September Reading Recommendations

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been hard at work this past month, mostly wrestling with the manuscript for my new book. I’m hoping to bring you some big news regarding this title in the coming months (including a title and cover reveal) so stay tuned for updates!

I’ve also been catching up on my reading and, as per usual, I have some recommendations to share with you all. I hope you have a fantastic month filled with good books and good thoughts.

“Boss With Benefits” by Ruthie Luhnow

From the blurb:

A week in bed with my boss? What could go wrong?

Sylvan: When you’re the personal assistant to a billionaire, no request is off limits—and this time he needs me to play the part of his boyfriend to keep his family off his back about why he hasn’t married yet. But between the champagne and the ski runs and the king-sized bed we’re sharing, it’s getting harder and harder to remind myself my billionaire playboy boss could never really fall for someone like me.

Fletcher: Who needs love when you have work? For years, my job has been my sole focus, and my work has paid off. But when I ask my assistant to pretend to be my fake boyfriend for a family trip, I soon realize that his quick wit and level head might be exactly what I’ve been looking for. It doesn’t hurt that he’s cute as hell, either. Has the one I’ve been waiting for been working beside me all along? And will a few days in the snow be enough for me to convince him that this is the real deal?

My Thoughts:

This was such a fun novella. Light and sweet with no angst. Perfect for a quick weekend read. The two main characters are fun and go well together, their playful banter is endearing and the ever-increasing silliness of their attempts to simultaneously cover up their fake relationship while trying to deny their real feelings makes for an amusing read.

“Football Sundae” by Daryl Banner

From the blurb:

Tanner, the hunky college football star, returns to his country hometown of Spruce, Texas for the summer.

Billy, the smart-as-a-whip budding dessert chef, wants nothing to do
with the cocky athlete – or his loud jock buddies. But the more he tries
to ignore the football player’s charm, the less he can resist it.

Billy’s peaceful, hot-fudge-glazed little world is about to be flipped upside-down. Get ready for the “sweetest” romance you’ve ever tasted.

In this “sweet & steamy” love story, you can expect some seriously hot
man-on-man action, ice cream, and a whole lotta small town southern sass.

My Thoughts:

For some strange reason, I ended up reading this series of books in entirely the wrong order! Not that it matters, since each book can be easily read as a standalone novel. Football Sundae is the first in the series and delivers a sweet, small town romance with plenty of Southern charm and country vibes.

Tanner and Billy are from both ends of the spectrum. Tanner comes from money, privilege and popularity. Billy comes from working class roots, lower on the social totem during high school and is mostly an outcast in town for his (assumed) homosexuality. But somehow, the two end up developing a quick friendship that soon turns into something more intimate.

Mutually agreeing to hide their budding relationship (for lack of a better label) the two men have to decide if they really need to hide, and who it is they’re really hiding from.

Like the other novels in this series, Football Sundae is enjoyable, engaging, relatable and sprinkled with enough humour to balance out the angst.

“Invisible Boys” by Holden Sheppard

From the blurb:

An emotional tale of identity, sexuality and suicide derived from personal experience about three teenage boys who struggle to come to terms with their homosexuality in a small Western Australian town.

On the surface, nerd Zeke, punk Charlie and footy wannabe Hammer look like they have nothing in common. But scratch that surface and you’d find three boys in the throes of coming to terms with their homosexuality in a town where it is invisible.

Invisible Boys is a raw, confronting YA novel that explores the complexities and trauma of rural gay identity with painful honesty, devastating consequences and, ultimately, hope.

My Thoughts:

I wish this book had existed when I was 14. Its raw honesty and relatability would have been welcome at a time in my life when I was filled with confusion, shame and desperation as I was seeking answers to why I felt different from everyone around me, and how to cope with growing up gay in a place where homosexuality seemed like something that only existed in the big cities.

Growing up in regional Australia, Invisible Boys could practically have been written about my own adolescence. Everything about the language, location and situations was instantly recognisable and relatable. More than once, the book evoked long forgotten memories of my teenage years and left me either smiling or on the verge of tears.

I can honestly say I have never read anything quite like this before. It’s gritty, sometimes uncomfortable, but ultimately hopeful. I couldn’t recommend this book more. It should be required reading in every Australian high school.

EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH:

Chaos – always willing to help out in the office 😀

Well, that’s all from me for this month. Stay safe, be good and Happy Reading to you all!

Lots of Love

Alex Leslie

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