Special Feature/Excerpt: A Dress of Violet Taffeta by Tessa Arlen

Who else is a massive sucker for stunning book covers? I know I am! When I saw this one come up for review, I knew I wanted to read it based on the cover alone, but then I saw that Tessa Arlen wrote it and I was instantly excited! I have read and loved many of Arlen’s books, most of which are historical mysteries. She always writes such great books and the historical parts are on point!

Seeing this book cover and the summary with the Titanic connection, really made me excited because I know how well Arlen does historical fiction and since this is a little different than her mysteries I was eager to check it out. I love this particular era and I love the fashion of the time so getting to read about a fashion icon sounded like it would be right up my alley.

I will be sharing a full review a little later on but for today I wanted to share a wonderful excerpt from this book! If you love elegant prose, well written characters, with stunning historical detail this is the book you have been waiting for. It has been very well received by early reviewer and I just started reading it the other night and am already hooked! Take a quick look at this excerpt and see if it interests you!

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The Ultimate Must-Read Rom-Coms for Pride Month

Many books with LGBTQ+ characters and queer themes have been banned in the past. NBC reports that five out of ten books that were most banned in 2021 were flagged for having LGBTQ+ content. With pride month coming to a close, reading these works can help people explore perspectives from different sexualities and gender identities through the stories these books tell. More importantly, genres like rom-com can show that queer joy is possible, despite it being a month of protest for rights and respect.

Here are just a few queer rom-com books you might enjoy:

The Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee


If you are a fan of young love and the fake dating trope, then The Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee is the book for you. This story follows Noah, a teen whose blog is being attacked by trolls. To regain readership numbers, he enlists the help of Drew – a cisgender man – to fake date him. Throughout the story, Noah grows immensely as a character and the themes surrounding gender identity and self-discovery are evident throughout the plot. This is an ideal read for a younger audience that love coming-of-age stories since this book is all about what being in love during teenage years is like.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston


As stories centered around the British nobility have become immensely popular in recent times thanks to period novels like theBridgerton series, modern retellings of regal matters have become a mainstay for today’s readers. Like The Meet Cute DiaryRed, White & Royal Blue’s story showcases how building a fake relationship (a platonic best friendship in this case) can lead to something deeper. As the main characters Alex, who is the POTUS’ son, and Henry, England’s prince, take damage control into their own hands after getting into an altercation, they form an unlikely bond. With a backdrop of political unrest, this book asks whether love is enough to overcome everything, even international relations and politics. This question is typically tackled in straight fiction so McQuinston’s take on a classic love story trope makes for a highly entertaining read.

Love & Other Disasters by Misa Sugiura


Lesbian and Asian stories are greatly underrepresented in queer literature but Love & Other Disasters tackles both demographics head-on. The book revolves around Nozomi Nagai as she hatches a scheme to make her ex-girlfriend jealous. Nozomi is heartbroken, believing she will never meet someone as perfect as Willow again. But this takes a turn as Nozomi finds love in the storm her breakup left behind. Love & Other Disasters is a great book that teaches readers that life doesn’t always go according to plan. All that matters is you follow your heart. This queer romance is bound to remind you what the ups and downs of first love are like– and how life is after it.

Pumpkin by Julie Murphy


Julie Murphy is best known for her book Dumplin’ and she has recently come out with Pumpkin– a story which follows an openly gay teenager, Waylon, who lives in a conservative town in rural Texas. When a video of Waylon in drag starts circulating through his high school, he struggles to navigate through the infamy and bullying brought on by the newfound attention. All he wants to do is keep his head down and graduate without a problem but this plan comes crashing down once he is nominated for prom queen. Pumpkin serves as a great representation for every queer kid who is afraid to be who they truly are because their environment scares them. At its core, this book will remind readers to not be ashamed of themselves. They are allowed to wear their identity as loudly and proudly as they want to.





Special Feature: A Thousand Miles by Bridget Morrissey

There is nothing quite like a road trip in the summer is there? I love driving and seeing different places but with gas prices the way they are this summer, I will probably be staying mostly close to home. Which leave me feeling a little sad since every summer my family and I try to road trip somewhere either in Oregon or in the immediate vicinity. There are plenty of road trip destinations in Oregon but the gas prices are breaking the bank here!

So where does that leave me? Longing for a road trip of some kind—-enter this book! I thought this sounded like the perfect book to read this summer if you are stuck at home but dying to road trip. I am planning on living vicariously through this book and getting my ‘road trip fix’ with this one! But this one has so much to offer beyond just the road trip experience—-this one includes a fun little second chance romance for readers to enjoy and I for one am really looking forward to this one!

This author has a couple of other great romances under her belt and I cannot wait to check this one out! It is out now and already receiving a lot of positive reviews. It sounds like it’s going to have a very modern and relatable feel as it includes a podcast element and I think a lot of younger readers and maybe those who don’t read a lot of romance. So take a look and see if this is something that might appeal to you for your summer reading!

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Special Feature: The People’s Princess by Flora Harding

I can vividly remember where I was when I found out Princess Diana had died. It was such a memorable event and one that captivated me as the events and details of her life unfolded. I was in my late teens when she died and I didn’t really know much about her personal life but in the months after her death, I found my self more and more fascinated with her life and history. Now that I am an adult I still am fascinated by the royal family and I love books that explore the royals.

When I saw this book was coming out I jumped at the chance to check it out. I am reading it later this summer but I wanted to get it out on everyones radar now since it is out! This book follows a young Diana who discovers a diary written by Princess Charlotte and finds that she and the late princess actually have quite a bit in common! This book sounds intriguing on so many levels and I cannot wait to read it! It is out now and lots of reviewers have said what a fun read this reimagined book is!

If you love historical fiction and the royals, then you are not going to want to miss this one! I love that it has a more modern story with Princess Diana blended with the historical part of Princess Charlotte’s story. I love duel time narratives and I am so looking forward to reading this one! Plus author Flora Harding is a wonderful writer! I read her previous book Before the Crown last year and loved it so I am even more excited to see how she writes Diana! Be sure to check this one out!

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Special Feature: Local Gone Missing by Fiona Barton

Fiona Barton is a fairly well known thriller/mystery writer. She is probably most known for her Kate Waters series which has been on the New York Times Best Seller List. With this latest book, she steps away from her well known protagonist and creates a standalone book begging to make it’s way into your beach bag this year! I know some people like reading romance or ‘beach reads’ while on vacation but I gotta say there is something about a thriller that scream beach read for me!

I haven’t read anything by Barton before so I am eager to check this one out. I love books about missing people and dark, buried secrets and this book sounds like it’s going to be full of twists turns, missing persons, and dark secrets! I cannot wait to start this one especially since it has been receiving rave early reviews! I especially like that this one is set in a small seaside town, I think it will make great reading for the summer and vacation reading!

This book is out today and just in time for summer. If you love twisty mysteries with a smart protagonist and a plot full of intrigue from an established author then you definitely want to get this one on your radar for the summer! I love that this is a standalone book and not a series so that I can read it quickly and not have to worry that I would be missing out on some larger narratives etc. Anyway, I am so excited to check this one out a little later this summer and of course share a review with you guys as soon as I am done!

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