He’s Come Undone ARC Review

I am so excited to finally be sitting down to tell y’all about what is easily my favorite anthology. You might be questioning whether I ever read anthologies and the answer is yes, but it is rare. But as soon as I saw the authors start talking about He’s Come Undone, I preordered. And then I managed to forget about it for a week or two until I saw some more promotion. I tried to preorder it again. AND then I finally saw Adriana Herrera asking for people to sign up if they wanted an ARC and I was like, PICK ME. So I got to read this and now I get to shout about it so hopefully you’ll pick it up too!

He’s Come Undone releases today and has short stories by Emma Barry, Olivia Dade, Adriana Herrera, Ruby Lang, and Cat Sebastian. These stories all involve a buttoned up man coming undone, which is one of my absolute favorite tropes. It destroys me every time and these stories did it so well. So, let’s break it down.

Cover of He’s Come Undone anthology by Emma Barry, Olivia Dade, Adriana Herrera, Ruby Lang, and Cat Sebastian

Appassionista by Emma Barry

This story is about a pianist and a piano technician and it’s absolutely beautifully written. Our pianist is diva Kristy Kwong, who is really struggling with her music and finding her “voice” in it because of crippling doubts. There’s only one person she’ll really allow in right now and by in, she means in the room while she practices and that’s Brennan Connelly. Brennan is the technically the rule following buttoned up one in this relationship and watching him break his rules for Kristy is real cute. I didn’t necessarily get fully swept up in their story the way I would have liked, but I think that was definitely a me problem.

Unraveled by Olivia Dade

Hands down, this short story is the stand out of the collection. Dade’s writing and her character work in this short space is absolutely phenomenal. I am always so impressed by her ability to make me feel so much with so few words. This one is about two teachers, one a really fantastic art teacher, Poppy, and one a very, VERY buttoned up math teacher, Simon. There are murder dioramas and misunderstandings that get resolved in SUCH a satisfying way and like… Tbh, this book gave me Pride and Prejudice vibes. Like Simon and Mr. Darcy have the same buttoned up energy to me, a complete P&P fangirl. Anyway, the sticker price is worth it for this story alone, so…

Caught Looking by Adriana Herrera

This friends to lovers romance has Herrera’s signature writing style and is about secondary characters from American Sweethearts, Yariel and Hatuey. The two hook up, changing their dynamic in ways that Yariel cannot handle. He’s been in love with his “straight” best friend since high school and is absolutely terrified of what this means. I really loved Hatuey’s patience with Yariel and the ways that he pushed him gently into accepting that Hatuey can actually make up his own mind about things. There’s a level of angst here that I wasn’t quite prepared for involving family dynamics and homophobia, but it’s a great addition to the collection.

Yes, and… by Ruby Lang

When Dr. Darren Zhang accidentally finds himself in an improv class instead of the meditation class he meant to attend, he is startled by his attraction to the instructor, Joan Lacy. Joan has this one night off a week from taking care of her mom who is suffering from dementia and Dr. Zhang’s decision that he won’t be coming back to improv stings maybe more than it should. But as the two slowly build a friendship despite that, I melted. I mean, they melted. Both are true. This is probably my favorite thing I’ve read from Ruby Lang. I will say the end feels a little bittersweet though. I would love if she revisited these two in the future.

Tommy Cabot was Here by Cat Sebastian

This was my first Cat Sebastian and if you’re wondering how the heck and also why, same. I really loved this one! Set in the 50s and following my precious Tommy, who has the most adorable like Golden Retriever energy to me, and poor, sweet Everett who just wanted to protect himself, this m/m romance gave me literally all the feelings. Basically Everett is a teacher at this school that Tommy’s son is now attending. Tommy got married and Everett, his best friend forever, disappeared from his life. THE FEELINGS! Anyway, this is really great and talk about flipping the evil ex trope on it’s head. I loved this. I want to read like sixteen more stories from Cat Sebastian now. Fortunately, I literally own five. So… Time to get on that?

And, long story short for your takeaway, is that that I would 100% recommend this collection. And once you’ve read it, please share with me your favorite story.

xx

3 responses to “He’s Come Undone ARC Review”

  1. I’ve been resisting buying this despite the hype across Twitter because I’m not much of a short story reader, but I just bought it! Your review makes me think I’m going to enjoy a lot of these

    Like

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