Busy UK Author Garrett Leigh – BGFP episode 288

Garrett Leigh joins us to talk about her newest books. This week Unforgottena second chance, roommates to lovers story, is being released and Garrett shares how the story of Billy and Gus came to be. We also talk about her involvement with the Vino & Veritas series and her book Heartscape that comes out in March. The book Redemption is also getting some sequels later this year and she’ll discuss what brought her back to that story. Plus we find out what started her writing, her favorite tropes and a series she thinks everyone should read.

Remember, you can listen and subscribe to the podcast anytime at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.

Quick Review: Love in 24 Frames by C.S. Poe

Love in 24 Frames by C.S. Poe

Declan is a CPA in New York City who makes stop-motion animated movies in his spare time. He’s so devoted to his hobby that he rents extra studio space to shoot his films.

He’s secretly been in love with Shota, the studio front desk receptionist, since the day they met. But he can never manage more than a few awkward words whenever they talk. One afternoon, Declan takes refuge from the winter weather inside a corner café and finds that Shota works there as well. They share a bite and Shota gives Declan his number. They begin a slow courtship, Declan bringing meals that Shota can eat at his desk each night. One late evening Declan invites him back to his place where they watch some of his movies. They curl-up and spend a comforting night in each other’s arms.

When a jealous artist places Shota’s job in jeopardy, Declan comes to his defense and keeps him from getting fired.

Using his talent as an animator, he is finally able to show Shota just how much cares in a newly finished film short.

Gay romance just doesn’t get any sweeter than Love in 24 Frames. Watching Declan and Shota take their first tentative steps towards love and eventually reaching their HEA, is deeply satisfying. Through the power of a slow build, the author has a us rooting for these nice guys from the very first page.

Quick Review: Caught Looking by Adrianna Herrera

Caught Looking by Adrianna Herrera

Yariel is a superstar shortstop in the Major Leagues. Hatuey is the team’s interpreter. They’re are in a panic – worried that they’ve placed their decade long friendship in jeopardy by spending one explosively passionate night together. Yari insists it can’t happen again, but Hatuey has different plans.

They’ll be headed to the Dominican Republic for a series of charity events and it’s during that time together that he’ll prove to Yariel that that he’s not as straight as everyone once thought.

On the private plane to the DR it’s proves easy to get Yariel hot under the collar. They almost join the mile high club, but Yari pulls back. Hateuy knows this is what they both want. What they both need. Since going on the offensive didn’t work, the new plan is to make Yariel come to him.

Staying in the same suite at the resort where the team’s fundraiser will be held, they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other for long, but they’re interrupted by Hatuey’s father. They then spend the afternoon at the sports camp Yariel sponsors and later in the evening go to a black-tie gala.

At an exclusive after party, Hatuey proves to be very popular. Perhaps purposely provoking Yari’s jealous streak will snap him out of it and get him to admit that they’re meant to be. He fumes as he watches from the sidelines. When he can’t take it any longer, he drags Hatuey back to their place – he has to have him, or he’ll die. These two definitely don’t lack passion and they don’t do anything halfway.

They spend the next several chapters engaging in sex so intense that it’ll set the digital pages of you ereader on fire, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise because everything they do is so intense. The way they fight is intense. They way they fuck is intense.

Now, without a shadow of a doubt, they both know that they belong together, now and always. In an epilogue set a year later, they still can’t keep their hands off each other and Yariel has a special Valentine’s Day surprise for Hatuey, one that’ll assure their bright and happy future together forever.

I’m a big fan of Adrianna Herrera’s work, but this time I think she’s truly outdone herself. Not only are the sex scenes crazy, off the charts hot, but the deeply held passion that these to characters have for each other is evident on every single page and in every single moment that they share. Yariel and Hatuey are loyal friends and intense lovers (there’s that word, intense, again). Their chemistry is explosive, and I can’t think of a better example of a ‘friends-to-lovers’ trope written so expertly.

If you’re looking for a novella that packs a lot of emotional punch with a ton of sexual heat, then Caught Looking is the story you should be reading.

Quick Review: Be My Valentine Bobby Bryson by Geoffrey Knight

Be My Valentine Bobby Bryson by Geoffrey Knight

Kate is a single mom who’s doing the best she can after the loss of her husband. When her seven-year-old Mikey makes a Valentine at school and addresses it to a boy, certain people in her life act as if the world is coming to an end.

Everyone keeps telling Mikey he’s wrong, but he doesn’t understand what the big deal is. Kate helps Mikey make a special cupcake for his valentine and he presents it to Bobby, the handyman who’d been fixing things around the house.

In the newly repaired backyard treehouse, Bobby thanks Mikey for the card and, as they share the cupcake, makes sure the little boy understands that when people love you just the way you are, those are the one’s worth loving back.

This sweet story about a kid and his childhood crush touches on themes of love, kindness, and acceptance. It manages to be cute, without being saccharine, while at the same time deftly addressing heavier topics like homophobia and toxic masculinity.

It’s an endearing and heartfelt look at a mother who learns to stand up for her son. Love is Love.

Be My Valentine Bobby Bryson is available in both ebook and paperback.

Quick Review: Red Envelope by Atom Yang

Red Envelope by Atom Yang

Clint’s cousin Maggie has a friend named Weaver, who had a difficult home life growing up, so he spent most of his time with their large extended family. Weaver was always invited to join them for their big Lunar New Year celebration.

Clint has been attracted to Weaver since… well, forever. One year they finally act on their attraction, and it’s amazing. But then Weaver promptly leaves to work/study in China.

When New Year rolls around again, rumor has it that Weaver is back in town. Clint can’t decide if he’s angry over being ghosted for so long, or if he’s excited to see his long-time crush. After all the red envelopes have been handed out and the relatives have gone home, they’re finally able to discuss the repercussions of their one night together. They’ve been in love for such a long time. That hasn’t changed. It’s now up to them how they choose to move forward, hand in hand, together.

I freely admit, the above description is kinda awful. It doesn’t even come close to conveying just how wonderful Red Envelope is. How exactly am I supposed to describe how the author expertly blends elements of food, family, tradition, and celebration into such an engaging gay love story? Trust me, Atom Yang manages to do all that and more in this wonderfully romantic story set over the course of several Chinese New Year holidays – though I’d encourage you to read it no matter the time of year.

Quick Review: Video Store Valentine by Geoffrey Knight

Video Store Valentine by Geoffrey Knight

All film school student Dex wants to do for Valentine’s Day is head to his local video store, grab a DVD and a few snacks (okay, maybe more than a few) and settle in for a quiet night at home… alone.

Working the rental counter that night is Taylor, the too good-looking to be real clerk who leaves Dex awkwardly tongue-tied. When a robbery finds the two of them locked in the back storage room together, they find a way to pass the time through their shared love of movies and mutual attraction.

Once freed, they make plans for a real romantic Valentine’s date. A little VHS and chill maybe?

Geoffrey Knight’s Video Store Valentine is a broadly comedic short filled with movie references and sweet romance. The cute, flirty banter between movie nerd Dex and struggling actor Taylor is goofy and charming. They’re a match made in rom-com heaven.

A movie nerd myself, is it weird to say that after reading this, I kind of miss the good old days of local mom and pop video stores?