November 12th, 2021

andrew potter

2020-2021 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: A Soft Touch

A Soft Touch by Laura Lascarso

An ex-football player and current restaurateur, Roman, gets a housekeeper, Ezra. Sparks fly. This is a definite feel-good novel with low angst and a minor trigger warning for ableism. Ezra is mildly autistic--or maybe has Asperger's which makes more sense--as in he doesn't like prolonged eye contact and he's very precise and organized to the point of rigid excess. He also has a heightened sense of smell, which can cause problems, for example the blue cheese incident, and he can get lost in the moment. His autism poses a problem for me because Roman was a possessive character. He started out nice, calm, and gentlemanly. Then he got a little extreme, watching Ezra work through cameras, having Ezra wear super-tight, super-small outfits as a work uniform, and so on. It read like a predator taking advantage of a person who didn't know any better and couldn't read subtext. But it's a minor concern because being possessive is part of Roman's personality and the sexual play between the two. And I got the sense that Ezra didn't mind being watched and controlled, though he's far from a typical submissive. Of the side characters, Jay outshines everyone else. The trickster-type that plays matchmaker and picks Ezra's tiny uniform. He's a hoot. New Orleans isn't show that much but it's a nice backdrop with its restaurants and festivals. Most of the setting is Roman's house. The writing style is what shines here the best. Not too flowery, not too minimalist. Let's call this a happy medium. This author can write! I really enjoyed this story--and the little bonus story at the end (even if Roman was referred to as boyfriend, not husband, as he should be).

https://amzn.to/3c7nfDY

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andrew potter

2020-2021 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Franklin in Paradise

Franklin in Paradise by John Patrick

The author does a fantastic job here bringing the characters to life and making them engaging. Also, the coming-of-age -during-the-apocalypse story keeps the reader turning those pages.

https://amzn.to/3HhJvt6

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andrew potter

2020-2021 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Smash & Grab (RELIC #1)

Smash & Grab (RELIC #1) by Maz Maddox

This novel should come with a warning label--I could not put down Smash & Grab once I picked it up! The mix of paleontological detail, wit, action, fluffy romance, and the hands down best premise was like catnip to a paleo enthusiast like myself. Flawlessly executed, it deserves all my accolades and more!

https://amzn.to/30gqA0w

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andrew potter

2020-2021 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Fathers of the Bride

Fathers of the Bride by Marshall Thornton

The title tells you pretty much everything: who the characters are, where they’ve come from, and where they’ll end up at the end of the story. The fun of this kind of book is the journey—and it’s a super fun journey filled with zany characters and over-the-top events. A perfect antidote to the daily bad news parade, and a fun, fast, fabulous read. Highly recommended.

https://amzn.to/30lzslS

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andrew potter

2020-2021 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Harder We Fall

The Harder We Fall by Rebecca Raine

The Harder We Fall tells an engaging story of two people overcoming challenges in their lives while also developing a strong relationship with each other. I found the process that they went through was realistic and meaningful, with notes of humour and sadness and spice--the perfect blend. Putting it all together with a great writing style and flawless execution, and this novel is up there with the best!

https://amzn.to/31Wf7Eo

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