Another queer, cozy reads entry? Heck yes! But this time, I’m making it historical (because apparently I am a sucker for both manners, bending societal rules, and queer people finding friends and love in times when you couldn’t be so open).
I am apparently a one trick pony when I find an author I really like. I am also weak for roguish characters. And grumpy characters who melt under better/the right treatment. It’s classic KJ Charles but, like with many of her books, takes a fun spin on tropes and makes for a delightful read that is perfect for curling up with. Her characters also always feel so real, and I do find that to be rather rare in most fiction in general, but especially in genres like romance and fantasy. So take one part “I know you are fortune hunting my niece”, add in a brewery, a socially awkward noble, a brother and sister pair of “nobodies” named (get this) Robin and Marianne Loxleigh (readers, I CHORTLED), and add in some lovely, swoony m/m romance and you have totally delightful read.
Also intensely delightful is the first book in the Pentecost and Parker series by Stephen Spotswood! We’ve got a queer character, a character suffering from MS, a mystery, and a fun, clever romp through post World War II New York. There aren’t really romantic aspects, so as much as I am a sucker for a queer love story, the focus here is really on the mystery of a young woman who was bludgeoned to death. But even the set up is kind of cozy – Will’s knife throwing skills she learned in the circus saved Lillian’s life, and with Lillian’s progressive MS diagnosis, she needs more help in the day-to-day of her private investigator business. Three years later, Will is solidly Lillian’s right-hand woman and they make a good mystery solving pair. But Will’s attraction to the deceased’s daughter might make her the next target for the killer.
Remember I said one trick pony when I have an author I really like? I’m also a huge Cat Sebastian fan and her newest book is so damn delightful. (Also, the cover has a more modern rom-com style to it and I LOVE that for this book.) You’re poised, at the beginning, to think one of our leads, Percy, might be a bit of a jerk. He’s definitely not, but he has a manner of seduction about him that certainly isn’t quite what Kit is expecting. Especially not when it walks into his coffee shop like a far too well-dressed noble who only has eyes for Kit as he slings caffeine to his regulars. But Percy needs Kit, because Kit used to be known as Gladhand Jack, an infamous highwayman, and Percy needs to steal a book from his (real piece of shit) father. The book was his mother’s and holds some secrets Percy needs access to. Kit refuses the job, but he does try to teach Percy how to conduct the theft on his own. Readers, it is so fun and kind of campy and sweet and sexy and it’s the perfect cozy read.