Tag: written

Landice reviews Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur – The Lesbrary

Landice reviews Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur –

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Written in the Stars is probably hands down the most adorable contemporary romance I’ve ever read. To be fair, I don’t read a ton of books in this genre, but I’ve at least read enough to know that this one is something special!

I just spent twenty minutes trying to write an analogy comparing Written in the Stars to peppermint hot chocolate that wasn’t super cheesy, to no avail, so I’ve decided to channel my inner Elle and just.. go with it: Reading Written in the Stars was like sitting down with my first peppermint hot chocolate of the season. The story was warm, inviting, and familiar enough to be comforting, but it also felt new and unique enough that nothing about it felt stale or contrite.

One thing I really appreciated about this book was that it didn’t get mired down in extended mutual pining the way romance novels often do. Not that there’s anything wrong with slow burn romances, but sometimes I want to be able to relish in the actual togetherness of the characters instead of spending the majority of the novel wanting to push the two leads’ faces together like Barbie dolls, screaming “just kiss already!” The author did an excellent job of finding the sweet spot between insta-love and slow burn, and the result is a compulsively readable novel with an adorable opposites attract romance that felt totally realistic and incredibly satisfying. It’s also worth noting that while there was enough tension to sustain the plot, the angst never felt superfluous or like it was thrown in just for the hell of it.

My only complaint about Written in the Stars was that I wasn’t ready for it to end when it did! I really loved Elle and Darcy together, and while I understand that it’s not always realistic to include an epilogue when you’re planning a sequel that will likely pick up around the time the first book lets off, it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it (I kid… mostly).

One more thing I want to state for the record, in case I’m not alone in this concern: I went into this read worried that my lack of astrological knowledge might be an issue, but my concern was completely unfounded! In fact, I think Elle’s narrative explanation of Darcy’s sun, moon, and rising signs helped me understand what the “big three” placements really mean better than any of the articles I’d read online.

In closing, Written in the Stars is a cute, quirky sapphic romance that is (for me at least) the book equivalent of a cup of hot chocolate and a warm hug. If this sounds like something there’s even a slim chance you might enjoy, then please give it a go. It was honestly wonderful, and now I’m definitely rambling, but I cannot recommend it enough!

ARC Note: Thank you to Avon and Netgalley for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and terrible, cheesy analogies are my own.

Landice is an autistic lesbian graphic design student who lives on a tiny farm outside of a tiny town in rural Texas. Her favorite genres are sci-fi, fantasy & speculative fiction, and her favorite tropes are enemies-to-lovers, thawing the ice queen, & age gap romances. Landice drinks way too much caffeine, buys more books than she’ll ever be able to read, and dreams of starting her own queer book cover design studio one day.

You can find her as manicfemme on Bookstagram &Goodreads, and as manic_femme on Twitter. Her personal book blog is Manic Femme Reviews.

Emily reviews Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur – The Lesbrary

Emily reviews Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur –

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur (Amazon Affiliate Link)

This book is sold as Bridget Jones meets Pride and Prejudice, and it does have nods to both of those, but it’s a delightful story all of its own. The story begins with Darcy and Elle having a disastrous first date. However, Elle is working with Darcy’s brother, so they can’t just pretend it never happened. After Darcy pretends to her brother that it went well in order to stop him setting her up again, she has to persuade Elle to fake-date. If you’ve read much romance you can probably predict most of the plot from there–shenanigans as they play up the romance in public and the inevitable development of real feelings.

As ever with this trope the “reasons” they fake date are a little dubious, but in this case it made sense within the story. It helped that both Darcy and Elle were very well realised characters. At the start of the book, Darcy appears to be anti-social, particular about her life and married to her work. Elle seems like a fun-loving free spirit. However, throughout the book we learnt more and more about them and they both became increasingly complex. We got to dive quite deep into their characters and the way their personalities interacted. They were very different–the book had both of their points of view, which I loved–and the way their contrasting personalities gradually came to complement each other was really well done. You got to see opposite points of view on several topics, which was fun. Both of them were also really sweet and likeable. I found it impossible not to root for them. Their romance was also well developed. It was really shown how much the characters came to like each other as friends as well as just being attracted to each other. This is something I find is often underdone in romance books, so I was pleasantly surprised by how well it was done here.

I also loved that both of the characters had other problems that they were working through, and that they both developed throughout the story. There’s a storyline about Elle’s relationship with her family, her business and one about Darcy’s past relationships. I will say some of this I found to be less interesting than other bits–for example, there’s quite a lot of astrology in this book, which personally I’m not super interested in. On the other hand, neither was Darcy, so the book did acknowledge the sceptic point of view.

The story is obviously quite focused on Elle and Darcy, but the side characters that were introduced were also given a lot of personality and I enjoyed reading about all of them. Elle’s best friend Margot and Darcy’s brother Brendan get quite a bit of page time, and it was really enjoyable to see the different ways they acted and were perceived in each of the points of view. Bellefleur did a great job of avoiding some obvious cliches for these characters too. All of their actions felt extremely realistic and character driven, rather than just to drive forward the romance plot (which can be another common pitfall of romance books).

There is some miscommunication in this book, so be aware if that’s something you dislike in romances. However, it’s very minimal, and I think it was justified well by the character’s backstories.

Overall this was a lighthearted read that I got through very quickly, and the most enjoyable romance I’ve read in a while. If you’re looking for a sweet sapphic romance you should definitely pick this up when it comes out!

Dolly Parton has written a Christmas musical starring Christine Baranski

Dolly Parton has penned 14 songs for Christmas on the Square

It’s going to take a miracle to salvage the gender reveal party fire of a year that 2020 has been so far. And by miracle, we mean Dolly Parton and Christine Baranski.

The two gay icons are teaming up for a Christmas-themed Netflix movie musical – yes, you read all of those words right – to deliver what promises to be a spectacle camp enough to almost make up for the cancellation of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Dolly Parton and Christine Baranski team up for Christmas On The Square.

Dolly Parton has put her songwriting talent to work penning 14 original songs for the movie musical, Christmas On The Square, which is set to debut on Netflix on 22 November.

Directed and choreographed by Debbie Allen, the film sounds like a camper take of A Christmas Carol, featuring a Grinch-like rich woman (The Good Fight star Christine Baranski) who is preparing to screw over her local community by selling her father’s land to a property developer.

However, she undergoes a change-of-heart thanks to a rekindling romance and an encounter with an angel – played, of course, by Dolly Parton.

Dolly Parton has penned 14 songs for Christmas on the Square
Dolly Parton has penned 14 songs for Christmas on the Square

The cast for the upcoming film also includes Treat Williams (Blue Bloods), Josh Segarra (Orange Is the New Black) and Jeanine Mason (Roswell, New Mexico).

Singer surprises fans with new Christmas track… in September.

Dolly Parton will also release a new Christmas album, A Holly Dolly Christmas, to tie in with the film’s release – with title track “Christmas on the Square” already out.

Of course, fans noted, only Dolly Parton could get away with releasing a Christmas single in September.

One fan quipped: “She popped this song out so early nobody has had a chance to get Christmas music burnout yet!”

Another wrote: “I have said it before. Dolly for president!!”

Parton previously provided the soundtrack for 2018 Netflix movie Dumplin’, writing six songs for the occasion. Parton said one of her favourite parts of the film was a scene featuring drag queens.

She said: “I have a huge gay following and the drag queens have always loved me because they’re flamboyant and so am I, and it kind of gives them a little freedom, and they’ve always loved to dress like me because they can kind of over-exaggerate it.

“So I’m pleased and touched by that. I think it’s a form of flattery, and I’m excited about it.”

The US country artist has been a strong supporter of LGBT+ people for many years.

Lil Nas X has written the ‘best kids’ book of all time’

Lil Nas X book C is for Country

C is for Country by Lil Nas X will come out on January 5, 2021. (LilNasX/ Twitter)

Lil Nas X has written a children’s book in which he and Panini the pony embark “on a joyous journey through the alphabet”.

The “Old Town Road” singer, who came out as gay in July 2019, announced on Twitter: “I’m dropping the best kids book of all time soon! C IS FOR COUNTRY, out 5 January, 2021 from Random House Kids.

“I can’t wait to share it with you all.”

According to Random House, kids aged three to seven years old will be able to “join superstar Lil Nas X… and Panini the pony on a joyous journey through the alphabet from sunup to sundown”.

The blurb continues: “Experience wide-open pastures, farm animals, guitar music, cowboy hats, and all things country in this debut picture book that’s perfect for music lovers learning their ABCs and for anyone who loves Nas’s signature genre-blending style.”

C is for Country, illustrated by Theodore Taylor III, is “a celebration of song and the power inside us all” and will also feature “plenty of hidden surprises” for adult fans of the Grammy award-winning artist.

Although some Lil Nas X fans on Twitter were disappointed that he was announcing a picture book rather than his new album, which he insists is “98 per cent done”, others were convinced that C is for Country would be a “masterpiece”.

One Twitter user wrote: “I don’t have any kids or intend to for like 20 years so I will be reading this to my dogs.”

“I haven’t touched a book in years but I’ll do it for you king,” said another.

The LGBT+ community has been disappointed by certain children’s authors recently, so one Lil Nas X fan came up with an ingenious idea. They wrote: “[I’m] telling my kids this is who wrote Harry Potter.” 

Lil Nas X recently launched a spring clothing collection with designer Christian Cowan, the mastermind behind Lil Nas X’s 2019 VMAs outfit. 

In a joint interview about the collection for Vogue, the pair revealed that 100 per cent of proceeds will be donated to the Black trans community in Atlanta, Georgia, where Lil Nas X is from.