Stories for Coffee blog BLOG
IMDB Summary: In the late 1970s two FBI agents expand criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder and getting uneasily close to all-too-real monsters.
Creator: Joe Penhall
Starring: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Hannah Gross
Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Content Warning: Suicide (Ep. 1 a few minutes in), murder, mentions of rape, depictions of violence, gore, alcohol, drugs
DIVERSE READ: #Ownvoices Puerto Rican MC
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Synopsis: Natasha Díaz is having a day. She’s trying to prove she can make it as a professional dancer, but she’s overworked, out of cash, and her roommate has just moved out. When she comes home to find a hole in her ceiling and her bedroom flooded, she’s desperate enough to crash with the one guy she can’t quit. She accepts his offer with one condition: no sleeping together while she’s living with him.
Dimitri Kovalenko has never lived with a woman before. But when Tasha’s in need of a place to stay, he suggests she move in without a second thought. He accepts her condition, hoping she won’t stick to it. They’re good together, both in the ballroom and the bedroom. Since their first dance, she’s never been far from his thoughts. Sure, she’s a pro and he’s one of her show’s judges, but they’re not currently filming, so no one needs to know.
Living in close quarters shows Dimitri a side of Natasha he’s never seen before, and he likes it. A lot. Too bad she’s doing everything in her power to keep him at arm’s length. When an injury forces Natasha to take it easy or risk her ability to dance, it’s his chance to show her that the rules have changed, and she can trust him with her heart. More
DIVERSE READ: Gay MC + Bisexual MC
Genres: Romance, M/M, Contemporary
Synopsis: At twenty-three, Poe Montgomery is going nowhere. He still lives in his father’s basement and spends most of his time tagging with his friends. When an arrest lands him in debt, Poe accepts the front desk job at Permanent Ink, the tattoo shop owned by his father’s best friend, Jericho McAslan. Jericho is nearly twice Poe’s age, but with his ink and prematurely graying hair, he quickly takes the starring role in Poe’s hottest fantasies.
Jericho is known for his ability to transform poorly designed tattoos into works of art, but he was once as aimless and misdirected as Poe. Wanting to pay it forward the way someone once did for him, Jericho makes Poe his apprentice and is determined to keep things strictly professional. Easier said than done when Poe makes his interest—and his daddy kink—abundantly clear.
Jericho can’t resist Poe or their intense chemistry for long. But between the age gap, tension with Poe’s father, and Poe’s best friend calling him a sellout, they’ll need to ensure they’re both on the same page before they can rewrite their rocky start into something permanent. More
Here’s another installment to my Who Tells Our Stories photo / interview series highlighting diverse readers and the diverse stories that represent their identities! Today I’m interviewing Shauna, to ask her about diverse literature and how she feels represented in the book she has chosen to be photographed with.
(A FULL EXPLANATION FOR THE PHOTO SERIES IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS INTERVIEW.)
Book title: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Shauna’s review of We Are Okay: https://b00kwitch.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/book-review-we-are-okay/
Halloween is just around the corner, and I thought it was the perfect time to recommend some of my favorite movies, shows, and books that get me into the spooky spirit. These recommendations center mostly around thrillers rather than horror because, frankly, horror doesn’t appeal to me at all. So here are some thrilleresque forms of media that I adore all year round, but especially in the month of October. More
DIVERSE READ: #Ownvoices Puerto Rican MC
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Synopsis: Gina Morales wants to win. It’s her fifth season on The Dance Off, a top-rated network TV celebrity dance competition, and she’s never even made it to the finals. When she meets her latest partner, she sees her chance. He’s handsome, rippling with muscles, and he stars on the popular Alaskan wilderness reality show Living Wild. With his sexy physique and name recognition, she thinks he’s her ticket to the finals—until she realizes they’re being set up.
Stone Nielson hates Los Angeles, he hates reality TV, and he hates that fact that he had to join the cast of the The Dance Off because of family obligations. He can’t wait to get back to Alaska, but he also can’t deny his growing attraction to his bubbly Puerto Rican dance partner. Neither of them are looking for romantic entanglements, and Stone can’t risk revealing his secrets, but as they heat up the dance floor, it’s only a matter of time until he feels an overwhelming urge to take the lead.
When the tabloids catch on to their developing romance, the spotlight threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their careers and their shot at the trophy. Gina and Stone will have to decide if their priorities lie with fame, fortune, or the chance at a future together.
My thoughts: Take the Lead is an adorable quick read centered around a celebrity dance competition and Gina and Stone’s quick connection that draws them closer together. Gina is a professional dancer, hoping to make it big in LA, and Stone is a gruff and quiet reality show celebrity who is only taking part in this competition to win money for his family. Together they form a bond that is indescribable and their chemistry is something they can’t ignore as they try their hardest to win the dance competition, against all odds.
DIVERSE READ: Latinx characters + Bisexual MC + Genderqueer side character
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQIAP+
Summary: Love grows such strange things.
For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.
The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.
My thoughts: Hands down, this is by far the most beautifully written and atmospheric novel that I have ever read. This is my first McLemore novel that I have picked up and the prose and magical realism that was woven into this narrative gripped my attention and made me awestruck that someone can write a story so vividly as McLemore did. From the moment the story began, I fell in love with each Nomeolvides girl who used their fantastical powers in order to create endless amounts of flowers. I adored every second of this novel, simply because every scene was described in such a gripping and wondrous way that made me feel as though I were transported to another world. More
Synopsis: Kayla Sinclair is a saint and real life Angel.
She wears her heart on her sleeve and inspires me to be a better person.
Rescuing dogs, feeding the homeless, volunteering at the local food pantry are just a few of the ways she gives back to others, although no one has ever been there for her.
Falling for her was inevitable, losing her will destroy me.
Letting someone in didn’t come easy, but she made me want to try for the first time in years.
Her bubbling personality and kind spirit make it impossible to forget a girl like her.
But when tragedy strikes and she loses all memory that our relationship ever existed, my worst nightmare comes to life.
I’ll do anything to remind her of the love we shared. I know it’ll be an uphill battle, but I won’t walk away without a fight. Whoever said all is fair in love and war never played by my rules.
My thoughts: Kennedy Fox knows how to grip a reader and keep them on their toes, when reading a sequel. I loved following Logan and Kayla as they fell in love in This is Dangerous, and I loved seeing their relationship shift and develop in this novel as well. Logan was such a sweet character and I loved how Kayla grew and gained confidence while chasing her dreams. One thing I really enjoyed, besides the character development, was seeing Logan interact with his daughter who played a large role in the story. All the relationships shown in this novel were so wonderful to read about, and I only wish that I got to see more of their lives. More
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult
Summary: A Hotheaded Prisoner
They say she’s mad—made of madness, made of fire. In a cage by the sea, Flare dreams of escape. She yearns for the day when she’ll flee to a place only she knows, a hidden world of mystical waters and gilded sands.
The island is calling to her. And she won’t let anyone keep her from it.
Especially not him.
A Coldhearted Prince
They say he’s cruel—crowned of cruelty, as cold as ice. A prince whose gaze cuts like the incisions he administers within his lab. Jeryn has sailed beyond his kingdom for the Trade, to bargain for those wild, imprisoned fools that make his skin crawl.
By law, they’re subjects meant for experimentation. And easy to despise.
One in particular. A girl seething at him from behind bars, with burning eyes and ready fists.
A Mythical Shipwreck
But on the cusp of transport, the tide rages. That uncharted island awaits, a dark tangle of foliage where creatures slither in the mist and poisons lurk in the flora.
Stranded, the prince and prisoner must fight to survive. In this mysterious rainforest, they must band together . . . if they don’t slay one another first. Or become something more to each other.
Something just as dangerous.
*Second book in a duology: same universe, different couple. Can be read as a standalone, though it’s recommended to read TRICK first. Mature YA: sexual content and language. Intended for readers 17 and older.*
My thoughts: Dare uses one of my favorite tropes which is when two people who are polar opposites are stranded somewhere and have to rely on each other to survive. Specific, I know, but some books do use this trope, and Dare delivered it perfectly while also speaking out about society’s views of mental illnesses. It was such an interesting mix of survival and two characters learning and changing over the time they spent together on this mystical island. More