfway through. This book is so worth the wait.
Last Year I Was Reading…
Plants are easier than people—that’s Leo’s rule of thumb. After all, nobody really wants a man who looks like he belongs in a biker gang but would rather spend his time buried in books and flowers. It’s just easier to be single. Until he meets the owner of the new book shop.
Jacob Morris knows two things: he’s really attracted to the man who runs the local flower shop, and he doesn’t date. Not when he’s still healing from a bad breakup, has a new business to run, game nights to organise, workshops to host, and a website to build.
When friendship blooms into something more, Leo and Jay must decide whether to roll the dice and take a chance on love or keep forging ahead on their quests alone. Will their roll yield a one or a perfect, natural twenty?
Natural Twenty is an 80,000-word contemporary MM romance featuring Dungeons & Dragons, secret flower language bouquets, a spoilt Staffy (or two), and a best friend who is basically a gothic prince. It is book one in the Roll for Love series and can be read as a standalone.
Very cute premise. Kinda meh delivery.
My 3-star review here.
Today we have two contemporary romances featuring friends to lovers. The current is a series finale about two best friends since childhood, where one was spectacularly oblivious to the other’s decades-long pining for him. It stars a lawyer and a ski coach who is supposedly straight. There’s a force proximity angle thrown in the mix. It’s a story full of meddling friends set in a small Colorado town.
Last year’s is a series opener about two business owners who struck up a friendship and eventually started dating. One is an unlikely florist, the other a bookstore owner. The story is also about friends bonding over all things geeky. It is set in England. A special aspect of the book is floriography or the language of flowers.
Thick As Thieves is about Julian Thick, a lawyer who has been secretly in love with his best friend, ski coach Parker Ellis, for more than 20 years. Things came to a head when Parker was about to marry his HS sweetheart, but she jilted him on the very day of his wedding.
Ever the loyal friend, Jules took him to what was supposed to be his wallowing cabin. The very place he set up for himself for the express purpose of moving on from his unrequited feelings. But then Parker was acting weird and possessive upon learning Jules had a Grinder hook up. What’s up with that???
Hooboy, you got to feel it for Jules! Parker had absolutely no idea how his best friend truly felt. Their friends felt so sorry for Jules, they started setting him up with other guys. This has the right amount of pining without crossing over to miserable.
I’m at the part where Jules spilled his lifelong secret to Parker. They kissed. Somebody panicked and went screeching out of the driveway. Not exactly the reaction you expect. But then, getting your heart’s desire could be the scariest thing in the world.
Natural Twenty is about a tattooed, biker-looking Yorkshire florist, Leo, whose appearance tends to put people off. The man is actually more of a kitten than a lion. One day, a new bookstore opened in the neighborhood. Leo went to say hi. He meets the adorkable bookseller Jay, who quickly roped Leo into game nights with his fellow geeky friends.
The two new friends couldn’t deny the attraction between them. Soon, friendship was slowly turning into an enjoyable, comfortable relationship when angst, internal conflict, and struggling business got the better of Jay. He decided to put a temporary halt on things because he couldn’t handle all the pressure.
The title is a Dungeons and Dragons term for the roll of the dice which has the maximum success. Sadly, the book didn’t quite hit that mark because of the saggy middle that dragged the story down. There was too much focus on business details that were not so interesting. The DnD references were also lost on non-players like me. The best part, however, is Leo putting his expertise in floriography into good use, leaving pieces of his heart in every bouquet for Jay.
Between new friends and lifelong companions, it’s quite endearing when one speaks with flowers but it’s deliciously devastating when one speaks directly from the heart.
I’m ending the post with a book I’m looking forward to reading.
After being sentenced to a life sealed away in the dark recesses of the family mansion at a young age, one brother pays for his death, another for his survival. Twin brothers clinging to one other to overcome their own dark past become the salvation of his body, mind, and heart.
Hendrik Iversen has been alone and outcast from his own family, longing for the end to come. But when his twin captors turn into his caretakers, Hendrik wants nothing more than to begin the future the three have envisioned and planned together. Those hopes and dreams are endangered by an evil, vindictive woman, whose devious plots and intrigues threaten to rip the three young men apart and throw their lives into utter disarray.
More secrets are revealed, adding to the confusion Hendrik must face. Will the love of his caretakers be enough for him to face the dark past and built a bright future?
Yep, I confess to wanting to read this for some twins-y fun.
What were you reading this time last year?
(I hope it’s as riveting as Morticia’s book)