Review: The Queer Principles of Kit Webb (Spoiler light)

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Hey all! Welcome back to Not Just a Buzzword. Today, we have a review of the upcoming book by Cat Sebastian, ‘The Queer Principles of Kit Webb”. Its a lovely tale in Cat’s signature soft romance style, with a little bit of tension and a stage coach robbery to keep it lively.

But first, content warnings and trigger warnings: Discussion of past deaths, oppression based on class, loss of a child and a spouse off page, infidelity, family conflict, deceit, some period typical homophobic language, blood and injury of main characters (they do not die however).

We open the book with an introduction to our title character, a Mr. Kit Webb who currently operates a coffeehouse. However, prior to this staid and respectable life, Kit Webb plundered the pockets of particular aristocrats under the psuedonym Gladhand Jack. After a bullet wound goes untreated too long, he’s forced to make his front of a coffee shop into an actual business, but darn if he doesn’t like it. Along with his friend, advice giver and occasional fence, Betty, they’ve made it a going concern for the radicals of town.

As he tries to settle into this new life like a pair of shoes that are too tight, Edmund Percy sweeps in, scattering his vague thoughts of peace out to sea. Between his intense dandified attire, his fetching stockings and his winning conversation, Kit is far too interested for him to be comfortable. But he clearly doesn’t belong in this sort of place, so suspicion has to arise.

Edmund has found out some family secrets that are about to come to roost, courtesy of a oddly friendly blackmailer. Between him and his childhood friend, Marian, who has by some turn of events that is not explained, also become his stepmother, they are determined to find a way to save their reputations and skins, even if it means turning to a notorious highwayman to get a certain cherished green book of Edmund’s mother’s away from his father.

I won’t go too far into detail, because the fun of this book is also in its little twists and turns as they wander along the path to larceny and love. Its a fun romp, as I can usually be guaranteed with a book from Cat. Tons of witty banter, lots of heated glances and some truly inventive flirting. Also, watching Kit come to terms and find his way through his new life with a disability was a breath of fresh air and useful. Cat always does disability rep well and I’m glad to see this trend continuing.

The one critique I would say is that there seem to be a lot of loose ends in this book that make me hope we’re getting a book about Marian and her love interest next. There are so many questions about how Edmund and Marian found Kit, why she married Edmund’s father, and why some of the events towards the end of the book played out as they did. I found myself wanting to write down all my questions, so clearly, I am caught but I sort of wish there had been an answer or two more about Marian.

I hope we’ll get answers later, but I am definitely eagerly awaiting them. Until next time,

Not Just a Buzzword

UPDATE: After writing this review, I learned that Marian’s book is already written. Sooooo excited!!!

*I received an Arc of this book to read in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Can’t Escape Love (Spoilers!)

A black woman with natural hair, wearing jeans and a yellow top, sits in a wheelchair at a table holding a spoon up. An East Asian man sits next to her with his arm around her, with his spoon in the sundae they appear to be sharing. They are looking at each other and smiling.

So I was going to try to do a spoiler free review of this one, but there’s too much to squee about and I need to do specifics. So those who hate spoilers, you’ve been warned.

First, content  and trigger warnings. Examples and discussion of past experiences of ableism. Family conflict and difficulty accepting diagnoses. Parents who split their children on good and bad axis and have to be schooled to stop. Boundary problems among family members. 

Ok, so, first. What rates this being on this blog, besides being written by Alyssa Cole, who is one of our queens of diverse romance (we’re not worthy…we’re not worthy). First, the main character is a black woman in a wheelchair, the lovely twin sister of Portia (from a Duke by Default). Her name is Regina (but she goes by Reggie) and she is hysterical, lovely and unapologetic. She also has the coolest wheels ever.

The love interest for the story is an autistically coded Vietnamese-American man named Gustave (who goes by Gus) and to be frank, I just wanted to cuddle him so much. Both of them actually. Blanket forts. I had a lot of feelings.

Ok, so Reggie and Gus go way back on the internet, when he used to do puzzles and stream and she was his only subscriber. Its like the 21st century meet cute and I love it. His voice used to lull her to sleep but at some point, he stopped doing the streams and deleted all the recordings.

And now Reggie can’t sleep. So she does the totally irrational but sort of logical thing and seeks him out via the internet (with help from Portia) and emails him to ask if she can pay him to speak so she can go to sleep.

Right after I died laughing from this part and resurrected, I dived back in. Gus takes this all with stride and they manage to work things out so that Reggie can get some sleep and Gus can…hang out? He’s not getting a ton from the arrangement in the beginning but that doesn’t seem to bug him much.

But of course, inevitably, the pants feelings start. And its so funny. They make so much sense together, but they’re also so lovingly awkward. Not like Ben Stiller, where you wish you could poke your eyeballs out to stop watching this, but more like Chandler Bing on a good day, trying to do something nice and failing to not be weird about it.

That’s oddly specific. Anyhow! So they’re cute and they’re getting interested and the inevitable twists come, which I will leave to you.

But they watch anime together and talk about OTP’s and Reggie is a total fangirl and Gus  loves puzzles and they don’t infantilize each other and its just so cute and pure.

Why are you still reading me? Go read this. You won’t regret it. My only regret is that its a novella and not a full length book cause I would read that so fast.

4.75 stars, cause my heart wanted more of these two and I still keep looking back to see if I actually got to the end.

Until next time,

Not Just a Buzzword

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review and I desperately hope they keep giving them to me cause I kind of have a book problem and this is a decent solution.