Random (but not really)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Categorical Books: Ace Romances

First and foremost, you might want to read about Ace. Then you’ll probably wonder how Ace romance isn’t a contradiction. The above link may be helpeful in answering that as well.

There are not of explicit Ace spectrum romances, which is why I especially wanted to make note of them. In contemporary romances, there’s generally a discussion of being demi or ace, but in historicals you have to read between the lines. (No one today can say for certain, but my strong opinion is that Sherlock Holmes was ace and aro, so might clarify some things for you.)

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

This is the sequel to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and follows Felicity Montague, who wants to become a doctor. Unfortunately, women are not allowed to be doctors, and her attempts to go to medical school do not go well.

“I’m talking about menstruation, sir!” I shout in return.

It’s like I set the hall on fire, manifested a venomous snake from thin air, also set that snake on fire, and then threw it at the board. The men all erupt into protestations and a fair number of horrified gasps. I swear one of them actually swoons at the mention of womanly bleeding.

Felicity decides to travel to attend the wedding of her previous best friend, but nothing Felicity wants goes as expected, and she instead goes on an adventure.

Your beauty is not a tax you are required to pay to take up space in this world.

Absolutely no boinking here.

Rating: 9/10


His Quiet Agent, Merlin in the Library by Ada Maria Soto

Arthur works for The Agency and feels (rightly) that he’s going nowhere. In an attempt to at least have his supervisor know who he is, he ends up befriending the quietest and strangest person in the department.

Arthur looked over at The Alien. It was a Go Away sign, but it was a very specific type of go away sign; it was the kind that said ‘Look at Me Just for A Moment. I’m Weird. If you talk to me you’re going to decide I’m weird and not like me so let’s just save both of us the public discomfort of you feeling the need to reject me.’ He’d used that same trick in high school with copies of The Prince and Art of War. There might have also been some eyeliner involved. He could also remember being desperately lonely and wanting someone else’s weirdness to match with his.

This is a very sweet story, although we learn far more about Arthur than we do about Martin, which is completely fitting with the characters.

Absolutely no boinking here.

Rating: 8.5/10


ThawThaw by Elyse Springer

This is the sequel to Whiteout, but is definitely a stand-alone. Abigail is a librarian and loves her job. She is a little lonely (since she is single) but she does have friends who support her.

One night, attending a gala with her friend Nate, she meets a beautiful woman who seems to want to be friends with Abby, but Gabriella is so hot and cold, Abby isn’t always sure Gabriella even likes here.

She read the entire page, first with clinical detachment and then with a strange curiosity that was equal parts Why would anyone want to do that? and How does that even work?

When she did slide her phone into her back pocket, there was a sinking feeling in her stomach.

Could she do the things on that list? Sure. Did she want to? Yeah, if it was what Gabrielle wanted.

There is sexual content here, but it’s mostly off the page.

Rating: 8/10


Play It AgainPlay It Again: A Slow Burn Romance by Aidan Wayne

This story is SO SO SO adorable!

Dovid and his sister Rachel are able to make their living as vloggers, with Rachel behind the camera and Dovid the face of the pair. Because Dovid is blind, he is very drawn to voices, so when Rachel finds Sam’s “Lets Play” channel, he plugs it and changes things drastically for both of them.

“Oh, well, actually, I found something very interesting to read? Although a bit… erm…”

“What? What is it?”

“Did you know there’s fanfiction about us?” Sam blurted out.

“What!” Dovid yelped. “You found that?”

It’s so sweet and there is no boinking.

Rating: 9/10


How to Be a Normal Person by TJ Klune

Gus is not neurotypical. He lives in a small town and runs the video store he inherited from his father and keeps to himself, although he does like some people, almost against his will.

He took the We Three Queens’ video card, charged them two bucks (even though it should have been four; he told them it was because they were regulars, and that was mostly true. It also was because he loved them deeply and didn’t know quite else how to say it.

Then, the hipster comes to town.

“Hey, followers. Second day in and I met Gustavo Tiberius and his ferret. Check it out. They both have pretty eyes. Blushing smiley face. L-O-L. Hashtag awesome. Hashtag presidential ferrets. Hashtag mountain town adventures. Hashtag—”

So Gus turns to the internet for advice.

That One Friend

We all have them. You know what I’m talking about. That One Friend. Yes, That One Friend who you love dearly and enjoy very much, but who can be a bit on the wild side. Their personality isn’t for everyone. What you might consider bubbly, others might potentially consider undesirable. Before you decide which of your friends is That One Friend, make sure you look inside yourself to make sure that you’re not That One Friend.

It’s a cute story and a funny story but it wasn’t particularly my jam.

There is no actual sex here, but there is a lot of talk about sex and sexuality.

Rating: 6.5/10


For Better or Worse by R. Cooper

Javi is a firefighter and demisexual and attracted to me, and the combination of those three things are not easy for him.

Everything looks like friendly teasing if you don’t know what sexual tension is. I get confused.”

The romance is slow, since neither character is sure how the other feels, and Javi is terrible at reading other people’s interest.

There is boinking here.

Rating: 7/10


The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter by K.J. Charles is an Ace/Ace romance.

Kissing people gave them the wrong idea, and it was hard to enjoy touching anyone when you were constantly wondering where they’d stick their hands.

It’s also a novella and probably far more interesting to people who have read Any Old Diamonds so I’m not sure I’d recommend it for someone who hasn’t read the previous story.
Rating: 7.5/10

A Gentleman’s Position is the third book in the Society of Gentlemen series, and my least favorite book in that series. It’s not bad, but I have issues with employer/employee romances, and although it wasn’t illegal (being the 1820s) it still kinda squicks me out.

Rating: 7/10


That Kind of Guy by Talia Hibbert

Rae is a divorcee who is something of an enigma to the town–something she enjoys since she’s herself and on her own for the first time in years.

Zack spent years wanting someone to love him and willing to accept sex as a substitute, but after a serious bout of depression he’s been reevaluating his life and come to the conclusion that he’s demisexual. Which is a major reevaluation, considering his reputation in town.

(N)ecessity was the mother of every skill Zach had. Growing up poor with a busy single parent and a missing older brother had led him to learn a lot of practical shit at a very young age. The hard way. And those skills had never been allowed to fade, because once someone identified you as useful, they’d always be around to… well, use you.

There is boinking here.

This is the third book in her Ravenswood series, and you don’t have to read the series in order, as I certainly didn’t.

Rating: 8/10


“Pack Up the Moon” by Angel Martinez is the third story in Family Matters.

Charon (yes, the Ferryman) is Ace, but he and Azeban (trickster god) discuss their desired and needs and compromise on how they can make their relationship work. There is sexual content in this story, and definitely in the first two stories.

Rating: 8.5/10

Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists is a novella. Taro has won the lottery, but to avoid the insanity that normally comes with such a win, tells only his immediate family, and then decides to do what he’s always wanted–which is see the world. Unfortunately, he seems to have picked up a ghost and really would like someone to help him deal with it.

Taro is Ace and very used to being misunderstood and fairly resigned to being alone, but spending time with Jack (who is trying to solve his ghost issue) makes him wonder if he really has to be alone.

“Phillip’s an accountant. Or a snooty trust-fund baby. Why are you named after a root vegetable?”

Taro needed three tries to find his voice. “I’m not.”

“Taro? Big purple edible root. What poi’s made of?”

“Oh. No.” Taro finally had the presence of mind to shut the door. “I mean, yes to taro being a plant, but it’s short for Lautaro. My name, not the vegetable. And I was an accountant.”

There is some sexual content here.

Rating: 8/10

I’ve got a number of Ace romances on my wish list, but I am definitely looking for more so please give me any recommendations you have!

Categorical Books

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