I read this as part of the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for 2017. (Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel.)
Derrick is still reeling from the loss of both of his parents and finds himself suddenly in charge of the bed and breakfast they have left behind. His life and work as a logger has not remotely prepared him for the intense and difficult work of running any business, much less one that has him cooking, cleaning, and being social. When Ginsberg Sloan arrives at the B&B with a broken arm and nothing to do, Derrick finds himself at a loss. He only knows that he wants out and wants to return to his old, solitary life. But he can't seem to deny his attraction to the skinny guy with the broken arm.
Ginsberg is a stunt man on a successful show that is filmed in the small town near the strange and gruff Derrick's B&B. After breaking his arm during one of his stunts, he is looking for a cheap room to heal and, since he's never felt at home anywhere since his transition, this run down B&B is as good as any. What he didn't expect was to find the inexperienced and cranky owner so attractive. He immediately starts trying to help Derrick shape up the business and bring him out of his shell but soon realizes how hard that will be.
I am not really an avid reader of romance novels, having only read a handful altogether, so the Read Harder Challenge is doing its job here: getting me to read things I don't normally read. This novel had a straightforward plot and characters with interesting back stories. Ginsberg is transgender, having gotten surgery and having lived as a man for some years before the start of the novel and that added an extra element of depth to his character and introduced a unique dynamic to the love story. Most of the time, however, the conflict was pretty typical of a romance story: broken hearts in the past lead to guarded people and a reluctance to enter in to a romance, despite strong attraction. I enjoyed the straightforward writing, as I was expecting a lot more flourish (I might not really understand the romance genre too much). The sex scenes were well written and I'd probably qualify them as emotional on top of being explicit. But again, in my experience, this is how typical romance novels read.
Overall, diversity in publishing is something that needs to keep happening so I'm happy to read stories that involve diverse characters with backstories and issues that aren't your typical boy meets boy tropes.
Now, what shall I read next?
1. Read a book about sports.
3. Read a book about books.
4. Read a book set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American author.
5. Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative.
7. Read a book published between 1900 and 1950.
8. Read a travel memoir.
9. Read a book you’ve read before.
10. Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location.
11. Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location.
13. Read a nonfiction book about technology.
14. Read a book about war.
15. Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+.
16. Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country.
18. Read a superhero comic with a female lead.
20. Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey
21. Read a book published by a micropress.
22. Read a collection of stories by a woman.
24. Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color.