Review: Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

cover182052-medium Wanted:
One (fake) boyfriend
Practically perfect in every way

Luc O’Donnell is tangentially–and reluctantly–famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he’s never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad’s making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.

To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he’s never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.

But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go. Continue reading “Review: Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall”

Review: A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison

cover178272-medium Alexandra Daniels hasn’t set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother’s tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies.

Bellamy Bay doesn’t look like trouble, but this is a town that harbors dark secrets. Alex discovers that her own family is at the center of salacious town gossip, and that they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She brushes this off as nonsense until a local is poisoned and her aunt Lidia is arrested for the crime. Alex is certain Lidia is being framed, and she resolves to find out why. Continue reading “Review: A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison”

Review: Spy x Family Volume 1 by Tatsuya Endo

cover185436-medium Master spy Twilight is the best at what he does when it comes to going undercover on dangerous missions in the name of a better world. But when he receives the ultimate impossible assignment—get married and have a kid—he may finally be in over his head! Not one to depend on others, Twilight has his work cut out for him procuring both a wife and a child for his mission to infiltrate an elite private school. What he doesn’t know is that the wife he’s chosen is an assassin and the child he’s adopted is a telepath!

Continue reading “Review: Spy x Family Volume 1 by Tatsuya Endo”

Review: Ping Pong Vol 1 by Taiyo Matsumoto

cover183336-medium Ace high school table tennis players push their passion to the limit in this story of self-discovery, told by Eisner Award winner Taiyo Matsumoto.

Makoto “Smile” Tsukimoto doesn’t smile even though he’s got a natural talent for playing ping pong. As one of the best players in school, all hopes are on him to win the regional high school tournament, but winning is not what Smile really wants to do. Will the fierce competition to be number one bring out his best or drive him away from the game? Ping Pong is Taiyo Matsumoto’s masterwork reflection on friendship and self-discovery, presented here in two volumes, featuring color art, the bonus story Tamura and an afterward by the original Japanese series editor.

Continue reading “Review: Ping Pong Vol 1 by Taiyo Matsumoto”

Review: Not Your Idol, Volume 1 by Aoi Makino

cover183260-medium A psychological suspense series about a girl who has given up her life as an idol after being assaulted by a fan.

After that day, she stopped being a girl. In the wake of an assault, Nina Kamiyama, a former idol in the group Pure Club, shuns her femininity and starts dressing as a boy. At high school she keeps to herself, but fellow student Hikaru Horiuchi realizes who she is. What secrets is she keeping? The shocking drama starts.

Continue reading “Review: Not Your Idol, Volume 1 by Aoi Makino”

Review: Blue Flag Volume 1 by KAITO

cover183248-medium An unexpected love quadrangle with a dash of unrequited love as two classmates, a boy and a girl, begin to fall for each other when each of their best friends have already fallen for them.

It’s the last year of high school, and love is in the air. Romantic feelings that have been building up over years of friendship come to light. When Taichi’s classmate Futaba asks him to help her confess to his best friend, Toma, it sparks the catalyst that begins the sweet and heart-wrenching journey of their third and final year of high school.

For some reason, Taichi Ichinose just can’t tolerate Futaba Kuze. But at the start of his third year in high school, he finds himself in the same homeroom as her, along with his childhood friend and school sports star Toma Mita. But one day Futaba opens up to Taichi, admitting she has a crush on Toma and asking for his help in confessing to him! There’s just one problem—Toma seems to already have a secret crush on someone else…

Continue reading “Review: Blue Flag Volume 1 by KAITO”

Review: The New Husband by D.J. Palmer

cover175416-medium What makes Simon Fitch so perfect?

-He knows all her favorite foods, music, and movies.
-Her son adores him. He was there when she needed him most.
-He anticipates her every need.
-He would never betray her like her first husband.

The perfect husband. He checks all the boxes.

The question is, why?

Nina Garrity learned the hard way that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But with Glen gone―presumably drowned while fishing on his boat―she couldn’t confront him about the affair or find closure to the life he blew apart. Continue reading “Review: The New Husband by D.J. Palmer”

Review: Jace by Sasha Summers

cover174809-medium Jace Black went from an oilfield roughneck to an overnight singing sensation. Now he’s working on a duet with country music legend Krystal King, and he’s determined to earn his way to the top. But the more time he spends with Krystal, the more he finds himself falling for her–and he’s beginning to be more interested in her than he is in making a name for himself.

Krystal King grew up on stage and in the spotlight. No matter how golden her life appears, her past left deep wounds. But Jace Black makes her wish things were different. To do that, she’d have to risk letting him in… And that might be too big a risk for her battered heart to take.

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Review: Komi Can’t Communicate by Tomohito Oda

cover185303-medium Timid Tadano is a total wallflower, and that’s just the way he likes it. But all that changes when he finds himself alone in a classroom on the first day of high school with the legendary Komi. He quickly realizes she isn’t aloof—she’s just super awkward. Now he’s made it his mission to help her on her quest to make 100 friends!

As someone with some serious social anxiety, I was immediately drawn to the premise of this manga.  I thought it’d be cute and fun and maybe a little reflective of what I go through now, even as an adult.

Granted, my anxiety isn’t nearly as debilitating as Komi’s is, but I could still relate in a lot of ways.  That moment when the teacher calls on you and, even though you know the answer, you’re paralyzed by the fear of saying something in front of the class.  That I totally related to. Continue reading “Review: Komi Can’t Communicate by Tomohito Oda”

Review: Tangled Up in Texas by Delores Fossen

cover182165-medium Between running his family ranch and dealing with far too many needy relatives, Shaw Jameson doesn’t have time for more trouble. But when his first love, former-child-star-turned-businesswoman Sunny Dalton, returns to Lone Star Ridge, Shaw senses things are about to get a whole lot more interesting.

Shaw isn’t prepared for the memories that come flooding back now…or the reignited spark between them that turns into a raging inferno. Still, this gorgeous cowboy will do everything he can not to get burned a second time. Because Sunny never promised this visit was permanent and Shaw has no intention of giving up the land he loves. Letting Sunny go again is certain to leave a Texas-sized mark on his soul—and a permanent wall around his heart. Unless he can prove their small town holds the promise of the future they both always imagined.  Continue reading “Review: Tangled Up in Texas by Delores Fossen”