Blog Tour and Book Review: The Love Study by Kris Ripper
I’m trying to step out of my ‘comfort zone’ of m/f romances and I am so glad I chanced to see this one and request to give it a try. It’s the first m/gq romance I’ve had an opportunity to read and I really, really enjoyed it. (Note, I’m not saying nonbinary or enby because Sidney explicitly states that they identify as genderqueer rather than nonbinary).
Declan, the first-person protagonist, is a queer white man with a major romantic disaster in his past - he literally left his last boyfriend at the altar, and his friends have a horrible habit of introducing him to potential love interests by telling them about it. Sidney, however, is first introduced as a potential partner for a different member of their little gang of ‘misfits’. Strongly attracted to them, Declan is nevertheless put off by Sidney’s rejection of ‘dating’ as a premise. The two end up collaborating on Sidney’s relationship-advice-for-queers Youtube show as Declan volunteers to go on dates as a case study, and things progress fairly predictably from there as Declan eventually declares his feelings for Sidney.
This was… pretty early in the book, surprisingly early, in fact. And that’s because Declan is an absolute disaster with no idea how to have an actual relationship, and though Sidney is somewhat more together, they are actually uncomfortable trying to do conventional dating, and the two of them end up with massively crossed wires through failures to communicate. They’re cute and messy and adorable and I was massively rooting for the pair of them to get together and just talk it out (which of course, because this is a romance, they eventually do).
While this is a sex-positive book, the actual sex scenes are closed door, which I actually think was really nicely done; it avoided going into any specifics about Sidney’s body in particular which fit well with the way their gender identity was respected (and was what I’d expect from a nonbinary author). This is probably the most diversely-cast book you’ll read in a while, too; almost everyone is queer and there’s lots of racial diversity, and it doesn’t feel in the least forced. Because marginalized people do form friendship groups with other marginalized people. With the queer, BIPOC, fat and disabled. It felt normal and wonderful and there was a beautiful sense of found-family to it. I was delighted to see that another of the friendship group in Oscar is getting their own story next in the series, and I hope Mason gets a book too.
Five stars for a gorgeous queer romance, and I’ll definitely be looking for more by this author.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.