Lucien & I by Sasha Clinton

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the author and then bought my own e-copy! Thanks and support your authors! All opinions are my own.

Book: Lucien and I

Author: Sasha Clinton

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Spice: 5/5

Diversity: Indian American MC, Lesbian character

Recommended For…: romance, steamy romance, contemporary, medical romance, rivals to lovers, fake dating, one bed trope, miscommunication

Publication Date: September 26, 2022

Genre: Romance

Age Relevance: 18+ (death, violence, gore, sexual content, drugs, harassment, parental death, depression, emotional abuse, self harm, sexual harassment, sexual assault, cancer, grief, romance)

Explanation of Above: The book is a medical romance and mentions death, parental death, violence, drugs, cancer, and gore. There is some blood and surgery gore also shown in the book. Grief is shown and mentioned in the book. There is a lot of sexual content in the book and romance. There are some scene of harassment, sexual harassment, and one scene of a sexual assault (a butt is groped against the butt owner’s will). There are mentions of depression and self-harm. There are some scenes of emotional abuse and some mentions of it as well.

Publisher: Indie Published

Pages: 356

Synopsis: Mira Krishnan is a cardiothoracic surgery fellow whose three big goals in life are:

1. Achieve superstardom in the field of heart surgery

2. Crush Lucien Stone by showing him that she’s the superior heart surgeon.

3. Fall in love with someone who is NOT Lucien Stone so she can erase her years-long crush on him.

Lucien and Mira have been rivals since high school, and she’d like nothing more than to wipe that smug, overconfident smirk off his devastatingly handsome face.

But when their rivalry goes too far and they’re caught in the middle of a fight by the program director, Mira’s life changes. To avoid being expelled from the fellowship for failing to conduct themselves in an appropriate, collegiate manner, Lucien and Mira are forced to lie about dating each other so they can dismiss their behavior as extreme flirting. But going on fake dates, vacations, and spending time together makes them realize that underneath all the jibes and rivalry, there’s potential for something more…and perhaps, instead of looking into other people’s hearts, they need to look into their own.

Review: I really loved this book! I thought it was a really fun medical romance and it featured the tropes of rivals to lovers, fake dating, one bed, and miscommunication. The book was about two fellowship doctors who are working together in a hospital but have had an ongoing rivalry for years. When they are caught in a compromising position, they both must fake date to save their fellowship. This book would be a great companion to other medical romance books like A Brush With Love and I was surprised by how cute of a book it was. The writing was well done and the world building and character development was as well. The book was also well paced.

The only hang-up for me was that I felt like the book didn’t have a strong hook as to why they had to start fake dating. It was a bit weird but I appreciate how that was called out later in the book.

Verdict: It was adorable! I love it!

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE: Lucien & I

AUTHOR: Sasha Clinton

PUBLISHER: self published

RELEASE DATE: September 26, 2022

GENRES: Adult romance, Adult medical romance
BUY LINKS:

SYNOPSIS:

Grey’s Anatomy meets The Hating Game in Sasha Clinton’s #ownvoices contemporary romance novel…

Mira Krishnan is a cardiothoracic surgery fellow whose three big goals in life are:

1. Achieve superstardom in the field of heart surgery

2. Crush Lucien Stone by showing him that she’s the superior heart surgeon.

3. Fall in love with someone who is NOT Lucien Stone so she can erase her 19-year-long crush on him.

Lucien and Mira have been rivals since high school, and she’d like nothing more than to wipe that smug, overconfident smirk off his devastatingly handsome face.

But when their rivalry goes too far and they’re caught in the middle of a fight by the program director, Mira’s life changes. To avoid being expelled from the fellowship for failing to conduct themselves in an appropriate, collegiate manner, Lucien and Mira are forced to lie about dating each other so they can dismiss their behavior as extreme flirting. But going on fake dates, vacations, and spending time together makes them realize that underneath all the jibes and rivalry, there’s potential for something more…and perhaps, instead of looking into other people’s hearts, they need to look into their own.  

Other Ever Afters by Melanie Gillman

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Other Ever Afters

Author: Melanie Gillman

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Sapphic characters, people of color main characters, plus size characters, trans character

Recommended For…: young adult readers, graphic novel, LGBT, fantasy, queer, retellings, fairy tales

Publication Date: September 20, 2022

Genre: YA Graphic Novel

Age Relevance: 13+ (illness, gore, violence, death, poverty)

Explanation of Above: There is some illness depicted in the book. There is some gore with blood and violence shown with weapons. Death is mentioned and shown in the book. There is also extreme poverty shown.

Publisher: Random House Graphic

Pages: 240

Synopsis: Once upon a time . . . happily ever after turned out differently than expected. In this new, feminist, queer fairy-tale collection, you’ll find the princesses, mermaids, knights, barmaids, children, and wise old women who have been forced to sit on the sidelines in classic stories taking center stage. A gorgeous all-new collection in graphic novel format from a Stonewall Honor-winning author and artist.

What if the giant who abducted you was actually thoughtful and kind? What if you didn’t want to marry your handsome, popular, but cold-inside suitor? What if your one true love has all the responsibilities that come with running a kingdom?

Review: I really liked this short anthology of queer fairy tale books. I love the overarching story theme and I loved how diverse the book was. The book did well to keep the ton of the fairy tales and to also have important life lessons in them. I especially liked the trans analogy one and the one with the flowers. The book was also beautifully illustrated. I also think it could be good for children younger than the intended audience, as it was overall sweet and had very little graphic details.

The only issue I had with the book is that it ended really short. I think it could have fit in a few more stories and offered a bit more LGBT aspects to it.

Verdict: It was great! Highly recommend!

Book Info:

Other Ever Afters: New Queer Fairy Tales by Melanie Gillman

Genre: Young Adult Graphic Novel

Publishing Date: September 20, 2022

Synopsis:

Once upon a time . . . happily ever after turned out differently than expected. In this new, feminist, queer fairy-tale collection, you’ll find the princesses, mermaids, knights, barmaids, children, and wise old women who have been forced to sit on the sidelines in classic stories taking center stage. A gorgeous all-new collection in graphic novel format from a Stonewall Honor-winning author and artist.

What if the giant who abducted you was actually thoughtful and kind? What if you didn’t want to marry your handsome, popular, but cold-inside suitor? What if your one true love has all the responsibilities that come with running a kingdom?

Award-winning author Melanie Gillman’s phenomenal colored-pencil art creates another “ever after” for the characters who are most worthy of it.

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59776461-other-ever-afters

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0593303202/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/other-ever-afters-melanie-gillman/1140956642

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Other-Ever-Afters-Melanie-Gillman/9780593303191

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/other-ever-afters-new-queer/9780593303184-item.html

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780593303191

About the Author:

Melanie Gillman is the cartoonist behind this story.  They hold an MFA in comics from the Center for Cartoon Studies, and currently live in Columbus, OH.  Melanie is also the author of Stage Dreams, a lesbian western graphic novel, available from Lerner/Graphic Universe.  They are represented by Jen Linnan, of Linnan Literary Management.

Author Links:

Website: https://www.melaniegillman.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/melgillman

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mgillman/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7307646.Melanie_Gillman

Tumblr: https://pigeonbits.tumblr.com/

Tour Schedule:

Dreadful Beauty by L.M. Rapp

Disclaimer: I received this finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Dreadful Beauty

Author: L.M. Rapp

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For…: fantasy readers

Publication Date: February 28, 2022

Genre: Fantasy

Age Relevance: 16+ (illness, racism allegory, romance, violence, gore, death, abandonment, sexual content, attempted rape, abuse, misogyny)

Explanation of Above: There are illness allegories and racism allegories in this book as the main theme. The book also has some violence, slight blood gore, and mentions of death. There are scenes of abandonment, an attempted rape, and abuse in the book. There is some misogyny shown in the book and there is some very slight sexual content in the form of comments. There is some romance in this book.

Publisher: Atoll

Pages: 364

Synopsis: A girl undergoing a terrifying transformation goes on an epic quest to find a refuge from her ruthless father.

Nymphosis, a disease that turns Humans into Chimeras, is ravaging the land of Gashom. The More-Than-Pure, determined to protect themselves, have seized power and enacted segregationist laws. The daughter of a high dignitary, young Neria learns she is afflicted by the very disease her father is determined to eradicate. Forced to surrender her privileges, she must flee her home in the capital and traverse the strange wilds to seek refuge with her fellow kind. Will she have the courage to fight oppression to emancipate the Chimeras from the yoke of the More-Than-Pure?

Review: For the most part I thought this was a good book. The book had some well done moments, such as with the character development and world building. The book did so good to discuss discrimination and segregation in this fantasy world. The book was a great study on those topics as well and I enjoyed the journey the main character took on from wealthy daughter of the leader to revolution member. The book was hard to read at some points due to some of the nature of the book, but if you’re looking for this type of read I recommend this one.

However, I did feel like the book was a bit too fast paced and the romances were a bit pace-breaking. I would like it if it was slowed down a bit more and that there was more commentary and effect from the abuse and attempted rape. It just kind of felt swept aside.

Verdict: It was ok!