Love in Panels

Giant Catch up post!

I've been very busy for the past few months with podcasting and I have simply not gotten around to updating anything on this site.

For those of you who don't follow me on twitter, sorry!

Here is what is new:

I am co-hosting a #RomBkLove inspired podcast, called #Rombkpod with several fantastic fellow readers, Meka, Melinda, Sarah Jean, and Danie, held together by our producer Sarah.  You can find our podcast at all the usual places. We recently passed 1,600 downloads, and I am so excited to see our audience growing and to do our part in concentrating on talking about the fantastic inclusive romances out there.

I also agreed to be part of the Ripped Bodice Excellence in Romance Writing award's inaugural judging panel.  I am thrilled to be part of such a fantastic body and I look forward to our book nomination discussion when the year draws to a close. 

At the end of the year I am leaving the #readRchat team.  It has been fabulous to work with Ellie and be part of this community. However with all my new projects I need to let some stuff go. I know Ellie and MaryLynne are looking for new folks to help crafting a monthly slate of questions.  If you have a passion for romance chat on twitter please contact them and let them know you are interested.  I know they are very interested in hearing from LGBTQIA and POC readers as we are always seeking to lift up more non-white cis het voices in romance.

What is still true:

I am still reviewing over at Love in Panels.  I am proud to be part of this project, especially when my editor and co-reviewers do such amazing things like putting together the Romance for RAICES auction.  If you don't already support us on Patreon, would you consider doing so?

I am still podcasting, Beyond the Sectors with Chelsea, but we are rapidly running out of published Kit Rocha Beyondverse books, so we will likely go on hiatus after next few  episodes. But if you love Kit Rocha as much as we do, please listen, and let us know what you think.

Rombklove will be back next May but in the mean time check out RombkPod as I have made a point of reaching out to a lot of our past participants and inviting them as guests and cohosts. If you are a POC, LGBTQIA blogger or reader and interested in taking part. Let me know. 

I am also doing quite a bit of sensitivity reading for Puerto Rican Latinx characters. This year, I have read for, Mia Sosa, Ruby Lang, Lucy Eden, Alexis Daria, among others. If you want to learn about my rates and what I offer, please email me at anacoqui @ gmail dot com. 

 

What I've read and you might have missed:

First of all I keep a bookthread on twitter with everything I have read. I write bullet reviews there and it helps me keep track of my reading.

 

You can also find a list of all my Love in Panels reviews here: https://www.loveinpanels.com/prose/author/ana-coqui

These are all the book I have reviewed there since I last updated this blog:

The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker

Proper English by KJ Charles

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

American Fairy Tale by Adriana Herrera

Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Alisha Rai and The Right Swipe: A Conversation About Modern Love

Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

Flying with Angels and Hunters - Nalini Singh's Guild Hunters Series intro and overview.

Archangel's War by Nalini Singh

American Love Story by Adriana Herrera

Gilded Cage by KJ Charles

Grumpy Jake by Melissa Blue

Get a Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

 

I wrote a Top 5 list that mentions 35 books for Suzanne and that will be out next month over at LiP. This has been a great reading year.

I can't wait to see what 2020  has in store for us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Love in Panels Review of Hired by Zoey Castile (Happy Endings Book 2).

HiredcoverabsAlthough I really liked the characters and the setting this is a DNF review!

This book had a fabulously hot beginning with it is white-hot flirtation/hookup but when I had to bow out when Adrien kept delaying telling Faith a crucial piece of information, and I lost patience with the sight-seeing around NOLA with that hanging over the couple. 

 

For the rest of the review visit: Love in Panels


Love in Panels Review: Thrown to the Wolves by Charlie Adhara (and series review)

ThrowntothewolvesI was late to pick up Charlie Adhara’s first two Big Bad Wolf books and I was rewarded with that lateness by being able to read all three in short-succession. The books are a cross between police procedural mysteries and paranormal romance. They are suspenseful and character-driven stories with slowly unfurling worldbuilding that builds on itself with each book. I loved seeing Cooper and Oliver’s story unfold, and getting caught up each mystery.

Read the my review at Love in Panels


Beyond the Sectors Podcast Updates

Chelsea and I had fun unpacking all our feelings for Beyond the Sectors podcast last week, and  Episode 3 went out to subscribers on Thursday.  To find links to the podcast and read the show notes, head over to Beyond the Sectors.

Also Suzanne from Love in Panels asked me to write up a little piece on how I ended up getting involved into launching a podcast with zero podcast experience and a lot enthusiasm for Kit Rocha's books.


Love in Panels Review: Wild Country by Anne Bishop (The World of the Others, Book 2)

Wildcountry
My review of Wild Country is up at Love in Panels!

Wild Country is full of surprises and unexpected twists, most more unsettling and upsetting than the last while providing a heart-pounding companion story to Etched in Bone. It is not a book I would recommend to anyone except a long-time series fan however.

 

To read the full review go to: http://www.loveinpanels.com/prose/wild-country


Love in Panels Review: American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera

American-dreamerMy review of American Dreamer is up at Love in Panels!

Ernesto Vasquez might have been born in the Dominican Republic but he is a die-hard New Yorker at heart. His food truck, OuNYe’s menu expresses the special fusion of his New York city childhood, where the Afro-caribbean flavors of his heritage and that of his Puerto Rican, Cuban, Jamaican and Haitian best-friends, nourished and united them. Making his food truck a success is his driving objective because Nesto can’t live on passion alone, he needs his truck to turn a profit. Willing to try anything, Nesto has given himself six months Upstate in his mother Nurys’s new town of Ithaca, in a last ditch effort to keep his dream aflot. If he fails to find customers, he will pack it in and head back to NYC and find new dreams.

Jude Fuller is a young adult librarian with a passion for outreach to underserved communities, like rural LGBTQIA+ youth who don’t have regular or easy access to the local library. For years he has been working to see his bookmobile project funded and this might finally be the year. While it is small town curiosity and the lure of delicious flavors that bring Jude to OuNYe, it is Nesto’s flirtatious smiles and smooth moves that he can’t resist. However, Jude is determined to counter his BFF's matchmaking antics as he has no desire not risk heartbreak again. Jude wants to keep things nice and casual, but he soon finds himself caring and wanting more from Nesto.

Nesto and Jude’s relationship starts off playful and sexy with with great joyous energy and bilingual banter. But underneath Jude’s sunny and saucy sauntering lurks a painful emotional history and anxiety that makes him hesitate pursuing anyone, particularly someone whose focus and ambition might not keep him in Ithaca. Nesto is also conflicted about his inability to ignore his attraction to Jude. Being distracted from his primary reason for being in Ithaca brings up its own kind of angst.

Tension over the risk of pursuing a relationship, fear that commitment might not be evenly felt, and how to balance relationship and career goals are central to the story. Both Jude and Nesto have moments where they realize how deep in denial they have been, and I loved how their actions often betrayed their real feelings for each other long before they are willing to name their attraction or relationship.

This book was chock-full of delicious food, fascinating and engaging secondary characters and had a great sense of place. Herrera brings to life Ithaca’s many social and economic contrasts. I loved Nesto’s rowdy, nosey and loving extended Latinx family and the friends who drop everything to help him and wish him well. In contrast Jude’s religious and emotionally abusive family felt sketched in and somewhat like cardboard cutouts.

Misty, the petty and malicious antagonistic harasser of both Jude and Nesto was at times grandly cartoonish but not unrealistic in this day and age of meme-able white ladies calling 911 on innocent picnickers for simply being POC. Misty’s use and abuse of public servants such as cops & health inspectors seem instead frighteningly believable.

I also loved how Herrera showed Nesto and Jude’s different responses to the harassment. The differing ways they responded to Misty’s behavior is deeply informed by their own prior experiences and whether they felt it would spill onto others. I particularly appreciated how Nesto’s attitude of calm disengagement was a result of a life-long experience with racism and Jude’s internalized anger a scar from growing up closeted in an insular community that would eventually shun him for failing to conform to their expectations.

As much as I loved the book overall and the characters most of all, there was some wonky pacing in the middle of the book with weeks going by in a few paragraphs. I felt that I lost a sense of how long Jude and Nesto circled around each other, how long they were actively together before things started to go sideways or how far into Nesto’s six months we had progressed. I am also not a grand-gesture/big grovel reader, and the ending of this book has a big one. The gesture makes intellectual sense but it didn’t hit my emotional buttons, because it seemed to gloss over some serious communication and expectations issues that Nesto and Jude must address for their HEA to feel solid.

 

American Dreamer is angsty and sexy with a strong supporting cast and I am eager to read the future books in the series. I do recommend readers identify a source for Caribbean food before they start reading American Dreamer, as it is sure to inspire a desperate hankering for its Caribbean flavors.

 

I received a review copy from the author.

 

 

 

Content Warnings: Cancer Death (relative of one of the MCs), religious extremist family, Homophobia, Racist language, racist harassment. 


Love in Panels Review: Bite Me by Robyn Bachar #backlist

Bitemecover
My full review of Robyn Bachar's Bite Me is up at Love in Panels today.

But here is a taste:

I loved what Bachar did in this book. From its sarcastic, funny and decidedly off-kilter Lizzie, desperately trying to figure out how to hold everything together, while falling desperately in love at the wrongest moment possible, to solid and unflappable Angie, who refuses to let Lizzie face things alone and who listens and asks questions,especially when they face unexpected complications to their relationships.  

 

 

 

 


Love in Panels Review: Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik

PolarisRising-680x1024I am over at Love in Panels today with my review of Polaris Rising by Jessie Milhalik.

Polaris Rising is the first book in a new SFR series by Jessie Mihalik, this SFR adventure is full of action, fascinating secondary characters and interesting world-building.  There is lots of sexual tension, mutual mistrust, wall-banging sex and lots and lots of med-bay visits for the space faring duo. 

For the rest of the review: Love in Panels 


Love in Panels Review: Once Ghosted, Twice Shy

Once-ghosted-twice-shyWith a short stay in NYC ahead of her, all Likotsi, Prince Thabiso’s head advisor & planner supreme, was simply looking for an enchanting woman to pass the the time with and instead fell hard and fast for Fabiola. But their whirlwind affair is derailed abruptly by a single phone call. Months later, their lives on vastly different tracks than before, their paths cross again... read the rest at Love in Panels