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Episode Info: April was our most downloaded month ever. Thank you to our listeners! Jeff and Will discuss their upcoming travel schedule. They will be at the Romance Writers of America national conference, Podcast Movement, Dreamspinner’s Author Conference and GayRomLit. Jeff reviews Top Secret by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy and Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. Jeff interviews Casey about her debut novel. They talk about the inspiration for Red, White & Royal Blue and the impact the 2016 election had on the story.  In addition, they discuss the recently announced movie adaptation, what got Casey into writing romance and what she’s working on next. Complete shownotes for episode 187 along with a transcript of the interview are at BigGayFictionPodcast.com. Here’s the text of this week’s book reviews: Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. Reviewed by Jeff. I’ve been a huge fan of Sarina Bowen’s for some years now. Her Understatement of the Year is among my favorite books of all time and I also love Him and Us which were co-written with Elle Kennedy. Sarina and Elle are back with their first m/m romance in three years with Top Secret. They’ve written an extremely satisfying enemies to lovers romance that sizzles but also has some extremely sweet parts as well. Keaton’s a college junior from a privileged family whose been with his girlfriend since high school. For her birthday, she announces that she wants a threesome. After brief thought Keaton agrees. He lives in a frat house where one of his frat brothers is Luke. Luke basically keeps to himself barely gets along with anyone in the house. Luke’s a townie, going to school on an academic scholarship and as a despicable mom and older brother who only want to take advantage of him. He lives in the frat because it’s cheaper than a dorm and he’s running for president because that means free room. Keaton looks to an app to help find the right guy for this birthday present. He signs in as LobsterShorts and soon ends up talking to SinnerThree. Once SinnerThree finds out it’s Keaton’s first three way, he wants to make sure Keaton would be cool with him in the mix and to start considering what the rules would be. SinnerThree even gives sexy homework. This gets Keaton thinking because he’s buried his feelings about guys for a long time. Of course, SinnerThree is Luke, who lives right across the hall. What makes this book work so extraordinarily well is the two sides of Luke and Keaton we see between their public personas and their chats on the app. Luke wants to escape the town and the life he’s known growing up. He strives to excel in school so he can get the high-paying job and never be reliant on anybody again. Meanwhile, Keaton knows he’s got all the privilege but he also chafes at the expectations that his family and friends put on him and he keeps all that to himself because it’s what he’s supposed to do. When they’re chatting as SinnerThree and ...
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