Yes, yes, I know it’s been awhile. I don’t remember what my last post was, and even though I could look, I’m not going to. Point is, I’m here now, and I was going to do Top 5 Wednesday on my Booktube channel, but I felt kind of bad that I’ve neglected this side of things for as long as I have. It’s not easy coming up with topics to write about. Add to that it’s been a year since I’ve had this blog? Yeah, no pressure or anything.
ANYWAY. Top 5 Wednesday. If you couldn’t tell by the title of this blog post, this week’s topic is your favorite LGBTQ+ Reads. Before I move on to the important stuff, let’s get the official business out of the way.
Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme officiated in November 2013 and is still going strong! Join the group to become a T5W-er and check out the topics for the current month!
When I checked to see what this week’s topic was, I’ll gladly admit that I got excited. Anything LGBT-related helps get me out reading slumps, but the ones that I read also just help me with any book hangovers that may occur. They’re also just all around good, clean fun.
Okay. Maybe not exactly clean…
ANYWAY times two: I almost decided to switch this topic around and do my favorite authors who happen to write LGBT stories, but I only came up with four, so that was kind of a bust. I just dreaded the idea of having to physically choose my favorite books because, for the most part, with the exception of maybe one or two, I love them all.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I don’t remember what half of these are about, so bear with me. It’s been awhile since I read some of these. I’m due for another re-read.
#5. Sixty-Five Hours by N.R. Walker
This one is about two men in the advertising industry, and one of them is the son of the boss who happens to be in the closet, while the other is a transplant from Texas (I think) and is out and proud. Both men think the other hates him, so the boss summons them into his office to let them know that they are to work on a campaign for a potential client over the weekend. Basically, you can guess what happens from there. I think I love this one because I’m pretty sure this originally started as a Twilight fan-fiction of the same name. When I read fan-fiction with the characters from Twilight, my go-to for a good while were stories that paired Edward and Jasper together because why not. It’s something about them as individuals that seemed to click, and I got a bit obsessed with the pairing. But then I also got picky, so now I’m more cautious about which stories I find to read. If they suck, it’s a no-go. Anyway, Sixty-Five Hours is fun, quick, hot and heart-warming. It’s definitely one that I see myself reading repeatedly for years.
#4. The Adrien English Series by Josh Lanyon
If you’ve been following this blog long enough, y’all know how much I love not only this series, but Josh Lanyon in general. For those of you who somehow don’t know, the Adrien English series starts off with an aspiring mystery writer by the name of Adrien English, who owns a kind of antique bookstore (I think it’s antique; I just know it’s a bookstore). A good friend of his who worked at the store is found murdered in an alley, and the detectives in charge of the case (one of whom is buried so deep in the closet, he’s either in denial, in Narnia, or both) naturally look to Adrien as a person of interest. The reason I love this series so much is because the writing isn’t filled with flowery prose and men with larger than natural penises (because those would hurt). The love scenes, and there really aren’t that many, are natural and doesn’t come off like some badly directed porn. If mysteries and thrillers aren’t for you, Lanyon has written a few light-hearted novellas that I absolutely love.
#3. The #gaymers Series by Annabeth Albert
I’ll only talk about the first book in this series, and that’s Status Update. This book features another character who’s in the closet (do you see a pattern, here? Because I do), and in order to avoid “temptation,” he takes a teaching job at a Catholic private school and willingly signs a morality clause. I believe the school’s in Texas somewhere, but Noah (I think that’s his name) lives in his RV at one of those RV campgrounds that you rent by the night, in Colorado, I think, and he witnesses another man and his dog fighting with a presumed boyfriend and then abandoned in the cold. Noah’s reluctant to help for obvious reasons (temptation), but eventually he invites the other man inside for warmth and next thing we know they’re headed out on a road trip to the man’s (I’m blanking on his name) hometown for a sister’s wedding. The mystery man works in California, possibly in Silicon Valley, as a computer game designer. If I remember right, the game he’s been working on is supposed to be kind of similar to World of Warcraft, or any other MMORPG out there. Anyway, it’s a cute little story that involves dogs, and there’s humor in it, too. I love anything Annabeth Albert puts out because she’s one of the very few female authors who can write two men in love that doesn’t make me cringe or roll my eyes at the absurdity. Another one of her series will be making an appearance…
#2. Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson
This one is about two best friends, Justin and Landry, who go on one last road trip together after college graduation, kind of as one last hurrah out of his mother’s controlling grip. They jump into the Winnebago that Justin’s dad left him. One of the characters (Landry) is out and proud, and the other (Justin) is… you guessed it… deep in the closet. I swear, I’ve never noticed this pattern I have before now. Anyway, the reason why one of them is in the closet is because his mother is uber-conservative, and the reason he’s headed back home while his college is on break, is because he’s been summoned by said mother to attend a political rally for her Senate run. There’s a second book in this series, Focus on Me, that deals with mental illness and eating disorders that I loved just as much. It’s definitely been awhile since I’ve read this first book in particular, so I’m thinking about doing a complete re-read of my favorites soon now.
#1. The Portland Heat Series by Annabeth Albert
Told you she’d make a reappearance on this list.
These books… I honestly don’t know how to describe them. They’re fast, fun, flirty, funny, loving. They also have the ability to make you hungry because there’s food involved. Bakeries, a cafe, a restaurant… I’m getting hungry just thinking about them. And the men are just so incredibly swoon-worthy, I almost wish that they were real and I were a man. Jesus. Anyway, these books do have their fair share of drama, but it’s nothing too over-the-top or too dark. I think a majority of this series are just men who have been burned in the past (not literally, lol) and have trust issues because of it. Or they’re just not looking to settle down, and get the surprise of a lifetime. These books are cheesy as hell, but they’re fun, trashy reads. And I mean trashy in a good way. They’re just light and fluffy and sometimes a girl needs that in her life because the real world is so absolutely shitty.
HONORABLE MENTION (BECAUSE WHY NOT):
I know this book is polarizing in regards to the writing (style), the characters, and the lack of a plot, but I don’t care. I absolutely love this book, and didn’t even realize that it was LGBT until I read the last few pages.
I mean, I had a gut feeling that that’s where the story was going, but for some reason, it didn’t officially click until those last few pages, and I admit, I swooned. So hard. I loved the familial dynamics of both characters, I loved Ari and Dante. I loved Legs. I loved it all. If you didn’t, that’s okay! I’ll love this book enough for the both of us.
All right, so, there you have it. Those are my top five LGBT books that I can officially say are my absolute favorite. They’re stories that I can read for years to come and never get bored.
I’ll try to post to this blog more often, but I make no promises. I posted a shit-ton on my Booktube, though.