Ep #204


This week Sarah Jean concludes our Friends to Lovers theme with special guest librarian and reviewer Anna Clutterbuck-Cook and debate the inherent queerness of the trope


> SARAH JEAN (she/her) From the woods of Massachusetts, Sarah Jean has been reading queer romance for 12 years. She runs a queer book club called Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts (https://www.facebook.com/rainbowreadersmass/) that celebrates queer lives, joy, and empowerment through genre fiction. When not reading or listening to books Sarah is plotting her queer historical romances, cuddling with her cats, and planning her next adventure. Follow Sarah on Twitter @queer_reader


ANNA CLUTTERBUCK-COOK (she/her) is queer feminist, fanfic writer, historian, reference librarian, romance reader, and crafter. She works at the Massachusetts Historical Society and reviews fiction and nonfiction for a variety of outlets including Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. She lives in the Boston area with her wife and two cats. You can visit Anna’s website at https://thefeministlibrarian.com/ and follow Anna on Twitter @feministlib and on Instagram @feministlib_amsewing



NOTE: These notes include affiliate links to Bookshop.org and Amazon.com to support the RBP transcript project

NOTE: This episode was recorded in mid-August during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020

NOTE: This episode opens with a dedication to Corey Alexander who sadly passed away in mid-August shortly before this episode was recorded

> The Stucky fanfic Sarah mentions, entitled Truth May Vary, can be found here:

Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/11818410/chapters/26665734

> Here’s Anna’s blog post on the subject of same-sex friendships and crushes under heteronorms

Link: https://thefeministlibrarian.com/2013/03/26/comment-post-friendships-crushes-and-heteronormativity/

> Per Anna, Cat Sebastian did point out that F2L can reinforce heteronorms by privileging sexual/romantic relationships over friendship that doesn’t have sexual intimacy (https://twitter.com/CatSWrites/status/1290268103947952134) which is a completely valid counterpoint

> Related Twitter threads: 

>> 1st thread: https://twitter.com/feministlib/status/1289976686461640704

>> 2nd thread: https://twitter.com/feministlib/status/1292600192542355457

> Anna mentions A Lady’s Desire by Lily Maxton

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3cQD4yt

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42627239-a-lady-s-desire

NOTE: This book was previously discussed in RBP ep #113

> Anna mentions Documenting Light by E.E. Ottoman

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3kYzl4r

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31764286-documenting-light

> Title: Two Rogues Make a Right (Seducing the Sedwicks #3)

Author: Cat Sebastian

Relation to theme: Will & Martin, childhood friends to lovers

Representation: Queer author, queer MCs

Content Warnings: MC with tuberculosis, MC with PTSD due to time in the Navy; MC with opium/laudanum addiction; death of parent (past); discussion of sexual abuse of a minor (past, not main MCs)

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-sarah-jean-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3cAOENS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52737554-two-rogues-make-a-right

NOTE: Cat Sebastian appeared as a guest on RBP ep #108

> Title: Take a Hint, Dani Brown (Brown Sisters #2)

Author: Talia Hibbert

Relation to theme: Danika & Zafir, friends to friends with benefits to lovers, fake dating

Representation: Black, queer, autistic author, queer MC, Black MC, Pakistani MC

Content Warnings: death of father and brother (past), anxiety, evil ex

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-sarah-jean-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3cAOuGg

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48568248-take-a-hint-dani-brown

NOTE: Zafir is Pakistani

> Title: Leo Loves Aries (Signs of Love #1)

Author: Anyta Sunday

Relation to theme: Theo & Jamie, college friends to lovers

Representation: Queer MCs

Content Warnings: fear of water/past near drowning 

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-sarah-jean-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3mZNHDt

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33267481-leo-loves-aries

> Title: Out of Nowhere

Author: Felicia Davin

Relation to theme: Aidan & Caleb, childhood friends to lovers, fake dating

Representation: Queer author, queer MCs

Content Warnings: main character survives a horrific science experiment including starvation, violation of bodily integrity (past), death of a parent (past), non-consensual sedation, mentions of needles, prejudice (against people who can teleport), physical violence, murder

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-sarah-jean-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2S7XNnu

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48708199-out-of-nowhere

NOTE: Felicia Davin appeared as a guest on RPB ep #116

> Title: The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows (Feminine Pursuits #2)

Author: Olivia Waite

Relation to theme: Agatha & Penelope, friends to lovers

Representation: Queer MCs

Content Warnings: homophobia, alcohol, death of a loved one

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-sarah-jean-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/30dzucC

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48989837-the-care-and-feeding-of-waspish-widows

> Title: For Better or Worse

Author: R. Cooper

Relation to theme: Javier & Jimmy, friends and neighbors to lovers

Representation: Queer MCs

Content Warnings: none identified

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2G49lpL

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35688906-for-better-or-worse

> Title: Mooncakes

Author: Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

Relation to theme: Tam & Nova, childhood friends to lovers

Representation: Queer MCs, Chinese-American MCs, hearing-impared MC, non-binary MC, Jewish rep

Content Warnings: parental death, cult-related abuse, magic possession  

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-sarah-jean-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/36goXRx

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54482408-mooncakes

> Sarah Jean mentions building a Sukkah, a traditional structure built in observance of the Jewish holiday Sukkoh

Link: https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2010/09/23/130078125/sukkah

Link: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/sukkot-101/

> Title: Behind These Doors

Author: Jude Lucens

Relation to theme: Aubrey Fanshawe & Lord and Lady Hernedale, childhood friends to lovers, polyamory

Representation: Black, queer author, queer MCs

Content Warnings: police violence (minor), threat of exposure, toxic family, misogyny, character with Crohn’s disease

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-sarah-jean-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3mZmMrF

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40190173-behind-these-doors

NOTE: Behind These Doors was also discussed in RBP bonus Pride ep #4

> Sarah Jean’s TBR:

>> Defying Convention by Cecil Wilde

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: unavailable

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24814911-defying-convention

NOTE: This book is currently out of print but may be available through your local library

>> Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-sarah-jean-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2HLZa9J

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50261396-hairpin-curves

> Anna’s TBR:

>> Best Laid Plaids by Ella Stainton

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3cJdnj0

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52739473-best-laid-plaids  

>> Death by Sliver by Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-sarah-jean-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/34afYih

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17453991-death-by-silver

> Which #QueerRomance Friends to Lovers favorites did we miss? Let us know on Twitter or Instagram @RomBkPod

Happy Reading!


Music: “Lift Off” by Jahzzar

From the Free Music Archive

CC BY-SA 3.0