Hello, my name is Brandon and… I read romance novels. There. I said it. I feel better.
Of course I’m just being dramatic. Enjoying a good romance novel is nothing to be ashamed of. There is, however, the occasional raised eyebrow should one decide to read a romance on the bus, on break at work, or in other social settings. After all, those flashy, airbrushed covers with bare torsos are designed to be eye-catching (see below). But worry no more! Many of the best and newest romances are now available to be downloaded as e-books –free of charge– from the GPL. Now you can enjoy your favorite romances with all the anonymity provided by your e-reader. One such title at the GPL is This Little Whatever by Nicole Forcine.
In This Little Whatever, Jonathan Mendoza is a twenty-nine-year-old travelling performer, a professional belly dancer and street smart vagabond. He literally lives out of his duffle bag and parties nightly with a crowd that gets younger every year. He also tries to live up to a promise he made to his sick mother: to change his lifestyle and live sober. This proves to be easier said than done.
Dean Winters is a successful, conservative professional with a secret and tortured past. He is also in his late twenties and trying hard to enrich his anemic social life. Jonathan and Dean’s lifestyles collide, literally and figuratively, when Dean bowls into Jonathan before a performance. Boy meets boy. But will boy keep boy?
Told from Jonathan’s perspective, This Little Whatever is more than a fleshy fantasy. It’s also a tenderly told story about what makes a good friendship, how people recover from trauma, the value of family, the costs and risks of entering a certain social scene (or leaving another one), and balancing responsibilities to others with taking care of oneself.
Published by Dreamspinner Press, This Little Whatever is just one bright star in an ever-expanding galaxy of gay/queer themed romances available through this publisher. They boast a catalog of well over 2,000 titles written by more than 500 authors from six different continents. They also operate three distinct imprints: Dreamspinner Press, specializing in gay romance; Harmony Ink Press, devoted to LGBTQ+ Young Adult fiction; and DSP Publications, a boutique publisher of specialty genre fiction.
Bottom Line: This Little Whatever is a rollicking read for anyone who loves navigating the twists and turns of a burgeoning out-of-the-box (and out-of-the-closet) romance. Four out of five stars.
Speaking of new romances, this year the GPL is partnering with Out On The Shelf (OOTS) to highlight and promote queer-themed/LGBTQA literature and resources. Expect to see more outreach, events, and services including the addition of a special collection to the GPL’s catalogue.