Talking Representation & Romance With LaQuette – BGFP episode 184

Jeff and I kick off this week’s show with a review of the Brie Larson Netflix original movie Unicorn Store.

Jeff reviews Bad to the Bone by Nicki Bennett. I effusivley review LaQuette’s Under His Protection.

We then sit down with LaQuette and discuss her latest, Under His Protection. We find out about the story’s inspiration and how it ties into LaQuette’s other series. She also shares details on her upcoming Harlem Heat series, what got her started writing romance and details about what she does as the president for New York City’s Romance Writers of America chapter.

Remember, you can listen and subscribe to the podcast anytime at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.

Quick Review: Under His Protection by LaQuette

Under His Protection by LaQuette

This book literally starts with a bang when one of our main characters, assistant DA Camden, is nearly blown up by a car bomb. In order to keep him safe, he’s put in protective police custody.

Unfortunately, the man watching over Cam is the memorable one night stand he walked away from five years ago, a guy named Elisha. Sequestered away in Elisha’s Westchester house, our two heroes must come to grips with the attraction that still, after all this time, is still there.

As things start to become more romantic, the situation becomes even more complicated when Elisha’s family shows up for a weekend visit. They assume that the two of them are a couple and Cam and Elijah play along since it’s too dangerous to explain why Cam is hiding out at Elijah’s house.

Over the course of the weekend Cam can’t help but fall for Elisha and his wonderfully crazy family.

You might think things get a little too close for comfort with our two heroes and the family all in one house. Elisha has a very small apartment in his attached garage. They escape there every once in a while for some truly superduper scorching sex. The chemistry between these characters is very real and very palatable.

As the weekend winds down, there’s an unfortunate kidnapping attempt by a crazy religious group and Cam sacrifices himself in order to save Elisha’s mom.

Camden ends up in hospital and, unfortunately, his father arrives on the scene. Camden’s life has essentially been controlled by his father, who’s had his sons life planned out from my birth to death. It’s essentially how Cam has lived his entire life.

The expectations of his father are part of the reason why he walked away from Elisha five years ago. Having a sexy one night fling, and living a life with an average guy like Elisha just wasn’t in the plan.

After experiencing the possibility of loving a man like Elisha and realizing the wonderful possibilities of a fun and fulfilling family life, he tries to stand up to his father.

Cam’s father puts a stop to everything, setting up some genuinely insurmountable roadblocks to our heroes and their happiness.

With the help of Elisha’s police chief friend, Cam concocts a way to outwit his father and get out from under his thumb, so that he Elisha can live happily ever after.

I don’t know if I can adequately find the correct words, or enough adjectives to tell you how much I loved Cam and Elisha’s story. It’s  just really damn good. One of my favorites of 2019 so far!  

I hope it’s obvious that I really enjoyed Under His Protection by LaQuette and I highly recommend that everyone give it a read.

This review originally appeared as part of episode 184 of the Big Gay Fiction Podcast.

Spring Book Recommendations – BGFP episode 183

Jeff opens the show talking about the work he’s doing on a holiday short story.

We remind everyone about the LA Times Festival of Books happening April 13 and 14 on the USC Campus and the authors expected to attend from Dreamspinner Press and Interlude Press.

Jeff and I talk about the series finale of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Books reviewed this week include Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert and Paternity Case by Gregory Ashe.

Lisa joins Jeff to recommend four speculative fiction books: The Mortal Sleep by Gregory AshePrince of Air and Darkness by M.A. Grant, All Souls Near & Nigh by Hailey Turner and Not Dead Yet by Jen Burke.

Remember, you can listen and subscribe to the podcast anytime at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.

Quick Review: Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert

Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert

While his uncle is recuperating from minor surgery, Alaskan bush pilot Griffin is tasked with taking a tour group into the wilds of Alaska. One of the group is River, former male model-turned inspirational travel writer, who’s gathering material for his next book.

There’s an immediate attraction and chemistry between them and over the course of the week, as they spend more time together, they fall for one another.

One of the many things that drew me into Artic Sun, is that Griff and River two interesting, compelling, genuinely dimensional characters, with actual lives. And by that, I mean that they’re not just cardboard cut-outs going through the motions, playing out a standard romantic plotline.

They’ve both faced challenges in the past, overcome them, and – through emotionally intelligent conversations — work to figure out how they can move forward together.

After the tour is over, they make plans to meet in Vancouver. River is going to be hanging out with some old friends from his modeling days, and Griff’s visit is a kind of “real world” road test to see if their relationship can work. It’s of course a total disaster.

The old friends bring out triggering scenarios for both Griff and River. Their true “Real World” was the connection they shared in the wilds of Alaska, not fancy date night restaurants or going to exclusive clubs. The problem is that they’re using relationship criteria from their screwed-up pasts to judge their current situation.

They realize this far too late and break things off.

They each take some time apart and do some soul searching, River about his family history and public persona and how it relates to his work, and Griff about how he interacts with the outside world and family’s tour business.

Griff makes his way to L.A. for the premiere of the film based on River’s book. The things they each want and need out of life are actually more aligned than they first realized.

They can live, love and work surrounded by the nature that gives each of them so much joy.

Griff and River are two relatable, likable, strong, but flawed characters that I totally fell in love with. I can’t recommend Arctic Sun highly enough.

This review originally appeared in episode 183 of the Big Gay Fiction Podcast.

 

 

Chat With Author Erin McLellan – BGFP episode 182

Jeff and I will be at the 2019 LA Times Festival of Books. If you’re there, be sure to say “Hi”. We discuss two great series we’ve been watching: Comedy Central’s The Other Two and Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.

Books reviewed this week include Kim Fielding’s The Spy’s Love Song, Ari McKay’s Take Two and Erin McLellan’s Clean Break.

Jeff interviews Erin McLellan about Clean Break, the second book in her Farm College series, and about why it’s important for her to tell stories based in her home state of Oklahoma. They also talk about her Love Life serieswhat got her started writing, her author influences and the TV she likes to binge watch.

Remember, you can listen and subscribe to the podcast anytime at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.

Spring Forward: A Look At Upcoming Book Releases – BGFP episode 181

Congratulations to the LGBT romance authors nominated for 2019 RITA Awards. Layla Reyne, Amy Lane, Suzanne Brockmann, Melanie Hansen and Aurora Rey.

Jeff discusses his second visit to Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen as well as seeing an immersive production of Bare: A Pop Opera.

Rather than review books this week, Jeff and I talk about titles we are looking forward to this spring: Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert, LOL by Lucy Lennox and Molly Maddox, Under His Protection by LaQuette, Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, American Fairytale by Adriana Herrera and Not Your Backup by C.B. Lee, Jeff also calls out the start of a new series from Layla Reyne that he’s looking forward to but can’t yet discuss.

Brandilyn stops by to recommend the audiobook of Badlands by Morgan Brice and talks about some old favorites from Rhys Ford, Jordan L. Hawk and Ethan Stone.

Remember, you can listen and subscribe to the podcast anytime at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.

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