Considering I only buy ebooks on sale, the restrictions this go around seems really easy. There are only a few books I have on my 2019 reading that don't fit the restrictions. My problem will be library borrows, as the winter editions don't allow library reading to count.
My COYER TBR is just 15 books, which will allow for non-challenge reading.
1. You Can't Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson (memoir)
2. Cheer Up Love by Susan Calman (memoir)
3. Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt (women's history)
4. Radium Girls by Kate Moore (women's history)
5. Mary and Lou and Ted and Rhoda by Jennifer Armstrong (pop culture)
6. The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin (historical romance)
7. A Dance with Danger by Jeannie Lin (historical romance)
8. North to You by Tif Marcelo (contemporary romance)
9. Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford (historical fiction)
10. Sweet Disorder by Rose Lerner (historical romance)
11. Deliver Me by Farrah Rochon (contemporary romance)
12. Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson (historical fiction)
13. Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan (historical fiction)
14. Star Dust by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner (historical romance)
15. London Belles by Annie Groves (women's fiction)
Miranda Schuyler is eighteen years old when she arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island in Long Island Sound. Her beautiful mother is about to marry Hugh Fisher whose summer house on the Island overlooks the famous lighthouse. Miranda's new stepsister, Isobel, is eager to draw her into the customs of their society. The Fisher's fall into the wealthy summer families while the other clan on the Island are the working class Portuguese fishermen and domestic workers who earn their living on the water and from those who summer on the Island. Fast forward nearly two decades later to the first time Miranda has returned to the Island since a murder caused her to flee. She wants to clear the name of the man she met and fell in love with as a teenager even if it means uncovering all the messy secrets that bind the families of Winthrop Island together.
I feel like my reviews of Beatriz Williams books are all the same. She's my favourite author and can do no wrong. Everything is perfect in this book - the writing, the characters, the setting. This book has lots of secrets, lies and cocktails. It has murder. Families are torn apart but also families do not rat on fellow Islanders. There are three different timelines - 1930 tells the story of Bianca Medeiro, 1951 tells the story of eighteen year old Miranda Schuyler and 1969 brings Miranda back to the Island. Bianca's chapters were short but vital. Nothing that happened was overly shocking but it was a compelling read. I just love Williams writing, it's so dreamy and vivid and magical *sigh*
I read this book, finished it, and then immediately read it again. That basically NEVER happens, but with this book, I couldn't help myself.
Noel is a young man who was kicked out of his home by his ever so loving parents when he told them he was gay. He was lucky in that he found a place at a local shelter, where he's been living and helping out for the past three years. In need of a job, any job, he stops in Lincoln's diner.
Lincoln is quite a bit older than Noel, with a very different backstory, which we find out as the book progresses. He loves cooking and taking care of people, and he treats his employees like family. One look at the forlorn young man asking for a job, and Lincoln can't help himself - the need to pull the young man into the folds is immediate.
Noel has no idea what hit him - surely nobody can be that decent and kind to someone they don't know at all, right?
I liked both characters immensely, and also the supporting cast - the other employees at the diner, especially Katy, and Robert who runs the shelter where Noel has been staying. However, Lincoln's brother and father - I wanted them to hurt, and badly, but obviously I wasn't supposed to like them.
Noel is still young, and despite the last three years being really rough, he hasn't lost his sweet kindness, his youthful innocence, his positive outlook. He's fascinated by the older Lincoln, but also has no intention of falling for his boss and being out of a job. Except he doesn't realize that Lincoln feels the same, and that they are well matched despite the age difference and the difference in their life experiences. Lincoln's history plays a huge role in who he became, and he's reluctant to reach for Noel, scared to some extent that he's no good for the younger man. Thank goodness for Katy who gives them the push they both need.
What struck me most here is that the author created complex and fully developed characters - Lincoln had some layers that ran much deeper than I initially expected, and Noel has an inner strength I didn't expect from someone so young.
There's a moment toward the end of the book that may be confusing for some - without giving away the plot, I can't really say much about it, but suffice it to say that if you pay attention to what comes before, you will not be confused at all, or even wonder what just happened.
The BDSM-Lite aspect of the relationship was well done and rang true, and I liked that the author utilized it as a source of some conflict that the two men have to work out, which actually strengthened the relationship.
What is emphasized time and again is family - the one you're born to and the one you choose and make for yourself. Family, even if not by blood, is what binds Lincoln and Noel and Katy and Jesse and Robert and all the others. Even Lincoln's brother, who by book's end seemingly has second thoughts about how he's been acting. I have it on good authority that his story will be told in a future book. I cannot wait!
But what really permeates this book is love. There is so much tangible, obvious love in every word on every page, and you are cocooned by it, warmed by it, embraced by it.
I think it's that feeling of love that prompted me to read the book twice in a row, and I highly recommend that you get yourself a copy as soon as you can.
It's available now.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **
Super late to the party with this review, but life took a left turn that still has me scrambling to catch up... well, enough of me and my poor excuses.
I'm not usually one to read menages. There are but a few I've read in my time on GR, and I can probably count them on one hand. However, not only is this book 3 in the Secretsseries, but also written by the fabulous team Wells/Williams, so I definitely had grabby hands.
I have but one complaint after reading this book - why, oh why didn't we get to see Tim's blood family get what's coming to them? Why? I want to read that.
Anyway, getting ahead of myself.
Aaron and Sam are an established couple, both into the BDSM scene, and both Doms. Obviously, that's a little tricky to navigate but for a good six years, they had a submissive that lived with them, whom they both loved, and who out of the blue decided to leave and break the contract, no explanation given.
Obviously, this left them reeling, and two years later, Aaron is not ready to try again, and Sam doesn't know what to do. They're in danger of breaking up - that much is clear from the narrative.
Then Aaron finds Tim, out on the streets after the poor young man was kicked out of his home for being gay, rescuing him from a situation that might have turned real ugly if Aaron hadn't shown up.
So, Aaron takes Tim home to Sam, and after nursing him back to health, the two older men offer him a roof over his head in exchange for some light house-keeping and cooking and such. Sex is definitely not on the table, which - thank goodness, because that would have been super gross, and I wouldn't have liked the characters if they'd done that. These are good men, so they don't.
Tim sees the two men, thinks them hunky, observes them, learns about them, and realizes that they are exactly what he wants and needs. If only...
This is a sweet read. Not over the top sweet, but engaging and heartwarming and just smile-inducing sweet. I had some giggles too. There were some edge of my seat moments.
I liked all three characters. Aaron was the softer of the two initially, but there is softness in Sam too - he just hides it better. There was so much sweetness in Tim, but also a lot of steel in his spine. I enjoyed seeing all three men's points of view, with each bringing something unique to the relationship. I enjoyed them learning about each other, learning to navigate the unknown waters, learning to make their threesome fit. I enjoyed the sexy times - I can always count with these authors to make them highly emotional.
Obviously, this couldn't be a Wells/Williams book without a bit of drama. I won't go into detail here, but it's rooted, as these things often are, in lack of communication and bad assumptions. It doesn't last long, thank goodness, and all three men learn from the experience.
The characters from the previous books all make an appearance, including Eli and Jarod, the owners of Secrets, and Jarod's indomitable mother, who not only provides a bit of humor but also a lot of really good advice.
The ending was perfect and oh so swoon-worthy. Loved it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can hardly wait to see what these authors come up with next. It's definitely best to read this series in order, though each book works as a standalone.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **