Celebrating Queer Love Stories: Never Ever Getting Back Together, Something Wild & Wonderful, and The Fiancée Farce

What a truly fantastic set of ARCs that I have finally at long last read!! I cannot wait to actually dive into these three books, but let me give you the quick and dirty facts on them real quick. Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales is technically a YA contemporary romance, but it reads like a New Adult or even adult just minus explicit sex scenes. It came out last Fall and I was lucky enough to get both an e and audio ARC copy so my profuse apologies for being so delayed in getting this review to you, but the tl;dr is that I loved it! Then we have Something Wild & Wonderful by Anita Kelly and this book was really, really phenomenal. I loved it so much. It came out in March and is an adult romance. I again got both an e and audio ARC from Netgalley so thank you so much to them for that. And then finally, The Fiancée Farce by Alexandria Bellefleur came out like two weeks ago and I read my finished copy that I pre-ordered from Barnes & Noble despite having the e-ARC. And now that we’ve gotten all the sort of facts out of the way, let’s dive into the actual reviews!

Celebrating Queer Love: Covers of Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales, Something Wild and Wonderful by Anita Kelly, and The Fiancée Farce by Alexandria Bellefleur

Never Ever Getting Back Together
by Sophie Gonzales

So, I was thinking that I’ve just aged too far out of YA, but then I picked up Never Ever Getting Back Together (finally) and while I think there’s a solid argument that this book falls firmly in the New Adult age category that publishers won’t acknowledge, this book also gave me hope that I can still read whatever age range I want. But mostly, this book gave me every bit of The Bachelor vibes that I wanted with the most perfect hate to love sapphic relationship where all the women in the house band together.

Essentially, this book follows Canadian Skye and American Maya who both dated the same narcissistic but charming white man whose sister is a Princess. For some unknown reason, some network decided to make him the star of their Bachelor style romance show, but for Second Chance Romances. And evil white man evil white mans and slowly but surely, Maya manages to get the other women to see his true colors. But most importantly, Maya and her roommate Skye begin to see past the issues boring white man created between them and their chemistry keeps heating up.

Y’all, this book had me almost in tears at the end. Like, when I say that I really loved this book, I am not exaggerating. The audiobook narration was truly fantastic. I now really want to own a physical copy for my shelves because it brought me a whole lot of joy!

Something Wild & Wonderful
by Anita Kelly

Anita Kelly is remarkably talented at getting me invested in things that I otherwise do not care about, like, for example, hiking. Genuinely, the idea of someone wanting to hike 2000 miles in one go is… beyond baffling to me. I’m lucky when I can convince myself to go on a walk (paved) around the lake I live near. It’s only two miles. Four if you add in an extra part. But Kelly sucked me in with Alexei and Ben. There’s something about the way their interactions start and it’s all one word things back and forth to the way Lex slowly begins to open up. Plus the way that Ben starts to feel settled that just really worked for me. I loved both character ARCs and I loved the secondary characters we got to meet and interact with along the way. I even loved the description of the landscape and the joy of eating at McDonalds. As a person who is delighted by air conditioning if I’ve been outside for a mere twelve minutes, the simple joy the men took in modern conveniences was somehow alarmingly relatable given that I am never very far from things like running water and they were going for days on end without.

If you’ve not read the book yet, basically, Alexei has been recently laid off from his job and while he is sorting out his next step, he decides to set out on hiking the Pacific Coast Trail thinking he can figure out Alexei 2.0 on the way. He needs to figure out how to let go of his parents who disowned him for being gay and sort through the way they used religion against him. Alexei understands that God does not share the values his parents say they’re living by, but that is quite a lot to process. Fortunately, he has like 2000 miles to do so. But he doesn’t factor Ben into his plans. Ben, who is funny and handsome and charming. Ben who is on the PCT because he wants time to explore before he returns home to Nashville to begin his career as a nurse in the geriatric field. He doesn’t seem to see himself the way Alexei sees him, but they’ve got a whole lot of miles to work through that too.

Their chemistry is electric from the first moment they meet, in my opinion, but in a very… natural feeling way. The way that when you meet certain people you wonder about them for a while even if you don’t spend all that much time together. There’s a spark that could become nothing, but obviously, given this is a romance novel, that’s not what happens and that spark turns into a whole lot more. I just absolutely adored the way Kelly wrote this book and I loved every bit of it. A million stars from me!

As far as the audio goes, there was only one narrator, which is not my favorite in a dual POV, but I was able to follow the perspective shifts quite well so it still worked for me. But it is absolutely important to know going in!

The Fiancée Farce
by Alexandria Bellefleur

I absolutely devoured this book! I will probably always love Bellefleur’s writing, in part because of my utter delight at finding Taylor Swift references sprinkled throughout her books, but also because she writes with a pace that just keeps my attention the entire way through. I read this with my eyes and underlined and squealed throughout the entire thing. Tansy and Gemma and the way they meet is completely contrived and only in a romance novel would this ever happen, but how on earth could I be upset about it when it brought me so much joy? And although I did hate how the end conflict sort of erupts, I absolutely adored the way the two women come back together.

The Fiancée Farce begins at a wedding between Tansy’s step-cousin Madison to the absolutely vile Trevor. Or Tucker. Um. I don’t remember his name, but it definitely started with a T. We’ll go with Tucker. Anyway, Tansy’s been lying about being in a relationship with a woman named Gemma to get out of as many family events where Tucker would be present as is humanly possible and now her lies are catching up to her because in walks in the woman she’s been pretending is her girlfriend. Turns out Gemma West is actually Gemma van Dalen and she’s horrible Tucker’s cousin. Fortunately, Gemma needs a wife so this winds up working out perfectly and the women strike up a perfectly business like arrangement that stays strictly business like for… oh you know, .5 seconds.

If “Glitch” is your favorite song on Midnights, I’m just saying you should probably consider picking this book up. I really, really loved how this book felt incredibly real. Tansy felt so relatable and her insecurities and the way that she manages her emotions just… Excellent. We didn’t have everything in common, but the anxiety? Oh yeah. And medication for anxiety! Lexapro for the win, baby! (I mean, her medication isn’t named. But for me, Lexapro is a gem. I should be sponsored by them the way I shout about it, tbh. I am not. Sadly.) But then you have Gemma, who is a little bit of a chaos Queen and, well, honestly, I loved that. I loved her. I love that both women have their own insecurities that ultimately play a role in the conflict and in the way that the conflict is resolved. It felt organic almost. Perhaps the conflict scene is a bit contrived, but honestly, I was just enjoying myself way too much to care about a little bit of over the top villainy. However, you know the movie John Tucker Must Die? Or the way Legally Blonde treats Warner at the end? That’s what I wanted as my epilogue. All the ways Tucker is now entirely irrelevant. And preferably penniless. ANYWAY, I really loved this book is the point.

Closing Thoughts

Three five stars in one of these themed review posts feels like a miracle. I genuinely adored everything about reading these books and I hope that if you read them, you will also love them! Please share with me your thoughts on any you’ve read and if I’ve convinced you to pick one up, let me know!!

xx

2 responses to “Celebrating Queer Love Stories: Never Ever Getting Back Together, Something Wild & Wonderful, and The Fiancée Farce”

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