Jeff & Will continue their look at books coming out this month, including titles by Becca Seymour, Avril Ashton, V.L. Locey, Skye R. Richmond, L.A. Witt, Genevive Chamblee, and E.M. Lindsey. They also review the Audible Original queer heist story Hot White Heist by Adam Goldman, the memoir Hola Papi! by John Paul Brammer, the friends-to-lovers romance Learned Reactions by Jayce Ellis, and the classic YA story Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
Big Gay Fiction Podcast is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. Find many more outstanding podcasts at frolic.media/podcasts!
Here are the things we talk about in this episode. Please note, these links include affiliate links for which we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase. These links are current at the time the episode premieres, however links are subject to change.
- High Alert by Becca Seymour on Amazon
- Demming by Avril Ashton on Amazon (pre-order until August 13, 2021)
- Freelancers series by Avril Ashton on Amazon
- Dawn’s Desire by V.L. Locey on Amazon | Kobo (pre-order until August 14, 2021)
- His Patient Bear by Skye R. Richmond on Amazon (pre-order until August 18, 2021)
- Bears of Asheville series by Skye R. Richmond on Amazon
- Marco by L.A. Witt on Amazon (pre-order until August 18, 2021)
- Penalty Kill by Genevive Chamblee on Amazon | Kobo (pre-order until August 21, 2021)
- Locker Room Love series by Genevive Chamblee on Amazon
- All You Touch by E.M. Lindsey on Amazon (pre-order until August 24, 2021)
- Love Starts Here series by E.M. Lindsey on Amazon
- Hot White Heist by Adam Goldman on Audible
- Hola Papi! How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons by John Paul Brammer on Amazon | Kobo | Libro.fm
- LGBTQ&A Podcast – John Paul Brammer: Hola Papi! Why Am I Single??! on Apple Podcasts
- Learned Reactions by Jayce Ellis on Amazon | Kobo
- Higher Education series by Jayce Ellis on Amazon | Kobo
- Episode 266 – Jayce Ellis Discusses “Learned Behaviors” on Big Gay Fiction Podcast
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz on Amazon | Kobo | Libro.fm
- Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz on Amazon | Kobo | Libro.fm (pre-order until October 12, 2021)
- Big Gay Fiction Podcast on Patreon.com
- Big Gay Fiction Podcast patrons on BGFP website
- Libro.fm website (use this link to receive your Big Gay Fiction Podcast special offer)
- Frolic Podcast Network website
This transcript was made possible by our community on Patreon. You can get information on how to join them at patreon.com/biggayfictionpodcast.
Jeff: Coming up on this episode, we’re back to preview more of the books coming out this month plus we’ve got reviews of some of our recent reads.
Will: Welcome to episode 327 of the Big Gay Fiction Podcast, the show for avid readers and passionate fans of gay romance fiction. I’m Will and with me as always is my co-host and husband, Mr. Jeff Adams.
Jeff: Hello, rainbow romance readers. It’s great to have you back for another episode of the show.
As always the podcast is brought to you in part by our remarkable community on Patreon. Thank you to A Warriors Spirit for recently joining the community. If you’d like more information about the bonus content we offer our patrons, go to patreon.com/biggayfictionpodcast.
Will: Before we get to this episode’s book recommendations, we wanted to give you a quick update on this month’s book club episode. I think certain aspects of this summer have been difficult for everybody. And there have been a few unexpected things that have gone sideways for us this summer. And due to some unexpected circumstances, we have decided not to run August’s book club episode. But don’t worry. We are working very hard behind the scenes to get things back on track. And we promise that we’ll be coming back strong in the month of September and we will be announcing our next book club selection in the coming weeks.
August Book Previews
Jeff: All right. Let’s talk about more of the books that are coming out this month.
Will: One recent release is “High Alert” by Becca Seymour. If you like Australian-set romances, this book might be for you. Temperatures are rising for a firefighter who was thrown together with his long time crush slash best friend’s brother. And the question becomes, can he resist them or will the long simmering sexual attention they both share finally ignite?
Jeff: Okay. So of course this had me at Australia and firefighter, because why wouldn’t it? I do enjoy stories set in Australia, and then you add firefighter into it. Plus, one of my favorite things is the whole getting together with your longtime crush. And then add that extra dynamic of best friend’s brother. This has so many boxes ticked for me right here.
Will: “High Alert” by Becca Seymour is available right now.
And as this episode goes live, you won’t have long to wait for the next story from Avril Ashton. “Demming” is going to be releasing on August 13th and it’s a classic enemies to lovers tale in this, the third book of Ashton’s “Freelancers” series.
You see when Hart finds himself in a bind, he calls on Demming, the one man who despises him the most. Will a decades long personal vendetta stand in the way of an attraction that neither of them can deny?
Jeff: Conflict in romance is central for a lot of people and this one has so much conflict sitting in it. Not only are these two guys who really kind of despise each other, and then you add the whole family vendetta thing on top of it. I don’t know how Avril is going to bring these two guys together, but you know it’s going to work out really well in the end.
Will: Enemies to lovers isn’t always my personal cup of tea, but if I know one thing about this particular author is that they do an excellent job of really getting underneath the emotional skin of the characters. So I think in this story, she’s going to dig deep in that I love you, I hate you, I love you, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t stand it, but I have to have you, kind of a thing.
Jeff: The big question for me will be are the going to be like smooshy and adorable by the end? Or are they still going to be sniping at each other, but totally in love at the same time?
Will: Well, if you’re just as curious as we are, “Demming” is going to be releasing on August 13th.
Next up, let’s talk about “Dawn’s Desire” by V.L. Locey. When rancher Nate inadvertently digs up some fossils, the local university sends a team of undergrads to catalog and excavate the site. The appealing paleontology professor leading the summer dig just might get Nate to rethink his longstanding romantic moratorium. Love finds its way underneath the big Montana sky in this, the first book of her “Prairie Smoke Ranch” series.
Jeff: I think we should Institute a drinking game in the podcast for every time we now have a book that deals with ranchers because it’s become a consistent element over the last few weeks when we’ve talked about either things that are coming or guests we’ve had on this show, because earlier this week it was all about ranchers with Jackie North on the show.
Will: Well, ranchers and sports stars. We’ve got a couple of them coming up as well.
Jeff: That’s true sports stars as well. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a rancher and a paleontologist together. And frankly, we don’t get a lot of paleontologists, I think, in gay romance because it’s just not one of those professions that tend to get used a lot. So I’m very intrigued by this combination of people, because they’re most likely from very different worlds between a rancher and a paleontologist. And I love V.L. Locey’s style of romance anyway. So I think this is going to be a really good read.
Will: ” Dawn’s Desire” releases on August 14th.
Next, get ready for a growling good time because we have “His Patient Bear” by Skye R. Richmond.
When Nash blows into town, the mayor can’t help but notice the bad boy omega. Opposites. Irresistibly attract in the second book of the mpreg shifters “Bears of Ashville” series.
Jeff: First of all, I adore this title. It just says so much and it seems so sweet. And yet this is an opposite attract story at the same time. So, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun with everything that’s in play here. The title just had me kind of sold. I don’t know.
Will: So if you’re intrigued by the possibilities in this shifter story, you don’t have long to wait. “His Patient Bear” is going to be coming out on August 18th.
Also coming out on the same day is “Marco” by L.A. Witt.
Seriously, what’s a guy to do when his best friend plans a lavish destination wedding, but his ex will be there as well? Well, the answer is obvious. You find a hot guy to accompany you and make him jealous, of course. But what happens when your feelings for your fake date start to feel more and more real?
Hands down. This is one of my absolute favorite tropes and I know L.A. Witt is not going to disappoint. She won’t do me wrong. She’s going to explore all the delicious complexities that this particular setup entails.
Jeff: If watching Hallmark movies has taught me anything at all, it’s that bringing a fate date to a wedding is a sure way to end up in love with said fake date. And I agree with you, L.A. Witt is not going to make this smooth sailing either and she’s going to use that undoubtedly to amp up all the feels here. So it’s going to be like a Hallmark movie on steroids. So I’m kind of eager for this book.
And did you mention sports stars just a minute ago? I think you did. And here we are now.
Will: Yeah, it’s about a bad boy hockey player who has definitely earned his reputation, who needs the PR help of a new sports agent in the fourth book of the “Locker Room Love” series. This particular installment is called “Penalty Kill” by Genevive Chamblee and that’s coming out on August 21st.
It seems that our main character is a little bit confused. If his new client wants to rehab his image, then why has he fighting him every step of the way? And, oh, why is the bad boy so frustrating. And why does he find him so damn irresistible? That’s the big question, isn’t it?
Jeff: Always is. So, of course I’m always down for more hockey romance and I have not read hockey romance from this author so I’m kind of interested to give this a try. There’s an interesting trend that seems to be going on particularly right now where it’s the hockey player and either somebody from the team’s front office or somebody else who is connected to the team. Rachel Reid’s book that came out earlier this month had the hockey player and the social media manager for the team. Here we’ve got a PR person. So it’s interesting that you get that kind of workplace dynamic in the hockey romance, without it necessarily being with somebody else who’s in the sport. So I’m really intrigued by this book and to see just exactly how this hockey player gets his image rehabbed and falls in love all at the same time.
Will: And lastly, we want to let you know that the latest by EM Lindsey, “All You Touch,” is going to be releasing on August 24th. West is too busy keeping the doors of his family deli open and fighting with the building manager to even consider a relationship. So why can’t he stop thinking about his sizzling one night stand with Jake, a sexy guy with secrets who may or may not hold the key to all of his problems.
Jeff: West and Jake are not going to have an easy time of this book. There are so many secrets that have to get unpacked between these two, that it’s going to be one of those things that you just know they’re going to end up like, okay, I can’t deal with you because you didn’t tell me X, Y, and Z or whatever that looks like.
But, I think getting them back together is going to be really delicious as they figure out how to work together to solve West’s problem and grow stronger, of course, as a result.
Will: So if any of these titles have piqued your interest and you deem them TBR-worthy, you’ll find the complete list of upcoming books on our show notes page for this episode at biggayfictionpodcast.com.
Jeff: And if by chance you missed the books from earlier this month that were coming out that we recommended, you can drop back to episode 325 for even more great August reads.
Hot White Heist by Adam Goldman
Jeff: All right, so let’s get into some reviews.
I want to start off with an incredibly funny Audible Original that I recently listened to called “Hot White Heist.” This is written by comedian and screenwriter Adam Goldman, and it is exactly what your summer needs. It is the queerest of queer takes on the classic heist formula. Imagine an all queer “Oceans Eleven,” albeit with a ridiculous target and a motley crew of people with absolutely no heist experience at all.
Jude Fink or Judy as he likes to be called, is trying to get by as a fortune teller to unsuspecting tourists in Central Park. When his aunt, who he hasn’t seen in years, comes to him for help. Now she’s part of a lesbian compound and she’s come to Judy to help pull off a heist to help fund the lesbians move from Colorado to a private island all their own. And what do they need to steal? Sperm. Specifically sperm from a secret government facility that’s located under the Seattle Space Needle, where sperm from all manner of celebrities and notable individuals happens to be stored. We’re talking to people here like Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, all sorts of people are in this place.
Now Judy is convinced to help because of the cut of the money that he’s going to receive once the lesbians deliver the sperm to the Russian buyers. He’s got to find the team to help him too. And what a ragtag team it is. He picks a drag queen who happens to be brilliant with disguises, so that one makes total sense. He picks friends who happen to have a really awesome ride, which makes them ideal to be the drivers. Now, the only person they track down with some actual, real world skills and all this is a mysterious computer hacker who’s going to help them deal with the small nuances of the briefcases that have the ever-changing passcode on them. Practicalities like that.
Now this six episode podcast breaks down into exactly the parts you’d expect to find in a heist. You’ve got the accepting of the mission, finding the team, doing the job, and then cleaning up the problem caused by the job going a little sideways. The laughs per minute here, or even per second in some cases, is super high with Adam Goldman’s whip smart script.
It’s clear that he knows heists, but he also knows how to make them wickedly funny. Now sure it starts with the over the top idea of stealing from a high security sperm bank, but there are laughs large and small as the plan comes together and gets executed.
One of the things I loved the most about this is how the team was selected and got talked into doing this crazy thing. Everybody was kind of like, Judy, really? Are we going to do this? Because we don’t know how to do this. And he’s like, yeah, come out and it’ll be great. There’s money. It’s going to be awesome. It’s like talking to your friends into the thing that your friends should not be doing.
And then there’s the myriad of little things that kept going wrong and how the team would have to deal with the setback. I listened to this while I was out on several morning walks and more than once I burst out laughing in the middle of our neighborhood, because I could not believe what I was hearing. It was that insane.
An incredible cast was assembled for this project, led by “Saturday Night Live’s” Bowen Yang as Judy. Some of the other stellar talent here includes Cynthia Nixon, Jane Lynch, Margaret Cho, Bianca Del Rio, MJ Rodriguez, John Cameron Mitchell, Cheyenne Jackson, Tony Kushner and Peppermint. Was that enough people for you? Cause that was a lot of people and they all to such an amazing job here.
Bowen Yang is incredible, keeping this insanity grounded and moving along nicely. The story is primarily told from Judy’s point of view and Bowen plays all of this so well from the, you want me to do what to finding his courage to get the job done, even though he’s very clearly in over his head.
I do want to give a couple other cast shout-outs. MJ Rodriguez, who we adore from “Pose,” plays the hacker Eve. She is calm. She is cool. She’s suave. You could just hear that suaveness in her voice, but she’s also got a really nice snarky side as well. She was incredible. And frankly, I would love to see or hear more of MJ as this character. I would totally buy into her adventures as a hacker.
Playwright Tony Kushner has perhaps the oddest role here. He steps in to narrate specifically two time jumps that happened in the story where like weeks go by and he actually shows up to say, Hey, this is Tony Kushner. I’m here to do this thing to make this time jump. It is absolutely bizarre and yet totally fit with what’s going on in this story.
And the theme song too. I can’t find a writing or a performing credit for it, which I think is a little weird, but you have to hear the song at the beginning and the end of the show, because it’s one of those songs that tells you everything you need to know.
And you’ll notice here, I’m not really telling you a lot about this heist. I think you get the idea of kind of the lunacy involved because of what they’re stealing and from where they’re stealing it. It’s really all about the joy of discovery , which is why it’s primarily just me saying this is a really good thing that you need to go listen to. And it’s absolutely a hoot.
“White Hot Heist” is an Audible Original podcast and you can download all the episodes at one time so you can just have a seamless listening experience in the Audible app. It’s free to Audible Plus subscribers. So you just really need to pick this up for a wonderfully fun listening experience. It’s going to be like the popcorn movie that’s just inside your ears. It’s absolutely a delight.
Hola Papi! How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons by John Paul Brammer
Will: And speaking of wonderfully fun listening experiences.
As I mentioned earlier, this summer has sent some unexpected curve balls our way. And while you decided to change things up by listening to an Audible Original podcast, I decided to pick up the newest memoir from John Paul Brammer called “Hola Papi! How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons.”
And it’s in this memoir that the author explains how he went from a run of the mill freelancer in New York City to a Grindr advice columnist. The name of the column, “Hola Papi,” of course. And each chapter in the book is a very personal essay, written in the guise of advice to a hypothetical reader in search of answers.
And in the book he explores the pain of facing your middle school demons and the existential crisis of communicating with your former bully through a hookup app. Also how taking a job in a Mexican restaurant in an attempt to be more authentic, led to a better understanding of how race works in America.
He also explores the emotional complexities of having a straight boyfriend. This is where coming out in Wal-Mart came into play. And how late stage capitalism led him down the career path of recapping porn. He also takes a look at the sexism and homophobia that shaped his early self image, and led to what he calls his blandly masculine sense of fashion. There’s a story about the time he saw the final performance of “Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812,” and came to the realization that we are all the same, that some of our own joys and failures and neuroses.
It is all delivered in a dry self-aware way that I really enjoyed. I also found it comforting how he was able to look at his own mistakes. Oh, so totally relatable and uncover small pieces of universal truth. Everything that we go through, and in this particular case, everything that we go through as gay men, it isn’t meaningless. It’s meaningful. And that meaning can change over time as you learn and you grow and your perspective on your own life changes.
John Paul Brammer has a lot to say and a very funny way of saying it. I really enjoyed the narration of the audio book. It’s great. And really who better to understand his humor and the history behind the words than the author himself.
I really recommend this book. And if you’d like to hear more from Brammer, I’d also like to recommend the June 8th episode of the “LGBTQ and A” podcast. It’s there that he talks about the release of “Hola Papi” and gives us the stories behind the stories. It’s a really great interview and I hope you’ll give it a listen.
Jeff: I can’t imagine a place less likely to want to have a coming out moment than a Walmart parking lot.
Will: Yeah. It’s like a whole thing.
Jeff: I hope it went well. And that maybe it didn’t draw too much of a crowd. I don’t know.
Will: So what else have you been reading?
Learned Reactions by Jayce Ellis
Jeff: Even among everything else that’s gone on this summer, the one thing that I’ve been able to keep doing is reading. I’m actually ahead on this year’s reading challenge I set for myself. I was supposed to hit 75 books this year, which I failed to do last year. I’m four books ahead right now. So fingers crossed that I keep getting through the year strong on this.
Will: It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Jeff: Well, yes, I’m not going to like finish my 75 books tomorrow, but it’s been really nice to be able to stay in the right headspace to keep reading. And I’ve actually, I’ve taken a book from one of your favorite authors and finally gotten to dive in on the Jayce Ellis bandwagon.
Now you’ve been the one who’s been reading Jayce’s book so far and talking about them here on the show. And I got my chance to get it on the action with “Learned Reactions,” which is the second book in Jayce’s “Higher Education” series. I totally get what you love so much about these books. From the beginning, I wanted to know everything about Carlton and Deion and even more I wanted to join their friends and trying to knock a little bit of sense into these two to get them out of the friend zone that they’ve been in for some 20 years.
Deion’s looking forward to his sabbatical from his teaching gig. And that time starts off by going to DC for homecoming celebrations, where he will see his longtime friend Carlton. This is a guy he’s been wanting a relationship with since they hooked up during college. And in the aftermath of that hookup, it was decided they were better off just being friends. Indeed, they are the best of friends, even though both of them want more. And it seems that they always have, these two are not great at communicating their feelings. We like nice guys who talk. These two talk about everything, but what they should be.
Now homecoming has more in store than just catching up. Carlton’s already taken in one of his sister’s kids after she passed away. Trey lived with Carlton during his senior year of high school, and only recently headed off to college. Now his niece, Olivia has turned up on his doorstep because she cannot live another minute with her grandparents who are Carlton’s mom and dad, because these two are just too restrictive. Carlton totally understands that situation. But at 14, Olivia is a good ways out from college. And Carlton’s parents demand that he has to either adopt Olivia or send her back to them since they are her legal guardians.
And frankly, they don’t think Carlton will follow through on that adoption. And while Carlton does think it through it, doesn’t take him long at all to be all in for Olivia. He understands why she wants this. And he also finds out how highly Trey actually spoke of the time that he lived with him.
Now Deion’s staying with Carlton as all of this unfolds, and he’s happy to give up his space in the guest room for the couch so that Olivia can have her own space. He’s also happy to help her get settled. It’s all going so well in fact, that when the social worker makes her first visit to the house to see if Carlton’s fit to adopt Olivia, she assumes that Deion’s at least the boyfriend, if not more. And you know what, neither of the men correct her about this and thus a fake relationship is born.
Now as I mentioned, I like nice guys who talk and that these two talk about all of this stuff that’s not the right thing. And I also said I’d be right there with their friends, trying to get them to bring their feelings out on the table. These two are both so hung up on not wanting to force the other one into something, or God forbid even ask for something of the other. It could be really painful and frustrating to watch. However, Jayce knows exactly what she’s doing. These two have a lot of baggage to sort through, not only about their years long relationship, but also what they each think that family is supposed to look like. What their family’s expectations are and what they actually want. Living through the fake boyfriend scenarios only intensify their feelings, as does making sure they’re doing what’s best for Olivia
Where I would normally get annoyed with characters dancing around each other like this, I really rooted for these guys to sort their shit out as they grew gently closer and they saw what life could look like together and raising a family.
Jayce brings forward a lot of family dynamics that I enjoyed too. Carlton’s parents are frankly terrible. And I’ve mentioned this before on this show. I don’t know what it is about the books that are reading, where there is always at least one set of parents who are just really the worst. They’ve got these rigid expectations that are just not necessary and actually damaging to those around them. I’m glad Carlton rose to the occasion to give his niece and nephew a better environment
Now Deion’s parents have a different set of issues. They clearly want what’s best for Deion and for him to be happy. However, they project a little too much of their version of what that looks like without always listening to what he wants.
Then there’s Trey and Olivia. What wonderful kids these two are. Olivia needs to be in her own young adult spinoff series because her take on the world and how she moves through it are absolutely wonderful. She wants to be a wrestler. This was one of the primary things that got her out of the house. She wants to wrestle in high school and her grandparents would not have it. Her story is just really wonderful, kind of B story in this outside of just getting her adopted. And Trey is also clearly a great big brother to her. Further extending out to Carlton’s friends. I loved how they helped with the changing family situation and with getting these two friends firmly and finally together.
I’m so glad I finally read a Jayce Ellis book and I definitely look forward to reading more. You and I might be fighting for these more and more in our TBR lists when they come up. And if you want to know more about Jayce and her books, you should check out the interview with her back in episode 266, where we discuss “Learned Behaviors,” which was the first book in this “Higher Learning” series.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
And now I’ve got one more book and I’m happy to say that I have finally righted one of the more significant wrongs in my reading, despite being out for nearly 10 years, I’ve only just now read “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. With the sequel, “Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World,” coming this fall, it was high time I checked out Ari and Dante for myself and oh boy, did I get why this book is beloved by so many.
While there is a romance that ever so slowly blooms, slower for one than the other, and we’ll talk more about that, this book is really about friendship, how a friendship can grow, be tested, be a safe place and so much more. I loved how that was the focus of the book. And I wish there were more books that captured friendship as well as Benjamin does here.
So for the few of you out there who aren’t familiar with Ari and Dante, here’s a little bit about what this book’s about. It’s set in 1987 and Aristotle, or Ari for short, is the definition of angry young man. At 15, he struggles with his dysfunctional family. There’s a much older brother who’s in prison and parents who simply won’t talk about that. And a father who battles against demons from his time in the military. Ari’s mom and dad aren’t bad parents, but there are struggles all around.
As summer break takes over, Ari gets himself out of the house and goes to the nearby pool. He doesn’t know how to swim, but the pool is the place to be. Out of nowhere, Dante introduces himself to Ari and offers to teach him how to swim. Ari takes him up on it and despite his best efforts at being gruff, the seeds of a friendship are planted and there is no going back from here.
Many times across this book that spans more than a year, Ari can’t understand why Dante befriends him. They are opposite in so many ways. Ari often lives under clouds while Dante is this bright beaming ray of sunshine. Ari suspects, the worst in people and unfortunately he’s often not wrong about that suspicion. Whereas Dante always looks for the best.
Them being opposites also has some advantages though, as they can often nudge each other out of the boxes that they live in. This is especially good and challenging for Ari. Benjamin crafts such a beautiful rise and fall to the friendship across the story. It’s beautiful and messy and heartrending and scary and cringe-worthy in equal measure.
The bonds are strong between these two and no matter what is done or said, they find their way to end up stronger for it. Even if it might take some time to work through events. And, oh boy, are there events here? Large, small, and life-changing. Times were vastly different in 1987 than they are now.
These boys live in Texas where it can still be a struggle to be out. And it hurt my heart what these two had to go through at times. Despite everything though, Dante refuses to be anyone, but who he is. That openness with all things that Dante shows to Ari, helps break open the world for Ari. He begins to see things differently. He manages, although not without some difficulty, to talk frankly about things with his parents, about his brother, and in the long run with how he feels about Dante. It’s a slow arrival to romantic love from a friendly brotherly love for Ari, but it’s there. And Benjamin gets us there in such a lovely, organic way.
Let’s talk about parents too. Ari and Dante both have loving and supporting parents, even for the little bit of dysfunction that goes on on Ari’s side. For all of their difficulty, they are doing the absolute best they can. And it’s not just Ari who benefits from knowing Dante. Ari’s mom and dad get a lot from having Dante and his parents in their lives as much as Ari does. Dante’s parents are just about the best you could want for a kid like Dante. And to be honest, I’d love to see a book about the friendship. The dads formed in this book, because it also seemed to really help break Ari’s dad out of the mindset he was in.
And a quick note on the audio book, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda provides an incredible performance, nailing the many emotional nuances of this book. I had all the feels listening to this multiple times through the story. I’m so happy that I finally read Ari and Dante’s story. If you’re a holdout like I was pick this book up and enjoy it and get ready for this sequel that’s coming in October.
Will: This episode transcript has been brought to you by our community on Patreon. If you’d like to read our conversation and reviews for yourself, simply head on over to the show notes page for this episode at biggayfictionpodcast.com. And of course, also on the show notes page we’ll have links to everything that we’ve talked about in this episode
Jeff: And among those links, you’ll see which books are available for purchase on Libro.fm. Libro.fm is where you can pick up audio books and at the same time support a local bookstore of your choice. Listeners to the Big Gay Fiction Podcast have the opportunity to take advantage of a two month audio book membership for the price of one. To get all the information about that and to sign up to Libro.fm, simply go to biggayfictionpodcast.com/librofm.
Will: “Hola Papi” was my latest listen on Libro.fm. Just so you know, we’d like to keep it real here on the Big Gay Fiction Podcast.
Jeff: Indeed. I also listened to “Aristotle and Dante” via Libro.fm
Will: All right everyone, I think that’ll do it for this episode. Now, coming up on Monday in episode 328 author TJ Klune is going to be joining us to talk about his latest book books.
Jeff: That’s right. TJ is one of our most popular guests that appear on the show. And this time out, we’re going to be talking about his YA superhero story “Flash Fire,” which is the sequel to “The Extraordinaries,” and that came out just last month. And then we’re also going to be looking forward to “Under the Whispering Door,” which comes out in mid-September. You’re not going to want to miss this conversation.
Will: Thank you so much for listening. Until next time everyone, please stay strong, be safe, and above all else keep turning those pages and keep reading.
Big Gay Fiction Podcast is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. Find more shows you’ll love at frolic.media/podcasts. Production assistance by Tyson Greenan. Original theme music by Daryl Banner.