Thirsty Mermaids – Kat Leyh

Screen Shot 2021-02-24 at 9.51.38 AMPublisher: Gallery Books

Date of Publication: February 9th, 2021

Page Count: 256

From the Jacket:

The raucous and literal fishes-out-of-water graphic novel from prolific comic artist and writer Kat Leyh, creator of the acclaimed Snapdragon and coauthor of the Eisner and GLAAD Award–winning series Lumberjanes.

Fresh out of shipwreck wine, three tipsy mermaids decide to magically masquerade as humans and sneak onto land to indulge in much more drinking and a whole lot of fun in the heart of a local seaside tourist trap. But the good times abruptly end the next morning as, through the haze of killer hangovers, the trio realizes they never actually learned how to break the spell, and are now stuck on land for the foreseeable future. Which means everything from: enlisting the aid of their I-know-we-just-met-can-we-crash-with-you bartender friend, struggling to make sense of the world around them, and even trying to get a job with no skill set…all while attempting to somehow return to the sea and making the most of their current situation with tenacity and camaraderie (especially if someone else is buying).

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After a weather related delay, I received some highly anticipated book mail yesterday and immediately read it. Thanks so much to Gallery Books for the free finished copy of Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh. Leyh also co-authored Lumberjanes and created Snapdragon, SuperCakes, and several others. Her artwork is quirky and unique and I adore it. Thirsty Mermaids was pitched as, “Girls Trip meets Broad City meets The Little Mermaid” and i was like YES PLEASE. 

Y’all, this book is FANTASTIC. It follows the underwater and land adventures of mermaids Pearl and Tooth, and their best friend and sea witch, Eez. They spend their nights pillaging ship wrecks for booze and decide to let Eez turn them into humans temporarily so they can get more booze on dry land after running out under water. They wash up on land completely naked and ready to party and face some very harsh realties the morning after a night of heavy drinking. Turns out Eez has no idea how to turn them back into mermaids and now they have to figure out how to survive on dry land until she does. They wouldn’t make it a day without Vivi, the bartender they meet their first night who takes them under her wing. The illustrations for this were just so perfect. I cackled so many times seeing how Leyh portrayed them walking for the first time, learning about how things like clothing and money are required, and making other human discoveries. This has some excellent and varied queer rep, tackles mental health with so much care and love, and is full of all sorts of body types (the little mermaid this is not). It’s about friendship and found family and staying true to yourself. Do yourself a favor and get this book!

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Love at First – Kate Clayborn

Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 4.01.25 PMPublisher: Kensington Books

Date of Publication: February 23rd, 2021

Page Count: 320

From the Jacket:

Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw—or rather, heard—the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It’s a memory that’s never faded, though he’s put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans to offload his new property and get back to his regular life as an overworked doctor. Instead, he encounters a woman, two balconies above, who’s uncannily familiar . . .

No matter how surprised Nora Clarke is by her reaction to handsome, curious Will, or the whispered pre-dawn conversations they share, she won’t let his plans ruin her quirky, close-knit building. Bound by her loyalty to her adored grandmother, she sets out to foil his efforts with a little light sabotage. But beneath the surface of their feud is an undeniable connection. A balcony, a star-crossed couple, a fateful meeting—maybe it’s the kind of story that can’t work out in the end. Or maybe, it’s the perfect second chance . . .

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Steam:🔥🔥

Love at First is the newest book by Kate Clayborn and it’s out on February 23rd. Do yourself a favor and pre order it now! Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington for the advanced review copy. This is the third book I’ve read by Clayborn and I have loved them all. Just like with Love Lettering, this one opened in a unique way that kept me hooked from page one. The intimacy between Nora and Will builds slowly and organically as they work their way from strangers with opposing interests to one of the sweetest couples I’ve read in a while. Some things I really loved about this book: 

  • this cover 😍
  • a swoon worthy sickbed scene (I really can’t get enough of these)
  • one of the purest bromances I’ve ever read
  • a group of neighbors set on sabotage through kindness
  • a great slow burn with very good home improvement related steam (HOT)
  • the characters staying true to their opposing convictions despite falling in love
  • the I love yous
  • the found family
  • a very memorable grand gesture

Love at First is seriously so so good. I’m already predicting it will be a 2021 favorite. I get teary eyed from a lot of things but the ending of this made me actually cry. One of those shocked gasp sobs that pop out when you feel really moved by something. I’ll include the synopsis below. This was easily a five star read for me and I hope you all pick up a copy!

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Waiting for a Scot Like You – Eva Leigh

Screen Shot 2021-02-02 at 2.43.21 PMPublisher: Avon

Date of Publication: February 23rd, 2021

Page Count: 368

From the Jacket: 

Eva Leigh concludes her Breakfast Club and 80s movie-inspired Regency series with a merry widow and a stoic major on a bumpy road to love…

Adjusting to life in peacetime isn’t easy for Major Duncan McCameron. Escorting a lady on her journey north seems like the perfect chance to give him some much-needed purpose. That is, until he learns the woman in question is the beautiful, bold, reckless Lady Farris. She makes his head spin and being alone together will surely end in disaster.

Beatrice, the Dowager Countess of Farris, is finally free of a stifling marriage and she has no plans to shackle herself to any other man. Ready to live life to the fullest, she’s headed to a week-long bacchanal and the journey should be half the fun. Except she’s confined to a carriage with a young, rule-abiding, irritatingly handsome Scottish soldier who wouldn’t know a good time if it landed in his lap. But maybe a madcap escapade will loosen him up…

Between carriage crashes, secret barn dances, robbers, and an inn with only one bed, their initial tension dissolves into a passion that neither expected. But is there a future for an adventure-loving lady and a duty-bound soldier, or will their differences tear them apart?

Rating: Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 12.20.19 AM

Steam:🔥🔥🔥

I wasted absolutely no time starting Waiting for a Scot Like You after it arrived on Saturday. As with every other book in this series, I could not put it down. These are loosely based on The Breakfast Club and other 80s movies and are just as fun. Thank you to Avon for sending me this advanced copy of the third book in the Union of Rakes series which comes out on February 23rd. This one is grumpy and sunshine, age gap, forced proximity, dom/sub with dirty talk for days and it is GLORIOUS. 

Duncan McCameron is a retired officer from the Queen’s Army, a stern, buttoned up war hero who is trying to make sense of life during peacetime now that he’s home. He’s convinced that if he sticks to the rules and follows his daily regimen to a T that his life will find purpose. Jilted by his fiancé, Duncan has watched all of his friends from the Union of Rakes find love and he has started to doubt such a thing is possible for him. He’s grumpy and has no patience for anyone who flouts the rules. Beatrice Farris is a widow who is finding happiness and freedom for the very first time in her life. She takes every opportunity to discover a new experience and is looking for pleasure however she can find it. She is sunshine incarnate and cannot make sense of this grump of a Scot or the way he chooses to live his life. 

The Union of Rakes wouldn’t have earned their name all those years ago if they weren’t intent on making trouble, so it’s no surprise when Rotherby sees the two of them and takes matters into his own hands. He asks Duncan to accompany a dear friend of his wife’s to a party in the country to ensure she gets there safely and Duncan agrees before realizing who his charge will be. Duncan is deep into planning an hour by hour itinerary for their travel while Beatrice is at home wondering the best nightgowns to pack for the orgy she’s planning to attend at the end of the week. 

Long hours together by day in the carriage followed by longer nights in a single room in a single bed at the inns they stay at make their growing sexual attraction impossible to ignore. When they finally give in and kiss sparks fly and the first time they hook up they ignite. As it turns out, Beatrice is a free spirit by day who finds intense pleasure in submitting completely to Duncan in bed and he’s happy to play the role of the bossy dom. I was completely unprepared for how hot this book was going to be. There’s a scene in a not so private dining room at an inn that is *chef’s kiss*. 

Things become complicated when both discover the depth of their true feelings for the other and Duncan immediately wants to marry. After spending so much of her time in a deeply unhappy marriage, Beatrice knows it is not something she will ever do again, no  matter how much she loves Duncan. There was a really delicate balance that had to be struck by Leigh to get this part of the story right and I thought the conclusion was utter perfection. I seriously cannot recommend this one enough! 

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