Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Guest Movie Review: Personal Shopper

photo source - do not own
Hey everyone! I have Catherine Hume back again with another guest post. This time she's reviewing the movie Personal Shopper, which stars Kristen Stewart. Give her a big welcome and comment below! To learn more about the film, go here.

My!  Hasn't Kristen Stewart grown?!

I've just seen the art house film Personal Shopper starring Kristen Stewart, and I can say her abilities as an actor have clearly flourished.  Admittedly I may be behind the curve because I've only seen Kristen Stewart in the Twilight films (my best friend fancied Stewart), and I know I wasn't the only one who found Stewart's acting in the Twilight films wooden - so wooden that Bella Swan may as well  have been played by a peg on a stick.  Watching Stewart's performance in Personal Shopper was a welcome surprise.  In this film, Stewart's acting was realistic, nuanced and human.

Personal Shopper is "another Black Swan" as my beautiful husband called it.  There were several storylines in this film.  The most the viewer can follow easily are that Kristen Stewart plays Maureen, an American in Paris, a personal shopper, whose twin brother Lewis died of a condition she also has.  Then we find that Maureen and Lewis were both mediums and Maureen is trying to exorcise the house he lived in.  Then it all gets a bit complicated - another Black Swan.  What is real and what is perhaps not becomes confused and like Black Swan and that other famous gay/bisexual film The Talented Mr Ripley, at the end of the film the viewer is left with more questions than answers.  Perhaps this is what defines a film as a good art house film?

As LGBT people, we know that when we are not constantly looking over our shoulders for lesbo/homo/bi/transphobia our minds are freed to excel.  Maybe this is what happened with Kristen Stewart?  She is no longer the wooden, blank actor who played Bella Swan so miserably but an actor in the truest of senses. 

In Personal Shopper Maureen's sexual orientation is not discussed.  However, throughout the film, all I could think when I looked at Stewart's various outfits was, "You're looking very Shane today!"  (L Word fans, welcome.)  That little pony tail Stewart wears that is similar to the one Shane rocked at the end of Series 4.  That slouch beanie that is welded to Shane's head for half of Series 6.  The vest tops under T-shirst and NO BRAS.  Shane.

With this being an art house film, it's possible it's slipped under your radar.  My advice:  seek it out!  For me, this film was a nice surprise, and as a bi woman I thought it was great to see Kristen Stewart doing so well in such a rich and complex film.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rainbow Roundup: Noteworthy, Finding Nevo, and More!

I'm back with another Rainbow Roundup. Check out all the LGBT+ posts and book reviews below. Anything look interesting? I'm so glad you all are enjoying these!

Books for a Delicate Eternity reviewed/discusses Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (YA, bisexual MC, etc.)

Crushingcinders reviewed Noteworthy by Riley Redgate as well

Books for a Delicate Eternity also reviewed Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin (LGBT+ memoir)

Readers in Wonderland talks about 5 LGBT+ Books They Need to Read

It Starts at Midnight has a guest post from author Julie Ember about The Seafarer's Kiss (F/F romance)

Pink Polka Dot Books interviewed Cale Dietrich, author of The Love Interest (YA, M/M)

Night Owl Book Cafe reviewed The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (MC's sister is a lesbian)

Happily Ever Chapter reviewed My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen by David Clawson (YA, M/M)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Etsy Pride: Hair Ties and Cat Shirts!

I thought it was about time that I did another Etsy Pride! Hope you enjoy!

Do you use these fun hair ties? Now you can get a Pride Hair Tie set for around $3. It's being sold by BuiltByBesties.

Have pride? Love cats? Check out this Purride t-shirt starting at $24.99 and made by OhMyPawd.

I never want to overload you with items at one time, so we'll leave it at two! What do you think of these items? Would you buy for yourself, or someone you know?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Back Piece by L.A. Witt

Back Piece by L.A. Witt

Review by Lauren
source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Colin Spencer is a tattoo artist with a past he’d prefer to keep a secret. Actually, he has a few secrets that he’d rather people didn’t know about, which is why Colin doesn’t do commitment. But when a shy sailor approaches him at the gym, Colin finds this guy pushing all his buttons.
Growing up in a conservative family, then escaping with the Navy, Daniel Moore is an unsure virgin who feels like he can’t share his true self with anyone. Seeing Colin—and his tattoos—at the gym are the sign Daniel needs to finally get those tattoos he’s always wanted, and maybe try his hand at flirting.
As Colin and Daniel spend more time together, their awkward hesitations turn into a deep passion neither expected. But with both men harboring secrets, will their relationship be able to survive their insecurities and become something beautiful?
Review: I've read other books by Witt in the past, and they are definitely an author I love. Back Piece was just another book full of great characters and if you like men in uniform, Daniel is in the Navy! 
In simple terms, this book is about Colin Spencer who is a tattoo artist with a lot of difficulties in his past that will always affect him. As for Daniel, he joined the Navy to get away from his family - who he loves, but they don't know he's gay. Because of his upbringing, Colin has never really been with a guy, so when he meets Colin, he's definitely nervous to know that Colin has a lot more experience than he does.
What I loved about these two guys is that neither of them made each other feel bad about their past or shortcomings. Colin was patient with Daniel when it came to the physical nature of their relationship and he didn't want Daniel to come out to his parents until he was truly ready. At the same time, Daniel listens to Colin's confessions and revelations about his past without judging him or making him feel bad. They definitely work together well.
Back Piece is an enjoyable read. I felt like you really got to know Colin and Daniel -and the secondary characters in their lives - and it was a nice balance between the overall story line and the romance between the two.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Cask Strength by Layla Reyne

Cask Strength by Layla Reyne

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Professionally, the FBI team of Aidan "Irish" Talley and Jameson "Whiskey" Walker is as good as it gets, closing cases faster than any team at the Bureau. Personally, it’s a different story. Aidan’s feelings for Jamie scare the hell out of him: he won’t risk losing another love no matter how heart-tripping the intimacy between them. And loss is a grim reality with the terrorist Renaud still on their trail, leaving a pile of bodies in his wake.

Going undercover on a new case gets them out of town and off the killer's radar. They're assigned to investigate an identity theft ring involving a college basketball team in Jamie's home state, where Jamie's past makes him perfect for the role of coach. But returning to the court brings more than old memories.

As secrets and shocking betrayals abound, none may be more dangerous than the one Jamie’s been keeping: a secret about the death of Aidan’s husband that could blow his partner's world apart and destroy forever the fragile bonds of trust and love building between them.

Review: This is actually the second book in the Agents Irish and Whiskey series. I feel like I've been saying this a lot, but I requested it not realizing there was a book before this one - with the same  characters. While it's something I'd like to read at some point, I didn't feel lost starting with the second book. There is an overarching mystery that the author does a good job filling you in on, and then there is a more prominent mystery that is unique to this particular book. As for Irish and Whiskey, this is the book where the two finally start to admit to more than physical attraction for each other. Well, Whiskey has long fallen for Irish, but after losing his husband, Irish isn't so sure he can handle getting too close to anyone else.

I thought the partnership between these two men was great. Yes, they had the romance element, but in general, they fit well together. They always had each other's back and genuinely cared about the other's safety and well being. The mysteries in the book were well done and I never really knew what was happening throughout. It kept me in suspense and happy to read. The overarching mystery has new layers added to it in this book, which will be focused on in the third book. As for the mystery for this particular book, everything is revealed and wrapped up, so all in all, there isn't much of a cliffhanger. Granted, I still can't wait for the next book!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Faking It by Christine d'Abo

Faking It by Christine d'Abo 

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley/publisher; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryMax Tremblay should be happy. His night club, Frantic, is one of the most popular gay clubs in Toronto, and his childhood refuge, Ringside Gym, is well on the way to reopening. But when he finds yet another drunk in the alley beside the bar, Max isn’t sure this is the life he truly wants.

Grady Barnes has it all. He’s rich, famous, and wants for nothing. Well, nothing but a good relationship with his father. When he discovers that his father is going to force him into an arranged marriage, Grady has had enough. He tracks down Max, the man who got him to safety after a night of overindulgence, and makes him a proposal: pretend to be his fiancĂ© for two weeks and he’ll invest in Ringside Gym.

When the pair travel to Vancouver to attend a family wedding, the flames of their mutual attraction ignite, and they discover that the only difference between pretend and reality is how well they can fake it.

Review: Faking It is the second book in the Ringside Romance series and I loved it just as much as the first. You could read these out of order, but I suggest reading them all because they are great, plus the first couple appears a bit in Faking It so it's nice to know who they are and how they got together.

With Faking It, we got the whole "fake fiance" trope. I tend to see this more in things like Hallmark films than in books. We all know that the book will end with the two characters actually getting together, but isn't that true of almost all romance books? Basically, the trope didn't bother me. It wasn't like Max and Grady had it easy.

I loved getting to know Max more - he's in the first book a bit - and meeting Grady for the first time. Both of them have very different backgrounds and stations in life, but they understand each other too. Max wants someone to take care of him sometimes, and Grady wants to be the one who is trusted to take care of someone. They both have "problems" so to speak with their fathers, though Grady's is more long-running and contentious.

I thought it was great how the author showed the two characters getting to really know each other while faking their engagement. The book showed that while it may have been quick, it's possible to love someone in a short span of time.

I can't wait for the third Ringside Romance book! Definitely check these out so you're all caught up for the next release! 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Twitter Follower Giveaway!

Hey everyone!

I wanted to let you know that I finally reached 3k followers on Twitter and that means it's Giveaway time!

The prize is $25 USD paid to you through PayPal. If you have PayPal, you can enter, but if your currency is not USD, please note it might not equal the same amount.

You have until May 31 to enter and all you have to do is follow me on Twitter and RT the giveaway post (it's pinned to the top). Find me here.

Sorry for the lack of posts last week! I try and get in about three every week, if I can. I'm reading a lot of LGBT+ books at the moment though so be ready for more posts to come up!