Off Base by Annabeth Albert

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This was enjoyable. A solid 3-star romance, although for the first half or so of the book, I really wasn’t sure about it; sometimes I’d be liking it and others I just couldn’t get into it, but as the circumstances surrounding the characters ramped up, the book certainly picked up and led to a satisfying ending.

Zack Nelson is a Navy SEAL who is definetly definetly not gay (of course not, no way *koffkoff*). He’s been getting some homophobic abuse from a fellow officer, and as a result, he decides to move offbase. Pike Reynolds, avid gamer and adept at doing up houses, offers to move into the dump Zack has agreed to renovate in exchange for cheap off-base living. Never mind that Pike drives him wild, and that Zack won’t admit that he’s into guys. This surely isn’t a good idea, right? And especially since Pike has been with someone deep in the closet before, and that’s an unpleasant experience he doesn’t want a repeat of.

What follows is a decent romance where two roommates come together. Throw in a subplot about homophobic abuse from colleagues, and a heavy dose of gaming, and this was an enjoyable read. It didn’t set my world on fire initially, but by the end, I’d come to quite like both Pike and Zack, and their kitties.

This book, by the way, is a spin-off from Albert’s #gaymers series, of which Ryan and Josiah from book three, Connection Error, appear frequently (Ryan is the mutual friend and the reason they met). I hadn’t read Connection Error (note: you don’t have to have to read this), but I’m very tempted to now, especially since they included the first chapter of their story at the end of Off Base.

Overall, a decent military romance. And there’s another, At Attention, out now too (which I’m curious about as the lead in that, who’s a minor character here, was introduced but not with info so I’m not really sure what he’s like yet).

Just Drive by L. A. Witt

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I love L. A. Witt. She has written some brilliant books (eg., Starstruck, If the Seas Catch Fire) and some that just didn’t grab me (eg., Rules of Engagement).

Something about this book didn’t work for me. I liked the book all well and good – it was fine but I didn’t feel particularly connected to the characters, I think because they were trying to deny their connection all along. Also, Witt writes from no sex, to some, to lots, to FULL ON KINKY and there was quite a bit of sex in this book (a little too much for me, but given the relationship – what it is, and how they deal with it – it makes perfect sense)

Sean is a full-time student, part-time taxi driver, and son of a Military Man. One night he picks up the freshly dumped older Paul and they start a whirlwind affair, comprised initially of some hot and heavy hook-ups, and naturally feelings develop.

I liked both characters but I didn’t love them, if you know what I mean. I understand why they can’t be together (Paul is Sean’s Dad’s boss) and that that’s a big deal in the military but it didn’t feel it to me – that’s probably just me though. I never really got completely sucked into their relationship, there’s a bit of a dreamlike quality to it, especially the ending. I really liked the town of Anchor Point though, and will definitely be reading the next Anchor Point books (and I’m eager to read the next book where Travis, supporting character in this book, gets his own story). A solid romance, with lots of angst and sex, that unfortunately wasn’t for me, but as I said, I’m looking forward to the rest of the series (the second book of which, based on supporting character Travis, is out now too).

5 New Gay Romance Novels to Watch Out For

The Perils of Intimacy by Rick R. Reed (1 May 2017)
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Jimmy and Marc make an adorable couple. Jimmy’s kindness and clean-cut cuteness radiate out of him like light. Marc, although a bit older, complements Jimmy with his humor and his openness to love.

But between them, a dark secret lurks, one with the power to destroy.

See, when Marc believes he’s meeting Jimmy for the first time in the diner where he works, he’s wrong.

Marc has no recollection of their original encounter because the wholesome Jimmy of today couldn’t be more different than he was two years ago. Back then, Jimmy sported multiple piercings, long bleached dreadlocks, and facial hair. He was painfully skinny—and a meth addict. The drug transformed him into a different person—a lying, conniving thief who robbed Marc blind during their one-night stand.

Marc doesn’t associate the memory of a hookup gone horribly wrong with this fresh-faced, smiling twentysomething… but Jimmy knows. As they begin a dance of love and attraction, will Jimmy be brave enough to reveal the truth? And if he does, will Marc be able to forgive him? Can he see Jimmy for the man he is now and not the addict he was? The answers will depend on whether true love holds enough light to shine through the darkness of past mistakes.

Liar, Liar by TA Moore (12 May 2017)
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Just another day at the office.

For some people that means spreadsheets, and for others it’s stitching endless hems. For Jacob Archer a day at the office is stealing proprietary information from a bioengineering firm for a paranoid software billionaire. He’s a liar and a thief, parlaying a glib tongue and a facile conscience into a lucrative career. He just has one rule—never get involved with a mark.

Well, had one rule. To be fair, though, Simon Ramsey is dark, dangerous, and has shoulders like a Greek statue. Besides, it’s not as though Jacob’s even really stealing from Simon… just his boss and his brother-in-law. Simon didn’t buy that excuse either after he caught Jacob breaking into the company’s computer network.

That would have been that—one messy breakup, one ticket to Bali booked—but it turns out that the stolen information is worth more than Jacob thought. With his life—and his ribs—threatened, Jacob needs Simon to help him out. Or maybe he just needs Simon.

Off Campus: Volume 1 (Bend or Break) by Amy Jo Cousins (27 May 2017)
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Everyone’s got secrets. Some are just harder to hide. With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that. But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He’s just happy to be sleeping in a bed. Reese isn’t about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You’ve seen one homophobic jock, you’ve seen ’em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn’t budging. Tom isn’t going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it’s turning him on. But he doesn’t want any drama either. He’ll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend…before they break. Warning: This book contains cranky roommates who vacillate between lashing out and licking, some male/male voyeurism, emotional baggage that neither guy wants to unpack, and the definitive proof that sound carries in college housing.

Shadow Fray by Bradley Lloyd (30 May 2017)
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Family is worth fighting for—and family doesn’t always mean blood.

No one knows what calamity poisoned the earth and decimated the human population, but living close to the toxic ground means illness and death. Justin is determined to keep his twin sister and younger brother from that fate—no matter what he has to do. To earn enough to keep his family safe in a high-rise, Justin enlists in a deadly sport called Shadow Fray. He quickly finds himself in over his head, especially when he is scheduled to face the most dangerous player.

Hale—who competes as Black Jim—knows he won’t be on top forever, despite his skills. He fights for a better life for his daughter, but his time is running out as Shadow Fray becomes increasingly lethal. Something about the newest fighter intrigues him, but does he dare defy his masters to investigate? Justin and Hale will clash in the ring, while beyond it the powerful elite and the crumbling world seem determined to keep them apart. If they can find common ground, they might have a chance to fight for their futures.

Caught! (The Shamwell Tales) by JL Merrow (5 Jun 2017)
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Bow ties are cool . . . but secrets, not so much.

Behind Robert Emeny’s cheerfully eccentric exterior lies a young heart battered and bruised by his past. He’s taken a job in a village primary school to make a fresh start, and love isn’t part of his plans. But then he’s knocked for six—literally—by a chance encounter with the uncle of two of his pupils.

Sean Grant works in pest control, lives on a council estate, and rides a motorbike. Robert is an ex–public schoolboy from a posh family who drives a classic car. On the face of it, they shouldn’t have anything in common. Yet Robert can’t resist Sean’s roguish grin, and passion sparks between them even after an excruciatingly embarrassing first date.

Too bad the past Robert’s hiding from is about to come looking for him. His increasingly ludicrous efforts to keep his secrets are pushing Sean away—but telling the truth could make Sean leave him for good.

The Night We Met by Rob Byrnes

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You’ve heard the term ‘romp,’ right? That describes this book perfectly.

Andrew is a book editor who’s managed to publish two novels to absolutely zero notice and no acclaim. Frank is a gangster, who has just opened a new gay bar called Benedick’s (which throughout is constantly mispronounced by people as Benedict’s, perhaps so they don’t have to realise that the original name, well, Frank is Italian and ‘bene’ in Italian means ‘good…). After being harangued into drag for the first time on Halloween, he stumbles through the wrong door in Benedick’s and meets Frank. They have a lovely evening, but of course, Frank is straight, right?

Well, kinda.

What follows is a madcap rollercoaster romp including book tours, gangsters with names like Crazy Anna Franco (who just happens to be Frank’s fianceé) and Big Pauline Macaroni. Andrew’s hum-drum life is completely turned upside and he ends up on the run from the cops, two families of gangsters, the FBI and the grande dame of literary crime. It’s ridiculous at times but it’s that kind of book. The book has the great supporting characters of Denise and David, Andrew’s two best friends who throughout are trying to talk sense into Andrew and make him drop Frank who has, intentionally or otherwise, completely wrecked his life. But Andrew can’t, he’s in love, and having been recently dumped at the start of the book, he never thought he’d find it again.

With shades of Armistead Maupin, this book is the right blend of clever and silly, and had me reading to the very end, and even had me worried if Andrew and Frank would get their Happily Ever After.

(Postscript: I absolutely hate the cover, and the blurb on the back is pretty crap too. It was a friend’s review that actually spurred me onto read this – I don’t think I would’ve picked it up, so it just goes to show important reviews can be *koffkoff*)

Bluewater Blues by G. B. Gordon

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This is a solid addition to the Bluewater Bay canon. Jack Daley runs the local shop, Your Daley Bread (yes, really) with his autistic sister, Margaret. Mark Keao is a costume designer on Wolf’s Landing, local big budget Hollywood TV show that has transformed this sleepy town.

Jack meets Mark, and given that he basically parented his sister, is completely unfazed by Mark’s autism. On the spectrum, Margaret is more severe than Mark, and the treatment of autism in this book was in-depth, fascinating, and had a huge impact on the romance; specific issues such as touch, sex, or sleeping together, and how that works with an autistic character, was really interesting. All three characters were very well drawn, as were their hobbies/loves (music, books, antique hunting).

This was a solid four star read – the only reason it didn’t get a full five was that the underlying mystery of why Jack and his sister moved there, when addressed, seemed to fizzle out. I wanted more of a definitive resolution to that, and unfortunately didn’t get one.

Still, this book has a lot to recommend it, and given that Bluewater Bay is looking to do lots of different types of romance, this is a perfect fit. And since I’m reading the series out of order (which is fine, since they stand alone), I’ll definetly be reading Gordon’s previous BWB book, When to Hold Them.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Brilliant Book Titles #103

the-petticoat-men
You can reserve a copy on South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
The Victorian gossipmongers called them The Petticoat Men. But to young Mattie Stacey they are Freddie and Ernest, her gentlemen lodgers. She doesn’t care that they dress up in sparkling gowns to attend society balls as ‘Fanny and Stella’. She only cares that they are kind to her, make her laugh, and pay their rent on time.

Then one fateful night, Fanny and Stella are arrested, and Mattie – outraged but staunch – is dragged into a shocking court trial, hailed in newspapers all over England as ‘The Scandal of the Century’.

5 Gay Romances to Watch Out For

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Dearly Stalked by Allison Cassata (23 Jan 2017)
Writing crime novels catapulted Memphis native Silas Cooper to fame and fortune, but when his words backfire and he becomes trapped in what could be one of his books, he needs a hero of his own.

Silas’s publicist insists he hire a personal assistant, and Silas chooses Scott Kramer. But before Scott starts, he already has a round of steamy phone sex to hold over Silas’s head, and his interest in his boss isn’t decreasing.

Benjamin Logan joined the Army to see the world, and while deployed he read every one of Silas’s books. With his military career over, Ben is back in Memphis working for the police department—and attempting a deeply closeted relationship with fellow cop Morgan Brown.

Over coffee, Silas and Ben become friends who support each other as relationships fall apart, and the attraction between them slowly emerges. When a dangerous stalker threatens Silas, it’s up to Ben to stop him.

If Ben fails, Silas might not live to tell this story… and Ben might not be able to live with himself.

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Clean Slate by Heidi Champa (30 Jan 2017)
Wes Green keeps everyone at arm’s length, either by pushing buttons or simply pushing them away. When that doesn’t work, Wes runs, as far and as fast as he can. This time, bolting from his boyfriend also costs him his professional organizing job. His last resort is to retreat to his brother’s basement and try to pick up the pieces. The only bright spot in his new life is his niece, Kelsey.

One day, while in Kelsey’s school drop-off line, he meets Sam Montgomery, the father of Maya, Kelsey’s best friend. When Wes finds out Sam is gay and interested in some no-strings-attached fun, Wes thinks he’s hit the jackpot. With boundaries firmly in place, keeping Sam at a distance should be easy.

What starts out simple quickly gets complicated when fun turns to feelings between Wes and Sam. But the baggage both men carry threatens to stop things before they start. Can Wes stay put long enough to find real love, or will old habits be too hard to break?

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As I Am by A.M. Arthur (1 Feb 2017)
Will Madden is healing.

Thanks to therapy and a growing support system, he’s taking baby steps into a promising future. One of those steps leads him to an online chat room, where he quickly bonds with fellow PTSD sufferer Taz Zachary.

Despite their virtual connection, Taz is initially freaked out at the idea of meeting Will face-to-face. A sexual relationship may be the last thing on his mind, but his craving for human interaction—and more of the way Will makes him laugh—gives him the courage he needs to take the next step.

In person, the chemistry between them is undeniable. But Will is hurt when Taz doesn’t seem to be in any rush to get him into bed. Still, acceptance, love and happiness all seem within reach for the first time in forever—until demons from the past threaten the future they both finally believe they deserve.

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Witches of London – Eagle’s Shadow by Aleksandr Voinov and Jordan Taylor (4 Feb 2017)
What if the new love of your life also holds the keys to your past?

When Chicago journalist Tom Welsh meets British banker Sanders Templeton at a conference, Sanders insists they have a connection, though he does not know what it is. They’ve never met before—but the strangest thing is, Tom can also feel it.

Sanders Templeton is a highflier who has it all—the money, the lifestyle and a rare intellect. Only a few chosen people know that he also suffers excruciating pain since childhood, with no cure, a mystery to western medicine.

Sanders knows that meeting Tom may be the most significant event of his life. As their relationship deepens, they learn that this is not the first lifetime in which they’ve fallen for each other. This time, true love can be theirs if they find the courage to forgive.

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Shards in the Sun by Trina Lane (14 Feb 2017)
The heart of Texas beats strong, fueled by the love between two men whose lives are interwoven like the long grass of the hill country they call home.

Brandon Blackstun has spent the last decade moving on from the hellish halls of high school. With an invitation to his reunion in hand, he plans to show his former classmates that not only did the repeated occurrences of being slammed into lockers not cause brain damage, but he’s now a successful cover artist for the very books they buy off the shelves.

Tyler Synder was determined not to follow in his father’s footsteps as head of the international corporation that bears the family name. Instead, his heart is tied to the beat of his horses’ thundering hooves. He operates a breeding program for Tennessee Walkers and a guest ranch a couple of hours from the urban luxury of Dallas where he was raised.

The two men might live very different lives, but the heat between them is hotter than any Texas sun. With the help—or meddling—of an unlikely pair of friends, the two explore a relationship that stirs something deep inside them. Distance and misunderstandings force Tyler and Brandon to consider whether the fulfillment they’ve experienced in each other’s arms is worth the sacrifice of the lives they’ve built individually.

Texas may be the second biggest state in the union, but is it large enough to embrace the love between these two men, or will their deeply hidden fears shatter the boundaries of their hearts?

 

Bitter Legacy by Dal Maclean

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This, is quite simply, one of the best books I have read in a very long time. If I hadn’t already picked my 2016 Book of the Year, this may have won. Already, it’s a hugely strong contender for my 2017 pick for Book of the Year (and yes I know it’s the 3rd of January! It’s that good!).

The main reason, is of course, the writing; Maclean writes beautifully, wonderfully artistic descriptions that manage to be completely purposeful and grounded in character and plot, tempered with a wonderful use of pacing. She beautifully evokes the world and the characters that live in it – making her craft look absolutely effortless. Bitter Legacy is a mystery novel – a genre I rarely read, so I wasn’t sure how I’d take to this – but I was absolutely hooked from the get go.

Detective Sergeant James Henderson is, as the blurb puts it “gay, posh and eager to prove himself”, and a barrister has been murdered. Due to James’ continued rise through the ranks, he’s been put on the case, for the first time, as lead investigator.

But this book is not just about the case, although that fascinates with its twists and turns (and – without spoiling anything – a fascinatingly repulsive character in the last third of the book). Heir to a business empire, James gave it all up to do something that mattered, and also to be himself – the gay man that he is, not the straight business mogul his father expects. Since he started this new life, he’s been working all the hours he can, and living out of boxes in a tiny bedsit. He’s been looking for a new place, but given the competition in London, it’s been tough. And when the case and this collide, he ends up moving in with someone that was peripheral (and cleared) in the inquiries.

As the bodies build, so does James’ relationship with his new landlord, the charming, enigmatic photographer, Ben Morgan – who doesn’t do relationships, or love. A fiercely independent man, and staunch advocate of sexual freedom, when the very inexperienced James, who has never had a real relationship, falls for him, he falls hard.

There is a great supporting cast, richly and deftly drawn by Maclean – Steggie, the downstairs neighbour who “acts” in adult films, Ben’s extended circle of friends and ‘acquaintances’, James’ fellow police officers, and the victim’s families. The mystery and James and Ben’s relationship both progress with some great wrenches thrown in the mix; life, like their relationship, and the ever-expanding case, is not always clean and easy and Maclean entices you into this world in all of its messy glory. And her frankly enviably brilliant writing had me finish this book in a flash.

It was my first real brush with m/m or gay mystery, as opposed to  m/m romance, and I’ll definitely be going in for more. I’m not going to give anything away about the plot, or even their relationship, but when I hit the last hundred pages, I basically abandoned my plans for the evening and curled up on the sofa, knowing I wasn’t going to stop until I’d finished.

This book is a stunning achievement – made even more impressive by the fact that this is Maclean’s first novel. With this one book, she has shot up into that rare cadre of authors whose books I automatically buy.

Also, despite there being a gay protagonist, I would heartily recommend this to any crime/thriller/mystery fans, of any orientation; it’s brilliantly done, and the case, and its unraveling is not just tacked onto the relationship, but is the real driving force of the book. So yes, in summation, everyone just read it!

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

RELEASE DAY REVIEW – No Small Parts by Ally Blue

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I’ve never read any Ally Blue novels before, but after this, I shall DEFINITELY be giving her a go. This is book sixteen in the Bluewater Bay romance novels series (although they can be read as standalone, and I’ve been reading them completely out of order). Some I didn’t finish (Selfie, How the Cookie Crumbles), some I wish I hadn’t finished (There’s Something About Ari), some just didn’t gel with me (Lone Wolf), some which were solid three-star romances (The Burnt Toast B+B, Hell on Wheels), and some which were absolutely brilliant (Starstruck, Rain Shadow). No Small Parts was definitely in the final category, in fact, was the best Bluewater Bay novel I’ve read since Starstruck, which is no faint praise!

Why did this one beat out all others? I loved the writing, I found it really engaging (which sometimes can be hard to do in romances) and the characters relatable, flawed, adorable, interesting, and found myself rooting for them.

Nat Horn is a werewolf extra on Wolf’s Landing, the supernatural show that runs through the whole series of books. He’s got a crush on the female star, Solari, but she hasn’t noticed him. Instead, they become friends and he ends up seeing Rafael; caring, funny, cute Rafael, and they tentatively get together. Rafael is Solari’s assistant, comes from Hollywood and has dreams of become a director.

Their relationship, and how it was written, was gorgeous. More so than some romances, where characters are just ciphers, or names, I felt like I got to know Nat, with all of his bloke-ish reserve and problems with his pill-addicted father, and Rafael, optimistic, charming, sometimes interfering. The supporting character of Solari is well fleshed out, and regular character Anna is featured quite a bit, and there’s a good few cameos from other characters in the series.

Oh, and did I mention that this book is sexy. Something about the way that Blue describes Nat, I could picture him perfectly, and I could see, and feel, the growing attraction between him and Rafael, and the resulting sex scenes between him and Nat were perfect; hot, descriptive, not too long, or frequent, with a real connection forming.

In short, if you like m/m romance, I heartily recommend this and congratulate Ally Blue on a wonderful book – I’m already looking forward to her next Bluewater Bay novel!

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

5 New LGBT Books

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Murder in the Closet: Essays on Queer Clues in Crime Fiction Before Stonewall edited by Curtis Evans (30 Nov 2016)
Analysis of LGBTQ life before the Stonewall Riots of 1969 traditionally has been dominated by the powerful negative image of the closet, the metaphorical space where that which was deemed “”queer”” was necessarily sheltered from hostile, heteronormative public view. Literary studies of queer themes and characters in crime fiction have tended to focus on works published in the freer environment that has existed in the years since Stonewall, queer material, so the traditional belief runs, having been, for the most part, only negatively or obliquely presented in crime fiction of the closet-bound pre-Stonewall era. This book tempers this traditional view, offering readers a groundbreaking collection of twenty-three essays, in which the authors investigate queer aspects to crime fiction published over eight decades, from the corseted Victorian era to the unbuttoned Swinging Sixties, on the very eve of Stonewall. “”Murder will out,”” so the saying goes, and this is true as well of queer material in pre-Stonewall crime fiction, if one but follows the clues.

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Willful Machines by Tim Floreen (1 Dec 2016)
The closeted son of an ultra-conservative president must keep a budding romance secret from his father while protecting himself from a sentient computer program that s terrorizing the United States and has zeroed in on him as its next target in this socially conscious sci-fi thriller to shelve between “The Terminator “and “Romeo and Juliet” (“Kirkus Reviews,” starred review).
In the near future, scientists create what may be a new form of life: an artificial human named Charlotte. All goes well until Charlotte escapes, transfers her consciousness to the Internet, and begins terrorizing the American public.
Charlotte s attacks have everyone on high alert everyone except Lee Fisher, the closeted son of the US president. Lee has other things to worry about, like keeping his Secret Service detail from finding out about his crush on Nico, the eccentric, Shakespeare-obsessed new boy at school. And keeping Nico from finding out about his recent suicide attempt. And keeping himself from freaking out about all his secrets.
But when attacks start happening at his school, Lee realizes he s Charlotte s next target. Even worse, Nico may be part of Charlotte s plan too.
As Lee races to save himself, uncover Charlotte s plan, and figure out if he can trust Nico, he comes to a whole new understanding of what it means to be alive and what makes life worth living.

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Room for Milk: Doodles by Cole Escola (1 Dec 2016)
If “The Far Side” had a gay little brother with borderline personality disorder, it might look something like this book. Sometimes absurdly funny, sometimes just absurd, Room for Milk by Cole Escola will take you on an acid trip through children’s books that don’t exist and other weird illustrated fever dreams.

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In the Eyes of Mr Fury by Philip Ridley (6 Dec 2016)
On the day Concord Webster turned eighteen, the Devil died. The Devil’s real name was Judge Martin, but Concord’s mother called him the Devil. She said he boiled babies for dinner and made lampshades out of human skin. So why did she, who hated him so venomously, have a key to his house?

The key will unlock more than just Judge’s front door. It will also unlock a multitude of stories – where magic children talk to crows, men disappear in piles of leaves, and James Dean lookalikes kiss in dark alleys – and reveal a secret history that will change Concord’s life forever.

Philip Ridley’s second novel (following the sexually charged tour de force Crocodilia) was an instant cult classic when originally published in 1989. Now, for this new edition, Ridley has reimagined the story, expanding the original novel into the world’s first LGBT magical realist epic. A vast, labyrinthine, hall-of-mirrors saga, its breathtaking imagery and stunning plot twists – covering over a hundred years – reveal Ridley to be one of the most distinctive and innovative voices in contemporary fiction.

‘Philip Ridley’s stories compel attention.’ – The Times (London)

‘Ridley is the master of modern myth.’ – The Guardian

‘Ridley is a visionary.’ – Rolling Stone

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Pathogen by Jessica Webb (13 Dec 2016)
When a deadly virus surfaces in the small, wealthy town of Hidden Valley, British Columbia, Dr. Kate Morrison and Sergeant Andy Wyles work together to uncover the source of the outbreak. As the two women navigate their new relationship, Kate and Andy are also forced to navigate a highly political and increasingly panicked community. Still bearing the scars of her recent abduction, Kate is driven to discover how this virus attacks her critically ill patients while Andy investigates suspicions of bioterrorism. As the death count rises, Kate struggles with a crushing sense of helplessness, the pressure to keep the residents of Hidden Valley alive, and Andy s growing concern that maybe Kate hasn t yet dealt with her troubled past.