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Love Is Love!!! (GLBT Book Month Bonus Reviews)

Conscious Bias (Monica Spade #1)
Alexi Venice
Contemporary legal thriller(ish)  May 2019

Monica Spade is keeping a secret. To protect her chances of someday making partner at the prestigious law firm controlled by men whose attitudes are trapped in the homophobic hysteria of earlier centuries, she’s not “out” in her professional life. Conscious Bias mixes workplace drama, personal crossroads, small-town politics and quirky humor into serious social commentary about identity and power. Recurring minor comedic threads add lighthearted elements to this tale of many flawed aspects in the pursuit of justice in the United States. Some missing connective tissue in transitions and sudden swings in tone will likely smooth out in the second entry in this series that shows potential for greatness.

CrossFit, the irresistible allure of baked goods and alcoholic beverages, along with searching for love occupy Monica’s thoughts when she’s not negotiating through a minefield of sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia in her professional career. Treacherous office politics, questionable loyalties, all kinds of inappropriateness, and violent threats keep Monica scrambling from one crisis to another while exposure looms closer every day. Underlying all of the dynamic confrontations and snappy dialogue are these questions: Are non-hetero people obligated to disclose their sexual orientation to everyone? Why? That’s not an expectation imposed upon hetero people.

Monica’s internal brooding about “outing” herself in her professional life resonates as being authentic to present-day concerns. Her next case should lead to another engaging adventure for readers.

Undone by You (Chicago Rebels #3)
Kate Meader
Contemporary romance  March 2018

Dante Moretti is reserved. He’s older, wiser, and more experienced than gregarious Cade Burnett. Dante is also his boss. None of those facts stop Cade from pursuing Dante, who’s “out” when Cade is not. Their chemistry is too incendiary to resist. Their love story is emotionally nuanced, poignant, and filled with humorous charm. Set within the context of professional men’s hockey, Undone by You realistically depicts a broad range of attitudes from unconditional acceptance to virulent homophobia and rejection.

The Chase sisters, Chicago Rebels team members, families, and staff populate Kate Meader’s appealing universe filled with complicated people who love each other as passionately as they play to win in sports and in life. Being a novella instead of a novel is this story’s only shortcoming.


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