Hello all! Welcome to my first Double Review post!
I’m changing the way I do reviews a little bit. Previously, I’ve been posting a majority of my reviews only on Goodreads. As of now, I’m upping my review posts to twice a week.
Today, I’m bringing you two very special mini-reviews. M. Hollis’ New Adult LGBT+ novellas are near and dear to my heart. If you haven’t checked them out yet, let this post be your guide!
The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis
Genre: NA Romance | Diversity: pansexual MC + more! |My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Synopsis (from Goodreads)—
After dropping out of university and breaking up with her girlfriend of three years, Chris Morrison’s life is now a mind-numbing mess. She doubts that working at the small neighborhood bookstore is going to change that. The rest of her time is spent mostly playing guitar and ignoring the many messages her mother keeps sending her about going back to college.
But one day, an adorable and charming new bookseller waltzes her way into Chris’s life. Josie Navarro is sweet, flirty, and she always has a new book in her hands. The two girls start a fast friendship that, for Chris, holds the promise of something more. But is she reading too much into this or is it possible that Josie feels the same way?
The Melody of You and Me is the steamy, yet adorable f/f romance you need in your life. Some reasons why:
This is the first book I’ve ever encountered with a pansexual main character and I can’t express how refreshing it was to read. While I do wish Chris had gone into more detail about why she identifies as pan, I appreciated that the other characters accepted her identity without question. On top of that, Josie, the love interest, is a Filipino lesbian, and we get a cute scene where Josie comes out to her sister—with no drama.
I love the millennial storyline. Chris has recently dropped out of college and she doesn’t know quite what she wants to do with her life. Aside from the romance, this is the main storyline. It was so refreshing to read a 20-something character who’s still figuring things out—we need more stories like this!
The normalization of female sex drive and masturbation is so freaking necessary. Chris recognizes the sexual double standard—where men “can’t help” thinking about sex constantly, but women are supposed to be pure and innocent. While Chris rejects these ideas, they still affect her, but I love seeing an open and honest expression of female sexuality. Plus the sex scenes are just hot.
My only major complaint was that I didn’t really dig the 3rd person present tense style. I generally prefer 1st person in character-driven stories. The 3rd person threw me off in that it’s a story of mostly female characters. I would’ve preferred to be totally immersed in Chris’s head.
Overall, I flew through this novella in a matter of a couple hours, and I have no regrets. It’s a refreshing story about a unique protagonist. To be honest, I didn’t realize how much I needed more steamy f/f in my life—so any further recommendations would be totally appreciated. Lady loving ladies need this representation! Thank you M. Hollis for writing stories like this one!
(Side note: as if this posting, The Melody of You and Me is available on Kindle Unlimited, and the purchased copy is $2.99—seriously, you have no excuse not to read this adorable book.)
The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis
Genre: NA romance | Diversity: queer Brazilian MC + more! | My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Synopsis (from Goodreads)—
Lily Ferrari enjoys having control over every detail of her life. Ever since she left her parents’ house to gain her freedom, she decided to fully own her autonomy. But an unexpected visit from her little brother may change the path she chooses to follow.
Add to that a casual fling with the bright architect Mayte González, and Lily’s summer is turning out more interesting than she expected. It certainly beats the routine of working extra shifts at Johnson’s Bookstore.
A few weeks before her college life begins, Lily needs to figure out if she’s wrong about the past or if she should continue to protect her heart at all costs.
Sometimes moving forward is only possible if you have the right people by your side.
After reading The Melody of You and Me, I knew what to expect from M. Hollis. The Paths We Choose did not disappoint.
Once again, we have ALL the diversity: a Brazilian main character who doesn’t use labels but likes girls, a bisexual Afro-Cuban love interest, a best friend who’s Brazilian-Japanese, and a roommate who’s Indian American. With all these diverse characters floating around, M. Hollis manages to make it feel very natural. You get the sense that these girls are going to come back in future Lillac Town stories and I can’t wait to spend more time with them.
Lily has Girl Squad™ goals to the max. I love that we get to see so much lady friendship in a romance novel. Lily’s friends are unique, loving, and so affirming. I’m legitimately jealous of these girls. This story is pretty much everything the patriarchy doesn’t want ladies reading.
For such a short novella, M. Hollis manages to talk about a lot of important issues, from dispelling misconceptions about Latinx—like how, you know, Latinx come from different countries, have different skin tones, and difficult cultural backgrounds—to honest, sex-positive conversations. At one point in their no-strings relationship, Lily and Mayte talk about what they do and don’t like in bed. It’s awkward as hell, but it’s such an important scene because it’s so important to have honest conversations with your sexual partners. On top of that, one of the other characters talks about being a 24-year-old virgin, and instead of shaming her, the other girls validate her decision to wait for the right person.
You come for the casual steamy lady sex that turns into a relationship, but you stay for the natural diversity, the sex positivity, and the way M. Hollis works major issues into such a short, sweet book. Highly recommend.
Have you read M. Hollis yet? Do you know of any LGBTQ+ New Adult books I should read? Let me know in the comments!